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Moving a Pack to a New Charter (sort of)

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I have a few questions about "moving a pack".

Wait. Calm Down.

1. I understand that the Pack is "owned" by the


2. I understand that the Charter can close a Pack.

3. I understand that that another Charter can open a Pack.


Here is the deal. I live in a small town in rural South Carolina.

About four years ago, my son brought a note from school

annoucing the formation of a Cub Scout Pack. He really wanted

to join and I was willing to "give it a try".


I did not know the man (current Cub Master) who was

organizing this Pack. He had only lived in our community a few

years. Right or wrong, most people in "small town SC" are wary

of outsiders. I learned that this man had gone to the school and

several of the large churches in the area trying to find a charter.

Because he was "an outsider" they had all turned him down.


He finally convinced the church he attended to be a charter.

This church is very small with less than 50 members and is

located "in the middle of no where". However, they are



Anyway, the Pack was created. The Pack began with a Tiger

den and a Wolf den (8 scouts total). Four years later, we

have over 30 scouts and run Tiger, Wolf, Bear, and Webelos.

The pack is doing well. It is now known in the community

and well respected.


I am currently a Webelos leader and most likely the

Cub Master for next year. I am having a great time and we

have a great bunch of boys.


Now the problem.

The current Cub Master will be leaving us in May 2005.

He is the only member of the entire pack that has any

ties to the church. Again, the church is small. Most of

the members are older and don't have "scout age" kids.

They have always expected the Cub Master to "take

responsibility" for the facility. Now that he is leaving,

the church is a little wary of "giving the key" to non-church



Well, I was talking to the DE about this problem. He told me

something I did not know. He said that a Pack could be chartered

as a "closed pack'. He said that under this arrangement only kids

that "are associated with the charter" could be members of the pack.

For instance, if a private school chartered a closed pack, then only

students that attend the school could be in the pack. This was one concern the school had about being a pack CO.


Does anyone out there have a closed pack?

How has it worked out?



Anyway, cut to the chase.


All of the following has been "laid out" via conversations.

Nothing has been signed. The council has not been involved



The school (that all our boys attend) has agreed (in principal) to

charter a "closed pack". (Summer 2005)


The church has agreed to dissolve the current pack. (same timeframe).


All Pack members have agreed (in principal) to transfer.


Are there any "magic rules" about re-using pack numbers ?


If the church dissolves Pack 428, then is there any rule that the school can not charter a NEW Pack 428?


We have so much stuff that says Pack 428, I would hate to "start over".


Anyone done this before?











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Yep, we've done something similar. We outgrew the church that sponosored us. They had no ties to the pack (smaller, older congregation like yours). When recharter time arrived, they did not recharter. We chartered a "new pack" at the new CO, using the same # and everything. There was not a hitch.

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The church doesn't trust any Scout leaders with a key? See what happens when the Scout people don't develop a good relationship with the chartered org?


Why would the school want to restrict the membership by closing the pack?



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I would not say that we have a "bad" relationship with the church. In fact, I am convinced that if the other charter does not "come thru", the church will gladly "work something out" with the Pack.


It is just a lot easier when you have a member of the Pack at the Church on Sunday morning and Wednesday evening to "stay in touch".

Again, these are good people and I don't harbor any "hard feelings".


Also, as I said in my original post, the Pack has tripled in size.

The church has a very small "social hall". That means that we

often have to meet in the sanctuary for programs. Lots of antique and delicate stuff in there. I hold my breath every time the boys go in.

Accidents happen. Accidents happen more often with 30 kids in a room.


Bottom line. It is getting a little cozy. We adapt, but size is becoming a problem.


As for the "closed pack", the school is private. People pay to send their kids. It is not real fancy, but everything there is paid for with private money. They basically believe that people that have "put something into the school" are much more likely to take care of it.

So, groups that are not associated with the school are not allowed to use the school's resources. That is there policy.


A closed pack would meet this requirement.


The school is in a central location. The church is not.

It is highly likely that the Pack would grow due to the new location.



Anyway, I'm still curious about people's "pros" and "cons" on closed Packs.




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You should probably talk to the people at council about this, but I would think some sort of memorandum of understanding, or some such thing, signed by the old CO, the new CO, and the council, and spelling out all the important parts of this plan would cover everything.


I wouldn't be surprised if the council has standard forms for this sort of thing. They will certainly have some experience dealing with moving units.

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Most "closed" units I've heard of are tightly coupled with a particular religious group. I think the general feeling of scouters in the area is that they are truly a part of the church, and outsiders simply aren't "welcome".


In general, outside of the church example, I think it sends a negative message. For example, what if a home-schooled boy hears you're forming a pack and would like to be a part of it. You tell him he can't because he doesn't attend that school? Very unscoutlike, in my opinion.


The other thing I've noticed about "closed" units is that they tend to be in areas where there are several options. IF that's the case, it doesn't seem as "bad".

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Im concerned because my understanding that many of the private schools formed in southern states came about after desegregation. When the public schools were ordered to integrate the white parents formed private all white schools.

Im getting that feeling, with the use of outsiders verbage.

In other words I think there is an other agenda to the school's wish for a closed unit.


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This school was founded in 1969. And yes, it was originally founded in reaction to intergration. However, things have evolved a long way

in the past 35 years. The school has a mix of black, hispanic, white and Asian.


However, because it is private, we don't have to put up with a lot of the government "bullship".


Every class stands and says the pledge every morning.

Every morning a devotion is given by a student over the intercom.

We still have a public prayer before football games.


And the best part, if you don't belive in God or the Flag, you don't have to send your kids to this school. There is a public school less than three miles down the road. Everyone who submits an app

agrees to these things up front.


That is why I believe scouts would flourish in this setting.

They both share a lot of the same values.



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If that is the case, I don't see why you would want a "closed" pack. Why wouldn't you want to share those values to a broader group?


Curious - is their a pack at the public school down the road? If not, I think it would be a real shame to not have an open pack.

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If your school charters a Cub Pack they will "own" that Pack and can make any stipulations they like about membership as long as they do not go against BSA principles. That is their right.


However - you said :


"They basically believe that people that have "put something into the school" are much more likely to take care of it.

So, groups that are not associated with the school are not allowed to use the school's resources. That is there policy."


If the school is the charter organization for the Pack, doesn't that make the Pack "associated with the school"? If most of the Pack leadership has children in the school, doesn't that make the Pack "associated with the school"? If most of the boys go to the school, doesn't that make the Pack "associated with the school"? Why is it necessary for 100% of the leaders and boys to attend the school in order for the Pack to be "associated with the school"? The boys do not run wild, the adults should be in charge at all times.


The Pack I work with is chartered by the Holy Name Society of our local Catholic Parish and meets in our parish school. This also is a private school that people pay to send their kids to. Although most of the families are members of the parish and attend the school, not all are. The Pack will accept any boys who want to join. They do not HAVE to attend the school, the church, or even be Catholic. This has worked fine for us. The boys are taught that they should behave like Scouts and for the most part do.


Like I said at the beginning, your CO has the right to decide who their Unit's membership will be. However, I hope you could convince them that excluding boys is not necessary, only training leaders. Who knows, if you have some Scouts that don't go to the school, they might find that they like it so well they would want to attend!



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Good post Scoutnut.


Thinking more about this, I am aware of a few packs that require the leaders to be members of the CO. One that I'm aware of require the CC, CM and Committee Members to be members of the church. Another one used to require that Den Leaders also be members. That one changed it's rule a few years ago when they were caught in a situation where the only qualified, interested leaders were not members.


Perhaps you can approach the school with that idea. Requiring only key people - like the CM and CC - to have children at the school. That would give you time to build trust, and would not prohibit interested kids from joining.

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While the BSA has always allowed Charter organizatioons the ability to determine their own membership based on religion, school affiliation, geographic territory etc., there are limitations.


No Scout Unit is alllowed to base membership selection based on race. Units doing so will have their charters revoked.




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This may surprise some people, but I do not see a big problem with the private school taking advantage of the option of having a closed pack under these circumstances. All the boys in the pack attend the school in question, so nobody currently involved would be excluded. While the school has racial segregation in its past (which if you go back far enough, would also be true of many PUBLIC schools, including in the North), currently it is fully integrated and has a diverse student body, which presumably is reflected in the membership of the pack as well. The school officials are uncomfortable with the idea of people from outside the school using the school facilities, because they do not have the same vested interest in taking care of the school's property and equipment. I don't think that is an unreasonable concern or that having a closed pack is an unreasonable response. There is a public school down the road and presumably there is either another pack down the road, or an opportunity for another pack down the road if there is enough "demand" for one. So nobody would be denied the opportunity to be a Cub Scout by this policy (and again, all the current members of the pack would still be eligible.)


So I personally would not try to convince the school to "open" the pack at the present time. What I would do is, start (or "move" depending on your preference in terminology) the pack at (or "to") the new CO, and then maybe a year or two down the road, when the CO sees things are running smoothly, the school property is being respected, the parents are happy, the school officials are comfortable that you (the pack leaders) are responsible people and doing a good job, THEN I might ask the school if they would consider opening up the pack to some boys from outside the school -- if indeed any want to join.


That sounds reasonable to me, anyway. I do not think it is "un-Scoutlike" under the facts as they have been presented.


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