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
Bill Ostrander, who had previously appointed Carena Pooth to chair the
ad hoc YBC Committee, asked her to lead the discussion.
ACTION ITEM SUMMARY:
- 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,
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
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.
4. ADULT COORDINATOR
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
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.
6. NEXT STEPS
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
The next Board meeting will be held at Nuthatch Hollow on April 5, 2008.
Meeting adjourned at 12:10 p.m.