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Membership Cards: Worthless or What?

 

It's nearly June and that means council has finally gotten around to sending out the membership cards. Despite updating our unit records quarterly,purging old members and adding new ones, doing the year-end consolidation and reconciliation and making sure our 2015 paperwork was 100% correct, council has given us -- for the tenth year in a row -- the wrong count of membership cards. We have people on there that were dropped two years ago, many of our new scouts/adults missing, and long-standing members that are no where to be seen. A quick counts has us missing over 35 cards and having 27 cards of people we no longer charter. To make things worse, the roster they sent does not match what is on myscouting.org.

 

This confirms yet again an age old feeling: Membership cards are worthless and a significant waste of council time and money.

 

Question: Anyone else experiencing this complete cluster you-know-what? What good are these cards for? Has anyone ever had a need for them that justified their printing, as opposed to having the end-user print them out on their own should they be needed? 

Edited by Bad Wolf

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The one use I have found for them - I can easily find my BSA #.  Besides that, it's more of a symbolic gesture.  I'm an official, card-carrying, BSA member.

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The one use I have found for them - I can easily find my BSA #.  Besides that, it's more of a symbolic gesture.  I'm an official, card-carrying, BSA member.

 

That's on myscouting too. ;)

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Which membership cards are we talking about - Bronze, Gold, or Silver? 

 

I have the basic Bronze which allows me access to the mess hall coffee line. If I upgrade to Gold I get unlimited visits from Silver card holders persuading me to upgrade ($$$) to Silver.  With Silver, I get a lifetime supply of TP at camp commissary. A good deal right now, as until July 1, it is still 2-ply. ;)

Edited by RememberSchiff
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That's on myscouting too. ;)

With the membership card, I can find my BSA # without a computer.

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I havent been sent my card in the last three years. or is it four?  and yes, I paid my dues on time. every time. :rolleyes:

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I havent been sent my card in the last three years. or is it four?  and yes, I paid my dues on time. every time. :rolleyes:

 

Identity theft, a terrible thing...somewhere someone is pretending to be you in that mess hall coffee line.  :eek: 

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According to council records, I completed basic training in 1910 (before BSA arrived here)  and was a District Chairman in 1932, 1933, and 1934  - of a district that did not exist until 1956.  I have asked for a waiver of membership fees at a 105-year Scouter, but they are not having any of that.

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I havent been sent my card in the last three years. or is it four?  and yes, I paid my dues on time. every time. :rolleyes:

I would guess either your SM or your CC has the charter & the membership cards and just never distributed them.

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I haven't received a membership card in a couple of years.   In previous councils, I would receive one about mid-way through the year.

 

Interesting that technology has not made the process any quicker or better quality.  (Perhaps "technology" isn't the right word to use in this situation, as National has shown no evidence of understanding how to leverage technology for the good of the BSA as a whole.)  When I look back at the membership cards of my youth, there appeared to be a genuine effort at presentation--artwork, and proper use of centering and a readable font.  

 

Also, check out the membership cards from the early decades of scouting.  Very classy.   Something you'd be proud to carry in your wallet.

 

The last several years?   Late.   Or not arriving at all.   If the card finally gets to my hand, it is a cheesy piece of paper, un-centered, un-even printing.   Zero pride of craftsmanship.

 

Maybe this is something that should be rolled in to the next BSA Strategic Plan?

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When we've reconciled our enrollments we've found all sorts of mistakes, wrong birthdays, missing scouts, scouts from other units, etc. What's the point? The point is that units need to do this stuff for themselves. Give them an online template and if anyone wants a membership certificate or card, print the thing. Otherwise, save the time and expense.

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...Give them an online template and if anyone wants a membership certificate or card, print the thing. Otherwise, save the time and expense.

 

MyScouting tools let you do just that.

 

However, I've never needed to. Laurel Highlands Council has always been good at getting us our stuff.

 

One of the finer pleasures in life is to give a female venturer her card, shake her hand, and say welcome to the Boy Scouts of America.

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BadWolf, are you saying that the official roster that council has is not being properly updated?

 

Or that the roster is being updated, but the cards are not?

 

If it is the second one, I am surprised because I thought that in this computer age, the cards are being printed from the same database as the roster, so they should match. Or is that just being naive?

 

If it is the first one, you have bigger problems than just incorrect membership cards.

 

We have had problems with rosters not being properly updated in the past, although it seems to be working better in the past few years. That is my impression from listening to those who are directly involved, I have not worked on rechartering directly since I was an Assistant Cubmaster more than 10 years ago.

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BadWolf, are you saying that the official roster that council has is not being properly updated?

The roster we submit is updated by our unit quarterly. We make sure when we submit our charter we de-dupe our roster from council and make sure old members are gone and new members are on. What we get back nearly six months later bears little resemblance to what we submitted.

 

Or that the roster is being updated, but the cards are not?

Neither roster nor cards are accurate. Most years the roster does not match the cards sent. Go figure.

 

If it is the second one, I am surprised because I thought that in this computer age, the cards are being printed from the same database as the roster, so they should match. Or is that just being naive?

My thoughts too. We make sure council has a complete list from us. The error is in their data input.

 

If it is the first one, you have bigger problems than just incorrect membership cards.

We've already resent out paperwork to council. They know they've screwed up. This is an annual thing they do and not just with us. Takes them most of the year to get it right....yet they want $$$ for FOS. ;)

 

Since the paperwork is considered submitted when it arrives at council, we have copies of everyone's applications. We are covered. It just takes council 2-3 whacks at the paperwork to get it right. Now, if BSA simply assumed people were members UNLESS they were removed by units, that would solve our problem.

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When we've reconciled our enrollments we've found all sorts of mistakes, wrong birthdays, missing scouts, scouts from other units, etc. What's the point? The point is that units need to do this stuff for themselves. Give them an online template and if anyone wants a membership certificate or card, print the thing. Otherwise, save the time and expense.

 

Yes, we had to argue with council that one of our boys did NOT earn Eagle 18 years before his birthday.  It was his dad, but it was like pulling teeth to get it fixed.

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