Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
rmonigle

Chartered organization questions

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

 

I'm new here...I posted this in the "Issues and Politics" Forum, only to realize it's more about non-Scout issues ans politics....oops!!

 

Here's what I posted over there...

 

Our trooop recently was notified that our chartered organization (Local PTA) was "regrettably" dropping its relationship with us after many years. They cited a couple of issues that, to be honest, are basically fluff for what our council thinks is a more deep seeded reason. They stated that their governing body stated they would not be covered in legal cases, should one come up (As you all know, BSA's liability insurance extends to the CO and it's rep). They also stated an issue with the wording of the Charter Agreement, as it relates to the CO's responsibility of providing a meeting place for the Troop. Our troop meets in one of the local schools and has been for a number of years. In addition, our troop is allowed to use a room on the back of the school as storage for all our gear. The CO believes that in the event of a school budgetary issue, they may be responsible for paying the building use fee for themselves, our troop and the other 4 Scout groups they charter. Again, the council and our leaders think this is just a load of bull that they are feeding us to cover up the real reason (the whole discriminiation issue that every other Scout group is facing lately).

 

The one issue does have merit, I think. Who would be responsible for use charges of a meeting place, if it is not a location provided by the CO in their own facility? Right now, we do not get charged for using the school, mostly on the premise of being a NFP organization. If we continue to meet at the school, but are chartered by another organization (a church), would they be financially responsible should a fee be instituted?

 

I'm just curious to find out if anyone else has run into this issue.

 

Thanks for your responses in advnace.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yah, rmonigle, da situation you describe is fairly common, eh? I expect your local professionals and volunteers are workin' the issue as best they can. Ultimately, of course, this decision is up to the CO.

 

Yes, practically speakin', it is the role and duty of a CO to provide its units a place to meet, eh? A lot of public school units have moved their charters to local churches or community organizations, but still use the meetin' place in the school, same as they were before. If your school district chose to impose a fee at some point (seems unlikely if they haven't by now), easiest thing is to either move your meetings elsewhere or increase your troop dues to cover the room rental. Your unit is part of da CO, so if your unit rents the space, that's the CO providing a place to meet. ;)

 

PTA's and PTO's IMO are weak chartered partners generally, and it sounds like this one isn't interested in runnin' a program. No point in forcing it on 'em unless there are other, broader reasons to do so (like the current PTA board doesn't represent a majority of its membership on this issue).

 

Find yourself a better friend and partner. But keep doin' recruiting and perhaps meetin' in the school if that makes sense for your community.

 

But like I said, I expect your professionals and council folks are workin' da problem. I'd follow their lead.

 

Beavah

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everything Beavah said.

 

Both the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion can make pretty good Chartered Partners.

 

If you're the Committee Chair, it might be worth going and having a cup of coffee with them (or perhaps something a little stronger).

 

Good hunting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to agree with John in KC on this one. We are chartered through our local American Legion. Get in contacct with your Local Post and see what they have for youth programs. Ours did not have the youth programs that the Commander would have liked to see and he jumped at the chance to charter us. They even provided us with a fairly large room to use as our CubScout Room, to use as we needed. They have been great. Not to mention that they have let us use the large hall ofr our B&G and other Pack activities as we needed.

 

Chrck with those organizations and see what they have to offer. Good luck, and I hope that all works out for you.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

rmonigle,

 

The National PTA has been recommending for years (probably at least 10) that its local chapters not be the CO for any BSA units. Ostensibly this is due to the liability issues (and by the way, just because something is covered by insurance doesn't mean you don't have to worry about it.) If there are also unspoken considerations about BSA membership policies, well, that is their right as well. In any event, this is nothing new, and I'd have to think that it comes as no surprise to your "council" people especially if they are involved in CO relationships. The actual surprise is that you remained chartered to a PTA for this long.

 

(The above really only applies to affiliates of the actual National PTA, and not to similar organizations such as PTO's (for which there is no national organization as far as I know.))

 

The real point is, your CO says they are no longer going to be your CO. What their reasons are, and whether you think they are good reasons, is really besides the point. You need a new CO and perhaps a new place to meet. You should be speaking ASAP with your District Executive to get help finding a new CO. I would think that with five units (if I read your post correctly) in jeopardy, the DE would be all over this. Maybe the DE can even figure out a way for you to continue using the school.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Your meeting place and storage unit are more important to your troop than an absentee CO. Meeting at the elementary school is worth a lot, maybe 10-20% more scouts and certainly a lot more more looks.

 

I will recommend that you divide your focus. Set one group in motion to find a new charter. Get the second group focused on keeping the meeting place at the school. A monthly use fee may be the results of this. Swap the storage fee for yard work and clean-up at the school. Build good relations with the principal and suggest why scouting is a positive influence on his school. Fore instance, it gets parents at the school a little more involved. Some parents may have never entered the school cafeteria until scouts.

 

Who knows the principal may not be the biggest fans of the PTA either.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"A monthly use fee may be the results of this. Swap the storage fee for yard work and clean-up at the school. "

 

This idea might work in a small school district, but in our large suburban district it would be a no-go. For one thing this work is the province of the unionized custodial staff, who would raise a stink. Second, the principal has no control over barter like this - after hours building use is controlled by a separate department at the school district which has no power to do something like this. We would have to get the school board involved to allow something like that. A lot of time better spent on the superintendent hiring process than the $250 dollars a year we have to pay to use the school for pack meetings. (Den meeting costs come out of den dues).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are organizations out there that may let you use their facilities for free. There are two churches in town that let us use their facilities for free for committee meetings, BORs, dinners. The committee insists on using the CO's facility for troop meetings even though it is not well suited to them and they continually give the troop grief about our use of the hall. Which is really their use of the hall.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our pack is the result of a merger between an older American Legion Post pack and one originally chartered by a PTO. We are now only chartered by the American Legion Post, but we still have our monthly pack meetings at the school. About half of the boys at the school have at some point been a member of the pack. There is no other organization that I know of that can make this claim. So, it would be hard for them to kick us out as they'd then have dozens of upset parents on their hands. However, we do often get subtle messages that we are just another outside group that does not receive any special treatment. For example, they won't let us do recruiting during open house.

 

Being chartered by a PTO, of course, means you are not just another outside organization. Otherwise, I don't see much benefit to it. Once you get re-chartered with your new CO, you can still meet in a public school, although you will have to compete for time slots along with other groups and pay any fees the school normally charges. The key, I think, is to communicate with the principal of the school your needs and what you can do for the boys in the school.

 

Getting chartered by the American Legion Post has the benefit of creating a relationship between us and the boy scout troop that they charter. As you can imagine, that is good for the troop and for the pack. The troop has a ready stream of recruiting prospects from the pack, and the troop can provide camping opportunities to webelos, help with the blue and gold banquet, etc. We also do Scouting for Food together.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

NJCubScouter

Is right when he posts:

"The National PTA has been recommending for years (probably at least 10) that its local chapters not be the CO for any BSA units".

I'm not sure if the reason is due to liability? Or not.

I had heard it was due to what is seen as discrimination on the part of the BSA. Again this is something I'm not certain of.

More and more public schools seem to have concerns about who they allow the use of their buildings and grounds too.

One argument I have heard is "If we allow the Scouts the use of it, we have to allow others have the same access".

This might open the door for some groups that they might not like being able to use the Schools.

Them not allowing these other groups the use of the school might leave the School open for a law suit and having to pay the costs that might be incurred.

Many groups that school districts might not want to allow the use of the schools are Non-profit organizations and groups.

A year or two back the BSA did send a memo out to all Councils, urging them to move all charters that were held by public schools. While PTA's are not public schools, you can imagine if I as a parent felt that my kid was being discriminated against because I was an atheist (Which I'm not)and he was denied the use of the school because the organization that was allowed to use the building didn't allow atheists to join.

Clearly it is in the best interest of the PTA and the School district to "Just not go down that road."

 

You ask:

"Who would be responsible for use charges of a meeting place, if it is not a location provided by the CO in their own facility?"

While I have never faced a situation like this.

I tend to think that before a unit entered into an agreement they would of course discuss this with the CO.

Some units that are chartered by "Friends of ..." do pay for the use of a meeting place, out of funds that they have. Some of course have agreements where they get the use for nothing!

It goes without saying that a Scout unit can't go spending the CO's money without the approval of the CO.

Back when I was District Chairman we did have a unit that was chartered by a local Methodist Church. The preacher wasn't very Scout Friendly, so the unit started meeting in a local Baptist Church. The Baptist Church had its own very successful youth group and refused to charter a Scouting unit. Sadly in the end the unit folded.After the Methodist Church refused to recharter the unit. They of course said, what was the point of chartering a unit that they had nothing to do with.

Eamonn.

Share this post


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
Sign in to follow this  

×