Jump to content

Major Change in Chartered Organization Relationship


Recommended Posts

To address the original question, have you engaged your DE and Commissioner?  Tell them you are losing your charter and ask them what they suggest.  The professional staff is paid to ensure units survive and succeed.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 150
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

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

Posted Images

(I've mentioned goings and doing with respect my Troop's Catholic Diocese in the past-which thread I have forgotten.)

Ever thus, an update:

Despite my several inquires of my Troop's Diocesan Scouting liaisons, one never responded and Diocesan legal counsel referred my other inquiry to the head insurance person whose response made no sense whatsoever. (And I am in the business of making legal sense of legal things.)

So, some month or more later after my inquiries, the Parish pastor having signed the traditional chartering agreement contacted the Troop Chartered Organization Representative and asked that nothing be submitted to recharter the troop-as the Pastor was awaiting Diocesan direction.  (Be Prepared, in this case means STOP, the unprepared are still unprepared.)

So, my inquiries started in mid-September are still not answered in early December.

Meanwhile, just tonight, an adult scouter associated with my Troop and serving as a Unit Commissioner (with whom I spoke for 2 hours and have known for over 20 years) said that the word from the DE, for our District, was that our Council was NOT willing to charter units.

And so, our Troop is likely an orphan, by all appearances.  (And, by extension, so would be all Catholic sponsored units in our Diocese.)

                    (Space here Moderator, new topic follows-thanks).

All of which raises the question of which entity owns the Troop's $4,000 checking account balance and the Troop trailer, and the tents, dutch ovens, fire pails, and such?

TROOP REMAINS OPERATIONAL BUT CHANGES CHARTERED ORGANIZATION.

1.  Troop remains operational but moves to a new Chartering Organization.  One line of thinking is that the Chartering Organization owns the Troop's assets.  And, at that, even if the Troop (being all the people, scouts and adults) leaves for another Chartering Organization, the original Chartering Organization can retain all of the Troop's Assets. (If it wants.)

2.  A second line of thinking is that the "Troop" owns/controls the assets and can move them with the Troop and that the initial Chartering Organization has no claim to them.

I don't know what the rules are. I would expect that most Chartered Organizations would acquiesce with whatever the Troop leadership desired. (Even if there are rules to the contrary.)

Another issue is if a Troop completely ceases operation.  There will likely be some bank account balance and tangible equipment (tents, dutch ovens, stove, etc.)  In my experience, those troops have simply donated the tangible assets to other troops.  What happened to bank account balances, I have no knowledge.

I believe that National's approach is that if a unit ceases operation, its assets revert to its Council, and if a Council ceases operation, its assets revert to National.

Just some thoughts, and if anyone has comments, I'd be interested in their experiences or analysis.

Link to post
Share on other sites

@SiouxRanger,

Where you stand depends on where you sit 😜

The correct answer, from where I sit (at the unit level), is that the CO owns everything, and ultimately decides the disposition of all property and money.   I'll elaborate on that, so that others can dissect the argument if they wish.

From a legal standpoint (I'm no lawyer, but I actually did sleep in a Holiday Inn Express a few nights ago!), only persons and corporations can legally own property.  Therefore, some corporation owns that property, including the money.  Only two corporations (hopefully) can make a claim to yours, your CO and the local council.

Take one piece of property in particular: your Troop trailer.  Since that is a motor vehicle titled in your state, that state-issued title establishes ownership.  Look at the title, and tell us who is the titular owner?  (It should be your CO.) That is the only entity the state will recognize with claim to that property, and whose rights the state will uphold regarding it.  (NOTE for all: if any of your troop's trailers, vehicles, or land is titled to an individual, you should take steps to correct that.)

You can look at another example with money (or goods) through another question:  If someone makes a cash donation to your Troop (or a donation of goods), and they ask for a receipt for tax purposes, who gives them that receipt, and what entity's EIN is on the receipt so the donor can legally claim that on their federal taxes?  (NOTE: only the organization name is required on the receipt, not the EIN, but it helps ;) )

https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/charitable-organizations/charitable-contributions-written-acknowledgments

"A donor cannot claim a tax deduction for any contribution of cash, a check or other monetary gift unless the donor maintains a record of the contribution in the form of either a bank record (such as a cancelled check) or a written communication from the charity (such as a receipt or letter) showing the name of the charity, the date of the contribution and the amount of the contribution."

Technically, you cannot write "Troop XX" on the receipt, since that is not the "name of the charity."  We have always written the EIN (and name) of our chartering organization on on receipts for donations (with coordination, understanding, and permission.)  This establishes "ownership" of those goods and cash.  (We provide copies of any receipts to the CO for their tax purposes also.  If you were to write "Boy Scouts of America" on the receipt, then, technically, you'd have to turn those goods or cash over to national for use; if you wrote "George Washington Council" on the receipt, then you'd have to turn over those goods or monies over to council for their use.

SO, if the Troop should cease operations, the local council has zero "claim" to that property.  It's all under the CO.

This is the established pattern of behavior we have followed, with substantial documentation to demonstrate.

(Side NOTE: check your bank account info also!! Your bank account should (or must?) have an EIN associated with it on file at the bank. We use our CO's.  If you have used your local council's EIN, then, the council could "claim" those funds should the Troop cease.)

A positive experience:  Our Troop recently changed CO's (within the past two years).  Things were a bit tangled.  The CO was a PTO at a local elementary school (up to sixth grade), but the relationship was not strong, as most of our Scouts no longer attended the school, and the Troop rarely met there, because the local school district charged fees for each usage, which became burdensome.  We located a church who wished to own a Troop, and got a signed Memorandum of Agreement from the PTO to move the Troop number, gear, and monies (indicated by bank name and account number, not amount 😛) to the new organization.  The Troop trailer was titled to a Committee Chair from years past, so we had to work to transfer this to the new CO (somewhat costly).  For the bank account, we simply showed the MOA to the bank to change the info on the account.  And we also provided the MOA with the new Charter Agreement to our local council, so we could retain the historic Troop number (and our tenure!).  This made the transition smooth.  It took a good deal of coordination, even though all parties were amenable to the move.

A negative experience: A local crew did not recharter.  Their CO elected to keep the Troop trailer (it was titled in their name), but made the mistake of calling the council to ask what to do with the bank account.  Of course, the council said "Write us a check and close the account.  We will keep that money for you for a period of time (unspecified, of course), and, should you be able to re-establish a crew, we'll give it back to you."  By the time any of the concerned parents and crew members asked about it, it was gone.  They had the idea to donate this to another local charity in need, since it was monies from their dues and fund raising work.  When they inquired if they could get it back to do so, they were told it was raised only for the purposes of "Scouting" and so it could only be used for that.  (I'd beg to differ, but that's a topic for another post...)  This made the many of the parents, committee members, and youth very upset, as some of the money had been paid as dues to provide for their recharter (which did not happen), and they thought they should at least have that returned to them.

Finally, since you renew your charter agreement every year, please read it thoroughly!  http://www.scouting.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Annual-Charter-Agreement-Charter-Organizations-.pdf

The current charter agreement says two things in particular (that a CO must do) :

- Conduct the Scouting program consistent with BSA rules, regulations, and policies. Located on the My.Scouting website and online at: www.scouting.org/about/membership-standards/. {Which, when you drill down takes you here... https://www.scouting.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Rules_Regulations_Sept20.pdf}

- Be a good steward of unit resources and adhere to BSA Fiscal Policies. ie. Unit Money Earning projects  {No link is provided in the Charter Agreement, but here are the BSA Fiscal Policies as of March 2021: https://www.scouting.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Fiscal_Policies_and_Procedures_for_-BSA_Units_20210513.pdf}

If you read those three documents, they should further clarify or muddy the waters for you 😜

Hope this helps!

Edited by InquisitiveScouter
Added link to current Charter Agreement
Link to post
Share on other sites

This may be the wrong thread, but I wanted to know if a rechartering situation that I just encountered was unique or if this is associated with the new charter relationships. 

Our unit turned in our recharter directly to the DE on Saturday. There was nothing within the recharter paperwork that required the signature of the institution head OR the chartered org rep. In the past, both of them have had to sign our recharter. When we were taking the paperwork in, we thought they would tell us we got an incomplete packet and we needed to go back and get those signatures. When we asked, they said that that form is no longer in the recharter packet. 

I don't understand what this means. From my point of view, this means there is no legal relationship between the chartered org and our unit, right? Anyone else experience this or have any deeper insight as to why this may be the case? Are other districts omitting that form from the packets as well? 

Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, JSL3300 said:

This may be the wrong thread, but I wanted to know if a rechartering situation that I just encountered was unique or if this is associated with the new charter relationships. 

Our unit turned in our recharter directly to the DE on Saturday. There was nothing within the recharter paperwork that required the signature of the institution head OR the chartered org rep. In the past, both of them have had to sign our recharter. When we were taking the paperwork in, we thought they would tell us we got an incomplete packet and we needed to go back and get those signatures. When we asked, they said that that form is no longer in the recharter packet. 

I don't understand what this means. From my point of view, this means there is no legal relationship between the chartered org and our unit, right? Anyone else experience this or have any deeper insight as to why this may be the case? Are other districts omitting that form from the packets as well? 

Are you with a Methodist Church??  If yes, then they are not renewing charters just yet, but extending them until March 2022 (I think)

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

Are you with a Methodist Church??  If yes, then they are not renewing charters just yet, but extending them until March 2022 (I think)

Nope, we aren't with a church at all. Our school's PTA is our chartered org. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

In my 15 to 20 years of following these discussions, I've seen repeatedly the answer that legally the CO owns the assets.  It's the right answer.  ... But people still argue CO liability; insurance and who really oversees the leaders.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, the CO owns the assets, but if they have decided to bow out forever, the DE should be negotiating with them the disposition of the assets.  The charter agreement and Regulations of the BSA state that the assets will revert to the Council if the CO is not going to retain them for future Scouting.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, scoutldr said:

 The charter agreement and Regulations of the BSA state that the assets will revert to the Council if the CO is not going to retain them for future Scouting.

That is a relatively new change in Charter Agreements. Within the past 5 years if memory serves. Prior to that time, it belong to the CO. 

And with the way the pros are running BSA into the ground would you trust them?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, scoutldr said:

Yes, the CO owns the assets, but if they have decided to bow out forever, the DE should be negotiating with them the disposition of the assets.  The charter agreement and Regulations of the BSA state that the assets will revert to the Council if the CO is not going to retain them for future Scouting.

I just throw this out there...

@scoutldr's comment just has an interesting perspective to me.  And that perspective relates to the DE being involved in negotiating the disposition of a CO's (troop) assets if the CO is is bowing out of the business of scouting.

And this is not to counter @scoutldr's post, for I believe that many councils function along the lines he/she has experienced.

In, and from, my experience, in my council, council staff have no interest in anything controversial at unit level. (And I have witnessed doozies.)

Nor, would I, with my experience over 25 years at various levels of a council, even think, in my council, to engage a DE to resolve issues on the disposition of a troop's assets. With respect to my council, I do not think the staff could contribute anything useful.

I have come to believe that councils have markedly different methods of operation, support for units by professional staff, toxic, supportive, assistive, etc. environments...

Units in my council which have shut down have simply "passed on" their assets (tangible) to other units. Not quite sure what has happened to bank account/cash assets.

Were my Troop to have to move to another Chartering Organization, I'd contact the Chartering Organization leadership, advise them of the Troop's move and ask it to sign off relinquishing ownership of all of the assets, tangible and financial.

Frankly, I doubt there would be any objection.  All Troop funds were raised from troop participants, youth and adult, for the purpose of operating the troop.  I'd like to think that most chartering organizations would recognize that and waive any interest in them.

As a practical matter, most troops' tangible property has no market value, and the cash/bank accounts are a few thousand dollars and just insignificant to most Chartering Organizations.  Not to mention the "black eye" a chartering organization would receive if it bullied a scout troop.

My troop has been the beneficiary of cook kits, dutch ovens, and such from disbanding units.  No one from 

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, JSL3300 said:

This may be the wrong thread, but I wanted to know if a rechartering situation that I just encountered was unique or if this is associated with the new charter relationships. 

Our unit turned in our recharter directly to the DE on Saturday. There was nothing within the recharter paperwork that required the signature of the institution head OR the chartered org rep. In the past, both of them have had to sign our recharter. When we were taking the paperwork in, we thought they would tell us we got an incomplete packet and we needed to go back and get those signatures. When we asked, they said that that form is no longer in the recharter packet. 

I don't understand what this means. From my point of view, this means there is no legal relationship between the chartered org and our unit, right? Anyone else experience this or have any deeper insight as to why this may be the case? Are other districts omitting that form from the packets as well? 

This came up with us last year.  I am the COR, and in the past my signatures  were sufficient.  This year, as you say, that paper was not in the packet.  I was told the DE had to personally get the signature, or if not personally at least directly get the IH signature.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

This came up with us last year.  I am the COR, and in the past my signatures  were sufficient.  This year, as you say, that paper was not in the packet.  I was told the DE had to personally get the signature, or if not personally at least directly get the IH signature.

I know back in the day, DEs were required to visit each IH and talk with them about the unit(s) they charter.  One DE I know did 3 such visits until he was reprimanded for "wasting your time visiting." 

  • Sad 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, SiouxRanger said:

I just throw this out there...

@scoutldr's comment just has an interesting perspective to me.  And that perspective relates to the DE being involved in negotiating the disposition of a CO's (troop) assets if the CO is is bowing out of the business of scouting.

And this is not to counter @scoutldr's post, for I believe that many councils function along the lines he/she has experienced.

In, and from, my experience, in my council, council staff have no interest in anything controversial at unit level. (And I have witnessed doozies.)

Nor, would I, with my experience over 25 years at various levels of a council, even think, in my council, to engage a DE to resolve issues on the disposition of a troop's assets. With respect to my council, I do not think the staff could contribute anything useful.

I have come to believe that councils have markedly different methods of operation, support for units by professional staff, toxic, supportive, assistive, etc. environments...

Units in my council which have shut down have simply "passed on" their assets (tangible) to other units. Not quite sure what has happened to bank account/cash assets.

Were my Troop to have to move to another Chartering Organization, I'd contact the Chartering Organization leadership, advise them of the Troop's move and ask it to sign off relinquishing ownership of all of the assets, tangible and financial.

Frankly, I doubt there would be any objection.  All Troop funds were raised from troop participants, youth and adult, for the purpose of operating the troop.  I'd like to think that most chartering organizations would recognize that and waive any interest in them.

As a practical matter, most troops' tangible property has no market value, and the cash/bank accounts are a few thousand dollars and just insignificant to most Chartering Organizations.  Not to mention the "black eye" a chartering organization would receive if it bullied a scout troop.

My troop has been the beneficiary of cook kits, dutch ovens, and such from disbanding units.  No one from 

(Must have "clicked off) and lost a part of a sentence.)

No one from the council ever became involved in the transition of tangible assets to my troop.  All fo the stuff my troop received was of marginal value.  We pretty much just took whatever was offered and much of it was useless, and disposed of.

  • Upvote 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, SiouxRanger said:

Were my Troop to have to move to another Chartering Organization, I'd contact the Chartering Organization leadership, advise them of the Troop's move and ask it to sign off relinquishing ownership of all of the assets, tangible and financial.

Frankly, I doubt there would be any objection.  All Troop funds were raised from troop participants, youth and adult, for the purpose of operating the troop.  I'd like to think that most chartering organizations would recognize that and waive any interest in them.

This is exactly what we did just last fall in changing CO's.  Get it in writing, and no one can really argue otherwise...

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

I know back in the day, DEs were required to visit each IH and talk with them about the unit(s) they charter.  One DE I know did 3 such visits until he was reprimanded for "wasting your time visiting." 

I have personally coordinated completion of our last three charter agreements.  Much of the time, we didn't even have a DE, so the Field Director was grateful for my walking the document around and working the Charter Agreement signatures.  I'll wait until our recharter goes through at council before I work the next one. 

Yes, our council registrar has renewed unit charters without a new Charter Agreement in hand...don't know how they can do this, but they do it.

Edited by InquisitiveScouter
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...