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CNYScouter

Husband/wife as COR and Unit Leader

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This started to come to my attention during recruitment this fall with a Pack that told us they were not recruiting this year and going to fold.

 

After checking the roster this Pack stopped recruiting 3 or 4 years ago.

 

The District Commissioner staff offered to help recruit at the large church (3500 families) where they were chartered at.

When trying to set up recruiting the church kept sending us back to the unit and the unit wouldnt respond.

With the COR not being at all involved with the church (not even a member of the church), the church had no idea the unit was going to fold or even in trouble no one from the unit had told them.

 

Even though this church had had a Scout unit in it for 40+ years they had no idea what the charter agreement was even went as far as saying there was no way they have ever signed this agreement. It did come as a shock when the DD told them what the agreement meant and that someone in the church had signed it and what they were responsible for.

 

After sitting down with the church leaders, the church really would like to keep a Cub Scout Pack there (and maybe other Scout units also) and will allow the District to help to try and restart this unit.

 

As a side note the unit leaders were not happy that the DD visited the unit they want to fold the unit and dont want the CO involved.

 

This has also happened in a second unit where the unit leaders just havent put any effort into recruiting and it doesnt look like they will have enough youth to recharter.

 

In the other units the leadership (husband/wife COR/Unit Leader) is the reason the unit is in trouble.

 

My DD gets complaints about the same few units 2 or 3 times a year.

These units seem recruit just enough youth to (barely) recharter every year.

 

As stated by dg98adams the COR/Unit Leader have too much control and it throttles any changes (or perceived threats) to the regime The COR/Unit Leader control the checkbook and control everything that happens in the unit.

 

Our DD just got a complaint (from a parent/Committee Member of both units) about how a Troop and a new Pack are being run.

 

The Troop and Pack have the same CO but two different CORs. The wife is the COR of the Troop, the husband the SM. He is also the COR for the Pack. The husband is also a member of the CO. These two control everything in the units.

 

Allowing this doesnt surprise me with our ex-DE.

 

He 100% setup this new Pack without asking or telling the rest of the District staff.

It came as no shock when he was let go as after 4 years he had no clue on how Scouting worked.

 

Im not sure what we are going to do with this one yet.

 

For the most part I think Beavah has offered a good way to handle things.

 

 

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Sounds like you have CO problems not a problem with the CC/COR positions. As I noted and has been discussed a lot, the COR can also be the CC, it is very specifically allowed by the BSA and not discouraged or frowned upon.

 

What the BSA does not allow is a CO to have different COR's for their units. They may think they are the COR but when it is processed at the Council, the COR on the last charter entered into the system will become the COR for all units of that CO (ask me how I know! LOL).

 

It really sounds like you have some issues but it isn't the structure to blame, it is the people in place and the CO's failure to be involved. The thing to remember is it does not matter who is the CC as the COR has final authority anyway. The COR can simply fire a CC who does not do what they tell them. It isn't pretty and I can't imagine doing so but if you have people that are already manipulating the system then I would not put it past them.

 

I think the CO's need a visit and a very detailed explanation of what is expected, what the COR's job is and how things should be operating. Get a copy of the last Charter agreement and do as Beavah suggested and go find the right people to discuss this with. I know that many CO's simply don't have a clue and if the original agreement was years ago then the CO may be totally disconnected and may not even realize it as you suggest.

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"The Troop and Pack have the same CO but two different CORs. The wife is the COR of the Troop, the husband the SM. He is also the COR for the Pack. The husband is also a member of the CO. These two control everything in the units."

 

Same CO but different CORs will get kicked back in the computer at re-charter, according to my Council's registrar, as a CO may only have one COR. The obvious reason for this is that the COR is a voting member of Council and CO's only get one vote each.

 

I'd bet that if you saw the recharter paperwork, the names listed won't match the people who are acting as CORs.

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Could it be a case of simple miscommunication or misunderstanding that could be cleared up over a cuppa joe?

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Yes, a COR can be dual registered as both COR, and CC. Yes, a COR can "fire" anyone they want with little to no explanation.

 

That is why it is generally not a good practice for a unit to have husband/wife teams in the positions of COR, and unit leader.

 

The unit leader is not the CC. Unit leaders are Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, Coach, Crew Advisor, and Skipper.

 

To have one person registered as COR, and their "better half" registered as the unit leader can lead to the problems that CNYScouter has seen. It only makes problems even more possible if the COR is also the CC. You then have all of the top leadership positions in a unit, or units, held by the same husband/wife team.

 

While some units have no problems with this type of arrangement at all, in many it can create an atmosphere of a "fifedom" for one family only. The saying about power, and absolute power, can be very true.

 

Of course, with a CO that is very "hands on", this scenario is a lot less likely to happen. But, even with a CO that is involved, most are not involved in the day to day minutia of running their BSA units. That is what they trust their COR, and other leaders, to look after.

 

 

CNY- I would go with Beavah's approach for currently chartered units. For brand new charters, I see no problem with suggesting that spreading the units authority among multiple families might be a good practice to consider. However, ultimately, if the CO likes things the way they are, your Council can not force them to change.

 

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I would agree that while it is not in violation of any rules to have Husband and Wife in these positions, it does lead to control issues and it would be safe to avoid the situation if possible.

 

I would go one step further and say that a husband/wife shouldn't sit in the roles of CC and CM/SM together either. We had a situation in a prior pack with this arrangement and when the Webelos crossed over the CC/CM went with them and the pack is now struggling. They did too much themselves.

 

 

 

 

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If the units are folding, do the leaders in question here not see a problem or a potential problem that could be turned around? And if they see this do they not want to turn it around?

 

If the unit has folded, what would prevent a new unit from forming with the same CO and leaders?

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