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Rechartering “on-time”

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We are in the middle of recharting.

There is always a push to recharter on-time.


A question was asked to me What happens if we dont get it done?

What really happens if you dont recharter on-time?


How long before the charter runs out?

If you are late with rechartering is a unit still covered by the BSA insurance?

How long can you be late before a unit is no longer covered?


I have heard of units that were 7 or 8 months late in getting their recharter done and they are still around.


It doesnt look like anything happened to them (except they didnt make quality unit that year).


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I don't know if anything negative actually happens to a unit that doesn't recharter on time. Rechartering on time is one of the requirements for Quality Unit and in our Council for Gold Star Unit



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"What really happens if you dont recharter on-time? "

Boy oh Boy did you hit a nerve!!

First to answer your question.

Not a lot!!

There is some kind of a time line??

The unit can be on time.


On hold.

Or a dropped unit.

Unit Commissioners are supposed to ensure that units recharter on time.

The Council Commissioner, prods and pokes the District Commissioners, they in turn push the Unit Commissioners.

Back when I was a District Commish. I was a real pain about us following the process.

Which when followed is a good one and works.

Sadly it isn't followed very often.

We used to recharter by District, each District was assigned a month. This was changed a few years back and now Troops and Crews are due in on January 31 and Packs are due in at the end of Feb.

The recharter packs should be ready in October for the Troops and Crews and in November for the packs.

The DE is supposed to meet with the Executive Officer of the CO to review the charter. Sadly this doesn't happen as often as it should. -Some CO's never see the DE!!

Two months before the renewal date the Unit Commissioner is supposed to meet with the Unit Committee to do a membership inventory. Again this doesn't happen as it should.

45 days before the renewal is the big meeting.The Charter Renewal Meeting, the people at this meeting should be the:

UC,CO Executive Officer, COR, Unit CC, Unit Leader and all other unit volunteers. This is when the forms should be completed and funds collected.

Sadly I have never ever seen this happen or been able to make it happen!!

15 Days before the renewal date the UC is to turn everything into the Council Service Center.

(This is what it says on: No.28-410V 130M602)


What tends to happen in the real world.

DE picks up the packs. Doesn't meet with anyone!! (We wonder why CO seem to not know what is going on?) His goal is to rid of these things as quickly as he can!

He takes them to a R/T. Off loads them to the Unit Leader?? The guy who has the no real part in the entire process.

Units that are not at the meeting might luck out and have the UC stop in at a meeting and handed to them again the Unit Leader is given this!!

Dates are set for the return of the pack. In most cases at another R/T meeting!!

All the "Good Stuff" that could or should come from the rechartering process is bypassed or lost.

In the case of the Ship.

Being as there is only one other "Real" Venturing Unit in the District and they don't attend R/T, I see no real reason for me to attend. I'm happy to not attend another waste of time meeting!!

Being as we are the only Ship in the Council we seem to not have a unit commissioner.

The packet which was due in on January 31 was left in my doorway when I wasn't home on January 31!!

The print out had been done in October!!

I was peeved!! A lot of things had changed since October and I decided that I was going to be a pain!!

I requested a new packet. I asked for the DE to meet with the Executive Officer of the Elk's. So far none of this has happened!! I called the Registrar and explained what was going on. She informed me that our charter was on "Hold".

The Council Commissioner who is a pal called and asked what was the matter, implying that I needed to set the example!! I gave him an ear-full telling him that his staff were not doing their job. He ummed and ahrrhed a lot, telling me how short staffed he is!!

The ship has now been part of the Council for 15 months to date no one from the Council has ever contacted the Elk's.

If this is a partnership? Something just isn't working.

I just don't see why I need to go ahead and do something which really is not my job.

I know that "They" see me as being a pain and maybe I am, but if I allow them to not follow the process they never will.

I feel sure once someone looks at the numbers and sees that the membership numbers are down, something will hit the fan. The loss of a unit and 30 youth members is sure to act as a wake up call.




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Eamonn wrote: 'The loss of a unit and 30 youth members is sure to act as a wake up call."


Wrong! I am SM of a unit that has had 43 continuous years of charter and we didn't renew last month because we have no kids left. I haven't heard one thing from anybody at the council level about this. You would think somebody would want a meeting even if they know why we didn't recharter.


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Eamonn, I can sympathize. CNY asked is anything happens to a unit that doesn't recharter on time so I answered his question. But, to move on to how the process actually works...well, that's something else entirely.


We are also pushed very hard by our DE to recharter on time. Packets are given out at December roundtable meeting to anyone that may be present from a Troop or Pack. I don't know what he does about those units that are never represented at Roundtable.


Our DE does not meet with any of the Executive Officers of the Chartered Organizations.


The actual unit list inside the recharter packet printed out by Council is dated some time in October and, at least in my past 14 years, is always wrong: Scouts/adults missing, scouts/adults still listed who were removed the year(s) before, ranks incorrect, etc. etc.


DE makes a point of mentioning how poorly we as a District did the previous year in rechartering on time.


In the end, even those of us who do make the effort to recharter on time, will not get the charter certificate, membership cards, etc. until some time in the late summer or early fall - if at all.


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OH boy...chartering on time...


I guess how long the lapse is a consideration too...but for starters-


First, if you are not "chartered" in our council...your paper work (like for Eagle Scouts or out of tour permits, Seabase, Philmont, etc. gets rejected at the desk...they just hand it back...


Second, techincally you have no BSA insurance...you are not part of the insurable "pool".


Then there can be esoteric ramifications that while having little or no real world impact like:


"sadly, I am part of a troop ( a sound, active program) that was originally Chartered in the fall of 1951...but the charter lapsed for about four to six months in the early eighties. After I started helping out here, the troop committee decided to start planning a "50 Year Aniversary" tied to a town celibration and a parade. It was going to be a big effort. The dad who was doing some of the basic research was having trouble finding time so I was "elected" to "deal" with council...find names of old...long lost scouts etc. Bottom line -when Council found out what I was doing we were told in no uncertain terms that Council and National would not support our unit's claim...As far as they were concerned the troop was about 15/16 years old (date of the recharter after the lapse)...not 50 Years Old.


And of course all this begs the question - Why would you want to be late...its not that hard anymore? With Troop Master you can get a lot ready fairly early. At least in our council...we have a district training event for the recharter process and each unit sends a representative...It's not rocket science. And the wonderful, "ghee, I wish the Commissioners really did come around" is one of those universal questions like the "chicken or the egg" that have little practical meaning or necessity. Just get 'er done!


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In our council if you don't have you're charter in 2 weeks before your charter expires, you're late.


As far as the process goes. Here's how it worked for me this year. I get a phone call from DE wondering if I'm going to be at R/T to pick up my packet? (I'm registered in 2 different districts with two different units). Nope, Well, then can I stop at the scout office and pick it up? Ok. Phone call to DE asking for code to online register. Call back with number. Go online, make the changes, etc, get check from treasurer of the group, get signatures and get back a week "late", a week prior to charter expiration, do the money transfer with the lady at the council counter, and I'm good to go for another year. Of course the lady at the counter tells me all the stuff about rechartering that has changed from last year, the added costs, and extra forms to fill out that weren't in the packet.


What I'd like to know is what's all this "stuff" about DE's, Commissioners, visits, etc. You mean to tell me they're actually supposed to follow the directions on the packet? News to me and I've been doing this for about 9 years now. :)



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LOL. The directions for the proper steps to take on rechartering printed on the packet are priceless. Another example of the BSA printing something that looks great on paper but isn't really that practical. First, I'm down to 2 functioning UC's. If they were solely responsible for getting these packets out to the units they would have to quit their jobs.


As a DE, I either personally deliver the recharter packets to someone from the unit (usually the unit leader) or mail it to them (Yeah, I know it's not SUPPOSED to be done this way, see my above comment about things that look great on paper). If I have a unit that has no experience with the process I sit down with them and explain it to them.


I'd guess about 90% of the C.O's in my district view the scouts as just a group that uses their building once a week. If I took a recharter packet to an Executive Officer to discuss the unit's needs, etc. I'd get the biggest "deer in the headlights" look you would ever see.


There isn't really all that much incentive or consequence for a unit to recharter on time. Some units really strive for the "Quality Unit" recognition, but most don't care. I had a CM tell me one time that if the kids have fun then that's all the validation she needed to be a Quality Unit.


Rechartering on time is much more important to professionals. If enough units don't recharter on time, then there aren't enough Quality Units to make Quality District or Quality Council. If you're not making Quality Something as a professional in the BSA, then there is always a supervisor to answer to. I keep joking that one day I'm going to secretly record a staff meeting where my SE is ripping the DE's for late recharters. Then, I'm going to play it for all my late recharter units and beg them to recharter on time if, for no other reason, then to save me a butt chewing.


If your unit is two months late, then they are officially "off the books" as a unit. So, if you're charter is due on Jan. 31, then you go off the books on April 1 if your charter still isn't in. Once a unit is off the books then the kids can't earn awards, attend summer camps, advance, etc. However, you can turn your charter in even after going off the books and you're good to go again. I honestly don't know how that effects a unit's tenure, though.


This is timely for me because I've been calling my February units all day checking to see if their charters are complete and when I can get them. Some are ready, others have already informed me "we'll be late." Same old story.

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"I honestly don't know how that effects a unit's tenure, though."




After re-reading anarchist's post about how lapsing cost his unit tenure, I guess I now know.

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I'm sorry de4bsa, I feel your not meeting with the Executive Officers of the CO in the District you serve is just not right.

While I am happy for us volunteers to sort things out on a volunteer to volunteer basis without interferences from professionals. When it comes to dealing with the Executive Officer of a CO this is clearly your job.

When you fail to do it it is no wonder you receive the look!!

You and you alone are the Council Representative, you are the partner that makes up 50% of the partnership.

I can understand why some CO's feel that the scouts as just a group that uses their building once a week. Part of your job is to ensure that they don't feel that way.



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I tried the by the book way early in my tenure with a couple of Exec. Officers. They knew nothing about the units except that they used the building and everything was OK "as far as they knew." Both of the EO's seemed confused when I pulled out the recharter packets. After meeting with the first one I left the recharter packet and told him I'd get back with him. I then called the SM and told him of my meeting. He had no idea why I would give the packet to the EO b/c "he wouldn't know what to do with it."


The second EO I met with was just as confused by what I was saying about unit health, unit inventory, etc. He suggested I "talk to the lady who is the leader." He then insinuated that if the church's involvement was to be much more than providing the building that maybe I should find a different church for them to meet at. I started catching on pretty quick after that. The last thing I needed was to spend my time finding new C.O.'s for 40 units.


Have I deprived other Exec. Officers the opportunity to fulfill their jobs by not properly explaining it to them? I'd say there is no doubt that I have. It appeared it was going to cause me some headaches, so I didn't do and haven't really ever done it since. Again, it's a step that looks great on paper. There are also instructions included with every charter packet that instruct units that they should recharter with an equal or greater amount of youth. How often you think that happens? Sure does look good on paper, though.


I'm sure there are some districts (though very few) that even complete that step. God bless 'em. Those districts and DE's are definitely fulfilling that duty much better than I. I appreciate the C.O's that take an active and interested part in the unit. Unfortunately, those C.O.'s are the exception and not the rule.

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Hawk Mountain a not very large council, serving the area around Reading PA, has not had a dropped unit in a very long time.

The Council is fortunate in having an outstanding Council Commissioner,Darnall Daley.

They say the reason for their success is in part due to the fact that once a year a meeting like the one outlined as the 45 day meeting is held. All CO heads, the DE,UC and unit leaders are at the meeting.

It works for them!!


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As far the whole rechartering process this year in our district its really a mess.

Our District has no UCs.

Our DE got a promotion earlier this month and has moved to another council.

To save money our SE is not hiring his replacement until April, a month after the recharters are due.

They are still trying to get the Centennial Quality Awards done.

The DC has said they hope to get them all in by June or July.


I gave our IH and COR the syibuss for COR training to look at.

I think they read it as one of them actually called and tried to setup a meeting with the DE about the charter.

He never responded.

Heck, it took a call from me and 2 from our IH just to get a signed copy of our original charter agreement.

The DE said that the charter agreement wasnt that big a deal and only a formality.


This will be the 3rd unit I have helped with rechartering.

In all 3 someone was given the packet by our DE at Roundtable.

We were pretty much left on our own to get it done.

We were told that we could come to our council offices and our DE would help units through it.


Why was this questioned asked in the first place?

I was given the recharter packet at roundtable.

Being new to the district I have been going to roundtable meet the few District people we do have and to meet the other unit leaders.

The CC for the ship told me that his daughter wont be coming back and neither will he.

So, we are now trying to find someone new and this question was asked by one of the other current committee people if we cant find a person to be CC by the time to recharter.



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