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Major Change in Chartered Organization Relationship


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For the most part, there was nothing unexpected. Some of my impressions: (1) The United Methodist Church remains very supportive of Boy Scouting and endorses the traditional chartered organizatio

Wonder why something like this wasn't in the Churchill project? Also the old form used to require an annual sit down visit with the CO.    Never happened of course so the solution is  let's just

I have confirmed all of this with our denominational leadership. I don't think that the word has gotten down to the council level yet in many instances.  We are clearly heading into a tipping point, p

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20 hours ago, David CO said:

I agree.  It is not unexpected.  The council execs have always wanted to have direct control of the units.  The current crisis is the perfect opportunity for them to justify a take-over.

I’m not sure I’d agree that council execs have always wanted to have direct control of units... I worked for the BSA professionally for almost a decade and never once heard this sentiment across the four states I worked or at any regional or national gathering.
 

I will say that we often wished that units could offer more consistency in quality, but that never meant we wanted control. I think there’s a difference. 

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On 12/4/2020 at 10:56 AM, gpurlee said:

The irony here is that the program is probably the safest it has been in the past fifty years.

For work projects, we have to rate a project with different areas of risk: Safety risk, financial risk, technical risk, cost risk, and production reliability risk. All are different. So, Scouts is probably low personal safety risk, but high when it comes to legal / financial risk. That is due to the unknowns. 

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21 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

  I asked them how much insurance they had and if, as leaders of the CO, they were ready to be listed as defendants in future lawsuits if something went wrong. 

This is a great question. I few years ago I upped my personal liability umbrella to $2M. I have wondered if it should be higher. 

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4 minutes ago, mrjohns2 said:

This is a great question. I few years ago I upped my personal liability umbrella to $2M. I have wondered if it should be higher. 

The odds of being eaten by a Bengal tiger in the middle of Main Street may be a million to one, but once is enough.  One can be sued by anyone at any time for any perceived problem.  Ask any doctor. Or EMT.  Or school sidewalk owner. Or Busdriver.    

I was driving my transit bus in the curb lane, approaching a red light. A Pinto (!) dashed in front of me such that I slammed on my brakes and still hit the Pinto's right door and pushed it straight.  I set my parking brake, jumped out of my bus, ran around to the driver's side and asked "Are you alright?"  His first words to me were: "It's your fault, okay?"  I went back into my bus and called the police and my dispatcher.  The court case was interesting.... 

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1 minute ago, SSScout said:

The odds of being eaten by a Bengal tiger in the middle of Main Street may be a million to one, but once is enough.  One can be sued by anyone at any time for any perceived problem.  Ask any doctor. Or EMT.  Or school sidewalk owner. Or Busdriver.    

My friend, who was extremely tight with money, suggested it to me years ago. Growing up in a blue collar construction / teacher household, it would have never cross my dad or mom's mind. My friend, who worked at the same fortune 50 that I did, said "we are engineers with long term careers at a very well established company". He went on to talk about how garnering our wages for the rest of our career would be worthwhile for someone after emptying one's 401k. So, I started with $1M about 18 years ago and maybe 10 moved it to $2M. It is $574/year, so $47/month. Having it shifts the liability of home owners, car, RV onto the umbrella, so part of the $47 would still be paid on those if we dropped it. Hard to do a apples to apples, but I am guessing somewhere between $25-$35/month truly extra. It helps me feel better about transporting Scouts etc. 

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On 12/4/2020 at 10:07 AM, gpurlee said:

It appears that we are on the verge of seeing a major change in the model used by the BSA with organizations that host Scouting units. It would change the relationship from one where the sponsor “owns” the unit(s) to one in which the unit(s) is viewed as a distinct community organization “housed” by the organization. A tenant, so to speak. ... 

For units whose chartered organizations chooses to only provide meeting space in the future, the unit(s) would be “owned” by the council. If it follows the Girl Scout model, ...

BSA chartering model has been broken for a long time.  This is just acknowledging things need to change.

My view has been BSA's existing chartering model works as a marketing tool and not really a functional agreement.  Only now that people see liability is it an issue.  I say marketing because it's a tool to start the charter discussing how they should be involved and how they can help the scouting unit and thus help BSA.  

I had an experience 15+ years ago with our pack charter org that viewed the unit as an outside community organization.  We kept getting kicked down the road in favor of internal church programs.  It was a real issue as we were a 3rd or 4th level priority (1st church, 2nd church sub-groups, 3rd church member groups, 4th community organizations).  With the charter org agreement change, I fear our best choice would be to simply rent a school cafeteria for each and every meeting.  Period.  Maybe ask a church to let us use them as an outdoor meeting spot when we need fire or would have fuel or knives on us.

Edited by fred8033
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1 minute ago, fred8033 said:

BSA chartering model has been broken for a long time.  This is just acknowledging things need to change.

I agree, but I can see that change going in multiple different ways.

1) Independent autonomous units. Each unit (or group) has to be its own 501(c)(3), etc. There is no CO. There is no sponsor. That's the most extreme.

2) CO's become "sponsors" that allow facilities access for free or no cost. The Girl Scouts model, but with some modifications.

3) Classic model.

4) Split squad: units are allowed to pick from any of these. This would perhaps be the worst case scenario because now you've got multiple different legal, financial, and management structures operating. The legal responsibilities for unit committees will be wildly different. It is hard enough for some committee chairs to understand their role in general, having three different answers will make it worse.

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1 hour ago, fred8033 said:

BSA chartering model has been broken for a long time.  This is just acknowledging things need to change.

We need to remember that the COR has a seat on the council board (for all the good it does us).  Changing the unit structure would also necessitate a change of the council structure.  I'm not sure what that might look like.

 

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2 hours ago, David CO said:

We need to remember that the COR has a seat on the council board (for all the good it does us).  Changing the unit structure would also necessitate a change of the council structure.  I'm not sure what that might look like.

I've watched how that works.  It's like stock holders at an annual meeting.  The executive board controls over enough shares to roll over any share holder action.  Same with CORs.  I've NEVER seen a charter org rep effectively make a difference at the council unless they were already a well established council volunteer.   Then, it's really that volunteering relationship occurring and not the COR relationship.  Saying CORs are voting members seems more like marketing than any meaningful control.

When I say the charter org structure is broken, I mean ... 

  • Never seen a charter org significantly oversee volunteers (selection, quality, oversight, ...)
  • Never seen a charter org significantly oversee unit activity or significantly affect quality

The only time I've seen COR function significantly is when an elder scouter is looking for a role within a unit.  So they volunteer as a COR and often function more like an ASM or a MC.  

Edited by fred8033
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15 minutes ago, PACAN said:

When you go to print out the Charter Partner Agreement in Internet Recharter the new form comes up. I guess it is imminent 

There's two things here.

1) The new form released November 23 still continues the practice of COs as traditional Chartered Organizations. It does NOT change that relationship inherently, but adds language regarding liability/insurance and also that Councils are going to start to (likely) mandate peanut/popcorn sales and crack down on unauthorized fundraising.

Quote

 

The Charter Organization agrees to:

•Be a good steward of unit resources and adhere to BSA Fiscal Policies. ie. Unit Money Earning projects

Actively participate in the local councils annual giving campaign and product sales to ensure quality Scouting throughout the community. (ex. Friends of Scouting campaign, popcorn, camp card, etc

 

I think what is being rumored at is there will be

2) a SECOND, ENTIRELY DIFFERENT type of charter document not yet released that does NOT include much of anything regarding the chartered organization's responsibilities for ANYTHING (or anything much) and therefore 0 liability.

Edited by CynicalScouter
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