News & Notes, October 2021

Information you need to know this month:

Online rechartering changes

Internet rechartering, version 2, is here. It’s more straightforward than the previous system. It works through the existing my.scouting portal. Unit Key 3 have access, and there’s no access code needed. Documents can be uploaded into the system.  Payment can be made online, and the chartered organization representative can approve the recharter application online. The Key 3 can delegate access to another volunteer in the unit. It’s possible to submit everything and pay online but there is a substantial list of situations that will prevent automatic posting, so it’s likely that most units will still need to do an in-person turn-in. For units with charters expiring December 31, online rechartering should open on October 15. Check with your district professional or rechartering coordinator for the details.

A demonstration webinar can be viewed here.

Citizenship in Society

About a year ago, the BSA announced the introduction of a new Eagle-required merit badge to cover diversity, equity and inclusion. It was proposed to become effective on January 1, 2021. The process was put on hold and the effective date was stayed around the first of the year, and we haven’t heard anything about it since. Just this past week, a few more details became known.  The new merit badge will be called Citizenship in Society. There won’t be traditional teaching and counseling; rather, the Scout will reflect on various topics and activities and discuss them with their counselor individually (group instruction, such as at summer camp or merit badge fairs, will not be possible). No merit badge pamphlet is contemplated; rather, resources will be online. Counselors will be carefully chosen and will be required to take the BSA’s new diversity training. It’s expected that Scouts will be able to earn the merit badge starting sometime in November, and it’ll become Eagle-required probably on July 1, 2022. (See our earlier article on the merit badge here.)

United Methodist Church units

Fearing repercussions from the myriad abuse lawsuits against the BSA, the United Methodist Church has informed its churches that hold BSA charters not to renew their charters past the end of 2021. The action has left many units scrambling for new chartered organizations, leaving a mess of ownership transfer issues. The BSA has said it will extend charters of UMC-chartered units through March 31, 2022, to give them time to find a path forward. Some that I’ve heard from have already found new chartered organizations, while others have said that their church will recharter anyway. If you are in a UMC-chartered unit, stay in touch with your chartered organization and district executive.

Update: Talks continue between the BSA and the UMC with the hope that a way will be found to resolve important issues relating to chartered organizations in the bankruptcy case, including release of liability for chartered organizations in child abuse claims. UMC-chartered units are advised to renew their individual members’ BSA registrations at recharter time, but hold off on renewing the unit charter. It’s hoped that a new charter agreement will be in place by March 31, 2022, at which time the unit charter fee will be payable.

The big announcement

In case you missed the livestreamed announcement or the multitude of promotional announcements and e-mails, the next National Scout Jamboree will be held July 19-28, 2023 at the Summit in West Virginia.

This post first appeared on Bobwhite Blather.
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