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 when, in fact, it is pretty easy. If there is a hard part, it’s that some rules have to be followed for each member and that you have to finish on time.
So let’s start with some of those questions:
What is a unit? That’s the Pack, Troop or Crew that asked you to do this. Units in our area operate under the Bucktail Council, the local operating arm of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). The Council assigns each unit to a District, a geographic part of Bucktail Council area of operations. 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, or Scoutmaster. A unit has at least three adults who serve as the Unit Committee that supports the Unit Leader.
What is recharter? BSA issues a charter through the local Council to a Chartered Organization, like the Church or other organization that owns your unit, which allows it to use a BSA program to serve youth in its community. For example, a Cub Scout Pack uses Cub Scouting to serve boys in the first through fifth grades. BSA requires that the charter be renewed annually to continue using the program. We call that annual renewal “recharter”.
What else happens during recharter? 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.
What is the process? Briefly, it goes like this:
- Take a look at the tutorial. Download the Tutorial on Internet Rechartering and take a look at it. It is very well done. The PowerPoint presentation and a pdf version is available on the recharter website via the “ Resources ” section.
- Inventory your members and collect fees. Collect BSA registration fee, Boys Life subscription fee, and Council accident insurance fee from each member that will be continuing membership. The unit’s Treasurer or another leader may do the actual collection, but you must know who is renewing and any changes to their personal data (address, phone#, etc.) and, for adults, Scouting position. Involve the Unit Leader and Committee in determining the status of those who do not respond about renewing. Get complete, new applications, including all required parts and signatures, for any new youth or adult members. All adult applications should include proof of having completed Youth Protection Training. This course is available online the E-Learning Center in My.Scouting at the BSA website, www.scouting.org. (If the course is not completed prior to turning in the application, the application can not be processed. Attach a copy of the training certificate to the application and the criminal background check authorization before submitting the application.
- Update the unit roster. The recharter process uses a unit roster in a special format to provide an updated list of members and to provide BSA with the signatures to approve the renewal. You create this roster using Internet Rechartering (IR).IR will import a current roster from BSA’s registration system after you first access the system. It will record any changes you make – corrections, added or deleted members – and send them to the Council Registration staff so they will have exactly what you want them to have! At the end of the Internet process, you will print out the paper roster to use for the rest of the process. More information about IR and how to get started are on page 1. We recommend that you take the tutorial if you have not used IR before.
- Recalculate the BSA fees on page 1 of the roster.
- Calculate insurance, and new member fees. The insurance fee is $10 per person. If you added any new members you will add a registration fee of $2.75/month/member (this is in addition to the $36 per member).
- Obtain signature on recharter roster. Before you turn-in your paperwork, you must get a signature from the chartered organization. The person named as the Executive Officer on the roster must sign the top line for the Chartered Organization. (This can be cone electronically if you wish.)
- Turn in all paperwork. Take the following to turn-in: signed updated roster (if not electronically signing), and completed applications for new members. Bring your unit’s check with you to turn-in; we suggest that the amount not be filled in until someone has checked the total calculated. Take advantage of the Council Turn-in night on December 10th. It will be held from 6pm – 8pm at the Council Service Center and a location to be determined. District personnel will then take the paperwork to the Council Service Center.