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?

The charter is issued to the chartered organization, so as long as the chartered organization itself is the same, there shouldn’t be any charter issues. In this case, it’s still the PTA, so you won’t need to file a new charter agreement. If, for example, the charter was granted to the school itself but was being transferred to the PTA, then that would require a new charter application.

If there is a change in the executive officer, that would require a new charter application. Some units get around that by the chartered organization designating the chartered organization representative as the executive officer to keep things stable from year to year instead of having to file a new unit application each time, say, the PTA elects a new chairperson.

Another consideration arises when it comes to paying sales tax. The tax-exempt status of a Scouting unit will normally derive from the status of the chartered organization. If your state charges sales tax and allows nonprofit organizations an exemption on purchases for its own use, you should have a tax exemption letter or certificate on file at your council’s Scout Shop. Typically this will show the federal tax ID number of the chartered organization. Since the PTA is getting their own federal tax ID and 501(c)(3) determination from the Internal Revenue Service, you should update that info with the Scout Shop once the PTA’s application for tax-exempt status is granted.

A troop committee chair writes:

Our troop has experienced some turnover in the last few months and the troop committee would like to review the training of our current registered adults so we can arrange for them to receive training that they need. I’d also like to make sure our new adults get trained as well. What’s a good way to go about this?

You are definitely on the right track! I encourage you to do everything you can to get everyone trained. The first step would be to select an adult to be on the committee as your Unit Training Chairperson. Here’s a good description of what the position involves.

Get the support of your chartered organization in setting the expectation that every adult will be trained for their position.

You might contact your district training chairperson (ask your unit-serving executive or district chairperson if you don’t know who that is) and ask if it would be possible to bring Troop Committee Challenge training to your troop. Even though the course is available online, offering in-person training and asking everyone to attend is more effective than trying to get everyone to take the online training individually. The course is set up so training groups simulate a troop committee and they work together on typical issues that a committee might face, so it would be a good team-building exercise.

And work with the Scoutmaster to make sure that he or she and the assistant Scoutmasters are all trained. They’ll need Scoutmaster Position-Specific Training (either online or in person) and Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills. It’s important that they know the right way to go about troop leadership. Many adults come over from Cub Scouts and think they still have to run things, when it’s the Scouts that run things and adults step back and provide them with support. Training will show them how it works. And don’t forget supplemental training like Weather Hazards (required for all outdoor activities), Safety Afloat, Safe Swim Defense, Climb On Safely and others as determined by your troop’s activities.

If you have a question or problem in your unit, please feel free to get in touch with me using the contact form on this website. I’ll do my best to get you the answer.

This post first appeared on Bobwhite Blather.
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