Wilderness Guides Council
Revised, Effective March 1, 2007
Article I – Mission
The Wilderness Guides Council, hereafter referred to as WGC, is a supportive network of guides, with international membership, who offer wilderness fasts, rites of passage in nature, and other earth-centered healing and educational activities. The WGC is committed to healing ourselves and others, as well as maintaining and improving the health of wilderness ecosystems, thereby protecting their spiritual and healing value. The WGC operates in the form of a council of equals, and makes decisions based on consensus of its members.
Article II - Goals
A: To reintroduce meaningful rites of passage to our modern culture, thereby helping to create and maintain a sustainable society.
B: To promote the opportunity for its members to network with each other.
C: To hold a gathering at least once a year, for the members to share their knowledge, skills, and experiences, to take care of any business, and to have fun.
D: To encourage policies and actions by other parties to support the purposes of the WGC.
E: To foster an ethical relationship with the land, with each other, and with clients, to promote responsibility for the well being of the people and the land.
F: To support the development of an international network of organizations with a similar mission.
Article III - Membership
SECTION I : DEFINITION
An individual is considered a member if (s)he:
1. is committed to a sacred relationship with the earth.
2. supports, provides, or intends to provide earth-centered healing activities or initiatory experiences.
3. abides by the WGC Ethics and Community Guidelines
4. pays the annual dues
5. is a legal adult
SECTION II : MEMBERSHIP
Interested individuals may join:
1. by contacting the Netkeeper (see Article V) via mail, e-mail, website, or phone
2. at the Annual Gathering (see Article VI, Section I, B)
SECTION III : LOSS OF MEMBERSHIP
Membership can be lost through:
1. failing to pay the annual dues.
2. not abiding by the Ethics Guidelines or Community Guidelines. (see Appendix A and B)
Article IV - Advisory Council (Board of Directors)
SECTION I : SELECTION
1. Members with a minimum of two years membership in the WGC and attendance of at least two Annual Gatherings are eligible to hold a position on the Board of Directors, hereafter referred to as the Advisory Council.
2. Any member can nominate self, or another member attending the gathering for any of the open positions on the Advisory Council.
3. At the Annual Gathering (see Article VI, Section I, B), each nominee will either accept or decline the nomination. The selection is made by consensus (see Article VI, Section III) of all members present.
1. The Advisory Council shall have a minimum of four regular members, and a maximum of six, one of whom will act as the Secretary, hereafter referred to as the Scribe. Another member might act as the Treasurer. Alternatively, the position of the Treasurer can be held by the Netkeeper (see Article V).
2. In addition, there shall be two members serving as Alternates to the Advisory Council who can step in if a regular member is unable to attend a meeting or resigns.
C: Length of Term
The term of any member of the Advisory Council with the exception of the Treasurer, if this position is held by the Netkeeper (see Article V), shall be two years. Advisory Council members can be reselected. They may not serve more than two consecutive terms.
D: Composition of Advisory Council
The Advisory Council shall always include at least one continuing member, unless otherwise decided by the membership.
SECTION II : DUTIES
A: General duties for all members of the Advisory Council
1. The members of the Advisory Council shall attend the Annual Gathering (see Article VI, Section I, B) of the WGC and all other meetings as specified in Article VI, Section I, A. In addition, they shall be available to address in a timely fashion any matters which need attention. Other than meetings, this commitment is approximately 2-5 hours a month.
2. The Advisory Council shall prepare informational material for any proposal to the membership and send it out to the full membership in a timely fashion before the Annual Gathering.
3. The Advisory Council is a working Board that serves the membership, striving to implement the members' collective decisions to the best of its ability.
4. Between Gatherings the Advisory Council is empowered to make operating decisions on behalf of the WGC.
5. The Chair of the Advisory Council shall rotate among its members.
B: The Scribe shall be responsible for the keeping of the minutes of the Advisory Council meetings and of the business meeting(s) at the Annual Gatherings of the WGC.
C: The Treasurer shall collect the annual dues, write all the necessary checks, keep accurate records of incomes and expenditures, create an annual financial statement, and propose a budget for the coming year.
Article V – Netkeeper (Executive Director)
SECTION I : SELECTION
The Netkeeper shall be selected from members who have been members of the WGC for at least three years, have provided earth-centered healing activities, and have been active participants in the WGC. Any qualified member can nominate self or another member. The position of the Netkeeper is one of service to the community of the WGC membership. It is strongly recommended that a period of introspection on the land be a part of this selection process. The Netkeeper is selected by consensus of the membership attending the Annual Gathering (see Article VI, Section I, B) one year before the end of term of the current Netkeeper.
This Gathering shall be a Netkeeper Selection Gathering. The Advisory Council and the Gathering Council shall meet in person or via phone to co-ordinate the time and necessary requirements for the selection process. It is preferable that members considering candidacy declare their interest to the Netkeeper at any point prior to the Gathering so that the interest may be communicated to the community.
Core criteria for the process are:
1. The selection councils will be facilitated by at least two experienced consensus or council facilitators.
2. The current Netkeeper shall not be a facilitator of the process.
2. Length of term
The Netkeeper shall have a term of four years. The Netkeeper can be reselected. (S)He may not serve more than two consecutive terms.
The Netkeeper receives a stipend the amount of which is determined by a consensus of the members present at the Annual Gathering.
4. Alternate Netkeeper
The Alternate Netkeeper shall be selected at the same time as the Netkeeper. The Alternate NetKeeper shall:
1. familiarize themselves with the duties of the Netkeeper,
2. maintain backup copies of records,
3. substitute for the Netkeeper in any official capacity, at the request of the Netkeeper,
4. and in the event that the Netkeeper cannot continue in the position, the Alternate NetKeeper shall assume these duties and associated benefits until a new Netkeeper can be chosen at the next Gathering.
SECTION II : DUTIES
The Netkeeper shall:
1. participate in all activities of the Advisory Council, including the decision making.
2. assume cermonial roles as needed, facilate business meetings (or designate facilitators), and deliver the Netkeeper report at the annual gathering.
3. facilitate communication within the membership, with similar organizations and with the general public.
4. assume a supportive role with any of the Work Councils.
5. maintain the database of the membership.
6. maintain the official records of the WGC.
7. serve as the Treasurer unless otherwise decided.
8. designate a member of the Advisory Council or one of the Alternates as a representative in case of the Netkeeper's or Alternate Netkeeper's inability to attend a meeting.
9. during the last year of their tenure, train the incoming Netkeeper.
Article VI - Meetings
SECTION I : MEETINGS
A: Advisory Council Meetings
The Advisory Council meets just before and after the Annual Gathering (see Article VI, Section I, B) to take care of any business of the WGC. Any additional meetings shall be called by the Netkeeper or two members of the Advisory Council, if deemed necessary.
B: Annual Gathering
Once a year, there shall be a gathering of the membership, which shall have a business meeting as part of the agenda. During this meeting, the Treasurer's report and the annual budget shall be presented to the membership for approval. Decisions affecting the WGC shall be made by consensus (see Article VI, Section III).
SECTION II : QUORUM
The members attending the Business Meeting of the Annual Gathering (see Article VI, Section I, B) shall constitute a quorum.
SECTION III : CONSENSUS
Any major decision regarding the Business of the WGC shall be made through the process of consensus at the Annual Gathering. The members present at the Business Meeting of the Annual Gathering will hear all voices, those of agreement as well as those of disagreement, including consideration of any written input from non-attending members. Reaching consensus means all members present agree to or abstain from the proposal in question. Abstention means not agreeing with the proposal but also not standing in the way of any implementation of the proposal. The reasons for the abstention(s) shall be voiced and recorded. If any opposition remains after discussion, and three or more members want to stand in the way of the proposal, the proposal is returned to the Advisory Council or the Work Council that introduced the proposal.
Article VII - Work Councils
SECTION I : SELECTION
At the Annual Gathering (see Article VI, Section I, B), any member can nominate self or any other member for any of the current Work Councils. Work Councils are formed as needed.
SECTION II : RESPONSIBILITIES
The members of any Work Council are expected to participate in all necessary meetings and communicate with each other to take care of their objectives.
SECTION III : PERMANENT COUNCILS
A: Gathering Council
The Gathering Council coordinates all aspects of the planning and process of the annual gathering. The Gathering Council selects the date and location for the coming Annual Gathering. In consultation with the Netkeeper and Advisory Council, they set the agenda for the Gathering, including an appropriate amount of time for the business of the WGC. They plan and oversee the Annual Gathering, staying within the allocated budget approved the previous year, unless otherwise authorized by the Netkeeper or the Advisory Council.
A member of the Gathering Council needs to have attended at least one previous Annual Gathering. The Gathering Council shall consist of a minimum of four members, but not more than seven. One member shall be a continuing member and one other shall have previously served. Their terms shall be one year. Members may be reselected.
B: Council of Elders
Members of this Council serve voluntarily as voices of conscience, providing historical perspective and support for the Netkeeper and any Councils. They have been in a position of service to the WGC, and been an active member for at least 5 years.
C: Circles Editorial Council
Circles on the Mountain is the publication of the WGC. The members of the Circles Editorial Council shall collect collect relevant material and publish it regularly.
D: Council of Rangers
Rangers monitor the use of wilderness in the various bio-regions to prevent overuse of any area in accordance with the Ethics Guidelines (see Appendix A). It is recommended that these individuals are familiar with the region and willing to remain in this position for an extended period of time, if possible at least four years.
As a council, they develop and update guidelines for use of the wilderness areas in the various bio-regions frequented by the WGC membership. These guidelines shall be in accordance with both the guidelines of the local land agencies and the Ethics Guidelines of the WGC (see Appendix A)
E: Website Keeper
The Website Keeper is selected by the Netkeeper and confirmed by the Advisory Council. (S)he keeps the website functioning and supports the Netkeeper in maintaining the content of the website. In exchange for this service, (s)he receives free attendance at the Annual Gatherings and/or the approved payment for the work.
SECTION IV : PERIODIC COUNCILS
Council of Auditors
At the end of the Treasurer's term, an audit shall be performed by the Council of Auditors. This council shall consist of two members selected at the Annual Gathering one year before the end of the Treasurer's term. Their findings shall be made available to the membership in written form and in a timely fashion.
Article VIII - Amendments to the Bylaws
SECTION I : AMENDMENTS
A: A request for an amendment to the bylaws can be submitted at the Annual Gathering by following these steps:
1. Reword the section or sub-section of the bylaws.
2. Have the support of at least ten members shown by their names.
3. Submit the request at least eight weeks before the Annual Gathering to the Netkeeper.
4. The person requesting the amendment to the bylaws or a supporter of this request needs to attend the Annual Gathering.
B: The Netkeeper shall include this request in the agenda of the business meeting of the Annual Gathering and include the wording of the request in the last mailing before the Annual Gathering.
C: Each amendment to the Bylaws must be approved by consensus of the members present at an Annual Gathering (see Article VI, Section I, B).
SECTION II : REVISIONS
A: If multiple amendments are necessary, the Council may consider these changes to be a revision of the Bylaws. A request for multiple amendments to the bylaws can be submitted by following the same steps as required for amendments.
B: The Advisory Council shall discuss the request and prepare a recommendation to the membership. The Netkeeper shall include the request in the agenda of the business meeting of the Annual Gathering and include the wording of the request in the last mailing before the Annual Gathering.
C: A revision shall be approved in its entirety by consensus of the members present at the Annual Gathering (see Article VI, Section I, B).
SECTION III : FILING
Up-to-date versions of the Bylaws shall be on file with Netkeeper who will bring them to any of the meetings, and make them available upon request.
Article IX - Enactment
These Bylaws shall be enacted after approval by the full members of the WGC present at the 2003 gathering. DONE.
Amendments to and revisions of the Bylaws take effect after approval by a quorum of the WGC at the Annual Gathering.
Bylaws revision approved on 2/23/07 by unanimous consensus of members present.
Note for clarification: Article V, Section I, 4: There will be no Alternate Netkeeper until 2008 when the next Netkeeper selection takes place.
The revisions were approved with minor changes to the proposed revisions on 2/23/07. If you would like to see the content of these changes, please download the notes taken at this meeting.
Proposed Revision to WGC Bylaws in 2007
These revisions were agreed upon by the Advisory Council during a face-to-face meeting over the weekend of Dec 2-3, 2006.
To read the proposed revision, please download the RTF file: Bylaws_Proposed_Rev2007.rtf or the PDF version. The content of the files is identical. The file has been formatted to show the following: No change: black, New: red, Removed: strikethrough over black.
If you attend the 2007 Gathering and you are a current member, you will be asked to approve the changes to our Bylaws after discussion. All decisions are made in council using the consensus process.
Amendents to and revisions of the Bylaws take effect after approval by a quorum of the WGC at the Annual Gathering.
The original Bylaws have been removed. If you are a current member, you can request a copy from the Netkeeper .