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Time to scrap recharter

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Yes -- Get rid of it! Far too many unit, district, and council resources are wasted on this obsolete process.  If council wants to renew the charter agreement with a chartered organization, then do it; there is no need to include the whole roster reconciliation and annual payment process at the same time.  Apply for membership and pay the membership fee and fees for the unit you are joining online.  Once a member is approved, automatic renewal and payment unless the member or unit cancels.  You want to see who is registered in your unit?  Open up the unit roster on My.Scouting -- every unit already has at least three people who can do that.  And there is really no reason why adults have to register in a particular position (except no-fee positions, such as merit badge counselors).  Let adults register as generic Adult Members, then assign them roles in My. Scouting.

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Proof of the BSA's indifference to unit level scouting--the recharter process is Exhibit A.

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All good ideas.  But this is more than rechartering and even more than software. Making robust software that scales to a million users is expensive and there is no money. My guess is there needs to be a simpler goal rather than an easier process. What is all this data used for? Part of it is doing background checks. Part of it is collecting money. Tracking training and advancement and membership. There are also security issues that add a lot of complexity.

Rechartering is a big pain for us mostly because of tracking down parents that don't respond. So if this process were pushed down to the families it would become a pain for a different reason.

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So, in a no-money situation, the question is:  What parts of the recharter process can we drop because we already have a simpler or easier way to do them?

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Posted (edited)

The biggest headaches to the process, for me at least, are:

1) the "online re-chartering" was/is nothing more than a form generator, that I have to print and obtain signatures on.  In other words, it might save me some ink in my pen, but it still requires a lot of typing and clicking and so doesn't save me any real time.

2) the biggest one- the processes today assume that the COR and/or IH is daily involved (or at least regularly involved) in the scouting units business.  I feel we've established enough through other threads that this is quite often not the case, and it is the challenge of having to obtain their signatures on everything that creates the most frustration and time spent.  If we would just allow the IH/COR to designate Committee Chairs- whom they already have blessed to be in positions of "authority" to be incharge of financials, etc.-  to sign on the COs behalf (if the CO desired), it would make life so much easier, whether through online process or not.

Edited by HashTagScouts
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, dkurtenbach said:

So, in a no-money situation, the question is:  What parts of the recharter process can we drop because we already have a simpler or easier way to do them?

Not just rechartering but all the data. For some reason the BSA has very important information that must be guarded by humans. That is the reason that this whole thing can't be just a simple web interface that every parent can use. I understand the need to ensure adults have YPT but nothing else needs to get above the unit. What other youth organization cares about all the data we require? Advancement, training, knots. When my son was on a soccer team all they cared about was his address, that a parent signed a consent form and that he paid. Each year they just started over. In software that's called stateless and it's much simpler to write software for. How important is it to keep records of all this? Changing the mindset of the BSA to leave advancement at the unit level would be an enormous challenge.

 

Edited by MattR
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As someone who has been involved at several levels of rechartering and developing membership data, I would be interested in learning how rechartering is the greatest cause of membership losses than anything else. While I agree the current process is inefficient and could be improved, my experience is that rechartering inflates the membership data.

Barry

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3 hours ago, Eagledad said:

As someone who has been involved at several levels of rechartering and developing membership data, I would be interested in learning how rechartering is the greatest cause of membership losses than anything else. While I agree the current process is inefficient and could be improved, my experience is that rechartering inflates the membership data.

Barry

yeah, it's a rare year that goes by that I don't recharter a kid --- or two --- that I never see again.

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7 hours ago, Eagledad said:

As someone who has been involved at several levels of rechartering and developing membership data, I would be interested in learning how rechartering is the greatest cause of membership losses than anything else. While I agree the current process is inefficient and could be improved, my experience is that rechartering inflates the membership data.

Barry

I've averaged 1.5 units of rechartering for the last 16 years.  About 24 recharters.  The first several years were paper and very labor intensive.   The first several were also relatively stressful because of learning the ins and outs.  And they have all be time intensive casing a signatures and driving people in.  The only way I've made it through these is I'm either very loyal or very stubborn.  

This process does burn out volunteers.  This can damage scouting's relationship when handed to any adult not deeply vested in scouting and especially burns new parents.  I doubt it hurts "troops", but it does clearly affect packs.    

This rechartering process also does little to renew the relationship between scouting and the chartering organizations.  IMHO, scouting would be better served by a warm friendly conversation between a scouting contact and the charter org.  The paperwork is of little significance.  Maybe at the end of that warm friendly conversation, the scouting contact could sign the chartering agreement with the charter org contact.  Beyond that, the rechartering paperwork is a waste.  

IMHO, this needs to become as simple as when I go into Amazon and repeat a previous order.  Once I pay, it should be good. 

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