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Cubmaster Pete

Can a CO profit off a unit?

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3 hours ago, David CO said:

I would argue that the act of joining our scout unit makes him a member of our CO. He may not be Catholic, but he is still one of us. He belongs.

 

I have to disagree with you here David.  Membership in a parish is a specific thing.  I had to receive special permission to belong to my current parish because I reside within the boundaries established for a different parish.  We certainly frequently use the term parishioner and non parishioner, and although we NEVER require membership in the parish as a prerequisite for being a member of the unit, we do know in detail whether a scout or leader is a parishioner or non parishioner, including Catholics who are members of the unit but belong to a different parish.

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yes the hangup is membership vs program which is why I made the distinction between subset vs subsidiary. Subset, by definition is the elements (the members) of the set. Subsidiary is the ownership and control (the program). 

Edited by DuctTape

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28 minutes ago, DuctTape said:

yes the hangup is membership vs program which is why I made the distinction between subset vs subsidiary. Subset, by definition is the elements (the members) of the set. Subsidiary is the ownership and control (the program). 

I think we may be making different points then.

  • When I hear subset I think of a part of or a division of the CO.
  • When I hear subsidiary I think of a seperate organization that is controlled by the CO.

I would think the topic of Scouting unit members (whether Scouts or Scouters) being considered members of the CO itself is probably a technical question more about the membership policies of the CO.  If we wanted to go with a more generic definition of member "as someone who is participant in a programing of the CO" then yes, I would say that being a member of the Scouting unit makes you a member of the CO.  However, now I'm getting pretty speciifc of how one defines membeship.

My real point is simply that the scout unit is designed to be part of the programming of the CO.  The Scouting unit is not intended to be a seperate organization that simply is owned by CO.  I made that point because I find that it is beneficial to the pack or troop to actively seek opportunities to participate in the life of the CO itself.

Edited by ParkMan
typos
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13 hours ago, shortridge said:

Do you tell your unit’s Scouts that? It’s a very broad, sweeping statement that is not supported by the Scouting program.

Really? Can you find any documentation to support that opinion?

My impression is that BSA doesn't get involved at all in saying who is, or who is not, a member of the CO. They wouldn't touch that with a ten foot lodge pole.

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On 2/26/2019 at 6:53 AM, David CO said:

I disagree. The unit is a subset of the CO. 

I'm not surprised you disagree, we often do when it comes to the role of the CO.

But I can tell you, as a Commissioner, I have seen CO's be heavy handed, appoint poor leaders or are too hands off (or have other issues) and the Scouts/Volunteers leave the Unit. The unit folds and the CO has no Scouting program. Those Scouts find a new CO and create a new unit or simply move to an existing unit. The Scouts are the heart of the unit, the reason for the unit, they are the unit. 

And I can tell you BSA policy agrees. Eagle Projects cannot benefit the unit. But a units CO can be the beneficiary of and Eagle project. Ergo the CO is not the unit. Else Eagle projects could not benefit the CO. The Unit and CO are two different entities with two different roles. 

Edited by HelpfulTracks

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50 minutes ago, David CO said:

Really? Can you find any documentation to support that opinion?

My impression is that BSA doesn't get involved at all in saying who is, or who is not, a member of the CO. They wouldn't touch that with a ten foot lodge pole.

David, I would ask you to show me where in any Scouting documentation Scouts and their families are informed that a CO will treat them as members. You won’t find it, because it doesn’t exist. That is not the normal relationship between a CO and its Scouts.

When I was a member of two troops as a youth, my family wasn’t a member of the American Legion, nor were we members of the United Methodist Church. If the church had said “We consider you members now!” I darn sure would have run to the troop next town over. I’m here for Scouting, not to make someone’s religion feel warm and fuzzy. If a CO shoves its doctrine down my throat, I’m gone and taking as many Scouts with me as possible.

That said: If you are up front about it - restricting membership in the unit to only members of your faith - that is an entirely different thing. Be honest with your Scouts at the outset and make your unit’s expectations and practices clear. But please don’t try some back-door “Oh, you’re one of us!” job here. That smacks of proselytizing and conversion, and us non-Christians have had enough of that.

This has gone off the original topic, and I apologize. I’d be happy to move this discussion to the Faith and Chaplaincy forum! 🤨

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8 hours ago, shortridge said:

This has gone off the original topic

I don't think so. The relationship of the unit to the CO is at the very heart of the original topic.

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8 hours ago, HelpfulTracks said:

I'm not surprised you disagree, we often do when it comes to the role of the CO.

 

That's very true.

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8 hours ago, shortridge said:

 

That said: If you are up front about it - restricting membership in the unit to only members of your faith - that is an entirely different thing. Be honest with your Scouts at the outset and make your unit’s expectations and practices clear. But please don’t try some back-door “Oh, you’re one of us!” job here. That smacks of proselytizing and conversion, and us non-Christians have had enough of that.

 

There is nothing "back-door" about it. When you voluntarily walk through the front door of our church, you are fair game for proselytizing and conversion.

It is bad enough that some "non-Christians" insist on removing every vestige of Christian religion from the public square. When they start insisting that we can't freely practice our faith within our own four walls, that's too much. 

Edited by David CO
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3 hours ago, David CO said:

There is nothing "back-door" about it. When you voluntarily walk through the front door of our church, you are fair game for proselytizing and conversion.

It is bad enough that some "non-Christians" insist on removing every vestige of Christian religion from the public square. When they start insisting that we can't freely practice our faith within our own four walls, that's too much. 

Where’s the giant eye-roll emoji?

Give me a break.

If an adult walks through the doors of your church voluntarily to worship or check things out, then yes, try to convert them all you want.

But if a kid walks through your doors to join Scouting, unless you have prepped them in advance and unless your unit is explicitly and overtly part of your ministry to get more people to join your church —

they are NOT “fair game.”

There is nothing about the Scouting program that makes them such. There is no disclosure in any of the application or program materials that they may be viewed or targeted that way. If you are using Scouting in that way, then you are utterly misusing Scouting. My kid who wants to hang with her friends and go camping is not your conversion prospect.

No one is restricting you from practicing your faith anywhere. All I’m saying is if that is your approach, be honest and up front when a Scout signs up.

Since you dodged the question, I’ll ask again: Where does it say that a CO is allowed to proselytize to the youth in its Scouting unit’s and treat Scouting families as members of the CO? Is that in the unit application? The charter agreement? Please, please show me.

Edited by shortridge

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8 hours ago, shortridge said:

 

Since you dodged the question

I actually thought that you dodged my question by answering a question with a question. That's OK. You are under no obligation to answer anyone's questions if you don't want to. I don't mind.

In any case, I think I did answer your question. BSA doesn't get involved in saying who is, and who is not, a member of the CO.

Edited by David CO

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The Chartered Organization agrees to:
• Use Scouting to further the Chartered Organization’s aims and values for youth.
• Chartered organizations must utilize the Scouting program to accomplish specific objectives related to one or more of the following:
o Youth character development
o Career skill development
o Community service
o Patriotism and military and veteran recognition

o Faith-based youth ministry


• Chartered organizations must not use the Scouting program to pursue any objectives related to political or social advocacy, including partisan politics, support or opposition to government action or controversial legal, political, or social issues or causes.

 

The above comes from the annual CO agreement.  I would argue if the BSA wanted to stop church COs from proselytizing it would be documented here.  In fact, the BSA specifically mentions youth ministry as a specific objective.  

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

The above comes from the annual CO agreement.  I would argue if the BSA wanted to stop church COs from proselytizing it would be documented here.  In fact, the BSA specifically mentions youth ministry as a specific objective.  

Where is the disclosure to Hindu or Jewish families that they are signing up to be preached at by joining a troop chartered by a Christian church?

There is none, and for a church to take advantage of that relationship is pathetic.Scouting is specifically promoted as a nonsectarian organization open to all who agree with the DRP.

Edited by shortridge

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Hellooo.    I had a strict Roman Catholic (they even used the term "Evangelical Roman Catholic") church that chartered a Scout Troop. They were very specific and open about only wanting and allowing Scouts of the Roman Catholic faith.  It was a small but active Troop, maybe 12 or 15 Scouts at it's peak.  They were active for maybe 5 years and then folded due to , I believe,  a lack of recruits of any kind.  

We have at least two (soon to be three, I hope) nearby active Troops chartered to Muslim congregations. They, by comparison , make it a point to say they will welcome any Scout , but they must be aware that the Troop will do things in the Muslim way, as to religious obligations,  food, cooking, etc. but will not require anyone to necessarily join in such.  And they do have a few non-Muslim Scouts. A few. 

We also have several Troops , Packs, Crews and Ships  chartered to Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian and Baptist and  Lutheran churches, and synagogues.   I am not aware of any of them that count the Scouts registered in their Units as being included in their congregation's populations.  Church census?  Fine.  Scout unit attendance?  A separate thing. 

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1 hour ago, shortridge said:

Where is the disclosure to Hindu or Jewish families that they are signing up to be preached at by joining a troop chartered by a Christian church?

There is none, and for a church to take advantage of that relationship is pathetic.Scouting is specifically promoted as a nonsectarian organization open to all who agree with the DRP.

i think you're observation would be a very common one.

Again - the BSA system is pretty clear here.  The Chartered Organization runs the Scout program for it's units.  It's precisely why the LDS church could use the Scouting program as their youth program.   If they wanted to proselytize, they could. 

Very few, if any, units would really try to use the Scouting program to convert kids to their faith.  it would take about one meeting for word to get out and everyone who disagreed to leave.  But again, technically, the unit could do that if they wanted to.

I don't think using the Scouting program to convert people is a winning strategy for a unit.  But I do think it's unfortunate that many COs/units have an arm length's relationship.  When Scouting units are more integrated into the CO, the CO takes a bigger interest in the Scouting unit.  Our pack have about 70 Cub Scouts.  We might have 5 from the CO.  Yet, the CO has a lot of kids.  It really seems like there could be a much stronger bond there.

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