Q&A: Chartered organizations, adult training

Time to open the mailbag and answer a couple more of your questions.

First, from the chartered organization representative of a Cub Scout pack:

We’re chartered by the Parent-Teacher Association of the elementary school that we serve. Up until now, the PTA has been a affiliated with the school, but they are separating and the PTA is becoming a separate entity. They are filing to become a non-profit organization with the IRS. Do we need to take any action or file any charter paperwork with the council?

Continue reading “Q&A: Chartered organizations, adult training”

Fill in the blanks – the right way

With fall comes our surge of new members in the Boy Scouts of America – mainly in the Cub Scouting program – and with it comes the paperwork. The BSA membership of our current members gets renewed at recharter time, but those new to Scouting or new to our units (including transfers from other packs) need to complete a membership application. And of course, this means both youth and adults.

For the last year or two, it’s been possible to submit applications online. This allows the new member to complete a paperless application, have it routed automatically to the unit leader or committee chair and chartered organization representative for approval, and forwarded to the council for processing. Key unit leaders must be registered on my.scouting.org, and will receive emails to notify them of new applications needing their action. The system makes the process smooth and foolproof with no paper to handle.

For various reasons, though, this approach isn’t optimal for many units: Continue reading “Fill in the blanks – the right way”

Order of the Arrow updates

Recent developments and changes in the Boy Scouts of America have resulted in the need to revise a few policies and procedures of the Order of the Arrow.

The OA, sometimes called Scouting’s society of honor campers, has been around nearly as long as Scouting itself. We’ve written about the history of the Order and what it means to troops, packs and the Scouts themselves. An organization within an organization, it strives to foster a sense of cheerfulness, brotherhood and service in those Scouts chosen by their peers for espousing those traits.

Here’s a summary of the updates that have been announced or taken effect in the last few months. Continue reading “Order of the Arrow updates”

Group instruction of merit badges

You find them in just about every council. They can take place once or several times a year. Sometimes they’re run by the council; much of the time they tie in with a local college, museum or company. They’re attended by dozens or hundreds of Scouts.

I’m referring to events known by various names: Merit Badge College, University, Clinic, Badge-a-Palooza, Badge-O-Ree or just Merit Badge Day.

These are events, typically on a weekend and often lasting anywhere from a few hours to a couple days. They offer instruction in anywhere from a handful to dozens of merit badges, conducted by a field of experts and merit badge counselors.

They can be very efficient ways for a Scout to earn one or more merit badges in a short period of time. Continue reading “Group instruction of merit badges”

How do you onboard new parents?

As young people cross over from Cub Scouts to ScoutsBSA‘s programs, their parents frequently follow. Often, the more involved adults have been volunteer leaders in their childrens’ packs, and it is this source of talent that many troops seek to help do the many things that adults do for the Scouts.

The ScoutsBSA program differs substantially from Cub Scouting in that the responsibility for carrying out the program rests on the youth members rather than on the adults. The transition is meant to be a smooth and continuous one for the youth, but can be disruptive to the adults who have been used to running the show for the last several years. Continue reading “How do you onboard new parents?”