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Dropped from UMC chartered org; can we charter with a Council?

This happened to our troop and an associated cub pack that used the same Methodist church. Kind of surprised that the National and local offices had not reached out to the effected troops and addressed the topic and offered solutions. Given the current recharter date being moved to Oct 15 for our District, we did not have any time to connect with any other organizations. I did look into rechartering under a Friends Of Scouting program with a new non-leader parents being the leaders but like anything it comes with liability so unless you are a new troop or with only a few scouts it may not be the best option. We did connect with a group of ex-scout leaders in our area who have gone though the process to create a 501C3 non-profit organization that has expressed interest in facilitaing the chartering process which it it works out would be a great solution for this.

With that said this whole process has been a little frustrating given the lack of information and direction from the National and local offices. Kind of makes me wonder what the challenges a new troop just getting started might face. In this day and age we need to make these process much simpler if we wish to expand the scout family. Good luck all!

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We went with a large HOA in our area; we went to them with the proposal and showed the amount of families already participating. In our situation the neighborhood was still being developed/ new sections added, so we appealed to the marketing value of supporting their own Scout troops in addition to the traditional benefits. They didn’t offer any financial support, but they provided the CO support, meeting places/outside areas for events/meetings, they included our scouts in their newsletters and website. In return our scouts have helped clean/clear their community trails and provided scouts to help with their neighborhood events (while allowing us to set up join scouting tables, etc.). We also partnered with the local fire department for meeting spaces, a fire pit, etc.

All in all it has been a good partnership.

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There was a similar thread about this recently, so I will state again just to make everyone aware. Your charter organization technically owns all your troop assets. This includes any dollars in your bank accounts. If push comes to shove, those assets are at risk. I am aware of a few units clearing funds out of their accounts to prevent anything like this from happening.

There are other developments. I am hearing that some CO Reps are telling units that they must see through and maintain their relationship with their CO until final rulings are made, otherwise assets will be seized and/or any future property use scenarios will not be considered. Some units are still hoping to maintain a property-use relationship with their UMC CO so they at least have a place to meet, or can keep the same location, even if they are technically not their CO anymore. Push is already coming to shove in my opinion.

UMC should really extend their charter termination date by a few months to at least afford units a reasonable time to react and find new CO’s in the event BSA and UMC cannot come to terms on a national level.

I was a COR and Trustee at a UMC. But they will never figure out why no one in the packs, troops and venture wants to join their congregation.

This is why!

Please see my post (#11 if I counted correctly) about the joint BSA & UMC Statement extending rechartering from 12/31/21 to 3/31/22.

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As far as myself (COR for 3 units B troop, G troop, and a F Pack at a UMC) normal recharter is 12/31. I have some questions about the Recharter Extension into our council Point of Contact (POC). POC is the Field Director for a Division of the Council. The FD just started today as FD (not new to scouting, has been around the council for awhile). Our District has not had a DE for a while. The former Division FD was the acting DE for about a year, just accepted a job as Director of Field Service with a different council. The new Acting DE (FD) and I will have further discussions.
The CO built a Scout Hut for us a very long time ago, and also built a storage building on the church campus about 25 years ago and provided the scouts with use of 1/2 of it for our use.
Currently at the local level the CO wants to keep the units, but we will see what happens.

Michael,
Would you mind giving more info on your location? SoCal is a big area. Some might be able to make more specific suggestions. Also, some Troops might be able to help out while you are looking. (Were you able to keep the Troop gear?)

Western Los Angeles County Council. I don’t think we’ll have a problem keeping the gear and bank funds, Although they did try to rush us to remove the sheds and gear. As I said in my follow-up comment, we are in the process of moving to an Episcopal church a few miles away, thank goodness.

@MichaelMcGehearty thank you for that info. Extending the date to March 31, 2022 should be helpful to some units, although it won’t be for us. Our church seemed to want us gone, asap. It’s a mystery to me as to why they wanted to act so suddenly, and how they chose the least favorable option for us. Our COR - an outstanding retired fellow and eagle scout - wasn’t even invited to the trustee meeting and was given no opportunity to plead our case.

If no new chartering org could be found, we would consider doing the LLC thing like you mentioned. But honestly that would be a big headache. None of our core leaders are lawyers, doing the paperwork and finding insurance would be time consuming, and then there’s the risk that a few years down the line new parents wouldn’t be willing to do the required upkeep to keep it going. It lacks the long-term consistency of an established chartering organization. I’m glad it works for some units, but not sure it would have worked for us.

Chartering through a council seems like the easiest thing to do, but that doesn’t appear to be an option here.

We are in a similar UMC boat presently but fortunate to have received a facilities use agreement. Here is what we did…

  1. Filed articles of incorporation with the state of SC as a 501c(3) called Friends of Toop xyz. Cost $25. Took 24 hrs to process.

  2. Applied for federal tax ID under new name. Cost $0. Took 5 mins to process.

  3. Documented bylaws of the new non profit and assigned a Board of Volunteer Directors. All came from our existing TLC but are not required to be. Min prople should be 3. We have 9.

  4. Signed facilities use agreement with council signature on it as well. Sent to church.

  5. Assigned new Chartered Org Rep from the 501c(3). Filed app paperwork for this individual at council.

  6. Signed new Chartered Org Agreement with Friends of Troop xyz.

  7. Keep on Scouting.

Hope this will be helpful for others. Most councils simply do not have necessary staff to serve all their UMC troops. This options gives you autonomy.

FYI also this is not a new process and there are over 2000 troops chartered in this fashion already.

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What kind of potential liability does that expose your new Friends of Troop xyz, personally and collectively?

Provided the charter agreement is approved, we are covered by BSA general liability policy.

Additionally, the state laws in SC already offer good protection for boards of volunteer organizations.

The challenge we all have is BSA and UMC at a national level let the horse get out of the barn too quickly on all of this. Their intent is to work it out and implement a revised charter agreement that will be referred to as an Affiliation Contract. At that level, they all thought churches would honor their intent to extend through March 2022 as they hammer out the details. Local churches jumped the gun and took action to just drop charters… not realizing what this means to troops and that it effectively shuts kids out of the program until resolved.

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