Combining committees

One of the most persistent problems in keeping a troop or pack going is obtaining sufficient adult leadership to get all the various jobs covered without causing burnout of the small group of people who usually get stuck with everything.

It’s often advised to make sure each committee role is covered, and in a Cub Scout pack, to ensure that den leaders (and the Cubmaster) aren’t doing committee-type things.

Troops are usually better off, because parents are more familiar with Scouting after going through it as their sons grew, and they see the value in the program and the need to get things accomplished. Or perhaps it finally dawns on them that nobody else is going to do the work, and the pack or troop can only go when supported by enough volunteers.

One solution, as suggested by a reader, is to combine the pack and troop committees for units that are chartered by the same organization. There’s really no reason this can’t be done. In fact, in many countries around the world, Scouting is a continuum of ages grouped together and chartered by the same organization. Rather than a pack committee or a troop committee, these arrangements have a “Scouting committee” that handles all the business across the various age groups.

Pack committee business is usually minimal, with most of the planning being done by the Cubmaster and den leaders. The pack committee handles advancement, membership, finance and fundraising, and those tend to be comparatively lightweight versus a troop.

The advantages of having a single committee for a pack and a troop – and even a Venturing crew – chartered by the same organization are many:

  • You have a larger pool of parents to draw from
  • Everyone can dual register as a member of both committees
  • You only need one chartered organization representative for both (which is typical anyway)
  • Just one meeting a month instead of two
  • The experience on the troop committee can help the pack business flow more smoothly
  • Committee members from the pack provide a ready and familiar supply for  the troop when they make the transition
  • A single point of contact for Commissioner staff and district professionals

I suppose you could even combine bank accounts into one, but I’d advise keeping them separate. Even though both units are owned by the chartered organization, each should have its own balance sheet so funds collected by the pack are spent on Cub Scouting, and likewise for the troop. You would have two bank accounts and both would use the chartered organization’s tax ID number. The same person can be treasurer of both.

Naturally, the pack and troop are separate entities for charter purposes. Unit numbering is by local custom but it’s common for units chartered by the same organization to have the same number (e.g. Pack 110, Troop 110 and Crew 110).

The way your committees are structured is ultimately up to your chartered organization. Your chartered organization representative, along with your unit commissioner or district unit-serving executive, can provide support in setting up a combined committee.

This post first appeared on Bobwhite Blather.
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