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Thread: Venture Scouts change to Explorer Scouts

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    Question Venture Scouts change to Explorer Scouts

    Hello Everyone

    Are there any people out there who were around at the time of the change from Venture Scouts to Explorer Scouts?

    Can you help me please?
    Our District had a large District Venture Scout Unit (60 plus). The Unit owned and maintained its own HQ building, had a parent support group with Executive Committee, held substantial money in its own accounts, fund-raised, owned 3 minibuses and loads of equipment (climbing, caving, canoes, computers) etc. It acted within the POR of the time.

    The ESU that replaced it has over 80 members. We continue to have a very successful Unit! It goes from strength to strength. The Unit still meets in the same HQ and keeps using all the property and money. It is still their stuff.
    We are now looking at all the issues around the property and finance side as the old arrangements didn't change; until now.
    We now have to look at this seriously as the District has to take the financial responsibility for Explorers and all that come with them.

    What I need help with is:
    advice and views particularly of those involved at the time of the change-over
    what you did to deal with similar situations in your area, and
    what arrangements you now have in place.

    In particular:

    1) Did you have District or Local Units with their own property and finance?
    2) What did you do to resolve it at the changeover to Explorers?
    3) Did Units hand over their property and finance to the District?
    4) What arrangements do you now have for ESU's and their property and finance?

    Useful advice welcomed because my District Executive and I have to solve this and keep everyone happy including the District Commissioner.

    Thanks

    A hard-pressed District Chairman

  2. #2
    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Hoar View Post

    Useful advice welcomed
    <settles down to enjoy this one>

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    No mountain too high PeterSheppard's Avatar
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    If it was truely a District Venture Scout Unit, then the money, assets and property was already a district asset, and on the unit's closure would have become "central" district property (see POR from the time).

    If it was registered as a seperate charity somehow, then you're probably going to have to get legal advice from HQ.
    Assistant Area Commissioner (Activities) - Gwent

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    GSL & AESL shiftypete's Avatar
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    I was around at the time of the change over

    1) Our VSU was part of our Group all the equipment and money (not much about £40 IIRC) was owned by the Group

    2) Our partnered Group still owns all our equipment and buys new equipment for us when needed it also insures all our equipment. The District run our finances although this its control is quite loose as we have a Unit bank account (technically its a sub account of the District the District controls it and authorised its creation, but all our Unit's Leaders are signatories to it so we just run it ourselves with oversight from the District Treasurer). All the Explorer subs from our Unit are paid into the Unit bank account and we then pay an amount each term in to the main District account to cover Explorer membership fees, with the remainder available for running the weekly meetings. The district supposedly claim s gift aid on all subs and this money is used to pay all Explorer Leader membership fees in the District and any left over can be used for District Explorer Scout Activities (unfortunately the gift aid system has broken down a bit in the last couple of years we are sorting it out currently though)

    3) See above, no way would we hand over our equipment paid for by Group funds to District and District were not about to start funding buying Unit's equipment but our finances are run by District

    4) See above


    Now to your case if you actually had a District VSU (which as I understand it was quite unusual) then wouldn't District have already owned all the VSU equipment and property? Therefore wouldn't it have been a simple matter to resolve this when the VSU became an ESU as there were no non District owned assets or money?
    Last edited by shiftypete; 14-10-2010 at 11:00 PM.

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    We didn't have as complicated a set up as you, and my comment more applies to ventures that became Network, but I believe that at that time the theory was that Venture assets were handed over to the county as the section ie network was then a county run section. I would presume that for explorers the same would apply only it would revert to district. However I have no recollection of who exactly told me this or if in fact it was the case one way or the other.

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    No mountain too high PeterSheppard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah View Post
    We didn't have as complicated a set up as you, and my comment more applies to ventures that became Network, but I believe that at that time the theory was that Venture assets were handed over to the county as the section ie network was then a county run section. I would presume that for explorers the same would apply only it would revert to district. However I have no recollection of who exactly told me this or if in fact it was the case one way or the other.
    Any Group VSU at the time when closed would have had its assets transferred to the Group. If the Group then decide to donate those to the District/County then that would be a separate matter, but POR was clear on the issue.
    Assistant Area Commissioner (Activities) - Gwent

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    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Our VSU held no assets. They were part of the Group.

    Our ESU holds no assets. Where they have bought items, they have donated them to the group in lieu of rent. (Some circus skills kit, for example).

    A couple of times there have been threats of District taking over the accounts and as soon as they got wind of this they reduced the bank balance to the bare minimum, either by spending the funds on themselves, or buying equipment which they and the Group could use regardless of District control.
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    Senior Member Tibsie's Avatar
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    Our VSU was part of the group. It had nothing of it's own, it met in a dingy little room (which is still there) in our dodgy extension.

    I am ashamed to say that the ventures that were there before I joined ventures used to go out and steal road signs to decorate the place with. All of the signs have gone now apart from a "Public Footpath" which is still hanging from the ceiling for some unknown reason.

    All we used to do when I was there was to play games on our Gamecube on a really old TV sitting on an old, stained sofa.

    Imagine a dingy drugs den (without the drugs) and you wouldn't be far wrong!!
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    Senior Member martin1981's Avatar
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    When I took over as DESC for Peterborough I inherited three units, all of which had their roots in previous group Venture Scout Units (some more loosely than others).

    The best solution we came up was a ES sub-committee of the district executive to operate along the lines of a group executive, with parents involved. It did breifly work but for various reasons whilst it was a good concept it didn't really take off, because the units have traditionally been very independent.
    Martin Whelan

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    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Hoar View Post
    1) Did you have District or Local Units with their own property and finance?
    2) What did you do to resolve it at the changeover to Explorers?
    3) Did Units hand over their property and finance to the District?
    4) What arrangements do you now have for ESU's and their property and finance?
    I was around.

    1. We had a district Venture unit. Or rather, we were the only Ventures in the district, so we renamed ourselves to a generic unit, rather than 21st Wherever, so people would be more welcome from any group. Property and finance? We had our own bank account, I assume it got accounted for in district annual accounts. Equipment? We might have had the odd tent, but nothing on your scale.

    2. As all bar 3 of the Ventures were over 18, we turned Ventures into Network (flexibility said PRI, that's what I demanded from DC ). The bank account got renamed to "....Surrey Network". I assume accounts should have accounted for in county. I've got a feeling that county never asked for them though. We just held on to our equipement, such as it was.

    3. No. I don't think there was any "official" handover. We just carried on with our own bank account, I guess if the unit had shut down, then money and equipement may have been handed over to county. I suspect in reality it would have just languished in the group hut we met in until they claimed it for themselves, if that had happened.

    4. Network is now a district thing, Network still have their bank account, and this DOES get amalgamated into district accounts. Their property, well district are trying to get an inventory together so that district insurance covers it. The District Explorer Units both work in the same way, they both have bank accounts that get amalgamated into district annually, and property is part of a district asset. But district can't just "help themselves", or I'd like to think they wouldn't, and as part of the district exec, I'd kick up merry hell if I didn't think it was right.

    If you tell us more about the problem, if you can, then maybe we could try and help?

    Ian
    Ian Wilkins
    Farnham District Explorer Scout Commissioner

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