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chartering a boy scout troop

13 years 7 months ago #155422 by Chuck
Replied by Chuck on topic Re:chartering a boy scout troop
A big difference between chartering a scouting program and chartering the Cancer Society or any other organization is that the boys who are the children of the parents who make up the Parent Teacher Organization are also those who benefit from the chartered Scout organization. Every parent of a Scout in the chartered scouting program, is also a member of the PTO. This is a unique organizational relationship that does in fact make scouting programs different. There is a great symbiosis that exists when scouting programs are sponsored by the PTO for the boys involved. By being apart from a religious organization, a PTO-sponsored scouting program also enables participation by boys who may not practice any particular religion. I think any PTO with the opportunity should welcome the chance to influence and monitor the scouting program for its kids, rather than send that out to some other place. The PTO exists for the kids of that school and scouting has an important influence on those kids and involves the very same parents.

The fret about liability is overplayed. The Boy Scouts provide umbrella liability insurance that protects the leaders and members of any chartering organization. The Boy Scouts probably go farther and work harder at vetting and training adults who will be in contact with boys than any other organization. All adults in Scout leadership are required to be background-checked and certified in youth protection training. All senior Scout leaders must complete long and detailed training on safety and procedures. These standards are the highest anywhere. I doubt that most PTOs require background checks and certifications for its members who are placed in control of children. I am constantly amazed at how worried people can get over one of the most safely run organizations in the world, yet they daily accept the risk of driving their car to and from work with yokels driving a few feet away who may be intoxicated. A boy's character and development is certainly worth no less of a risk.
13 years 8 months ago - 13 years 7 months ago #155389 by patricia311@comcast.net
no extra insight of in's and out's, maybe the previous info by contacting The Boy (Cub Scouts) will help w/addt. insight-not that savy - wish I was-trying. Sorry if I can off wrong.
13 years 8 months ago #155388 by Rockne
Hi Patricia -

I don't think anyone here is questioning the value of scouting, but -- since you sound in the know -- why is scouting the only organization that needs this kind of sign-off by a totally different non-profit? I still don't get that.

Any insight?

Tim

PTO Today Founder
13 years 8 months ago #155386 by patricia311@comcast.net
Follow up----Boy Scouts and PTO are 2 separate groups! The school is the sponcer for the kid's in the district. Nothing w/PTO. Please contact Moraine Trails Council in Butler PA for further guidence and advice BEFORE you write the Scouts off- I think there is a misunderstanding here.
Also, you might want to contact your School Board or Admin. for input.
Once again-please do "homework." before writing off a good organization. Rules may differ state to state. This is my knowledge from Pennsylvania.
CALL, CALL, Internet, Internet, Search, Search
13 years 8 months ago #155385 by patricia311@comcast.net
I have done both. I am in SW PA, no it should not effect your non profit status, nor should they conflict in any way. Different fundraisers, different parents, kids everything. Scounting in our area is not as big as PTO or PTA.
Our Pres. is both PTO and Den Leader. I give her a GREAT amount of credit.
Everyone is thankful there are parents and guardians willing to donate all this time and alot of effort.
Good luck! Everything aways turns out great w/ postive attitudes.
13 years 8 months ago #155377 by CA PTA President
Replied by CA PTA President on topic Re:chartering a boy scout troop
Unbeknown to our PTO board, a long standing board member chartered a boy scout group for many years. She apparently signed all the charter paperwork and signed off on behalf of our pto board. It came to light this year when she moved her family from the school and the boy scout troop sought charter renewal. Several members of our board immediately started researching what exactly chartering meant to pto clubs.

What I can tell you is that the national pta has recommended against boy scout charters. The primary reason is liability exposure for the pta/pto.

The boy scouts presented a charter agreement for our pto to sign. Out of 6 items on the "contract", 4 of them our pto couldn't agree to because they were obligations which we would never become involved with. One of them related to our pto having to "approve" the new scouts leaders. Our question to the scouts was, how could we approve leaders when were not part of the background investigation/fingerprinting and we are not part of the boy scouts organization. They insisted it was just a formality and they just needed someone outside the organization to sign off. One of the other terms was that we would provide them with a place to hold their meetings. Since we do not own property (the school district does), we couldn't agree to that term either.

In the end, due to potential pto liability exposure, we voted not to renew the charter. We helped them find a local Lions Club to charter them. Our insurance specifically excluded chartering any scouts, so that was the deal breaker for us. There is a reason why insurance carriers make exclusions.

I would be very hesitant about chartering boy scouts. There are just too many what ifs and unknowns and your organization could be impacted if there was any legal action. To me, it isn't worth the risk. Boy scouts, in my opinion, needs to revamp their chartering agreements and/or restructure the way they conduct themselves.
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