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Methodist Church telling Churches to Not "Recharter" Scout Units


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14 hours ago, skeptic said:

Ours has already informed us that we will move to the facilities model.  Other than that, they assure us that they still consider us part of their ministry, just under a different format.  

I don't know which is more frustrating, a CO who doesn't realize it owns the unit, or a former CO who thinks it still owns the unit.  Once a CO gives up its charter, it isn't their unit anymore.  They don't own it.  It belongs to someone else.  It is not their unit under a different format. 

 

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If a UMC is switching to a Facilities Use Agreement only relationship, then the unit will need a new Chartering Organization, such as a VFW or your Local Council.

I have been hearing of councils that don't want to serve as the chartering org as well. That's something for BSA to resolve though in its reorg plan I would think. 

Ours has already informed us that we will move to the facilities model.  Other than that, they assure us that they still consider us part of their ministry, just under a different format.  Since we ha

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5 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

For the units switching to facility use agreements, who signs off as COR on adult applications?

Depends

1) Under the alternate-CO model, the other CO. For example, while you may be renting space/facility use agreement with the Methodist church, the VFW post is your CO, therefore someone selected by the VFW signs.

2) If you are using the Council-as-CO model, someone from council.

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7 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

If you are using the Council-as-CO model, someone from council.

Questions. 

1. Is it a volunteer or a professional?

2. Are they a voting member of the Council and District?

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9 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

Questions. 

1. Is it a volunteer or a professional?

2. Are they a voting member of the Council and District?

Good questions, probably a professional.

Remember that Churches are only one type of organization that can sponsor a unit.  VFW's, HOA's, non-profits, or even a business can sponsor a unit.  The council would be my last choice because there would be the most amount of paperwork IMHO.

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One of the things I enjoyed at scout camp this year was seeing the trailers and flags of units from all over, as well as seeing who some of the sponsors were.  Fire departments sponsor units.  VFW's sponsor units.  There are a lot of places that will help with this, and a lot of people who see the value in Scouting.  Our units are sponsored by parent-teacher school organizations. If we had to look for more sponsors, I would likely approach our local Friends of the Library and Friends of the Nature Center non-profit groups,  

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On 7/26/2021 at 2:05 PM, Eagle69 said:

Here in Arkansas the Bishop has sent a letter telling all Methodist Churches to NOT sign a new Charter Agreement after 12/31/2021, but instead to go to a Facility Use Agreement between the Church, the Troop and the Council. Scout Units will now become a group that meets at the Church instead of a part of the church and the church basically has no connection to the Troop.  This agreement has to be formally signed by all parties.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

This totally sounds like they want to reduce liability in case of future abuse lawsuits. 

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1 hour ago, WisconsinMomma said:

One of the things I enjoyed at scout camp this year was seeing the trailers and flags of units from all over, as well as seeing who some of the sponsors were.  Fire departments sponsor units.  VFW's sponsor units.  There are a lot of places that will help with this, and a lot of people who see the value in Scouting.  Our units are sponsored by parent-teacher school organizations. If we had to look for more sponsors, I would likely approach our local Friends of the Library and Friends of the Nature Center non-profit groups,  

Wouldn't the liability concerns for any future charter though be the same as for any old charter? The UMC COs that are switching to facilities use around here are doing so because they don't trust the liability situation and coverage going forward with BSA. It's not just child abuse concerns either but what would happen if there was an injury claim or some other problem. The BSA has a lot of the traditional COs completely rattled and spooked and from where I sit it doesn't look like those reactions are without cause. An organization they trusted for decades and took at their word because of their promotion of things like The Scout Law has suddenly become unrecognizable.  I don't know that I could ask any other community group to be a CO in good conscience right now. To me the solution for now  seems to be the Council because then at least if there are any problems going forward it's not going to hurt the people at my local Elks or FD or any other group I might ask. 

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2 hours ago, yknot said:

Wouldn't the liability concerns for any future charter though be the same as for any old charter?

The concerns are there, but there is no pre 1975 history. Also, some orgs are "dam the torpedoes" types that are willing to shoulder the burden of risk. 

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22 hours ago, yknot said:

Wouldn't the liability concerns for any future charter though be the same as for any old charter? The UMC COs that are switching to facilities use around here are doing so because they don't trust the liability situation and coverage going forward with BSA. It's not just child abuse concerns either but what would happen if there was an injury claim or some other problem. The BSA has a lot of the traditional COs completely rattled and spooked and from where I sit it doesn't look like those reactions are without cause. An organization they trusted for decades and took at their word because of their promotion of things like The Scout Law has suddenly become unrecognizable.  I don't know that I could ask any other community group to be a CO in good conscience right now. To me the solution for now  seems to be the Council because then at least if there are any problems going forward it's not going to hurt the people at my local Elks or FD or any other group I might ask. 

You've convinced me.  I was thinking the same way, but the fact that my home Troop has always been at the UMC for the last coming up on 70 years  with no discernable problems  kept me thinking ?"new CO."

Edited by SSScout
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A problem that has not been brought up, or I may have missed it. Many current church sponsors required that the scout leadership state that they agreed with the teachings of that church. A CO pastor could require membership to be from his church only. Under the facilities use only, they lose that control, so a  traditional church that does not support homosexuality could have the council appoint a gay or lesbian scouter or other leadership—leaving them few choices. 

 

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42 minutes ago, jcousino said:

Under the facilities use only, they lose that control, so a  traditional church that does not support homosexuality could have the council appoint a gay or lesbian scouter or other leadership—leaving them few choices. 

They would have a choice. They could chose to end (or not renew) the facilities use only.

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I do not see any other choice other than the unit being council sponsored. Why would my organization want to CO to  a unit (take on all the leadership risks) meeting some where else because the first group has concerns about BSA and liability.

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An interesting twist to all of this is that some local councils are sending a message to national BSA that they do not have the manpower to adequately supervise local units under a facility model chartering plan. This is compounded with significant membership drops in many councils due to the pandemic and other factors.  Several councils are not filling current vacancies or are laying off staff. 

Another interesting piece is that several councils are apparently planning on delaying the start of annual re-chartering as long as possible. They are awaiting more information and a clearer picture of what to communicate and how to proceed.

There is growing frustration at the council level in many areas due to their lack of information and direction. They feel caught in a state of limbo and under pressure from chartered organizations.

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