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ManyIrons

Committee Membership Rules

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Quick question regarding rules for membership on the troop committee: Must you be a registered adult in order to claim committee membership?

 

I don't mean positions such as the CC, or Secretary, or Training Coordinator, etc. -- those are obvious. I'm talking about all the adjunct positions that seem to have sprung up in various troops, i.e., "Clothes Closet Coordinator, Summer Camp Coordinator, Activities Coordinator, etc. Many that I've seen appear to be subdivisions of existing committee positions, while others seem to fall into the category of "member-at-large". I've seen the latter listed on a few troop websites, but not in any BSA literature. In fact I can't find anything that discusses committee membership rules -- even the Troop Committee Guidebook.

 

If anyone can provide the answer and the source, I'd greatly appreciate it.

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You can't be a "member" of the BSA or any of its units unless you fill out an application, pay the fee, and are approved by the COR and committee chairman. Otherwise you are just an interested parent helping out, but without the benefits and protections of membership.

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Yes, but may an adult be appointed to a supplemental position (e.g. Recycled Uniform Coordinator, Summer Camp Coordinator, etc.) as a volunteer only or must they be registered? I'm not talking about a one-time project, but an on-going assignment.

 

As before, can anyone cite me an official BSA source?

 

If I sound like I'm nitpicking it's not intentional -- just trying to clarify.

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I took a quick look through the Scoutmaster Handbook, and I saw two distinct groups of people: parents who may help in certain ways (usually driving for a trip or providing instruction at one meeting on a specific topic) and troop committee. This is done repeatedly, and though it is not a rule, it does imply that parents may help (in what appear to be one-time helps) AND that there is a committee (ongoing consistent support). May I ask if someone is challenging you on this? And is this helping at all?

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I believe that anyone may become the "Clothes Closet Coordinator," registered or unregistered. Why turn down help? However, there are benefits to having registered adults.

 

A registered adult is required on all troop outings. So if the Clothes Closet Coordinator is heading to the local thrift shop to pick up some uniforms that they are holding for her and wants to take a contingent with her, being registered means that she can take her girl friend who isn't registered for company.

 

We have a group of parents that do camping trip driving and pick-up on a regular basis. I'm not about to tell them that they have to pay for the privelege in addition to buring rubber off their tires.

 

 

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The Source you need to look at is your Unit Charter.

Only people listed on the Charter are Members of the BSA and have been approved by the Charter Organization. The other people who help out might want to fill out an application and get all the necessary signatures to become "Active". It is also a good idea to check with your local council to see what standing these "Helpers" who are not registered have as far as insurance coverage. This can be a little different from Council to Council.

Of course once someone is registered as a Committee Member they could be given any title or area of responsibility. In some troops the Troop Quartermaster is a Committee Member, in others this might be assigned to a ASM.

It might be that a willing parent would undertake to look after the Troop equipment, but without filling in the application and having it approved he or she is just a willing parent.

Eamonn

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I see no reason to disagree with any of the above. BSA envisions non-registered adults and parents participating in a variety of ways. However, I would encourage registration of everybody who carries out some responsibility on a regular recurring basis. They will get the magazine and may be encouraged in other ways to broaden and deepen their commitment.

 

Another way in which registration as a committee member could matter very much is in those situations where some sort of formal vote may be required. I know that others in this forum have maintained that the BSA rule book does not require votes on anything, but votes are not precluded either. Most committees operate by consensus without any voting, but occasionally contentious issues arise. The ugliest thing that can come up is a question of disciplining an adult volunteer. Although removal from the unit is the prerogative of the COR, that person might want committee participation in some formal way. If I were either a committee chair or a chartered organization representative, I would want a committee with broad registered membership and I would want to know exactly who those people are at all times.

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Our committee uses the services of unregistered parents as rotating activity drivers, as the annual "popcorn kernel", to arrange the pot lucks for our COHs, etc. That said, the people who are doing things that fall under job descriptions in the Troop Committee Guidebook are registered. We also have some "committee members at large", which is a bit of a head-scratcher for me, but no matter.

 

Personally, I think allowing parents to help with an event, an activity, or some recurring task without registration, uniform, training, intimidation, etc., is a good thing and a great way to recruit eventual long-term leaders. They find out you don't need to be a reincarnation of B-P to do this, it can be fun, and that it isn't another full-time job (well, for most of us anyway). That's how I got sucked in originally; asked to help with a PWD, I said "sure". I would have been less enthusiastic if I had been handed paperwork, told go buy a uniform, and signed up for training in order to help.

 

KS

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ManyIrons,

 

I also ask this question a while back and while everyone agrees that it is for the best that committee members be registered members of the BSA, however, I have yet to see where in writing it states such.

 

For example, in the ideal world an eagle BOR should be made up of people who are from the community that understand the significance of the Eagle award (pastors, policemen, mayors, etc which would imply they are not necessarily registered), not just unit committee members and a district representative. But no where have I seen it specifically state that BOR members or committee members must be registered.

 

I like to play by the rules for my own as well as the units protection, so if somebody could site the reference, I would be greatly appreciate it.

 

SM406

 

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To be a "Committee Member," a person must be registered as such. If they aren't registered, they fall into the category of "interested person" or even "person who doesn't give a hoot."

 

The Advancement guide states that a BoR must consist of at least three Committee Members.

 

Since you cannot be a "Committee Member" if you aren't registered, it follows that you cannot sit on a BoR if you are not registered.

 

 

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FOG is correct, to sit on a BOR, they must be a committee member. To be a Committee Member, you must be registered with the BSA.

 

You might have interested adults that help out from time-to-time. That's great. However, they can't sit on BORs and they can't wear the uniform. You should also be concerned if they are participating a lot and have not had proper training (leadership or YP). Also, I don't think insurance covers "concerned adults", only registered ones.

 

Here's what we do. We ask every family that joins our troop to provide one adult to the troop in a leadership role, either as an ASM or on the committee, for one year. We've haven't had anyone tell us "no". In fact, when we rechartered this year, we told the committee members that they had fulfilled the obligation that we had requested, and that they could step down. None of them did! We have a few "concerned adults" that go camping with us or help out with activities, but they are not consistently there. The one who does attend fairly regularly has received YP training.

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Thanks folks, it's perhaps a bit clearer to me -- sure wish there was something from BSA in writing.

 

To answer Laurie's question, no I'm not being challenged. As I mentioned in another thread, our troop will be having a big meeting to discuss troop operations and all adult positions will be reviewed. I understand the SM side of the house and I want to be able to participate intelligently when we discuss the committee portion.

 

As for the issue of registered vs volunteer I'd say I'm naturally biased toward having folks registered. However; there's plenty of room around the table and I, for one, wouldn't turn any help away.

 

Eamonn, thanks for the suggestion about the unit charter. I'll check that out.

 

To everyone else who responded, thanks for the insights and suggestions. I'll draw on that feedback during our troop meeting.

 

 

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Manyirons--that's super that you are going so prepared to meetings.

 

I came across this last night when looking for something else:

 

"The Boy Scouts of America -- A Membership Organization

 

The federal charter from Congress charges the Boy Scouts of America to make its program available to all who are eligible, but recognizes that young people must become members in order to derive the benefits available from the Scouting program. Those who administer the program must, therefore, serve the membership and also actively and purposefully recruit new members. Since ours is a membership organization, we must seek opportunities to retain it and to increase it. The inculcation of high values and the acceptance of the philosophy offered by the Boy Scouts of America through its program touch young people's lives after they become members. Those who believe youngers need what we have to offer will redouble efforts to touch the lives of as many as possible."

 

This is from page 1 of The Membership Committee Guide of the Boy Scouts of America. Maybe this will help as it addresses the BSA as a membership organization. It would be hard, if not impossible, for non-members to deliver a program to its members, at least IMO.(This message has been edited by Laurie)

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I got my copy at the council Scout shop. It has a turqoise color cover, it titled Membership Committee Guide, cost roughly $4, and I think this is the number you'd need: 33080D. It is not in reference to units, but I found it helpful when we addressed how to improve unit membership. It is a council and district membership committee guide if that helps to locate it when looking for it. These district and council committee guide books have proven helpful at a unit level for both my husband and me, and the one we use the most is the advancement book. Just thought I'd point that out if you're going shopping :)

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