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AnaMaria

Service Organizations as COs

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We are currently still chartered to a PTA. Council doesn't like it and the PTA isn't thrilled with it either. So we're looking for a new CO. Given the nature of the Pack, a church is probably not a good fit. The PTA has had no input/interaction and we're used to that and probably would like a new CO to be pretty hands off as well. The two obvious choices in our area are a Moose Lodge and a Lion's Club. Any feedback on either of these organizations, in general, as a CO? We would probably continue to meet at the elementary school with no issues.

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This may be off-topic ... but why do you want a hands-off CO?

 

Why not look for a new CO that's hands-on and can provide a dedicated meeting space, financial resources, leadership support and program direction? Seems to me everybody wins then.

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I have been involved with several units chartered by a local chapter of the Lions club. A real classy organization. I wouldn't hesitate to reccomend them.

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We have a local Moose Lodge that is a wonderful CO for several BSA units.

 

BTW - If the service organization has good facilities they are willing to let you use, I think you would be foolish to stay at the school.

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Echoing an earlier comment...You really need a CO that is hands-on and interested in their Pack including an active Charter Organization Representative. Keep in mind that I said "their Pack" and not "your Pack" because the Pack belongs to the CO. An engaged CO will keep you informed, become your partner, and work with you to make the Pack successful.

 

A hands-off CO can be frustrating becasue they don't know what is going on, you usually have to go looking for them to sign-off on stuff, and they potentially can pull the rug out from under you without warning when they become disgruntled.

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Why is council not thrilled with being chartered to a PTA? The pack of which my son was a member (back when I really was NJCUBScouter) has been chartered for many years to a PTO (virtually identical to a PTA except that it is not affiliated with the National PTA or any other national organization.) As far as I know the council has never said anything. I can understand the PTA having an issue, because the National PTA has been recommending to its chapters for many years that they not be CO's to BSA units, because as the "owners" of the unit they may have liability issues they don't want to have. (Whether their concerns are justified is not the issue; that's just their policy.)

 

Moose, Elks, Eagles, etc. are fine organizations and I am sure many local lodges are good CO's, the only issue I would point out is if you were actually going to be meeting in their facilities, and there is a bar down the hall, which may actually be open in the evening while your unit is meeting, that might be a concern. I don't know if this is true everywhere, but in my area every lodge of this type has a bar, and I assume they are generally open to members weekday evenings. I do not think this is an issue with the Lions, but on the other hand I do not recall ever seeing a Lions building. I do not know what kind of facilities they have.(This message has been edited by njcubscouter)

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Yah, generally speaking da service organizations are good partners, and usually fairly "hands off" in terms of day to day program administration. I'll echo what others have said, though, that a Chartering Partner who is a good partner you will find is a substantial improvement, not liability, over a disengaged PTA.

 

Beavah

 

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Just as a point of information Lions Clubs are not allowed to own real estate, so they will not have a physical location to offer as a meeting place.

 

However, we have several Lions Clubs as COs in our district and they are great - they typically have charitable gambling money and actually support the units they sponsor financially, in addition to coming to B&G banquets, Courts of Honor, approving leadership, etc.

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As the Chartered Representative of a Kiwanis club that charters 5 scout units, I can tell you that an "in general" impression of an organization as a whole is not what you're looking for. Rather, you need to look at "specifcally" how interested your local club is in sponsoring/chartering/operating/owning your Pack.

 

A few questions:

 

- Are there any Scouters, ex-Scouts, Eagle Scouts or anyone else with a connection to BSA in either of the clubs you are considering?

 

- Does the mission of those clubs (their activities, outreach, and general civic role) fit into what you think you'd like for your Pack? That is, do they do community service work or are they just a social club, for example.

 

- How interested is the Board of Directors (or other governing unit) of the club in sponsoring a scout pack? Have you showed them the typical Charter Agreement (google "charter agreement scout") between the Council and Chartered Organization so they can see what an active CO does for it's units?

 

If all you want is an uninterested rubber stamp, then just charter yourselves as a "Parents of Pack xxxx" and avoid bothering the clubs at all. If you really want an involved partner in delivering scouting to your boys, then consider the questions above.

 

 

 

(This message has been edited by AlFansome)

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Check with your local Masonic Lodge. Their goals: to take good people and make them better, and their MANY charitable works make them a natural partner. Plus they always own a building and rarely if ever have a bar in it. (Never have a bar in my part of the country.)

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