So it finally happened. After more than 65 years, our chartered org – a United Methodist Church in Southern California – notified us that it is ending its association with BSA scouting units (in our case, a cub scout pack, boy troop, and girl troop). It was the result of a board of trustees vote that was prompted by a memo from the local bishop. Essentially the memo said that BSA isn’t doing enough to shield the church from future claims resulting from the sex abuses case, and that the church’s only recourse is to sever ties with its scouting units. We were hurt particularly bad, because not only did our church say it wouldn’t re-charter us, it didn’t even want to offer us a temporary site use agreement, an option that was explicitly allowed in the memo. Literally overnight we were no longer welcome at the church. We are scrambling to empty our equipment sheds.
Some have said this move was posturing meant get BSA to offer the church more accommodating terms including I believe more insurance to cover potential damages. Either way, this has been a real blow to our units.
I have a few questions hopefully someone here can help answer.
What is the chance that the BSA will do more to shield the UMC from financial liability resulting from the lawsuit? Can we expect the BSA to do something to help chartered orgs like United Methodist Church? Obviously, we’d prefer to stay with this church, but is that just wishful thinking?
I’ve read discussions here and elsewhere about the idea that councils themselves will start charting units. Is this official yet? Where can I find more information? Our committee chair spoke with our district executive recently, but it appears chartering with the council isn’t an option yet. Has anyone on this forum successfully chartered with a council? Please tell me how the process works.