Lead the Adventure!

BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA

CHEROKEE AREA COUNCIL

VENTURING OFFICERS’ ASSOCIATION

BYLAWS

Article I. Name and Affiliation

This VOA shall be affiliated with the Cherokee Area Council of Chattanooga Tennesee, Boy Scouts of America, and shall be under the administrative authority of the Scout Executive and Council Program Committee.

Article II. Mission Statement

The Cherokee Area Council (hereafter referred to as the Council) Venturing Officers’ Association (hereafter referred to as VOA) enhances the Venturing program of the Council and its districts by promoting fellowship and leadership through social activities, youth training, and recognition of members of the Venturing Program.

Article III. Purposes and Responsibilities

A. Organize, promote, and give leadership to all Council and District Venturing Crew activities, events, and training opportunities.

B. Participate in and provide opportunities for service.

C. Promote Venturing camping opportunities, especially the Skymont Scout Reservation, and all National BSA High Adventure Bases.

D. Provide recognition of youth, adults, and units through implementation and promotion of advancement and awards programs.

E. Provide avenues of communication among Council, District, and Unit leadership.

F. Act as a resource for District and Unit Venturing Programs.

G. Provide youth leadership to the council and district operating committees.

Article IV. Membership

A. The membership of the Council VOA consists of all elected Council Officers, District Venturing Officers, and Venturing Crew Officers within the Council. Advisors and Professional Advisors for each of these levels serve as ex-officio members.

Article V. Council VOA Leadership and Organization

A. Eligibility for Office

  1. At the time of the election, be a registered youth Venturer within the Council, and retain membership throughout term of the office.
  2. Willing and able to fulfill all responsibilities of the elected position, including the ability to be at meetings.
  3. Present at the time of the election.

B. Council VOA Officers

  1. The Council VOA Officers serve as the leaders of the Council VOA. They carry out the responsibilities of the VOA as is needed at the Council level. They also give leadership and set goals for the District Venturing Officers to fulfill the responsibilities of the VOA within the District.
  2. Council VOA President
    a) The Council VOA President shall ensure the responsibilities of the Council VOA are carried out through leadership of the Council and District Venturing Officers.

    b) To be eligible for the office of President, a youth member must have been an elected officer of the Council VOA, a District Venturing Officer, or a Venturing Unit charted within Council as well as remain under the age of Twenty one throughout the course of the term.

    c) Roles and Responsibilities
    1. Preside at all meetings of the General VOA Membership and the Council VOA Cabinet.
    2. Appoint and if necessary, remove all chairpersons of all standing and ad-hoc committees.
    3. With the advice of the Council Advisors, create agendas for all General Membership and Council VOA Cabinet meetings to be distributed before the meeting.
    4. Represent the VOA as a member of the Council Activities Committee.
    5. Work as a mentor and resource to all District Venturing Officers to ensure the smooth operation of the VOA within districts.
  3. Council VOA Vice President of Administration
    a) The Council VOA Vice President of Administration shall serve as the Council VOA Officer primarily responsible for the administrative responsibilities of the VOA.

    b) Roles/Responsibilities
    1. Preside at all meetings of the General VOA Membership and the Council VOA Cabinet if the Council VOA President cannot be present
    2. Serve as chair of the Council VOA Recognition committee.
    3. Serve as chair of the Council VOA Training committee.
    4. Work as a resource and give leadership to District Venturing Vice Presidents of Administration to ensure the District VOAs fulfill the administrative responsibilities of the VOA.
    5. Perform other duties as assigned by the Council VOA President.
  4. Council VOA Vice President of Program
    a) The Council VOA Vice President of Program shall serve as the Council VOA Officer primarily responsible for the program of the VOA.

    b) The Council VOA Vice President of Program shall have the following specific duties:
    1. Preside at all meetings of the General VOA Membership and the Council VOA Cabinet if the Council VOA President and Council VOA Vice President of Administration cannot be present.
    2. Serve as chair of the Council VOA Service Committee.
    3. Serve as chair of the Council VOA Camping Opportunities Committee.
    4. Serve as the chair or member of every activity and event committee of the Council VOA.
    5. Work as a resource and give leadership to District Venturing Vice Presidents of Program to ensure the District VOAs fulfill the program responsibilities of the VOA.
    6. Perform other duties as assigned by the Council VOA President.
  5. Council VOA Vice President of Communication
    a) The Council VOA Vice President of Program shall serve as the Council VOA Officer primarily responsible for VOA communication.
    b) Roles/Responsibilities
    1. Preside at all meetings of the General Membership and the Council VOA Cabinet if the Council VOA President, Council VOA Vice President of Administration, and Council VOA Vice President of Program cannot be present.
    2. Maintain a contact list of all council and district officers and Advisors. This list shall include name, office, phone number, address, email address, and other information deemed pertinent. This list is to be created and distributed by the first meeting of the Council VOA Cabinet following the election of officers and updated as necessary following. iii)
    3. Coordinate with District Officers to create and maintain a list of unit officers and Advisors within the Council, including name, office, phone number, address, email address, unit election date(s), and other information deemed pertinent. District Officers shall be given a list of Venturing Units and Advisors at the Council and District Venturing Officers Training Weekend in order to maintain this list. The Council VOA VP of Communication will create a process to receive updates from the District Venturing Officers in order to maintain an up to date list within the Council.
    4. Ensure that a VOA website, publicizing VOA events, activities, initiatives, and other VOA information is created and maintained with up to date information.
    5. Coordinate the publishing within Council newsletters of Council VOA events, activities, and initiatives.
    6. Take minutes of Council VOA Cabinet meetings and General VOA Membership meetings. These minutes shall be distributed to the members of the Council VOA Cabinet and made available to members of the VOA within a reasonable amount of time following the meeting. vii) Ensure all meeting notifications of the Council VOA Cabinet and Council VOA activities and events are received by VOA members in a timely manner. This may be done by setting deadlines for committees to have mailings sent out and information published on the VOA website.
    7. Work as a resource and give leadership to District Venturing Secretaries to ensure the District VOAs fulfill the communication responsibilities of the VOA.
    8. Perform other duties as assigned by the Council VOA President.

C. Advisors

  1. Council VOA Advisor
    1. The Council Activities Committee shall appoint an Advisor to the Council VOA on a three-year term coinciding with the term of Council VOA Officers.
    2. The Council VOA Advisor shall have the following responsibilities:
    3. Work with the elected Council VOA Officers to ensure the responsibilities of the VOA are fulfilled.
    4. Serve as a member of the Council Activities Committee.
    5. Serve as an ex-officio member of the Council VOA Cabinet
    6. With the Council, VOA Professional Advisor, coordinate the Council and District Venturing Officers training to be held within one month of the election of Council and District VOA Officers.
    7. Appoint all Associate Advisors for Council VOA operating committees.
    8. Work as a resource and give leadership to District Venturing Advisors to ensure the smooth operation of Crews in each district within the Council.
  2. Council VOA Professional Advisor
    1. The Scout Executive of Council shall appoint a member of the Professional Scouting Staff to serve as Professional Advisor to the Council VOA.
    2. The Professional Advisor shall have the following responsibilities:
      1. Work with the elected Council VOA Officers and the District Unit Advisors to ensure the responsibilities of the VOA are fulfilled.
      2. Serve as an ex-officio member of the Council VOA Cabinet.
      3. With the Council VOA Advisor, coordinate the Council and District Venturing Officers training to be held within one month of the election of Council and District Crew Officers.
      4. Ensure a member of the Professional Scouting Staff is available to work with all activities, events, and meetings of the Council VOA that require a Professional Advisor.
      5. Work with other District Executives/Directors to ensure active Crews in each district within the Council. Ensure that the other District Executives/Directors are aware of Professional responsibilities within and for the VOA.

Article VII. Election of Officers

A. The Council VOA shall use the following procedure to elect officers.

  1. The election of Council VOA Officers shall occur at the in November of each year.
  2. Written nominations for officers shall be taken prior to the election in a process to be determined by the Council VOA Cabinet.
  3. The immediate-past Council VOA President, or another suitable individual who is not running for office, shall emcee the election.
  4. Every unit in attendance is entitled to three (3) votes for each of the elected positions to be decided in a caucus of the unit youth members in attendance.
  5. Upon entry to the area for elections, a representative for each crew shall be issued 8 (eight) sets of three (3) ballots each. This number is adequate for up to two votes per each Council VOA Office. Each ballot set shall be a unique color, clearly indicating which office the ballots are for.
  6. Council VOA Officers shall be elected by a majority of votes cast, with a run-off election, if necessary.
  7. Beginning with the Council VOA President, and repeating for each office, the election procedure shall be:
    1. If there have been any nominations received prior to the election, the emcee of the elections shall announce them and ask those nominated to step forward if they accept the nomination.
    2. The emcee shall then ask for any nominations from the floor. Every nomination must be made and seconded by a youth member and accepted by the nominated. Upon accepting, the nominee is asked to step forward.
    3. Each nominee must sign a statement that they understand the responsibilities of their position before proceeding with approval from their unit leader, the council VOA advisor and a parent if under the age of 18.
    4. When an appropriate number of nominations have been made, the emcee will ask for any remaining nominations. If none are received, the emcee shall close the floor for nominations.
    5. In the order that nominations were received, each candidate shall be given the opportunity to speak as to why they should be elected for no more than three (1) minute.
    6. After all the candidates have been given the opportunity to speak, the emcee shall ask for the units in attendance to vote. Each unit shall hold a caucus of youth members to determine how their votes shall be cast. When the votes have been determined the ballots shall be turned in to those counting.
    7. The Council VOA Advisor, Council Professional VOA Advisor, and their designees, including at least one youth member, shall count the ballots.
    8. If no majority for one candidate is received, the emcee shall announce the two candidates who received the most votes and call for a runoff election between these two candidates, following the same procedure as noted above. The emcee may choose to allow another set of speeches or to forego these in the interest of time.
    9. Once a majority vote for an officer has been received, the election results shall be announced. The emcee shall then begin the election process for the next officer. Those candidates that were not elected shall be given the opportunity to run for the next office.
  8. During elections, if a question of procedure arises that is not specifically addressed in these bylaws , or if a conflict in these bylaws regarding elections is found at a time that a bylaw change cannot be made before upcoming elections, the question shall be decided by the Council VOA Advisor, in consultation with the Council Professional Advisor.

Article VIII. Removal of an Officer

  1. Council VOA Officers
    1. Council VOA Officers shall resign their elected position upon missing two Council VOA Cabinet or General Membership meetings without being excused.
      1. If an officer wishes to be excused from a meeting, a majority vote of the members in attendance at that meeting will excuse them. They are responsible for notifying the presiding officer of the meeting as to why they are not in attendance. The presiding officer will then raise the possibility of excusing the officer at the meeting and call for a vote.
      2. If an officer cannot attend a meeting for a personal matter of great importance, the Council VOA Advisor and the president may excuse the officer from this meeting. If the issue is an ongoing one that will interfere with the Officer performing his/her duties the Advisor must recommend that the Officer resign.
      3. Council VOA Officers shall resign their elected position upon the request of any two (2) of the following parties: Council VOA Advisor, VOA President, Council Professional Advisor, Council Activities Committee, or Council Scout Executive.
  2. District Venturing Officers
    1. District Crew Officers shall resign their elected position if they can no longer fulfill the duties of their position.
    2. District Crew Officers shall resign their elected position upon the request of any two (2) of the following parities: District VOA Advisor, VOA President District Professional Advisor, District Activities Committee, Council Scout Executive, or District Commissioner.

Article IX. Replacement of an Officer

A. Council VOA Officers

  1. In the event a vacancy arises in the term of any Council VOA Officer, except the Council VOA President, the Council VOA President shall name a replacement officer with the consent of the Council VOA Advisor, within 1 month of notification of the vacancy. If the Council VOA President does not, this duty shall fall to the next Council VOA Officer in the order of succession.
  2. In the event of a vacancy in the office of Council VOA President, the Council VOA Vice President of Administration shall become the Council VOA President, and fill the position of Council VOA President of Administration as noted previously.

B. District Venturing Officers

  1. In the event a vacancy arises in the term of any District Venturing Officer, except the District Venturing President, the District Venturing President shall name a replacement officer with the consent of the District VOA Advisor.
  2. In the event of a vacancy in the office of District Venturing President, the District Venturing Vice President of Administration shall become the District Venturing President, and fill the position of District VOA President of Administration as noted previously.

Article X. Operating Committees

A. Operating committees shall consist of:

  1. A Chair appointed by the President of the Council VOA, who may also be a VOA Officer.
  2. An Officer of the VOA at the level of the committee, i.e., a Council Committee would have a Council VOA Officer. If the chair of the committee is an officer, an additional one need not be part of the committee.
  3. An Advisor appointed by the Advisor of the Council or District.
  4. In some cases a Professional Advisor to be appointed by the Scout Executive or his/her designee.
  5. Members of the VOA, who must be approved by the chair of the committee.

B. There shall be permanent standing operating committees for the Council VOA. These committees must be formed within one month of the election of the Council VOA Officers.

  1. Training – The VOA Training committee will coordinate and conduct Venturing youth training at the Council level. Will work with the Council Training Committee when appropriate. The VOA Training committee will evaluate annually which trainings shall be held by the Council VOA and District VOAs and distribute this guideline to the Council VOA Cabinet at the March meeting.
  2. Service – The VOA Service committee will coordinate and conduct opportunities for service within the VOA. These may include both service within Scouting and in the community, such as Scouting for Food.
  3. Camping – The VOA Camping Opportunities committee will promote Venturing Camping opportunities. These should include High Adventure programs available to Venturers. Specifically, the use of Skymont scout reservation should be promoted to Venturing units within the Council on an ongoing basis throughout the year.
  4. Recognition – The Recognition Committee promotes the recognition available to Venturers including, but not limited to, the Venturing Leadership Award, Venturing Advancements, and Sea Scout Ranks. If these awards require a committee to decide receipt of the award, this shall be a subcommittee of the Recognition Committee. The Recognition Committee shall be responsible for an annual activity to recognize those receiving Venturing Recognitions within Council. They shall promote, plan, execute the activity, and report back to the Council VOA Cabinet at the end of the activity.
  5. There shall be a standing committee for each activity and event of the Council VOA to plan, promote, execute the activity or event, and report back to the Council VOA Cabinet at the end of the activity or event.

C. A temporary ad hoc committee may be formed by a simple majority vote of the Council VOA Cabinet. The committee will expire with the term of the officers creating the committee.

Article XI. Meetings

A. Council VOA Cabinet

  1. A meeting of the Council VOA Cabinet shall consist of the Council VOA Officers, District VOA Officers, chairs of council standing and ad-hoc committees, and ex-officio advisors of these officers.
  2. Meetings of the Council VOA Cabinet are open to all members of Council Venturing Units.
  3. The Council VOA Cabinet shall have six regularly scheduled meetings:
    1. The Council and District VOA Training Weekend to be held within one month following the election of officers.
    2. The fourth Monday of November, January, March, May, and August.
    3. If any of these meetings conflict with a national or religious holiday or scheduled event or activity on the Council or units calendar, these dates may be moved to a near date by a majority vote of the VOA Cabinet provided adequate notification of the change in date can be provided.
    4. The President of the Council VOA may call a special meeting of the Council VOA Cabinet with a) Approval of the Council Advisor and Council Professional Advisor. b) Notice of at least twenty-one (21) days prior to the meeting being mailed to all members of the Council VOA Cabinet.
    1. Notifications of all meetings shall be given at the earliest possible date to all members of the Council VOA Cabinet. All meetings should be publicized in appropriate Council publications and on the VOA website.
    2. Minutes of all Council VOA Cabinet meetings should be distributed to members of the Council VOA Cabinet following meetings and published on the VOA website. The publication of these minutes are subject to the review and approval of the Council VOA Advisor and President.

B. District VOA

  1. If no district VOA exists all responsibilities of the district VOA shall be deferred the council VOA until a district VOA can be established
  2. A meeting of a District VOA shall consist of District VOA Officers, Officers of Units chartered within the district, and ex-officio advisors of these officers.
  3. District VOA meetings are open to all members of Venturing units chartered within that district.
  4. Every District VOA shall hold at least four (4) meetings annually.
  5. District VOA meetings shall be scheduled by the District VOA Officers in conjunction with the District VOA Advisors and the District Activities Committee.

C. General VOA Membership

  1. A General VOA Membership meeting shall consist of all Council and District VOA officers, all officers of Venturing Units within the Council, and ex-officio advisors of these officers.
  2. General VOA Membership meetings shall be open to all members of Council Venturing Units.
  3. There shall be a General VOA Membership meeting at all Council VOA activities and events at the discretion of the Council VOA President and Advisor.

Article XII. Activities and Events

A. Council Activities and Events

  1. 1. There shall be one Council event (multiple-day, overnight programs) scheduled annually in the fall of the year.
  2. There shall be between two and three Council activities (short-term, single-day programs, usually not overnight) to be scheduled annually by the Council VOA Cabinet at the January meeting previous to the program year in which they will be held.

B. District Activities and Events

  1. Every District VOA shall hold at least one District activity (short-term, single-day programs, not overnight) or event (multiple-day, overnight programs).
  2. A District VOA may only hold one event unless prior approval from the Council Activities Committee has been attained. Requests for such variances must be approved at the April meeting of the Activities Committee prior to the event.

Article XIII. Policies and Finance

A. The Rules and Regulations and program manuals of the Boy Scouts of America and the Policies and Procedures of the Council guide the Venturing program and the VOA. No action of the VOA may be contrary to this guidance.

B. All activity or funds of the VOA shall be handled through the Council’s offices, in accordance with the Council’s accounting procedures. The VOA shall not keep separate accounts or treasuries. All financial obligations of the VOA shall be settled through the Council’s offices. No funds shall be collected or expended without an approved budget. Money shall not be carried over years or from one event to another.

Article XIV. Non-Specified Matters

Matters not specifically stated or clarified in these bylaws are left to the Council VOA Cabinet, to be decided by a majority vote of those present at a meeting of the Council VOA Cabinet.

Article XV. Bylaw Revision

A. Amendments

  1. Amendments to these bylaws shall be presented in writing to the Council VOA Cabinet at a regularly scheduled meeting by any officer of the Council VOA Cabinet. The Council VOA President or another presiding officer shall officiate the discussion of the proposed amendment. There shall not be a vote on this amendment at this meeting.
  2. At the next scheduled meeting of the Council VOA Cabinet, the officer presenting the proposed amendment shall once again present their proposed amendment. After a period of discussion, the Council VOA President or another presiding officer shall call for a vote.
  3. A roll-call vote shall be taken with each voting member of the Council VOA Cabinet voting yes or no on the amendment. The amendment must receive the votes of at least 2/3 of the voting members present to be adopted.
  4. Following the passage of an amendment, the Council VOA Vice-President of Administration shall update the bylaws and distribute a copy of the revised bylaws to each of the Council VOA Cabinet members.
  5. All amendments are subject to the approval of the Scout Executive. The amendment shall have no force until it is so approved.