If you are reading this, you probably have just been asked to recharter your unit and are full of questions. You also may be a little anxious, wondering “what in the world have I gotten myself into?” because everyone else was so relieved when you agreed to do it.
RELAX. Unit recharter has earned a reputation as being difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. If there is a hard part, it’s that some rules must be followed for each member and that you have to finish on time.
Every year, from October through December, all units (packs, troops, crews, & posts) renew their affiliation with Scouting. Through the process, chartered organizations and members update their information, pay their registration fees and renew their Boy’s Life magazine subscriptions. A representative of each unit completes the renewal process online by indicating returning members, adding new members and updating information for individuals or the chartered organization. The entire process can now be complete online using digital payment and signatures, but there is still an option to complete the recharter via printed copies that are manually completed and submitted to our Council office.
For Questions on Re-charter, please contact your Unit Commissioner, District Commissioner or District Executive.
The BSA has upgraded their database systems to be more efficient. The new re-charter system is simpler and easier to use and is on the same database as Scoutbook. Here are some key updates about the new system.
What is a unit? That’s the pack, troop, crew, or post to which you belong. You’re a part of a district, and each district is a part of our council. A unit always has a Unit Leader who is responsible for seeing that a program is delivered to the youth members. The Unit Leader has a title like Advisor, Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, or Skipper. A unit has at least three adults who serve as the Unit Committee that supports the Unit Leader.
What is a “charter”? The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) issues a charter through a local council to a Chartered Organization (the church or other organization that owns your unit). The charter is a formal agreement allowing that organization to use Scouting’s intellectual property to serve youth in its community. BSA requires that the charter be renewed annually to continue using the program. We call that annual renewal “recharter”.
Who is the Executive Officer of my unit? The name of your Executive Officer should be listed on the upper-left hand corner of the first page of your charter renewal. This individual acts as a liaison between the charter organization and the Scout unit. The Boy Scouts of America suggests that each unit regularly meet with their Executive Officer to discuss the program, upcoming events, and opportunities to strengthen their partnership.
What else happens during recharter? Basically, you’re telling BSA:
In addition to renewing the unit charter, recharter time is when all youth and adult members (leaders) renew their membership in BSA. Member renewals are most of the work. If your unit collects all or part of its member dues or fees on an annual basis, that collection often takes place at recharter, too. Your unit should also complete the application for the Journey To Excellence Award.
To accomplish this, the annual charter renewal process is essentially four steps:
When do I need to have my charter renewal finished? By Dec 10th; this allows our council service center enough time to process all charter renewals by year’s end. A quick and efficient completion depends on your unit’s ability to gather information and fees quickly, gather signatures, and turn everything in.
What if I don’t get the charter renewal in by Dec 10th? Units with late charters suffer a number of problems. First, and probably most important, the unit is no longer covered by BSA health and liability insurance. This means that your leaders could be liable in the event of an accident or lawsuit. Second, youth, families, and unit leaders lose access to my.scouting and scoutbook. As youth are no longer registered with the BSA they cannot complete rank advancements and these advancements cannot be recorded. In addition, Units who laps for an extended period of time will loose the ability to purchase rank advancement from the local Scout Shop. Third, magazine subscriptions of Boy’s Life and Scouting will lapse (and it takes a full two months for these periodicals to resume their circulation to your home).