Internet Unit Charter Renewal
Steven D. Bradley, Council Commissioner, Orange County Council
Change is a fact of our daily lives. So is tradition. My presentation is
an exciting example of where tradition and technological change intersect.
The BSA has introduced a new service to councils that enables units to
expedite the paperwork portion of the charter renewal process over the Internet.
This new option launched from the council Web site provides a more accurate and
efficient renewal for many units and for the local council.
Commissioners are responsible for unit charter renewal, so if your council
has adopted the Internet option as mine has, it is essential that commissioners
be trained in all of the steps of the process.
This new option only changes the paperwork portion of the
unit charter renewal process and it should be integrated with all of the
person-to-person steps described on pages 38-39 of the Commissioner
Fieldbook. They are still an important part of the process.
Here is how the process now works:
A council signs a licensing agreement to use Internet rechartering. To date,
half our councils have done so.
- At Least Four Months Before Renewal Date—The council prepares
a unit charter renewal kit for each unit due to reregister, including
a letter outlining the use of the new optional Internet rechartering
system, the council's Web site address, and the unit's unique access
- At Least 90 Days Before Renewal Date—The district executive
still visits the head of the chartered organization to
renew the Scouting relationship. The meeting is a face-to-face
discussion on the current state of the unit. If problems are
anticipated in the reregistration of the unit or there is other
major action to be taken by the district, this visit should be held
earlier so that positive commissioner action may take place prior to
the renewal date. In districts where all units have the same renewal
date, district executives must start even earlier to complete all
visits on time.
- 60 Days Before Renewal Date—The unit commissioner and unit committee
still conduct a membership inventory of currently registered
youth and adults. Visits are made to reactivate inactive members. Every
effort should be made to recruit additional youth and adults so that the
unit can reregister with no loss of membership. The commissioner does a
final check to see if the unit has completed the Quality Unit Award. The
charter review date is set, and all unit adults are urged to attend. The
membership inventory is an important step for a unit
- 60 to 45 Days Before Renewal Date—Units choosing to renew their
charters online will select a person as their renewal processor.
He/she will visit the local council's Web site, complete the online
steps through the submittal process, and print a revised charter renewal
application to be brought to the unit's charter renewal meeting for review,
discussion, and authorized signatures. The council registrar now places
the unit's electronic data on hold until after the unit's charter review
To assist districts in this process, there is a report
available to council employees with membership reporting capabilities
entitled Commissioner's Status Report. This report provides commissioners
with the renewal status of each unit, including the date of first login,
the current stage of the process completed, and date submitted. Two other
new reports that are available are the New Members Added Report and the
Members Not Renewed Report. Both of these reports are designed to provide
information to the district in an effort to follow up with new youth and
dropped youth identified through the renewal process.
- 45 Days Before Renewal Date—The commissioner and unit committee
chairman still conduct the unit charter renewal meeting.
This is not new. Also in attendance should be the chartered organization
representative, executive officer of the chartered organization, unit
leader, and other unit volunteers. Additional changes may be made to
the application. The renewal application with appropriate signatures,
applications for new youth and adults, appropriate fees, and Quality
Unit worksheets are all completed at this meeting.
and fees are then delivered to the council office or the district's
charter renewal turn-in meeting.
- Following the Renewal Meeting—The council's registrar receives the
charter renewal application, new youth and adult applications, and
appropriate fees following the charter renewal meeting. If the unit
has renewed its charter using the Internet, the registrar reviews this
information online along with the hard copies from the unit charter
renewal meeting. The registrar then creates the new charter and
registration cards for the unit. The registrar mails the registration
cards to the unit leader and makes the new charter available to the
district for presentation by the commissioner.
- 30 Days After Renewal Date—The commissioner still makes a formal
presentation of the new charter at an appropriate gathering of
the chartered organization.
Please Note—Commissioners and professional staff must be sensitive to
the fact that some units (for a variety of reasons) may need to or choose to
use the pen and paper method for charter renewal. The Internet option is not
best for all units. Help units use the option which is best for them.
Because commissioners are responsible for unit charter renewal, it is
essential that commissioners and district executives be trained in all the
steps of the unit charter renewal process, not just the Internet steps.
Please see that this training happens in your councils. You will find a
helpful 2-page resource titled "Internet Unit Charter Renewal—A Guide
for Commissioners on you chairs." It's also a guide for professionals.
The plan is also now part of the recently revised Commissioner
Good luck as your council incorporates Internet rechartering in your