Our Scout Programs feature teams governed by our Scouts. Our Scouts choose, organize, and lead their own meetings, programs, and activities. Our Scouts have both by-laws and a Team Constitution they create themselves and use as guidance. Countries create guiding documents; corporations do also. Partnerships and even roommate situations should also develop an understanding of expectations in advance.
We help our Scouts acquire the knowledge of the differences between a Constitution and By-laws. With knowledge, our Scouts create better Constitutions and By-laws to serve them all.
The purpose of the Constitution and By-Laws is not to make the meetings stuffy! It makes sense for our Scouts to come to an agreement and discuss ahead of time what is important to them. These documents are created by the Scouts, for the Scouts to establish guidelines they want to operate by. Our Scouts develop an appreciation for why the thought process of an agreement matters. Later in life when they are in business or even have a roommate, they will have the skills necessary to reach an agreement and an appreciation of why it helps to establish in advance guiding documents for the benefit of those involved.
A Constitution should be:
By-Laws should be:
- Explains and clarifies the purpose
- Describes the entity’s processes
- Provides brief history of the group
- Is rarely changed
- Provides specific procedures
- Provides orderly rules for conducting business
- Provides detail to the Constitution
- Is changed when appropriate
Constitutions need to include the framework for the program. Details are left to the By-laws. Constitutions for teams should be between 2-4 pages in length.
- Membership and eligibility
- The titles and purposes of officers
- Describing counselors and their function
- The number of members who do business (for us, it is all Scouts)
- Legislation, how changes are made
- Amendments, actual changes
By-Laws should include smaller details such as how to use Parliamentary Procedure, details on membership, when meetings are scheduled and details the Team may need to change regularly.
Photocopies of Team Constitutions and By-laws are to be handed out or brought by Scouts for their use at every team meeting.