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SeattlePioneer

Cultivating Your Chartered Organization and Chartered Organization Rep

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I see that it's VERY common for chartered organizations and chartered organization reps to play a very limited role in Scouting organizations. On the other hand, I've heard of some that contribute $4,000-5,000 a year to supporting their Scouting organizations.

 

If you have a productive relationship with your CO and COR, what do you do to maintain and cultivate that relationship?

 

If you don't what things might you try, or is it a waste of time?

 

 

 

Seattle Pioneer

 

 

 

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When I was with a pack, I found that contacting the COR to keep him informed was easy to do (a note after committee meetings went out to all leaders just as a follow-up, and the COR got a copy too), and it led to a good relationship in time. In addition, at every opportunity, a note was written to the CO and signed by the boys and leaders, thanking them for __________ (fill in the blank). I have always felt it important to put things into writing, and on several occassions I sent the CO a note, addressed to the IH, and gave a short but friendly update. The relationship became nicer; it had been non-existent. At first, it seemed that the CO was suspicious of my approaches, but that may be that others followed that type of approach with "now what I'd like from you is...", but I thought it more important to always close a conversation/note with "and if there is anything else we may do for you" instead. In a word: serve.

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Great ideas Laurie. Treating the COR and CO like they are part of the team. It's an often overlooked concept.

 

We try to meet with our COR/IH once a month just to keep them informed. It helps that relationship alot.

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We have our Committee Meeting the same night and in the same hall as our CO. It is not uncommon for each group to visit with each other before/after their respective meetings. We have done things for them, and they have provided a yearly donation. When we use that money, we thank them for the new (whatever we spent the money on). They raise money for lots of groups, and they have gotten to the point with us that they tell us how much to ask for. I mean if someone told you to ask for $2,000, would you? And then what happens when you ask, and they GIVE it to you. Then they next year they tell you to ask for $2,100?

 

We put their name on our flag, we do a flag ceremony for them whenever, where ever they want. They like it. We bought a uniform with the right patches (in place) for our COR. Then we invite him to Courts of Honor. When he shows up at troop meetings, he's there in his uniform. We always recognize him. We make sure the boys know what he helped us buy. THEY talk to him. Many times nothing more than "Hi" or "that water filter thing is cool", but then you be him and have these kids talk to you... It works for us.

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The most difficult concept to instill in our chartered organization, both the board and the membership, has been that we (pack and troop) are THEIR program for youth. We are not an outside group that comes in and uses their facilities.

 

We don't want them to be a part of OUR team. We don't want them to contribute to US. We want to be a part of THEIR team.

 

The adult Scout leaders are paid-up members of the CO, we attend the meetings, and we get on the meeting agenda to give a 2 minute report of what THEIR pack and troop are doing.

 

 

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The pastor of the church that charters the unit is the Troop Chaplain, the youth minister is the CR, we do volunteer work such as landscaping and exterior maintenance for the church, We donated money from the troop pop corn sales to help pay for a new HVAC system.

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In the spirit of cultivating your chartered organization, as Unit Commissioner I attended the last meeting of the year of the PTSA that charters the Cub Pack. I did so in uniform as is my habit.

 

I shook the hand of the new PTSA President who was elected, and reasured the PTSA that the Cub Pack planned to put on the PTSA's spaghetti dinner/fund raiser in October that kicks off the elementary schools Open House. Last year, this was almost cancelled due to lack of volunteers to run it. This year, I'm expecting that the Cub Pack will do an impressive job in running the event before the whole school, doing everyone a lot of good in the process.

 

I had to duck out a little early to then attend the District Committee monthly meeting.

 

 

A good evening of Scouting.

 

 

Seattle Pioneer

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One thing we need to remember is that it isn't always what they can do for us but also what we can do for them. We offer to do Flag Ceremonies for them. We help maintain the ground around our meeting place. We offer to help with fund raisers they have. As units we have to give back to them.

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Each year, we put together an "annual report" for the unit which we provide to all the officers and board members of the chartered org. It features lots of good things, numbers (of kids, of outings, of service hours), financial reports, and challenges. It always leads off with the explanatation that it is a report on the CO's program.

 

We also do cleanup and service work whenever asked, of course, and some Eagle projects for the CO.

 

The hardest thing for us has been keeping the communication lines open. It really helps if someone on the unit committee is also on the CO's board or is otherwise "connected" with what is going on. There are a lot of times we could have been of service that we missed, just because nobody at the CO thought to ask.

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