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Council with provisional Charter.

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  • Council with provisional Charter.

    After our CE retired after 18 years and several changes on the board we were informed via an on-line post from our Council President that their charter is in a provisional status. We are a small council with 1 too many summer camps, two total, that between the both of them are open only 5 weeks.
    Anybody ever been through this? what can we expect. I've heard from some folks on the inside that a merger is in the works.

  • #2
    We went through this about 15 years ago with our small 5-town Council. A meeting was held with someone from Regional, and they explained that the Council did not meet the standards for a "Quality Council". Many were passionate about our summer camp and were afraid that we would lose it. Ideas proposed for "saving" the council were pooh-poohed by the regional guy--their minds were made up, we merged. Our old council became a district in the new council.

    We had one summer camp; it was saved. However it's now the only camp in the present council and it's CROWDED! The new council sold one of its other camps, and uses one other for council/district activities, and unit weekend camping.

    How will a merger affect you at the unit level? You'll have to change your shoulder patch and possibly OA flap, you'll see some new folks at the district and council helm, but that's about it. Keep on Scouting!
    Last edited by FrankScout; 08-12-2013, 09:34 PM.

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    • #3
      Council mergers make for an interesting mix of personalities, history, and traditions.

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      • #4
        We are actually a merged council already. About 15-20 years ago, we were merged with a smaller council. Council kept both camps, one dining hall and one patrol based. both are located a good 3-4 hour drive from council. council also recently sold off their 'close in' camp ( a 40 minute drive) and partnered with an adjacent council in developing a cub scout focused camp about an hour away. The partnership is working out well and the camp is always busy. Not so much can be said for the summer camps. Both are not well attended and have what I have heard are weak programs.
        The scuttlebutt is that the recently retired CE was not really on top of fundraising on the corporate end. I would tend to agree. We have several major world wide corporations (ahem, Big Mac) located within our council boundaries and I never heard of any attempts to solicit support from them. we have a Regional guy here part time now and I have not heard of a search for a replacement, so perhaps this is a fait accompli.

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        • #5
          My Council received a conditional charter for 2013 because we (the Executive Board and Scout Executive) were not doing our jobs: increasing membership and raising the monies we said we would in our budget. We are a small Council geographically and membership. The Region was well within it's rights to put us on a conditional charter and the conditions were fair. However, I know that this is not the only motive behind the move. There is a strong desire by the Region to merge us with the neighboring Council. We have 4 months left until we either earn our charter or get a new conditional charter or a conditional charter. I have a Council Key 3 that is not providing the leadership ir communication to manage the task. It has largely fallen on myself (VP of Program) and the VP of Membership to keep people focused. I suspect we will receive a transitional charter even if we meet the conditons of our current charter because that is the Region's goal. The conditional charter was written so that the Region has the option of issuing whatever form of charter they see fit. I grew up in this Council as a Cub Scout, Eagle Scout and Lodge Chief. I will work to make the merger the best for the youth that I can and then I will step back into a unit or unit commissioner role. My emphasis has always been my Council and I just don't have the enthusiasm for a new one with all new dynamics. I have had discussions with the Program and OA counterparts about the merger since we will be left to manage the mess created by the Region and beancounters.

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          • #6
            I served on an Area Committee for a while.
            We were the group that were supposed to work with Councils that were had hit a rough patch.
            The meetings were about as interesting as watching paint dry.
            I was the youngest member on the committee.
            At that time our Area Committee covered 11 Councils.
            Other than the people who knew or who had first hand dealings with a Council.
            For the most part all the Committee members knew about the Council was from reports.
            These reports covered finances, membership, total available youth.
            To be fair. There were Committee members who were involved with Training (Mainly Wood Badge) Camping (Recruiting and training Summer camp inspection teams) And the OA (Making sure that Lodges had turned in their reports and what-ever at the right time.)
            The Committee met every 3 months. - It tried to meet in a central location, but I still had a two hour drive each way!
            A lot of time was spent going over how well or how badly each Council was doing and grading each one using A, B, C and so on.
            Provisional Charters were threatened and later given to Councils that the Committee seen as not meeting a standard.
            The Standard was not really laid down or in black and white. - It was just what and how the Committee felt at the time.

            These Provisional Charters are supposed to act as a warning, kinda like a yellow card in soccer.
            The Members of the Area Committee are supposed to meet with the members of the Council Key 3 and help them come up with a plan to fix what is wrong.
            Again to be fair, I've seen it work really well, but I've also seen it not work at all.

            The Council I serve has received a Provisional Charter.
            After the Executive Committee fired the SE.
            Firing your SE is seen as not being a good thing. It also causes problems for both the Region and for National.
            Someone from the region as a rule is tasked with keeping an eye on the council until they find a new SE and National has to find something for the fired SE to do.

            I used to follow the reports of how each Council was doing. But I gave up and no longer receive the reports.
            I tend to think. That here in SW-PA. We have a lot of small councils and I'm not sure how they are doing.
            Here where I live, membership is way down and donations are also down.

            I know that I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
            But...
            You don't need to be a rocket scientist to work out that Program drives membership. Membership drives donations.
            When we have more kids, we have more popcorn salesmen, more families who might donate to FOS.
            With more members I can approach local businesses and say "Hey we serve X number of families and your support will be seen"
            To my mind everything comes back to what's on offer to the youth in the areas where we live.
            Eamonn.

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            • #7
              Amazing. So much in one post about what is wrong with BSA.

              Why does BSA have to do anything for a fired SE other that direct him to the nearest unemployment office? (Rhetorical question. I understand why.)

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