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Getting the Round-up Paperwork in

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As a District Commissioner I get involved in recruiting and retaining youth member through my staff supporting the units and the district advancement committee. I am working for the district to qualifying for quality district and a growth in membership is a must as one of the goals. I find that the fall Cub recruitment drives paperwork to be most frustrating. Some Packs hold on the applications till they turn in their recharter late in the year. Giving us only soft numbers and hope to work with, I swear that these have given some of our DEs ulcers. I have yet to find a way to get everyone to turn the apps in right after the roundup nights.

Any good Ideas on how to get this done?


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I agree that it gives DE's ulcers and share in those ulcers. If I can add to NWScouter's thread a question of my own -- to leaders -- and granting total amnesty. That question would be, what takes so long?


Some packs hold on to the applications until recharter time to save money because registration is pro-rated by the month. I'm not accusing anyone, but I've seen it happen. I tell units that do that (in total honesty) that is an abscontion of funds. The parent who pays the registration fee at the school night is assuming that their child is a registered member of the BSA immediately and that is not the case. Their child is registered when the council office is in receipt of the money.


As to what can be done to get the paperwork in the office sooner -- I say it can be a service for a commissioner, a DE, or someone else to pick it up and deliver it to the council office. I've been known to go to the home of a Cubmaster or membership chairman, go through the paperwork and carry the apps and money to the office.


But I would like to hear from pack leaders what the delay is and perhaps we can help to cut back on the obstacles and get the kids registered properly and promptly.


NWScouter -- I hope this helps. It will help both of us to do our jobs if it does . . .



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This was never a problem with my pack while I was assistant cubmaster, as we realized the position we would be putting everybody in if the paperwork was delayed. Everybody = The boy who is not a registered member of Scouting when he and his parents think he is; the parents who (as dsteele points out) are paying for a service; the leaders who, as we realized, would be putting ourselves in a difficult position (perhaps personal liability) if a boy were injured at a meeting or den trip or whatever and it turned out that the boy was officially unregistered because his form was sitting in the cubmaster's brieface. I suppose I could add various DE's, commissioner-types who on occasion reminded us that council (and sometimes either explicitly or implicitly, themselves personally) needed to "make our numbers" by a certain date.


Therefore, we always tried to get this stuff in either within a week, or sometimes (usually on the instructions of the DE or commissioners) by the next roundtable.


One thing that the council started doing was to give the packs a free Bobcat badge for each application turned in by a certain date. If I recall correctly, it was June 1 for spring roundup and October 1 for fall. I suppose that this made sense as a "bribe", using that word in the nicest possible sense. :) Perhaps

"incentive" would be preferable. In either case, it was not too costly for the council; it made the point that the paperwork needed to be in; and it saved the pack a bit of money because every boy was going to earn Bobcat at some point -- right away for the new boys at second grade and up, and the following spring or fall for new Tigers.

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We're just getting ready for roundup, and here's where we have a problem: we don't know what paperwork to collect for returning Cubs. There doesn't seem to be anything, so we are using the Class I Health History and a copy of the registration form so we have all the data required. Our pack has handed paperwork and money in in Feb (though roundup was Sept) because it thought that this is when it was due. In reading the agenda council provided us with, it appears as though it is due the night of roundup (each year--I have old copies--but we have NO records, and council has never asked for those applications before Feb). I would like one week--to review the forms, enter out data, etc. Then, I'd be happy to part with it and drive it to council myself, but that is because I see the importance to the paperwork. Do your packs KNOW they need to get that paperwork in right away (some people just hate paperwork and will put it off it not told it is required to be in)? Do they hear what I was told: treat it like an insurance policy. How can it cover anyone if it's sitting in a folder somewhere? We've been doing it wrong, but we honestly didn't know any better. We're not sure we're doing it right now, but we're trying, an the biggest problem we have is communication. It can be hard to get answers sometimes.

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Here are some reasons why applications are turned in late:


- Missing information on the application including social security numbers for both the boy and parent.

- Incomplete or missing health history.

- The parent didn't sign the application.

- How much of a fee to collect? How to prorate? Does an application dated the middle of the month pay for that month? How about the last day of the month? Can we pay for next year too in addition to the rest of this year? Is the Boys Life cost prorated too?

- The parent didn't have any money at the recruitment night, and the fee was not collected.

- The office is only open during normal business hours 9 4:30 and closed during lunch.

- The office said to hold the paperwork and turn it all in with the re-charter.

- There is no den leader yet, and we have to recruit one.


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Our district tells us the prorated amount for registration and for Boy's Life.


For parents who do not have money that night, they are to return to the next meeting with money. That week we will figure out a way to get those to the council, no need to hold up the other 25 new scouts registration.


The health history doesn't go to the council, that stays with the pack, you can gather it later.


Why do they need the SSN of boys and non-leader-parents? Most don't know their boy's number and I see no need for that info to be written down. The leader apps need the SSN to do a background check, but not the boy.


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As usual, FScouter raises some excellent points.


It is very helpful to have someone look over the applications as they are collected at the School Night. They can watch for missing parent signatures, Boy's Life boxes unchecked, etc.


Minimally, the pro-rated registration and Boy's Life fees should be collected along with the application. The pro-rated fees are from the month of the school night through the end of the month of the pack's rechartering. I don't have those numbers memorized anymore, but your DE does. It may also be in your school night packet.


I used to, when I was a DE, physically attend as many school nights as I could. At the end, I would take the top copy of each application and the pro-rated fees to cover them and turn them in at the office the next day.


The pack copy and the health history, as well as any other fees collected by the pack (you can collect for a year + pro-rate if you whish and hold it in your pack account. That's up to the pack.) If the health history is incomplete, or the parent didn't know the social security number of the boy, we're fine with that.


I can understand not turning in the applications if there is no den leader for a certain den. In accepting the money and the application, I believe the pack is promising a program for the boy. If you're not sure you can make sure that program is provided, keep the application and follow-up later.


There is no paperwork needed for "returning" boys. The paperwork for those boys is done at re-charter time by either keeping them on the charter or removing them. In fact, having boys who are already registered (returning) fill out applications and turning them in can lead to double-registration unless you have a very sharp office staff with lots of time on their hands (the first part is easy, the second part unlikely.)


As to the completeness of the applications from the council point of view, here's the list of what is required by the BSA to register a youth:


Name, date of birth, grade, address, parent signature, cubmaster signature. Youth applications can be entered without Social Security numbers. Adults can not.


Applications should be treated as time sensitive documents. Get them out of your hands and into the hands of a district or council representative as soon as possible after they are filled out.


Also, remember that it takes two months (I don't know why) for a boy to receive Boy's Life magazine from the time the application information is entered into Scoutnet. If it's in your hands for a month, or two or four, the clock doesn't even start. Then we all get asked, "Where is my son's magazine?"


Thanks for the questions. There's no such thing as a dumb question and I also agree that a lot of units just haven't been informed of the importance of recording a young man's membership with the BSA.


Have a pleasant Labor Day.



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As usual, DSteele, you cleared up the very things that I've been unsure of. Thank you.


One more question about pro-rating. We have been collecting 18 months worth of fees for all new boys. We have been re-registering all boys at the time of the new year, if not at roundup. They pay 12 months. Here's the confusion: the parents were all given a breakdown, but were not told why there were various amounts. Now, as we approach this issue again, I am wondering this:


We renew our charter in Feb but start the year in Sept. Should we collect 18 months for all new boys (to cover til the end of the charter for this year and then again to next year's charter), or should we register them, then reregister them in Feb? This is really very confusing, and I'm quite sure it shouldn't be. My DE gave us the list of prorated costs, but we have been told (not sure by whom) that we are always to pay from charter date to charter date.


TIA! And Mr. Steele, shouldn't you be taking this day off? Thank you for all you do right here on the boards!

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I was our district's Roundup chairman last year and this was a real pain in the behind. We asked all the packs to bring their registration materials to our Roundtable location immediately following the School night session. Location is no excuse as we have a very small district, geographically, and our Roundtable site is no more that 15 minutes from any point in the district. I had the expectation that it would work like an election -- we would get all the results in and would know that night how the campaign had gone. FAT CHANCE. Maybe half the packs showed up. Even with the DE and myself physically chasing people down it was two weeks before we got all the numbers.


You bring out some good points, FS, but most of those can be overcome it the Roundup Chairman and DE doing a good job with the advance work. We give each pack a registration packet that has all that information included. At the turn-in site, we have a lady from the Council office there to double-check the applications and fees, so the packs don't even have to do that. They can charge the fees to their Scout Shop account, so they don't even have to bring a check.


Still, though, you have some who just don't care. My personal feeling is that they see it as part of the "numbers game" that the DE plays and don't think it is important. I don't know how you light a fire under those folks. You just end up chasing them down afterwards.


Thinking about my expectation that Roundup night would be like election night probably isn't that far off. Years ago when I was a reporter for a small local paper, I was sent to one of the outlying counties to cover an election. Midnight came and went and we were still waiting for one precinct to report. Finally, the elections board sent a deputy sheriff to the polling place which was dark and locked tight. He went to the precinct official's house and found the guy in bed. Counting the votes had taken longer than they expected, so the guy decided to take the ballot boxes home with him and was planning to take them to the courthouse the next day. Go figure.

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TwoCubDad, the problem I believe resides in WIIFM. You are asking a volunteer to gather infor for you and bring it to you at a specific time convenient to you. The volunteer is saying to themselves WIIFM...What's In It For Me.


If the unit does not get the info to you that night what happens? Is there any loss on there part? Is there any benefit for them?


In any situation where you need a person or people to behave a specific way to benefit you, or someone else, you will have a certain percenage that will do so simply because you asked. but more often then not there must be an incentive attached to the action. You need a specifc reward or punishment that is sufficient to motivate the person to respond in the way you need.


Bob White

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