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Sponsor a unit? We'll pass on it this year ...

chattering membership policy public perception

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#1 qwazse

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 09:47 PM

Well, the potential CO, who I said was a little cagey, tabled discussion of starting a pack until the spring.

Enough parents and their boys had asked for it.
There are no other units of any kind in the vicinity.
I think we could grow rapidly.

But the CO is a bit of a "crater church" -- families who join while students migrate to 'burbs.. So maybe another night of commuting was not gonna be worth it just to keep this cadre of boys together.
The potential of engaging international families was there, but some internationals might be looking for a coed program as is available in their own country.
The church staff was overwhelmed with the notion of one more program.

The vote was split along the lines of folks whose sons (and one daughter) had been in BSA.

But the tipping point seems like the membership policy ... this church being a group who just left a mainline denominations because of abandoning decorum to accommodate the perennial activism of those with permissive sexual ethics. The "we stand behind our sponsors right to select their volunteers" mantra just did not wash with them.

Missed opportunity? I'm honestly not sure. I'd rather have an intentional CO (I think) than one who just says "sure, just turn the lights out when you leave."
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#2 Tampa Turtle

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 07:09 AM

'Crater Church' that is a new one. Years ago I used to use GIS (for free) help different churches map out their 'worship-shed' of attendees. It is not unusual for folks to drive 10 miles/30 minutes or more even in a dense area to go to the 'family' church or one they really liked. These folks also would split between a neighborhood church and one they preferred more. It was a fascinating study in human behavior.

 

But, as usual, the Turtle digresses. I think you should keep looking. A 'meh' partner may just cause trouble down the road once you have invested time, identity, and energy in that location. Surely you can find a church that would like potential to draw families in or simply because the pastor likes Boy Scouts.

 

A few years ago when the policy change caused a local Presbyterian church to kick out a very long term Troop I, and many others found several new partners in the surrounding area. In the end, their CC told me, they had four good solid offers. Of course the publicity helped...maybe if you had a local story saying you are looking for a location/partner. In my area we had a mix of local public schools who had a very different reactions--some all but blocked the establishment of a new Pack but others that thought it was a great idea--Elementary School Principals in many places have great autonomy. So who knows?

'


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#3 Stosh

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 07:14 AM

We had a powerhouse troop in the neighborhood I am now.  The school associated with the church CO shut down and they dumped the troop.  That whole area of town had no troops within a mile radius.  I went in and within two days found another church CO 2 blocks from the original troop and not only does it now have a troop, it also has a pack.

 

Keep looking, they are out there.


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Stosh

 

There's a reason why I don't always answer the phone, doorbell or comments on forums.  :)


#4 qwazse

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 08:04 AM

This promotion was at the request of members of the congregation who were parents of elementary school boys. They wanted it to be at their church thinkng that would be ideal for their boys. But, maybe that's myopic.

 

@Stosh, I'll add to their options that they knock on nearby doors.

 

I'm torn between encouraging parents to start a pack on their own vs. joining existing packs in their respective neighborhoods.The boys do look cute together, but being their own clique might not be the best for them.


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#5 Tampa Turtle

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 08:09 AM

There are win-wins everywhere.


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#6 Tampa Turtle

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 08:14 AM

This promotion was at the request of members of the congregation who were parents of elementary school boys. They wanted it to be at their church thinkng that would be ideal for their boys. But, maybe that's myopic.

 

@Stosh, I'll add to their options that they knock on nearby doors.

 

I'm torn between encouraging parents to start a pack on their own vs. joining existing packs in their respective neighborhoods.The boys do look cute together, but being their own clique might not be the best for them.

 

I'd try to keep them together. Some denominations/churches not too hip on BSA...sometimes education is needed. However if a congregation just left because of a dispute then heck yeah they are gonna want to be able to pick the leaders of their sponsored unit. You either accept that or go on your way. Seems like that may be (sadly) a split in the congregation on that. Again, I think that situation is just going to be a distraction.


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#7 MrBob

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 10:30 AM

So... don't have a church as your CO.  Is there a VFW post or similar in the area?  I have yet to find a VFW post that would actively refuse to charter a Scout unit


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#8 qwazse

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Posted 21 July 2016 - 10:11 AM

I'd try to keep them together. Some denominations/churches not too hip on BSA...sometimes education is needed. However if a congregation just left because of a dispute then heck yeah they are gonna want to be able to pick the leaders of their sponsored unit. You either accept that or go on your way. Seems like that may be (sadly) a split in the congregation on that. Again, I think that situation is just going to be a distraction.

The leading church in this new denomination is an active contributor to scouting in my district (down and across the river from the proposed CO's district). But, the denomination gives its congregations latitude in youth program decisions. So, the issues come from folks who have never seen the benefits of BSA in their families or in any club they belong to. I figure they'll come around slowly.

 

I sincerely doubt this divides the congregation. Parents don't change churches because they have to take their sons someplace different for scouts. In one sense it's healthy to work with a group of parents other than those in your own church. You get a good lesson in "no matter where you go, there you are!"

 

I would like to keep the parents together, but that may just not be practical. Some live a bridge or tunnel away from each other. (That's how we measure distance in the 'burgh.) Some already have their boys in disparate packs. A promising sign would be getting them in the same room to discuss what's really important to them ... and getting the boys in an adjacent room discussing what's really important to them.

 

@MrBob, not in this section of town. A shame really since the college ROTC pulls together students at different schools, and the VA hospital is in this neighborhood. But there are some other civic groups and fire halls. Parents have options.


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#9 Tampa Turtle

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 07:28 AM

Our church has warmed to our Troop again once the boys (very visibly) helped out on service opportunities and church clean ups. It has an aging congregation and needs the young muscles. Once you become more visible some of the older members start feeling nostalgic for the scouting of their youth. 


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#10 qwazse

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 11:03 AM

Our church has warmed to our Troop again once the boys (very visibly) helped out on service opportunities and church clean ups. It has an aging congregation and needs the young muscles. Once you become more visible some of the older members start feeling nostalgic for the scouting of their youth. 

The detractors aren't former scouts, or parents of former scouts.

 

I think we have the opposite problem. This is a young congregation (basically, the college students who never went home). They put a lot of "muscle" into the church -- both in terms of program and building. Their boys are scrubbing walls and planting flowers on clean-up day along side everyone else. Once a month the 4th and 5th graders load up bags from the food pantry for distribution. So, there is zero confidence that "one more program" will yield more service time than what we already have.

 

My most credible pitch was that I've seen the program makes leaders of parents. Who, having brought kids through scouting, were better teachers and board members. That definitely resonated with everyone. But that's a pretty long-range vision ... and it could theoretically be accomplished at some facility that didn't get as much traffic as this one.


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