As Scouting Ambassadors in your membership and marketing role, you need need to identify potential chartered organizations and find meeting places for packs, troops, and crews (called units hereafter). Finding new charter partners to sponsor units to serve youth in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is urgent. Many Church families still want their children in Scouting and do not know how to keep on with Scouting.
Knowing where to look and what to look for in potential chartered partners means you will really need to get to know your community. Look for new ways that include community and educational organizations. And look for other religious and faith-based organizations.
Know the Potential Charter Partner Market
Nationwide, 70 percent of all Scouting units are chartered to faith-based organizations, but for us, after the Church leaves Scouting, there may not be enough churches to go around for the units needed so we will need to turn to civic and education-based organizations.
In other areas of the nation, 22.0 percent of Scout units are chartered to civic organizations, like service clubs, civic organizations, other community organizations.
Nearly 8 percent are chartered to education organizations, like private and charter schools and their Parent Teacher Association( PTAs) and Parent-Teacher Organizations (PTOs). Your connections to the businesses and community organizations might be even more important than working with those few churches we have.
Personally, in our area, we have been rejected by three schools and their PTA‘s. You may be more lucky with educational organizations, such as a private or charter schools, or with a PTO, or afterschool club, but more likely a local business could host your unit as a chartered partner and provide meeting space. In addition, service clubs, civic organizations, and other community organizations with a clubhouse or other community space, are good choices. Right now we are even looking at empty barns in our area—there are three big ones.
Once you think you have a meeting space and an interested organization, it is time to make a sales call with your District Executive (DE). During this contact, you may find a new unit sales kit helpful. The information in these kits is designed to help you be prepared to build relationships with the chartered organization. Kits are filled with tools like this infographic that quickly illustrate the importance of their role as a chartered organization, but let’s save that discussion for a future post.
Once there is an agreement to charter, help the head of the organization with paperwork. This includes the Annual Charter Agreement and the New Unit Application, which list what Scouting can do for them and what will be expected of them, which includes:
- Using Scouting programs to further their own aims and values for youth; in meeting their own objectives they should focus on:
- Youth character development
- Career skill development
- Community service
- Patriotism and military and veteran recognition
- Faith-based youth ministry
or any combination of these initiatives
- Conduct their programs in a manner that is consistent with the Bylaws, Rules and Regulations, guidelines, and policies, of the BSA; they may not use the Scouting to pursue political or partisan politics or controversial issues.
- Name a Chartered Organization Representative (COR), who will appoint. This person provides liaison between their organization and the Local Council where they serve as voting members.
- Support unit committee(s) for each Scout group they charter.
- Approve selection of leaders that meet their standards and BSA minimum requirements, which includes a background check.
- Prove a safe meeting space.
- Encourage leaders to take Scout training.
Finding Youth Now
During this early transition period, you should connect with troops that are in your neighboorhood to identify boys who want Scouting, especially those on the trail to Eagle. Using LDS tools for your stake you can easily make a list of your area Scoutmasters. Email or call them about your new troop and ask them to let parents know about what is going on.
In addition, the Council and your district will be inviting parents of current Scouts to a Stake recruitment night sometime soon. But, you do not have to wait, contact your Stake president for permission to hold your own recruitment night and take your DE with you. Once you have the date, let the Bishops and young men’s leaders know about the meeting, be sure to reach out to Scoutmasters and parents where possible.
To test the interest level of your neighbors, come prepared to recruit new youth with an exciting list of your program plans including meeting place and summer camping plans. For those interested, you will need to record name, address, and birthdate for youth and parent email or cell number, for follow up.
Following this meeting, you can begin to organize your new unit(s) including paperwork, training, funding, etc, but that is Part 2 for our next Ambassador Tool Chest. Check back in a week for more help on recruiting youth.
Other articles in this Charter Partner series include:
For other articles in this series see: