Always cross them. Always dot them…you know the drill. We have rules and regulations to follow, but sometimes, not everyone does. And that comes down to recharters.
Today, I had to drop off applications for Scouts that crossed over. We wanted to get them transferred so that they begin to advance in rank. We planned on turning those apps in with the recharter paperwork, but the council office explained that if we don’t do the transfer now, any ranks the scouts worked on before the expiration of the charter would be null.
It made sense to me. If a Scout transfers to a unit, before recharter and his pack renews the registration, his membership stays active. If a Scout transfers after recharter, but his pack renewed the registration, his membership stays active. If the Scout transfers after recharter, and the pack doesn’t renew the registration, the Scout’s membership drops…he’s on the unregistered list. And this may be unknown to Troops and Packs, and may not get found until the Scout registers for camp. Then someone has to cough up the fees and application.
So, here’s where this all comes into play. I, as the CC for the Pack, am charged with handling the recharter. As I looked over my roster, I found the names of 4 Scouts that crossed over in February…2012. Why were they still on there? Didn’t they cross? Why is it only 4? 6 Scouts crossed last year…4 to one troop, 2 to mine…didn’t make sense to me…
Until today. I was at the council office for the reasons above, and asked the Registrar about it. She said, “that’s funny…I had to call their leaders and tell them that we needed transfer apps, and needed them by the 31st, or the charter will expire, and those scouts fall onto the unregistered list.”
“But, isn’t that a part of the joining process for becoming a Boy Scout? Find a troop and fill out an application?” I asked.
“Yea, that’s right…” said the Registrar
“So, that’s why those 4 Scouts are still on my charter? In other words, they were registered with my unit. Meaning that ultimately, if something would have happened, our pack and or CO could have been responsible? There’s something wrong there. Now I know why I have seen Scouts still on our council roster 11 months after they have crossed over. I just thought it was a system glitch.”
I got to thinking…if this unit, a unit that’s been around for +30 years, has been doing this for that long, has the council been going back and fixing things for them? Because, if those Scouts weren’t properly registered, they aren’t members in the BSA…and if they have no membership, they earn no rank.
I also got to thinking…we paid $9 in transfer fees today…obviously, if this has always happened with this unit, does that mean that they have never paid the $1 per Scout, and in essence, gyp the BSA out of proper dues? My mind got to racing about how irresponsible this is…and to a unit that, at times, has seemed to point the finger at my unit and make disparaging remarks about how our program is run.
“You don’t want to go over there…they make you guy all your own equipment. Here, we have plenty”
“They are all young over there…no experienced leaders or older youth to teach”
“Their a small troop…we are much larger and that makes us better”
Actually, we have a very well run program. We don’t get many calls about improper paperwork (closer to no calls, except for today). Our stuff is in on time, and we have….wait, wait…I ain’t gonna say what we do or have…that’s gloating…let’s just say that we are GOLD in JTE…but there is room for improvement.
So, because we dot our I’s and cross our T’s, we have a solid program. I am not going to bash on another program, but this is one of those things, that as CC for the pack, I really have to look hard at this. Do I not renew the Scout’s membership that are transferring to that troop? Or do I send that unit’s leaders a friendly reminder to make sure that they fill out the proper paperwork? I am kind of torn. I don’t want to put the pack in an unnecessary spot, liability-wise. But I don’t to punish my former Scouts for the mistakes of their new unit.
I think that by crafting a finely worded email to the troop leaders would suffice. Not too terse, not too lenient…I don’t want to be construed as being bitter or spiteful or having “sour grapes” because I compete with this troop, but if I don’t lay it out on the line now, something may slip through the cracks and ultimately, affect a Scout’s future Scouting career.
I do have some thinking to do, but I know which way that I am going to go…gotta cut this short, as I have to save some of my typing energy for an email.