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  • Charter Organization Not Helping

    Hi. I am in a pack where the Charter Organization used to be extremely active. In the past few years, they no longer are. To give you an idea, I am pretty sure it is the largest church in our area with the biggest youth group and not a single youth is in Cub Scouts as far as I know. Our den and pack meetings are every Monday from 6:00-7:00. There is only ONE key holder for the church and he either shows up right at 6:00 or a few minutes before and we are still expected to be finished and cleaned up by 7:00. This is not fair to the boys or the adults involved. We asked the local council if we were able to hold our pack meetings elsewhere and we were told insurance would not cover us if we did.

    My husband became the new Cubmaster 3-4 months ago and we have tried repeatedly to talk to the Charter Organization Rep or anyone from the church at all. No one wants to talk to us.

    I guess I am wondering what our options are?

  • #2
    Sounds like the wrong answer on insurance. Find someone else who knows more. You do NOT have to meet under your CO's roof to be insured.

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    • #3
      Talk to your District Executive about it and see if he can get your Unit Commissioner involved. Sounds like your CO has lost interest in Scouting and it me be necessary to find a new CO for the pack or move the Cubs to another Pack. Every Council Is different but I think you need to speak with someone else at council regarding the location of your Pack meetings. Sure they need to be safe, but a pack meeting can be held anywhere. What better place than a Park! Whenever someone throws the "insurance" excuse at you be very skeptical. It is usually just them trying to get their way or they don't have a clue. Are your leaders trained, registered and have current YPT, do your activities follow the GTSS, are they within Council borders? You are covered.

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      • #4
        Thanks for the help! I will definitely look further into this!

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        • #5
          we do not meet at our CO's Facility, and we have no problems with insurance

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          • #6
            If the CO is a "church", then USUALLY the Institutional Head (IH) is the Pastor or Priest. Show up for a worship service and shake his/her hand. introduce yourselves and find a corner to talk in. Hey< Ask the Pack to show up IN UNIFORM and join in the service.
            Sometimes the new pastor doesn't really know what his/her church has/does. At my home unit's CO church, the new Pastor didn't know about the Scout Program (four units!) until I called on her and asked to do a Charter Presentation! Presto! Better relations! Now she is invited to the Blue and Gold Banquet and Courts of Honor.
            Our Scoutmaster has a door key, our Cubmaster has a key, the Scout Ship Skipper has a key. Venture Crew Advisor is the Scoutmaster (he has a key!). They have to KNOW you to TRUST you. Do a service (landscaping, put up birdhouses, sweep the sidewalks, hand out the bulletins at worship, help with the pancake supper , etc.) for the CO and make yourself known to them.

            Good Scouting to you!

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            • #7
              Start a file labeled "Don't Waste Time With These Idiots" and put a picture of the bozo who gave you the bull about insurance in it.

              But SSS has the right answer -- YOU need to build a relationship with your CO. Ask how the pack can become active in the life of the church through service projects for the church and it's members. Ask if the Scouts can have a part in services on Scout Sunday. One local troop serves breakfast for it's congregation on Scout Sunday. Volunteer the boys to help with light yard work for elderly members of the church. Our CO is a major supporter of a local food ministry, so our troop does several projects a year to benefit those groups, too. Talk to the youth minister and ask how the pack and church can work together to offer the Religious Emblems program through the church (they're not just for Boy Scouts). And take every opportunity you can to remind the church leaders that for some of your boys Scouting is the only contact they have with a church. We don't at all try to "sell"our CO to our Scouts, but we do provide exposure they may not otherwise have.

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              • #8
                Oh, insurance. In our Council, that's the one dollar extra per boy and leader on the charter application. I do not know of any one person at Council who can answer that. I honestly have never heard of any unit that has ever made a claim. My understanding is It is "supposed" to be for secondary injury (your personal insurance is primary) and liability (your Scouts damaged our whatever) and if the Scout or Unit is damaged or injured during a Scout activity (the Unit defines that). Should the Summit in WbgVA be subject to a forest fire, I am sure the BSA has insurance on it. When the forest fire out in Utah some years ago was traced back to a BScout campfire, I'm sure the BSA had insurance to cover that claim (alot!) . CSDC, hikes, campouts, whatever.
                The sponsoring CO certainly has some sort of insurance to cover such things under it's aegis, and if it is a CO then you are part of that, whether you are doing your Scout thing actually under their physical roof or not.
                So if somebody thinks they were injured due to some problem or negligence on the part of your Scout unit, they can sue you, the Scout parents, the church, the BSA, the local BSA Council and the fellow walking by when it allegedly happened. And the Council/BSA/Church insurance should defend you/the church/the BSA/the Council.
                I see a new reality cable TV show in the offing: ""BSA Insurance Man"" ....

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                • #9
                  SSScout, I LOVE the idea of showing up in church! I attend a different church so I didn't even think of that but it sure would force the pastor to give us some attention, wouldn't it? It would also make the church look pretty bad when some of it's regular members were curious about us then find out that the church is our Charter Organization. We don't care if we have a key, if someone reliable would let us in at a respectable time and let us leave at a respectable time AND be reliable about it. Problem is, since there are NO church members currently in the Cub Scouts, they don't want to give out keys. They used to be extremely active (before me and my husband's time) but a few years back you can see where they literally went from actively caring about the scouts to treating them like a step child that was unwanted. They are the C.O. but want no active role with us what-so-ever.

                  The one dad that has a key (the one that is not reliable, restrains our time and just moved up to Boy Scouts) was extremely defensive when my husband mentioned wanting to find another meeting place saying "You have NO idea how much the church USED to do for us!". My husband replied, "That is all great and dandy but my son wasn't in scouting THEN. He is in scouting NOW." My husband wasn't ugly or mean in any way about it either. He was just matter of fact.

                  Anyhow, thanks so much for the great responses all. You have all given me some great ideas and information!

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                  • #10
                    Jo, I don't think it would be beneficial to "force the pastor" to do anything. It would likely be better to create a good relationship with him or her. Once a quarter the CC and I go have lunch with our COR. We chew the fat, talk about similar problems, talk about things coming up that might be a problem, and bring up silly little issues like the key. Yes, we have the same issue. Once there was trust developed between us the key became a 1 minute problem. "Oh, sure, why don't we just make you an extra key?"

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                    • #11
                      At least once a year the COR and or Head of the Charter Org should be sitting down with your DE and UC. As suggested I'd see what light the DE can shed on the situation, I'd include your UC, if you have one. This is something the DE should be fully motivated to correct.

                      Currently you only being provided a meeting space, which is a big thing to have, but the pattern of events indicates this could be lost as well.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jo_scouting View Post
                        SSScout, I LOVE the idea of showing up in church! I attend a different church so I didn't even think of that but it sure would force the pastor to give us some attention, wouldn't it? It would also make the church look pretty bad when some of it's regular members were curious about us then find out that the church is our Charter Organization. We don't care if we have a key, if someone reliable would let us in at a respectable time and let us leave at a respectable time AND be reliable about it. Problem is, since there are NO church members currently in the Cub Scouts, they don't want to give out keys.
                        I think you are missing that it is a 2 way street. It sounds like that you want to shame the them church into doing something.

                        You mentioned in your first post that the church has a large youth group but no youth in scouting? What recruiting have you done at the Church? What service projects have you done for the Church? If the Church has food drive, fund raiser etc how do the scouts participate. What did the scouts do last Feb for Scout Sunday? What value have you added to the Church to sponsor your unit?

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                        • #13
                          Well, it seems to me you are asking for your meetings to be from 6-7 so they are giving you 6-7 Meeting times should be from start-finish. We do our meetings from 6-730, our opening flag is usually around 615-620 after we finish getting set up and we are usually done by 715 and out of the building by 730.

                          Did you just consider telling the keyholder that you are having your meetings from 6-730 (that gives you time to pickup)

                          Also, with service for your charter org, it gets you noticed right away usually. But I find that you need to seek out the projects rather than sit back and wait for your principle or priest to tell you what todo. See a flower bed in disrepair? fix it. Notice that the windows need to be washed? Wash them. See that your Org is doing a Can Food Drive, go do your own and give what you get to them.
                          Come at it more like "We are going to do this for you" rather than making the charter org have to figure out things that are appropriate and realistic for your group todo. You, as the leader, are much better at figuring out what your group of kids can accomplish.

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                          • #14

                            Originally posted by SSScout View Post
                            Oh, insurance. In our Council, that's the one dollar extra per boy and leader on the charter application. I do not know of any one person at Council who can answer that. I honestly have never heard of any unit that has ever made a claim. My understanding is It is "supposed" to be for secondary injury (your personal insurance is primary) ....
                            I actually had to make a claim last month when one of my cubs had a tooth get chipped at our council resident camp. You are correct, it is secondary to cover after the parents primary insurance coverage takes effect.

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                            • #15
                              When I set up my new troop I spent a lot of time with the CO letting them know exactly how it works. It has paid off in the long run. Every position down to the committee level was offered first to any member of the CO. They had right of first refusal. Well, they said they didn't want any of it. Then when it got down to the actual chartering situation, they were repeated reminded that this program is PART of your program, the troop belongs to YOU! I repeated that mantra for a whole year while we were organizing the troop.

                              It thus comes as no surprise that people of the CO refer to us as THEIR scout troop. We got the key, we got a meeting room, we got storage space, we got a spot on the CO calendar of events, we have access to facilities to run fundraisers, etc.

                              It's sad when 5 families get together and form a troop thinking there is going to be some sort of longevity to their program. What happens to that troop with those 5 families get their dear little sons' Eagle and move on?

                              Like a lot of things mentioned on this forum, a lot of these problems are of our own making. If it isn't designed for the long-haul, it probably will just reach the corner, but when the first challenge pops up, they're going to struggle with the traffic crossing the street.

                              It is obvious from Jo_scouting's concern, the CO has come to realize that they don't really own their scout unit. This church CO no longer views their cub pack as part of their ministry, just another "outside" organization wanting to use their church facilities. And from what I can see, that is exactly what both parties allowed it to become. No church members involved with the pack and pack showing no involvement with the CO. They have a scheduled time and that's about it for the unit. Same would hold true if some local organization needed a room for a meeting. They would have the same privileges.

                              So in the end it begs the question: What has the pack done for the CO lately? It's a two-way street.

                              Stosh

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