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Charter Agreement, Rechartering, CO thoughts

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  • Charter Agreement, Rechartering, CO thoughts

    We are going through rechartering and there has been some frank discussions. Reference the Charter Organization agreement.

    Unit: We need storage place for unit gear, which btw you own!!
    CO: So find/rent space, we are not required to provide storage.
    Unit: Yes your are.
    CO: Here's the agreement, we are only required to provide facilities for you to meet. There is no mention of storage!
    Unit: Well, um, well um
    CO: About the unit gear, you say we own the tents, stoves, etc
    Unit: Yes
    CO: We would like an inventory of that gear.
    Unit: Um, okay.

  • #2
    Sounds like your QM gets to earn his keep!
    Does the CO have a point? Do you have too much stuff? What kind of space are you asking for?

    When was the last service project the boys did for the CO?


    • #3
      If they're intrigued by the idea that it's their gear, then they can rent the storage space.


      • #4
        We do a yearly spring cleanup for them. They provide 0 storage*. We are hoping the inventory list might persuade them to find storage, then again they might have other plans as in so long. They have been a hands-off CO and are perhaps annoyed by this discussion, as they believe they are fulfilling the "agreement".

        *Well not 100% correct as they do allow us to store our flags in a janitor closet.
        Last edited by RememberSchiff; 01-25-2014, 10:57 AM.


        • #5
          Interesting conversation.

          What type of organization is it? Church or Religious? Lions, Elks type? VFW, Legion Type? What do they see as the value to them of being a Chartered Org? If you were making a request for more support did you feel you were offering them something more in return for their increase in support?

          Had you identified a space you thought they had that would be suitable and easy for them to turn over to you?

          Do you have any concern that they might want to use "their" new found camping gear for other parts of their organization?


          • #6
            Not religious, They have chartered this troop for years as "a service to the community". No argument there and thank you. My previous troop had a church as CO, still mostly hands-off, but their cooperation was much better

            As mentioned we do the spring cleanup and a few service/Eagle scout project as they suggest. Currently no children of CO are members of our troop despite our recruiting efforts. Maybe we could more proactive with service projects.

            We have suggested building a storage shed on their property at our expense and received a firm "NO". They do not see storage as their responsibility, and I wish the Charter Agreement explicitly stated this.

            There is a wild rumor the some members of the CO are inclined to donate "their new found camping gear" to a local charter school outing club. Some children of the CO attend that school and maybe it would be a tax deduction too. Personally, I don't believe this.
            Last edited by RememberSchiff; 01-25-2014, 05:18 PM. Reason: grammar and clarity


            • #7
              I think it is silly when chartered organizations act like this. It is akin (in my mind anyway) to a parent saying, "Hey, I agreed to raise you...I never said anything about actually supporting your efforts. No, you can't have any stuff, no I won't support your activities, no..." What is the point of them hosting a BSA unit if they are only paying lip service to the agreement?

              Yep, the agreement does not specifically mention storage, but seriously, how do they think they are going to fulfill the last part of the agreement ("Encourage the unit to participate in outdoor experiences, which are vital elements of Scouting.") without providing a location with which the unit can store gear necessary for the vital outdoor experience?


              • #8
                Pick your battles is always good advice so I'd say give them an inventory and try to find some other option for storing your equipment. Maybe approach some of the local storage companies (there seem to be a ton where I live, I always wonder how that many people can have that much extra stuff) and see if maybe you can either get a donated or maybe deeply discounted storage unit.

                My understanding of the Charter Agreement is that although the CO owns all the equipment, if the unit folds that equipment reverts to the Council. I've never understood how that works, but it is kind of a fail safe if the CO decides it needs to appropriate the equipment.


                • #9
                  The thing about it reverting to the council is crazy too, as most councils have NO use for a troops "stuff" if they fold. It just gets put in an obscure location should they actually have it brought to them (they are not likely to go get it), or they put it in an auction, throw or give it away, depending on what it is. They ARE interested in any money though should it be available.


                  • qwazse
                    qwazse commented
                    Editing a comment
                    The point of reverting to council is to find a good home in another troop. Our troop got some of its gear like thar.

                  • Scouter99
                    Scouter99 commented
                    Editing a comment

                • #10
                  My troop encountered a situation where the CO wanted all the stuff and money in a unit's account before the troop folded. CO was one of those hands off units that provided just a place to meet and some storage. Long story short,the folding troop paid all their debts, using up all of the money, then sold my troop their equipment on the cheap. I think they turned over about $100 or so to their old CO.

                  When my troop switched COs because the 1st CO no longer wanted a troop, but instead a church youth group, we lucked out in that they didn't know exactly what we had until after they agreed to transfer the charter and all the money and equipment. I overheard one of the adults talking about how the old IH didn't realize the money and equipment belonged to the CO and was ticked off that she could have kept everything for the new church youth group instead.


                  • #11
                    It varies from one CO to the next. I just started a new troop in a church. They showed me the basement and where to turn the lights on. Then they showed me a fairly good sized storage room and said here's where your stuff goes. When you run out of room, we'll find another room.

                    Sometimes you just get lucky!



                    • #12
                      This is the reason I always had a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation to specifically own the unit gear. By law, such a corporation can only dispose of property by giving it to another non-profit, which is what we did when we finally closed down our unit. Several Scout units benefitted. We also always provided our own storage space for the gear. It's nice if the CO has a place and many do, but I liked to have it under my control. I had a garage full of troop gear for about a year.


                      • RememberSchiff
                        RememberSchiff commented
                        Editing a comment
                        My garage is a blue tarp.

                    • #13
                      RS, I would suggest you allocate your gear to be tended to by individual scouts, that way your QM report to the CO would read something like:

                      Piece of Gear, Quantity, Last known Condition, Stewardship (scout's name)

                      That way they could go chase down every patrol box from every patrol leader and every spoon from every first year if they so choose.

                      It's not a bad strategy ... every scout that's able contributing to the troops storage space. You'll likely loose stuff. But you could possibly start a tradition of troop graduates signing off on gear they've returned in good condition.


                      • RememberSchiff
                        RememberSchiff commented
                        Editing a comment
                        That's the situation now which is not working well. Scouts leave, things disappear (often after a campout which steward did not attend), and then matters quickly go downhill, hence our simple request for storage space from CO.
                        Last edited by RememberSchiff; 02-01-2014, 08:58 AM.

                      • qwazse
                        qwazse commented
                        Editing a comment
                        An unenviable mess. But, if the CO is aware of and satisfied with the situation, you're kinda stuck.

                    • #14
                      I think the whole thing is kind of silly when you really think about how much storage is really needed. A large closet would do in some cases, if you get a little creative with stacking boxes and building shelves. But apparently even that is too much to ask sometimes.