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Cubmaster Pete

Can a CO profit off a unit?

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The contortions here are astounding. Parents only see the DRP language on the youth application, which clearly states their beliefs are the ones that matter. They may not even know who the CO is at that point! They certainly don’t see the charter language. Yet by all means, let’s permit COs to override a family’s religious beliefs and target a bunch of unsuspecting youth for conversion! Listen to yourselves here, folks.

If I send my Jewish daughter to a Scout troop chartered to a Catholic Church, I am not expecting that she’ll come home from a campout talking about the glory of Jesus. That ain’t right.

COs that use Scouting units as part of their conversion and recruitment ministries should be up front and straightforward - say, Trustworthy? - about their intentions and how they run the unit. If they don’t do that, I would seriously call into question their honesty and integrity.

 

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29 minutes ago, shortridge said:

 

If I send my Jewish daughter to a Scout troop chartered to a Catholic Church, I am not expecting that she’ll come home from a campout talking about the glory of Jesus. That ain’t right.

 

It's always a possibility, when you expose your children to other religions and cultures, that they will choose a different path from your own. It is the risk you take by raising confident, intelligent children.

Despite their Catholic school education, about 1/3 of my family has chosen a different religion. It was their choice. They will believe what they believe. I'm a little disappointed by it, but it's not the end of the world.

 

 

 

 

 

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Well, I guess it’s scary story time. Shortrigde, Tell us about your experiences of COs converting unsuspecting children. 🤔

Barry

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46 minutes ago, shortridge said:

The contortions here are astounding. Parents only see the DRP language on the youth application, which clearly states their beliefs are the ones that matter. They may not even know who the CO is at that point! They certainly don’t see the charter language. Yet by all means, let’s permit COs to override a family’s religious beliefs and target a bunch of unsuspecting youth for conversion! Listen to yourselves here, folks.

I think what you're hitting on here is an inherent conflict in the BSA structure.

1) Units are owned and managed by the CO.  The BSA simply provides the structure of the program and enters into an agreement with the CO such that they will use it along certain guidelines.

2) The BSA's own communications clearly show their intent that the programming of the BSA is as described in the DRP language.

Theoretically what would happen here is that the CO would have the first say - it's their unit and program.  They could preach and teach all they want.  At some point, they BSA may say - we think that this CO is violating the spirit of the program that they agreed to utilize.  As such I'm sure there would be emails and phone calls galore.  If nothing changed and the CO still proceeded, the BSA could terminate the agreement.  But, short of the BSA terminating the agreement - they have no real operational role here.  Again, it's the CO's unit.   

I think this is a pretty extreme example of what could happen because of the CO concept in the BSA.  In reality, I can't imagine this happening in quite this way.

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I can respect the fear of forced conversion. One scouter who I was close to had the same challenge. (He and his Jewish grandson were in a Catholic CO). The CO insisted that if the boys were out on a Sunday, the troop had to stop at a nearby parish for mass. He and his grandson spent a lot of time on the stoops of country chapels. I'm not sure it's something I'd look for in a troop, but they were a great bunch of boys and a really nice SM.

I think this arrangement worked because his CO was very up front about expectations, yet still welcoming to my friend's customs which were, in part, his push-back against imperial Christianity -- something that, for him, was very important to teach his grandson and, for the other parents, wound up being very helpful in helping their boys better understand diversity. Should the COR have talked to my friend (who was a committee member) before declaring expectations? Probably. But these folks found that happy medium without trying to parse BSA literature for some step-by-step "how-to."

It's the same deal with @Cubmaster Pete's CO, except there's some money, not doctrine, on the table. That's why I suggested that his units should turn down the annual contribution from the CO and see what they can do towards having a per-event-served donation. To me it just seems easiest to say to the CO that you'll get back to them with a list of months that will absolutly will not work after you make a good-faith effort to sign up volunteers.

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I have been away from this thread for awhile. 

Somewhere in the archives of Scouter dotcom is a thread about whether a Unit can limit it's membership to a particular faith.  BSA has said it can.  The CO (a House of Worship?) can limit it's Pack/Troop/Crew membership to only males, only females, only Catholic, only Jewish, only professed Christian, only Muslim,  it is their right, so long as they otherwise follow the BSA requirements and program.   It is therefore also the CO's right to utilize it's Scout Unit as an example and (if open about the reality) use it as their active youth ministry to teach their faith. 

LDS units often "adjusted"  their Scout's participation  by age or gender. Scouting was, officially, the LDS youth ministry.  When the LDS folks decided they could better define and serve their youth with their own LDS defined program, they declared they would be withdrawing from the BSA organization, and they are.  

"Can a CO profit off a unit?"   This discussion has morphed from monetary profit to some other kind.    The BSA program is about the youth (male or female)  gaining knowledge, skill, confidence, responsibility and learning about "good citizenship".   Cooperation?  Recognition of who are our neighbors?  Is the Scout Promise and Law so hard to appreciate as ideals to absorb and demonstrate?   If a faith defines it's success as the accumulation of members versus the perfection of a young person's soul (by their fruits....),  I would suggest there is another problem , which is beyond the scope of this forum to debate or decide. 

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3 hours ago, qwazse said:

I can respect the fear of forced conversion. One scouter who I was close to had the same challenge. (He and his Jewish grandson were in a Catholic CO). The CO insisted that if the boys were out on a Sunday, the troop had to stop at a nearby parish for mass. He and his grandson spent a lot of time on the stoops of country chapels. I'm not sure it's something I'd look for in a troop, but they were a great bunch of boys and a really nice SM.

One of the tenants of Catholicism is that each of us has an obligation to attend Mass on Sunday unless grave circumstances would prevent it. Going camping does not typically constitute grave circumstances, but Clergy can provide dispensation to miss mass. (Which is how practicing Catholics attend Philmont). Plenty of Catholics don't attend mass every Sunday, but it's a requirement of our faith and teaching of our Church. So it's less of the CO in that particular case trying to be "Imperial" and more of the CO and Troop Leadership making sure that the Catholic Scouts meet their duty to God. Maybe I'm biased, but I don't see why that's a bad thing. 

My own CO is a Lutheran Church. The leadership by and large hasn't been members of the CO. The church leadership views the benefit of hosting the Scout troop is that we'll provide them service, and hopefully through contact with their church, Scouts and their families will have a stronger appreciation for the Lutheran Faith and might consider joining. As a Catholic, there are parishes in my area that offer mass on Sunday afternoons, so being involved with the Lutheran Troop and still making Sunday mass was never a problem. I definitely have a better appreciation and respect for Lutherans and their church, even though I never converted. 

There's a difference between influence and proselytizing. Even in the case @qwazse cited, I don't think the Catholic Troop with a Jewish Scout stopping to attend Catholic mass is by itself an attempt to forcibly convert someone. Whether he sits quietly during the mass or sits outside on the front steps is fine. In my opinion that's not proselytizing. Proselytizing would involve me as an adult attempting to convince a Scout that my religion is correct and why they should believe what I believe. CO's have a lot of rights as far as religious practice in their units, but I don't think even @David CO is saying that the CO should be hunting to proselytize and convert Scouts from other denominations, but if a non Catholic Scout or family decides to be Catholic because of their relationship with the Church through @David CO Troop? I'd say that's fair game. 

The Troop should let all prospective members know about those religious practices. "Because we are Catholic, if we can't make it back home in time for mass, we'll stop along the way." "Because we are LDS, we only accept LDS members." "Because we are Muslim, we have designated times every day to pray." 
 

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Interesting dynamic.

Our CO holds a product sale in the spring and fall (think gardening) and our troop is expected to be out selling, selling, selling to generate funds needed to run the troop.  The CO does not give our troop any money other than to have someone from the chartering org to be the coordinator of these sales.  We don't even meet in a building owned by them.  But they do provide a signature on the chartering documents each year.

A monthly commitment is a lot to ask, IMO, because I would hope that the troop has a full calendar of camping, merit badge events, merit badge counseling going on, etc., etc.  A few times a year?  Maybe.  But I will be honest when I say that our chartering org is an aging population.  If it weren't for our troop helping them with their own fundraiser once a year (JTE requires you give service at least once a year to your chartering org), they would not have anyone.  Perhaps this chartering org suffers from an older bunch of members unable to really do the job themselves.

 

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Got a few more bits of info, CO had wanted us to do every week, April thru August. COR got them to agree to once a month, April thru August.

Realistically each scout family would have to do one event a year. I don’t think that’s too much to ask for CO and unit harmony.

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8 minutes ago, Cubmaster Pete said:

Got a few more bits of info, CO had wanted us to do every week, April thru August. COR got them to agree to once a month, April thru August.

Realistically each scout family would have to do one event a year. I don’t think that’s too much to ask for CO and unit harmony.

Thanks for the update. A few posts here have suggestions of how to get beyond harmony and reach synergy. I'm thinking bb range, fishing contests, and safety training for the cubs. Larger bore rifles and skeet shooting for the scouts. Archery for all. And ... opportunities for Cooking and Public Health MB's for the Eagle-bound boys. For the club, I'm thinking more contact with scouting parents and a chance to recruit a mom/dad/youth who would make a great competitive shooter.

So, stay optimistic and let us know how it turns out.

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