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Tokala

UMC charters

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We had our Council Executive Committee meeting today. Found out from our Membership VP that the United Methodist Churches will be holding up all recharters starting January 1, 2013. With the numerous lawsuits concerning abuse, they have concerns about liability. There is some agreement that they expect the Council to sign in order to have charters at any UMC in our Council. Apparently, this will go state-wide today throughout Florida. Obviously, we'll just being forwarding this to National since it's not something the Council can agree to and must be dealt with at a National level between the BSA and UMC.

 

Shouldn't take long for this to spread throughout the country and cross over into the other chartering organizations.

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So are all these going to result in a whole bunch more "Friends of Troop XXX" chartered organizations? If there isn't a more immediate agreement reached, that would seem like the most likely result.

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Locally the "Friends of..." charters haven't been allowed in years. This could blow up into a very serious issue if our charter partners start backing out of sponsoring units. If no one wants to sponsor a Boy Scout unit, what will National do? All the units can't be LDS or Catholic or whatever.

 

I see more trouble for Scouting on the horizon....

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One of our largest neighboring troops is chartered to a United Methodist Church, I wonder how this will affect them (if at all.)

 

If this spreads to other "nationwide" CO's, it might cause National to rethink their stance towards "Friends of..." charters. Better to have that than not have a unit at all.

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I have emailed Marc Stowe, who is on the staff at the National United Methodist Men Organization, and handles issues related to the UMC Scouting Ministries.

 

I'll let you know what response I get on this, whether it's a local, state or national thing.

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I got the following response back from his Boss, Larry Coppick - I'll let you know if I hear anything else.

-----------------

 

I cant respond to your question at this time.

 

Were reviewing material related to the BSA charter, etc.

 

We should know more in the coming weeks.

 

Please be patient.

 

Thanks.

 

Larry

 

Larry W.Coppock

National Director

Office of Civic Youth-Serving Agencies/Scouting

General Commission on United Methodist Men

The United Methodist Church

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Since the charter belongs to the charter organization and they sign off on leaders, shouldn't they be looking at themselves. Too many just provide space and rubber stamp the process. It is their unit, they need to be involved.

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The Charter Organizations hold the power.....they can force the BSA into submission. They should act fast since a lot of Council's are right at the start/middle of Re-Charter Season.... It will seriously mess-up everything.

 

 

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The General Commission of the United Methodist Men started a program called Scouting Ministry Specialists to help develop and oversee scouting programs (girl scouts, boy scouts, camp fire, 4H., big brothers/sisters):

 

http://www.umc.org/site/c.lwL4KnN1LtH/b.1847121/k.6B61/United_Methodist_Men/apps/s/link.asp

 

And we have not been informed of this. Not saying it is not happening, just saying, the folks who are the front-line links to the Scouting ministry in the Church have not been informed.

 

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I appreciate some of the feedback. It may not be happening in your Council, but it is happening in mine.

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SR540 is very correct, many if not most CO's are nothing more than a signature on a paper with little to no involvement with the scouts they sponsor. If the UMC really does decide to drop sponsorship of all scouting due to liability issues I fear it will start a potential avalanche of churches and service organizations following suit, just to protect their own interests.

 

Personally I think BSA National needs to step up quickly and in a big way with a plan that protects both the youth and the CO's interests or face a very uncertain future.

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BadenP, that is exactly why I posted this information. If this continues we could be seeing the BSA cease to exist. Do they begin to consider selling assets to fund the costs of the lawsuits? Could we see one of the High Adventure bases sold partially or completely? If they keep passing costs onto units and volunteers, they will accelerate the membership problem.

 

National's neck is ina noose and they better manage this situation much better than they have anything previous.

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