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Statement by the United Methodist Church


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Welcome EEEagle74!

I'm guessing your tale will be a common story which is unfortunate for the scouts.  As painful it is to lose your unit, please try and place as many of your scouts in other units.  We on here hope for the best for you.

 

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I've been lurking for a number of months on Scouter.com.  I finally took the plunge and registered. Understaffed LCs can't support the administrative requirements associated with an LC-sponsored

"Why is the world would any LC want to sponsor units? " My belief is that most LC do not want to. But with the current legal risk climate and BSA national history ,they will have to or have littl

Thanks for the welcome and encouragement! I was SM and Committee Chair for the church-Chartered Scout Troop and CM and Committee Chair for the Pack. Currently, I'm Chair of the church Trustees an

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All Scouting is local...

Home Pack UMC chartered had to fold for lack of adult leadership during Pandemic.  UMC held charter until.... Folks working to recruit and reconstitute the Pack with the NEW Charter, see below.... 

Home Troop(s)  UMC chartered heard the news and went looking for a new charter holder. Very Scout friendly UMC pastor said , sorry, but I have to follow the church instructions. Troop can still park trailer, etc. until you find your new home .  almost 70 years of history and wall plaques....

Troop(s)  found a new home in the VFC.  VFPresident was a Scout from the Troop !  This Commisher helped, might could create  Venture Crew specializing in EMS .  Details of storage, room useage , COR etc. being worked out.... 

The local County professional F&R service is very good, a cooperative hybrid thing with the many VFC around the county.  All the volunteers must meet the same training and certs as the pros. 

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Thanks for the welcome and encouragement!

I was SM and Committee Chair for the church-Chartered Scout Troop and CM and Committee Chair for the Pack. Currently, I'm Chair of the church Trustees and no longer registered with BSA.  The Trustees get to work through the relationship between the church and the units going forward.  As a Trustee, I have a responsibility to protect the assets of the church.  But I still have a lot of residual loyalty to the Troop and Pack and want to see Scouting continue in our community.

The most elegant solution (given the current options available) for the church's units is probably the Facilities Use Agreement/new CO route.  I'd feel better going this direction if our disintegrating LC had a DE to help find the new CO partner.  Despite the fact our community is fairly large, we're down to 3 Scout Troops and 2 Packs, with one of the Scout Troops chartered by the Catholic Church.  Not much choice if a unit disbands and forces the kids to join the remaining Troop/Pack.  Definitely interesting times!

After thinking about the concept of the Charter Organization a lot over the past 40 years (I've got a few stories that helped form my opinions!), I've concluded that the safest and least risk approach to supporting UMC Scouting units comes from the traditional charter agreement, new BSA insurance provisions, and a congregation that incorporates the Scouts into the church's ministry and takes its Charter Agreement responsibilities seriously.  YPT (and adherence thereto), coupled with the UMC Safe Sanctuary program ably address - but can never eliminate - CSA concerns.  However, a church that can't take an active role in the life of its units shouldn't be a CO!  And thinking an LC would be anything other than a disaster as a CO (the Affiliation Agreement approach) is just foolishness.

Were the UMC BSA Ad Hoc Committee to ask me (and they won't), I would recommend that the UMC permit those churches that faithfully adhere to the provisions of the original form Charter Agreement to continue as a CO if authorized by their Trustees and Church Council.  I suspect that of the thousands of UMC churches that charter units, only 20-30% have the capacity and interest to act as CO.  And the Annual Conferences will have a variety of views on permissible relationships between churches and Scouting units.  Stay tuned.

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7 hours ago, MikeS72 said:

Based on his descriptions I would venture to say that VFC stands for Volunteer Fire Company.

Yep. Volunteer Fire Company.  Around here, "department"  implies the professional type/part.   

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8 hours ago, EEEagle74 said:

fter thinking about the concept of the Charter Organization a lot over the past 40 years (I've got a few stories that helped form my opinions!), I've concluded that the safest and least risk approach to supporting UMC Scouting units comes from the traditional charter agreement, new BSA insurance provisions, and a congregation that incorporates the Scouts into the church's ministry and takes its Charter Agreement responsibilities seriously.  YPT (and adherence thereto), coupled with the UMC Safe Sanctuary program ably address - but can never eliminate - CSA concerns.  However, a church that can't take an active role in the life of its units shouldn't be a CO!  And thinking an LC would be anything other than a disaster as a CO (the Affiliation Agreement approach) is just foolishness.

Excellent points! I am going out on a limb a bit and speculate that we will see some significant revisions in the possible options before the end of this month. First, I think that a revised traditional model will be an option with expanded insurance coverage and a caveat or expectation that UMC chartered organizations must play an active role with their unit(s) including active oversight. 

Second, I think we will also see a revised affiliate model offered that will attempt to address some of the concerns of the councils. While I am not sure what form this will take, I believe that the national BSA will strongly encourage local councils to be receptive to this option. First, with the current dramatic drop in membership, national recognizes that it cannot afford to lose the support of yet another major sponsor of Scouting.  This has major implications not only in terms of membership (for some councils UMC units represent thirty percent or more of the council units) but also reduces a significant long-term donor base AND the credibility of the program. A mass exodus of the UMC units is likely to trigger second thoughts by other national chartered organizations.

So, what encouragement (pressure) can national exert on local councils? The local councils may be "independent self-governing" local organizations. However, the advancement opportunities for local council executives and other ranking council professionals are dependent in part in their being viewed as "team players" in order to be recommended for positions in other councils or national level opportunities.  It would be a safe bet that we will see a major consolidation of councils following approval of the bankruptcy settlement.  And this consolidation will limit the number of both existing and future high-level positions within councils or regional or national level positions.  So, yes there will be subtle or not so subtle encouragement to fall in line with the national position.

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14 hours ago, gpurlee said:

... It would be a safe bet that we will see a major consolidation of councils following approval of the bankruptcy settlement.  And this consolidation will limit the number of both existing and future high-level positions within councils or regional or national level positions.  So, yes there will be subtle or not so subtle encouragement to fall in line with the national position.

That would be the end of "All Scouting is local." It's enough now that I have to make a 4-hour roundtrip for a Commissioner Cabinet or Lodge meeting if no Zoom option is available. And that isn't the worst I know of. An acquaintance of mine in GSLAC travels almost 6 hours round trip from Edgar County, IL. Scouting would become a big city program in my area, where the big cities are not so big. 

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@gpurlee

Your speculation on a revised traditional model is interesting.    Pay more (at some who knows what cost) and all is well!    Isn't the basic premise of the UMC that they didn't want to sponsor any longer because of liability?   this one is what I said before about jerking around units and scouts and getting them all spun up?

Councils are chartered by National so they can pull the council's charter just like a council can pull a units charter so they have leverage.    

We will see what they come up with.   The information flow is crickets sounding.

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  • 2 weeks later...

An unintended  consequence.   Unit asked a potential new sponsor about taking on the sponsorship.  Potential sponsor asked why the UMC was leaving.  Unit said liability.  P-sponsor says then why should we take on the liability?

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