By Darryl Alder
Apr 01, 2016

Crew Committee Organization and Responsibilities

Crew Committee Challenge Part 4

In short, the committee supports the crew leaders in delivering quality program and handling crew administration.

The Crew Committee Challenge offers bishops and committee members a course that moves from one subject to another as listed below.

  1. Aims and Methods of Scouting and Venturing
  2. The Chartered Organization
  3. Crew Leadership
  4. Crew Committee Organization and Responsibilities
  5. Selecting and Retaining Adult Leaders

In our last part of the Crew Committee Challenge we covered the how the crew is organized and how the committee fits in. This post considers organization of the crew committee, explaining its duties and functions.

Introduction

Looking at the Crew’s leadership in the last post, we showed how the youth work with adults in tandem. In order to fully support the crew, we will go into a little more detail into what the committee does.

Crew COmmittee Meeting 4.3  “The bishopric organizes ward Scouting committees to ensure that Scouting functions properly as a supporting activity for Aaronic Priesthood young men …The bishopric calls several capable adults (including fathers and mothers of boys and young men) to serve as committee members. One of the committee members is called to serve as the chairperson. …Each committee should include a member of the bishopric. … Scouting committees:

  1. Meet as needed to discuss Scouting in the ward and receive assignments from the committee chairperson. 
  2. Support and assist Scouting activities by providing needed services. 
  3. See that the Scouting units operate in accordance with Church and BSA policies and standards.”

The committee chair conducts monthly committee meetings and coordinates crew efforts. Committee members assist youth activity chairs to carry out their responsibilities. Consultants interact with the crew by providing technical expertise, special skills, equipment, facilities, or community contacts related to the crew program. They may be one-time participants.

The Program Capabilities Inventory (PCI) is one of the most important responsibilities of the committee; it is where they get the consultants for activities the youth have included in their annual plan.

Committee Organization

Who makes up the crew committee?

The crew committee is composed of adult members—such as the Bishop, Young Men president (if not the crew’s advisor), parents, other ward members, and any other interested adults who support the crew’s program.

How many members does a crew committee have?

BSA requires every crew to have at least three members, but there is no maximum. One member must be designated the committee chair, the second is usually the member who mentors the crew treasurer, and the third mentors the crew secretary.

Who runs the crew committee?

The committee chair leads the crew committee and is responsible for the administration, oversight, and support of the crew program.

How is a crew committee organized?

Crew committees can differ in size, but each crew committee has a number of functions to accomplish. Committees vary in the way they go about their tasks and how they fulfill their responsibilities. Some crew committees assign a specific responsibility to each committee member on an annual basis. Other crew committees operate on a task force basis, with committee members agreeing to specific tasks on a month-to-month basis. Below is one large ward’s committee chart:

Crew Committee Poster

 

There is no requirement to have such a big committee, all you really need is to have a chair and then divide the duties of the committee among it’s members.                                   

Program Duties

Administrative Duties

Crew Outdoor Adventure/Activities Chair The unit outdoor/activities chair is appointed by the committee chairman to secure permits or permission to use camping site, serve as transportation coordinator, ensure a monthly outdoor program.

Crew Consultants  A consultant is a person whose special skill or talent is needed for a crew activity or project. They assists the crew’s activity committees in planning activities, and are usually adult recruited on a one-time basis to provide expert help to the crew. Consultants may be members of the chartered organization, parents, other adults in the community, or individuals on or recruited by the crew committee.

Crew Training Chair The unit training chair is appointed by the committee chairman to ensure training opportunities are available, maintain training records and materials, and is responsible for BSA Venturing Youth Protection training.

Crew Scouting for Food Chair The unit Scouting for Food chair is appointed by the committee chairman to coordinate an annual food drive for the unit and reports the result to the district.

ScoutParent Unit Coordinator The ScoutParents Unit Coordinator is an appointed member of the unit committee or can be an assistant unit leader. Their job is to welcome parents, keep them informed, and encourage them to help with at least one specific task or project each year. Larger units might choose to have more than one ScoutParents unit coordinator. The ScoutParents unit coordinator position became official June 1, 2008 and the position code is “PS.” The ScoutParents unit coordinator must be at least 21 years old, complete an adult application, and pay the same registration fee as other adult leaders. Find Fast Start Training for unit coordinators online. Newly printed youth applications also mention the ScoutParents program. A checkbox in the parent section lets parents commit to being active ScoutParents. By entering an e-mail address, they can receive information from council, district, and unit leaders about ways to get involved.ScoutParents.org web site.

Crew Committee Secretary The unit secretary is appointed by the committee chairman to keep minutes and records, send notices, and handle publicity. Helps ensure a smooth transition of new Venturers into the unit and orientation for new parents. A crew committee may have a membership and registration secretaries.

 

Crew Committee Treasurer The unit treasurer is appointed by the committee chairman to handle unit funds, pay bills, maintain accounts, coordinate the annual Friends of Scouting (FOS) campaign, and supervise fundraising.

 

Crew Public Relations Chair The unit public relations chair is appointed by the committee chairman to inform parents of their responsibilities in Venturing and with the ward. Provides news and announcements about the crew to newspapers, ward bulletins, web sites, and the crew’s Facebook page, etc. Promotes and stimulates service projects, Scouting Anniversary Week, and family participation in unit events. Promotes new membership and lets people in the neighborhood know that Scouting is available.

 

Crew Friends of Scouting (FOS) Chair The unit Friends of Scouting chair is appointed by the committee chairman to work closely wht the unit committee on public relations for FOS; conducts annual FOS campaign to enroll family members and adult leaders in FOS; gives recognition to contributors and enrollees.

 

Crew Fundraising Chair The Unit Fundraising Chair, also called the “Popcorn Kernel” in some councils, is appointed by the committee chairman to supervise Fundraising and ensure that every youth member has the opportunity to participate in Popcorn sales or other council Fundraising events.

The elected crew treasurer is the crew’s financial officer. He maintains the records, monitors the crew’s budget, collects and disburses crew funds through with the Ward clerk, and accounts for all monies coming into and out of the crew.

How the crew sets up its finances depends on the ward and the committee. The key is to set up a process in the crew where the youth learn financial management and accountability, the youth are protected from financial harm, and the crew is confident that its funds are being responsibly managed.

Like other Scouting units, Venturing crews may conduct money-earning projects only when the Bishop and local council have approved the project and it is consistent with BSA and church policies. (Refer to the Unit Money-Earning Application‘s reverse side, the budget allowance guidelines in Handbook 2 to fund Scouting (see 8.13.7, 11.8.7, 13.2.8, 13.2.9, 13.5, and 13.6.8) and 2015 LDS Scouting Handbook (8.15). (See also FIscal Policies and Procedures for BSA Units).

An adult committee member, often the Young Men secretary, mentors the crew treasurer and assists in ensuring the crew is fiscally responsible.

Venturing Recognition

Though Scout advancement on the trail to Eagle is not a integral part of Venturing, most LDS youth earn the award in this age group. Male Venturers who have earned the First Class rank in a Boy Scout troop may continue to work on the Star, Life, and Eagle Scout ranks in the crew. In this case, the crew committee will carry out an advancement role similar to how a Varsity Scout team or Boy Scout troop would. You may need an advancement specialist to fill this role, but most wards have one person manage this for all deacons, teachers and priests. The Guide to Advancement and www.Scouting.org/Advancement are use resources for managing this situation.

In Venturing, the responsibility for recognition falls to the youth crew leaders and Advisors. There are no ranks in Venturing, but there are awards that Venturers may earn.

While the crew committee does not take an active role in awards and may or may not have a person assigned specifically to awards, the committee still has a supporting function in ensuring the crew’s program offers youth the opportunity for recognition.  To do this the crew committee might:

  • Cooperate with the crew Advisors on supporting recognition goals for the crew.
  • Work together with the crew Advisors to ensure the youth are recognized properly and promptly for their achievements.
  • Provide expertise for consultants for Venturing awards.
  • Serve on crew reviews for appropriate Venturing awards and boards of review for the Eagle Scout rank when asked.
  • Ensure advancement reports are submitted to the local council. • Help the crew’s leaders secure the awards and certificates.

Training

The committee encourages crew leadership to attend ongoing training, such as roundtable or Venturing Forums, University of Scouting, outdoor leader skills training, and Youth Protection training, so they remain current with program materials and updates. A member of the committee keeps track of crew training records and submits updated trained leader reports to the district and council.

Note: While the crew Advisor is responsible for overseeing the training of the Venturers, the committee is responsible for overseeing the training of the adult leaders.

Public Relations

The committee coordinates with the youth leadership to provide crew news and announcements for newspapers, ward bulletins and newsletters, social networks including a crew Facebook page, websites, etc. The committee promotes and stimulates service projects, Scouting Anniversary Week, and family participation in crew events. Other responsibilities include promoting new membership and letting people in the neighborhood know that Venturing is available.

Activities and Oudtoor Adventure

The committee is responsible for supervising, promoting, and coordinating attendance at crew, district, and council camps and events. Members supervise youth leadership to arrange chaperones, transportation, safety planning (get details here) facility/camp reservations, and first aid for all crew outings. Other responsibilities include approving all arrangements and documents, participating in council service projects, and taking advantage of district and council events/ activities, all while following the Guide to Safe Scouting

Summary

Experience shows that successful Venturing crew committees are often less formal, more flexible, and more involved in meetings and activities than other Scouting committees.

Each committee member’s first role is as a coach and guide to the Venturers. In general, committee members should consider themselves part of a partnership with the Venturers to lead the crew effectively, and not as supervisors over the Venturers.

Take a moment to reflect on this session of training and comment in the section below

Darryl head BW

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