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Finding a new CO?

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Going back to the original question... as to whether it's the Pack Committee or the DE that "finds" a new CO. I would say "both" should be searching for a good fit. The pack committee and the DE speaking to potential CO's for the best fit.

 

Now it can be an amicable split, where the current CO is simply unable to continue, or they are just "tired" of sponsoring the unit. It would be most beneficial if the current CO would allow just a complete transfer... of unit number, finances, and property of the unit.

 

If it's a contentious termination of a unit... Then the pack leadership should tell parents their options. Join another unit or create a new unit. If creating a new unit, or simply finding a new CO, then the leadership/parents should have some honest and friendly talks with potential CO's to see where the unit will do best.(This message has been edited by westcoastscouter)

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Eagle 92,

 

Yes, I've seen this too.

 

One IH drops the unit. The next IH brings it back. I've seen it happen with the same IH.

 

Sometimes an IH will uncharter a unit, wait a year or two, and recharter again. It's a way of cleaning house without having to confront specific individuals.

 

It's not only Scouting, it's done with other programs as well. Some IH's will do this a casually as re-booting their computer.

 

Scout leaders don't always understand CO behavior. Don't burn bridges. Don't go CO shopping.

 

 

 

 

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David,

The what do you suggest to scouts, parents and leaders to do when they are informed that the CO no longer want them, and that the unit will cease to exist after the charter ends,or maybe even before the charter ends?

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I always enjoy the posts that state that if they just got a different CO (or whatever) all their problems would be solved. Did any of these groups ever think that there are CO's out there that state that if they just got a different pack/troop/crew (or whatever) all their problems would be solved?

 

If a troop is having a problem with their CO what makes anyone think that there's another CO out there that wants to take them on?

 

Shopping around for a better deal wastes a lot of gas, effort and time. Had they just stuck with what they had and spent that gas, effort and time invested in what they already had, they would often times be a lot further down the road.

 

Somehow humans have never figured out that sometimes the problem doesn't lie with the "other guy". Like Pogo once said, "We have met the enemy and the enemy is us."

 

CO/Unit relationships need maintenance and care. Maintaining takes a lot less effort than starting all over again from scratch.

 

The question that comes to mind with this thread is why was the CO so against sponsorship of a unit? What happened prior to the refusal to recharter? "They decided they no longer want to sponsor Scout units..." (???) what's the message here? Did anyone do a follow up on this? If this church doesn't want to sponsor them for whatever reason, what makes one think someone else does?

 

Stosh

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JBlake,

In my unit's first case, the IH decided the troop no longer met the demographic needs of his church. The church parish when the troop was started was much larger geographically, but with a smaller population. As the city grew and grew, the church parish got smaller as other churches were created, but the population grew. However the demographics with the parish changed from mostly Caucasian, to mostly Hispanic. While the troop did reach out to the Hispanic community, it wasn't reciprocated by the Hispanic community.

 

Unfortunately the situation came to a head when our storage closet was literally broken into, supplies stolen, and the closet left in shambles. After discussing the with the IH, we got permission to buy a fiberglass shed and store it on church property. Unfortunately within 2-3 months of buying the shed, it was used as a dartboard at the church's fair, and when the troop leadership discussed the situation again with the IH that was when he said that since the demographics have changed that have no interest in scouting, and no one in the troop was residing in the current parish boundaries (remember the boundaries shrunk as new churches were created), he thought it would be best if we left.

 

As for the second case, when the new IH met with the troop leadership, she stated that she did not like Boy Scouts and would like for us to leave. To emphasize her dislike for Boy Scouts, when we were running approx 5-10 minutes after an ECOH, which she was invited to and declined, ( we were cleaning up the facility like we always did) she called the police on us saying we were trespassing on the church's property. luckily she wasn't very clear in contacting the police, only stating that there were people trespassing and causing problems, and the officer who responded to the call was also was an ASM. It was only after he talked to use while we were leaving to see if we saw anything or anyone, which we said no, and he then went to the nunnery did he find out she was referring to the troop as the trespassers.

 

Luckily we were helping a new troop out at the time, and when we went to discuss a merger between the two troops, their IH welcomed us with open arms. Helps having an Eagle as IH and the CC/COR not only goes camping, teaches MBs,etc but is also on the parish board.

 

 

EDITED; Agree having a relationship with the IH and the CO is VITAL to the success or failure of the unit. I always liked doing service projects that helped out the CO, i.e. helping to organize and staff a blood drive for a parishioner in need, recording a Bible on tape for those parishioner who can no longer read, cutting palms for Palm Sunday, etc.(This message has been edited by Eagle92)

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Eagle92,

 

That is a very good question. I don't think you are going to like my answer.

 

I suggest sacrifice. Sacrifice for the Scouting Movement. Sacrifice your unit number. Sacrifice all your hard work. Sacrifice it all. Then pray that your sacrifice will count for something.

 

Regardless of the cause of a nonrenewal, no matter who was right or wrong, it does not further the aims of the Scouting Movement to attack the CO.

 

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Unfortunately this wasnt the only unit that this happened to in our District this year.

 

We had a Cub Pack in a low-income area that was started last year.

The manager of the housing development was the IH.

He really supported the unit and even paid the registration for the youth and leaders of the Pack to start them out.

 

He got replaced in Dec. and the new manager dropped the Pack.

Because this was a new unit they had little in the way of equipment and money so the entire unit transferred into another Pack.

 

The units I posted about earlier have been with the church 30+ years and with a new IH and exec board they just decided that they no longer wanted Scout units for their church.

 

This is not the first time I have seen this.

A few years ago the Troop my son was in was almost dropped.

They had been chartered by the same church since 1915 or so.

A new pastor came in and wanted to drop the unit.

The only reason they werent dropped was a few old-timers on the exec board knew how long they had chartered a Scout unit and talked the church into rechartering them.

 

Around here this seems to be happening more and more.

 

 

 

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David,

Let me see if I understand you correctly. What you are saying is that the scouts, parents, and leaders just quit scouting altogether because the IH doesn't want a scout unit anymore. Is that correct?

 

If that's the case, then what should folks do if they want to continue to either be in the program, have their children in the program, or want to continues serving youth in Scouting?

 

What if another organization wants a scouting unit and is willing to take them in, would you deny that organization the opportunity to do something the organization wants to do?

 

On a more personal note, have you ever been involved in starting a unit from scratch? I ask because I have been involved in starting units from scratch. Sometimes it's easy, everything fall into place with a willing CO, leaders and a community that needs scouts. that happened with two units I started, a pack and troop with the same CO.

 

However most of the time it is not that easy. The other units I started had more challenges. With the pack I started at the Catholic Church it was a challenge finding leaders and members. Most parishioners have their sons established units and did not want to help start a new unit. And while I had a lot of support starting a new pack from the community, once I told them the the Catholic Church was going to be the CO, I encountered my first taste of anti-Catholic bias in the USA. That unit dissolved in less than a year.

 

Another pack never got off the ground b/c no one wanted to step up to the plate and be a leader.

 

Another troop dissolved when the SM was transferred by his job and no one would step up.

 

In my experience doing roundups and starting new units, I can always find youth, it finding leaders that is the challenge. In only the pack and unit I cited above by the same CO did everything fit together easily. And the troop was an outgrowth of the pack 8 months later when their Webelos crossed over.

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If it seems like I am attacking COs, that is not the case. But what is upsetting is when an IH doesn't understand their actual role in the BSA, and doesn't get involved, even if it's just to visit a COH they were invited to, meeting with the unit leaders to gain an insight how the the unit is an outreach of the CO and does have a role to play, or refuses to meet with the DE for the annual meeting to review the status of the units.

 

Now I admit that last one I can partially blame pros b/c many do not go out and visit their IHs like they are suppose to every year. Part of that is the stress placed on them about other parts of their job. I know my DFS told me visiting IHs was not important as other parts of the job and discouraged me from doing them. But I believe that if DEs did meet with IHs, explain what the IH can do and how the untis can make an impact in the CO, alot of the unit-CO challenges would go away.

 

Edited to add. In the case of the original CO,once the troop left, a vacancy in the needs of the parish DID occur as the troop that did these services were no longer in place. Probably one reason why the next IH saw a role for Scouting and created a troop.(This message has been edited by Eagle92)

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Eagle92,

 

When did I say that anyone should quit Scouting entirely? No, that is not correct. No, you do not understand me correctly. But thank you for trying.

 

If you can't get the position you want, take a different position.

 

If you can't get the unit you want, get another unit.

 

If you can't get another unit, get in Lone Scouting.

 

If you can't get in Lone Scouting, adopt and support the aims of the Scouting Movement in your everyday life.

 

Never, never, never, give up on Scouting.

 

 

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I pass alot of the problem onto pros, too. My DFS told me the same thing: Don't visit the IHs, don't present charters (and all the while, PD-L1 training states that the DE presents the charter every year), don't worry about training your CORs...

 

I still fail to see why it's wrong to ask the IH if you can take the assets, boys, leadership and number to another CO. If they're willing to let it go, what's the problem?

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Dave,

I'm still confused, what is your definition of "CO Hopping?" Is it when an established unit is looking to move just b/c they don't like the CO? if that's the case then yes I agree with you.

 

But if it's ANYTIME an established unit moves to a new CO, then I must respectfully disagree. If this second defintion is the case, then would't the unit your KC council now charters be guilty of "Co Hopping" sine they moved form teh parochial school to the KC?

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J,

In reference to DFSs' comments to us. In my case I believe the DFS and SE didn't want the IH and CORs to know their exact responsibilities, i.e voting rights on District and Council Committees b/c they could form a block and vote against the direction the SE wants to go.

 

Again my theory.

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Eagle92,

 

I don't want to make this discussion about myself, but I guess I'll answer your question, just to be polite.

 

Yes, I was involved in starting a new unit "from scratch". I was the Scoutmaster. Yes, it is very difficult, much more difficult than it ought to be. That's a topic for another thread.

 

My unit was an "in-school" troop. BSA experimented with the concept of in-school Scouting for a few years in the 80's, and then gave it up.

 

I was a very eager young Scoutmaster and very invested into the whole in-school concept. I was heartbroken when BSA dropped the concept and my troop was disbanded. I haven't taken a unit leader position since.

 

Admittedly, my situation, being dumped by BSA, isn't the same as being dumped by a CO. I'm not saying it is. I don't expect it to alter your views. But you asked, so I told you.

 

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CO shopping is the final act in the erosion of the CO/unit relationship. It devalues the relationship and, like an infection, spreads to other units.

 

CO shopping is the final act. Unit autonony is the first act. It doesn't matter if this sense of autonomy was first initiated or later perpetuated by the CO or the unit, the result is the same.

 

A unit is not an entity. It is a program of the CO. When either the unit or the CO start to think of themselves as two autonomous entities, a unit and a sponsor, the CO/unit relationship erodes.

 

So what distinguishes CO shopping from a proper transfer?

 

In a proper transfer, it is understood that the unit was a program of the old CO and is becoming a program of the new CO. Ownership transfers. At no time does the unit pretend to be autonomous entity.

 

CO shopping involves a unit pretending to be an autonomous entity, looking for a sponsor who will allow it to continue to operate as if it were an autonomous entity.

 

 

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