i really do appreciate your replies @stevemaury and i get what you are saying when you say what i am asking for cannot be done without an extension of some sort. what i guess i don't understand is when you say "just as easy to update a group as it is to change a custom profile field". i understand as administrator i can make changes to groups easily, but with the club of our size, the number of officers positions, and that they can change often, it is easier to allow the user to do this from their profile and not have to have the admin do it. i am not sure there is a way to make the groups available to the user or if that is even a smart thing to do cause then they could add themselves to what ever group they wanted.
the big issue here is that the user forums were recently moved from another BB system (not sure if its against the rules to say which one) and the user search on their was very granular and the users are asking for something similar.
i am open to suggestions that i may not be thinking about??