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Yet another change...

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Just received my council newsletter.  It had this interesting tidbit.

Quote
Changes to Membership Card and Charter Certificate Printing
Important Changes to Membership Card and Charter Certificate Printing Requirements
 
The BSA is committed to streamlining basic operations by putting tools in the hands of volunteers. For several years now, individuals and unit key 3 have had access to print membership cards through my.Scouting. In addition, functionality will be added to my.Scouting by January 1, 2019, to enable members of the uni...t key 3 to print their unit Charter Certificate.
 
This “self-service” functionality allows volunteers to print membership cards and the unit charter certificate in a timely manner and enhances the on-boarding experience for new youth and adults.
 
Effective January 1, 2019, councils will no longer print and mail membership cards to council and district volunteers and traditional Scouting units. This is a change to the council membership validation requirement. In addition, councils will no longer print and deliver unit charter certificates.

In general I am a huge fan of tools that let me do things myself.  In this case, despite what it says, I think it is about reducing costs for the council by shifting the cost and effort to volunteers.  Now somebody at the unit has to buy the DIY business card stock or has to cut apart all the membership cards (assuming they even print multiple per page).  And if nobody in the unit has a nice color printer then you get whatever you get.  

Not a big cost.  Not a big effort.  Just another thing to push onto the volunteers.

 

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When I called last year to see where my membership card was, I was told to "go online and print it out yourself".  I never did.  

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For sure - not nationals best idea.  Most unit leaders I know are never going to bother to print either.  This might as well be the end of each.

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This is a timely thread because I tried to print my membership card today from my.scouting.org and the function didn't work. I was using my work computer though that has all kinds of locked down security, so I'll try again from my home machine and see if that works.

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Just curious... what do you use your membership card for?  I have a note on my phone with my ID number, so have never used my card.  Just curious when you use your card.  For packs this makes sense as I think most kids/parents throw them out or lose them. 

The certificates sit in a plastic file cabinet in my office.   I guess it is nice for historical purposes.... but again if this saves paper and cost (as most units probably won’t even print them out) it seems like it could be a good idea.

 

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7 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

Just curious... what do you use your membership card for?  I have a note on my phone with my ID number, so have never used my card.  Just curious when you use your card.  For packs this makes sense as I think most kids/parents throw them out or lose them. 

The certificates sit in a plastic file cabinet in my office.   I guess it is nice for historical purposes.... but again if this saves paper and cost (as most units probably won’t even print them out) it seems like it could be a good idea.

 

The only  time I have even had to use my membership card was for the discount admission price for the National Scout Museum over 6 years ago. 

Edited by ValleyBoy

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I think there are two reasons to have the actual card - around here some of the outdoor stores give you a discount but require the card.  Arguably more important for the younger kids - having their own stuff, stuff with their name on it etc, is kind of a big deal, kind of like getting mail addressed to them.  

The charter certificate is different - it is a ceremonial thing.  I like to attend a meeting of my CO and present the certificate.  I know some CO's that frame them and hang them in the fellowship hall.

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Funny you bring this up.  In the last 8 years of being a volunteer, I have never needed my card for any reason.  And now with the Myscouting app on my cell phone, I just load the app to find my BSA number. 

 

As a former pack committee chair, it would take months for the cards to come in, and then a couple more months to chase down all the boys to give them the cards.  I've never had a scout that showed they cared to have a card either.

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Well, back in the day (circa 1962), you had to show your official Membership Card to purchase your uniforms and insignia from J.C. Penney.  I guess they were more timely in getting your cards to you back then.

 

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Most Boy Scouts do not even realize they have a membership card/number.  That is until they start filling out the Eagle application

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 I remember the days when the local scout executive, not just de, would visit council events and visit camps and go to round tables. I think along with the membership cards those days are over. 

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1 hour ago, FormerBSA said:

 I remember the days when the local scout executive, not just de, would visit council events and visit camps and go to round tables. I think along with the membership cards those days are over. 

Well...you can't have your CEO out and about with the great unwashed.

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In addition to being official credentials, those old membership cards and charters used to be nice examples of artistic talent as well.

Over the last several years, if/when I actually received a card, it was always a bland product that didn't inspire much pride. 

 

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I'm betting more than 50% of the printed cards never made it to the scouts.  Often lost in a pile papers. We've been involved since 2000.  18 recharter cycles.  I've seen at most five of my cards.  My sons have maybe received two each.  

It's sad to see going away as a tradition, but it's an easy money saving decision ... especially in our council where BSA membership fees went to national and card printing was done by council employees.  I suspect there is some money transfer going on, but it's still a fairly easy decision. 

Edited by fred8033

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