New York State
Ornithological Association

For the birders and birds of the Empire State

New York State Ornithological Association
Board Meeting Minutes
March 15, 2008

The Board of Directors of the New York State Ornithological Association, Inc. held a special meeting at Nuthatch Hollow in Vestal on March 15, 2008 to discuss the formation and sponsorship of a New York State Young Birders Club (NYSYBC).  The meeting was called to order at 9:40 a.m.

Present were Bob Adamo, Tim Baird, Gail Kirch, Berna Lincoln, Andy Mason, Bob Mauceli, Bill Ostrander, Carena Pooth, and Bill Reeves.

Bill Ostrander, who had previously appointed Carena Pooth to chair the ad hoc YBC Committee, asked her to lead the discussion.


  • Approved initiation and execution of a special project to form a Young Birders Club for New York State.

1.  INTRODUCTION – At its November 2007 meeting, the Board agreed to sponsor NYSYBC and provide financial assistance.  However, the structural relationship between NYSOA and NYSYBC needed definition in accordance with the Bylaws before concrete steps could be taken to move forward with the project.  The March 15 meeting was called to discuss the structural issue as well as other matters that require direct involvement of the Board at this time.

2.  OHIO YOUNG BIRDERS CLUB – Bob Mauceli – Bob gave a detailed report on his conversation on February 28 with Kim Kaufman, Education Director of the Black Swamp Bird Observatory (BSBO) and adult coordinator of the Ohio Young Birders Club (OYBC).  He will send a written report to the officers and directors, along with some of the forms used by OYBC.  A partial list of points covered in Bob’s report to the attendees:

a) Membership – There are over 160 youth (“student”) members and 70-80 adult members who pay annual dues of $5 and $10, respectively.

b) Activities – Monthly field trips (organized specifically as youth birder trips), annual conference, website, monthly newsletter, Christmas Bird Counts, Ohio Breeding Bird Atlas, conservation and service projects.

c) Organizational Structure – OYBC was started and is managed by BSBO.  BSBO owns the budget and receives all monies for OYBC.  BSBO provides services in kind (adult coordination, website, newsletter editing & publishing, administrative support).  Kim is a full-time employee of BSBO and spends about a third of her time on OYBC.  She is not required to go on OYBC field trips.  There are 18 partner organizations that are independent of BSBO, mostly bird clubs plus a commercial organization and a state organization.  These partners pay dues of $75/year and must be willing to sponsor one field trip per year.  There is a Youth Advisory Panel (YAP) of 6 students and a Planning Committee comprising 10 adults plus the YAP.  The relationship between OYBC and BSBO may change in the future as some partner organizations are interested in creating local OYBC chapters.  OYBC might evolve into an independent non-profit organization with chapters around the state.

d) Legal & Liability – Adult volunteers and field trip leaders undergo background checks and fingerprinting.  Cost is $25-30 via schools & police departments.  Ohio law prohibits one-on-one contact between an adult and a child that is not his or her own.  Travel/Auto insurance is up to the individual providing transportation.  BSBO has a $1 million umbrella liability policy.  Parents sign release waivers / consent forms and provide a health background summary for their children prior to field trips and other events.

3.  NYSOA/NYSYBC Relationship – Berna Lincoln suggested that NYSYBC be established and administered under a special project rather than as a Member Club or Committee.  This approach would be analogous to the way the Breeding Bird Atlases have been handled.  The ad hoc YBC Committee would lead the project until an adult coordinator and a permanent structure are in place. 
     Bob Mauceli made a motion that NYSOA undertake a special project to form a Young Birders Club for New York State and put in place the appropriate adult coordination and infrastructure to implement and manage this project.  Bill Reeves seconded.  Approved unanimously.


a) Relationship to NYSOA – It was agreed that the Adult Coordinator should be a NYSOA member who would chair the permanent YBC Committee.  In that capacity, the Adult Coordinator will be able to recruit additional volunteers to serve on the committee and help with various aspects of the committee’s responsibilities.

b) Selection Process – There needs to be a formal application and selection process, including letters of reference and background check.

c) Recruitment – Bill Ostrander will send a letter about the YBC project to Member Clubs/Organizations with an article that they can include in their newsletters.  A “road show” will be developed and offered for presentation by NYSOA volunteers to Member Clubs with the objective of educating their members about NYSOA and promoting sponsorship of NYSYBC.  Carena will draft an outline of the road show for the April 5 NYSOA Board meeting.

 5.  LEGAL / INSURANCE / LIABILITY – On February 25, John Confer circulated via email comments provided pro bono by Marcie A. Finlay of Ithaca, who provided excellent advice and a very helpful framework for considering various legal and liability issues. A number of these were discussed during Bob Mauceli’s report on his conversation with Kim (see item 2d). 

a) Liability –Berna raised an additional issue related to libel.  We will need to ensure that any YBC writings undergo appropriate review prior to publication.

b) Insurance – Bill Reeves has discussed YBC-related liability issues with NYSOA’s current insurance provider and feels that we have adequate coverage as long as parents sign an appropriate consent/waiver form.  In addition, we will have to notify the insurance company prior to specific events involving YBC members.


a) Written report to the Board on February 28 phone call with Kim Kaufman (Bob M.)
b) “Road show” outline and an announcement article for member clubs (Carena)
c) Find out what BSBO’s review process is for OYBC listserv content submitted by OYBC members (Bob Mauceli)

The next Board meeting will be held at Nuthatch Hollow on April 5, 2008.

Meeting adjourned at 12:10 p.m.

 Return to the NYSOA Home Page

About Us  |  Banded/Marked_Birds  |  Breeding Bird Atlas  |  Breeding Bird Survey
Calendar  |  Checklists  |  Conservation  |  Field Trips  |  Member Clubs/Organizations
Membership  | NYSARC (Rare_Birds)  |  Publications  |  Rare Bird Alert
Reporting & Listing  |  Waterfowl Count  |  Web Links