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  • #16
    Here is the original post........
    King Ding Dong kindly suggested that I approach my DE to discuss the idea of asking/requiring more Scout parents to step up in our pack. I appreciate the suggestion, but I'm afraid we are far past that.

    I have had a different situation this year with the BSA as treasurer that has greatly soured me on the organization as a whole. I have gone from an enthusiastic volunteer to a mom who just wants to do the best for her son. I will participate in the pack, but only to the extent I feel is appropriate. I am no longer a gung-ho, make the pack go mom.

    I would be interested to know if others have found themselves in similar situations with the BSA Councils. If the BSA Councils actually read any of these forums and take an interest in how their volunteers are doing, maybe take a long look in the mirror and reconsider how many BSA volunteers are treated.

    I was asked to be our pack treasurer for the school year just ended. In the process of trying to diligently do my job, I found out on my own that our pack had not filed any tax returns for their entire seven years of existence. The charter organization also had not included the pack finances in their 990 tax filings.

    When I tried to talk to the charter organization about it, they got angry and told me to go away. When I tried to talk to the pack leaders, they told me to keep my mouth shut about it (in more polite, but stern, language) because "we can't afford to offend the CO and lose our charter."

    I was told directly by our committee chair that:

    1. I was offending him personally by even suggesting that he or the BSA would be involved in anything illegal. (how did I get from "hey leaders, I found out our taxes haven't been filed properly" to "hey leaders, y'all are all personally dishonest". ?) How can any treasurer bring up any financial issue caused by a previous leader if the current leader takes personal offense?

    2. I was hurting the kids and the program by undermining the BSA. His tone is that anything the BSA does is golden, and if I think something is wrong, I must not be understanding it correctly.

    3. There was no problem with no one having filed any taxes for the pack for the previous seven years. He said we would not be filing taxes for the current year either. If the IRS ever pursued it, he said "we will call on the Scouters at the council to address any IRS inquiries.". Um...did anyone ask *me* if I'm comfortable doing something illegal on our taxes and then having the Council defend me to the IRS? Um...hell no.

    Then, I got a call at my home from the Council. Not to help, but to tell me in no uncertain terms to quit pursuing the tax issue. They ranted for an hour, telling me that everyone all the way up to the state level of the BSA and the PTA (our charter organization) knew all about me and were all very angry. The Council rep (our DE) told me that the state PTA "hates the Scouts" and had been "looking for a reason to cancel all the charters". He said by trying to get the taxes filed, I was giving them the reason they needed, and I would be responsible for disbanding hundreds of packs and thousands of Scouts statewide if I didn't stop. I was shaking by the time I finally got off the phone.

    Without the cooperation of the pack, the Council, or the CO, I was unable to file the taxes, but I have personal responsibility to file the taxes as a signer on the bank account.

    So, I quit. I called my own CPA, confirmed that I did have personal liability to the IRS for the taxes not being filed as I was a signer on the bank account, just like I'd been telling the pack leaders for months, while they pooh poohed my concerns and told me to keep my mouth shut. I was right. I did what my CPA advised me to do to protect myself. I quit. I got my name removed from the bank account. The pack leaders kept kicking the can down the road telling me they couldn't replace me. I told them *they* could put their own names on the account as interim treasurer! I was leaving!

    I have lost so much respect for the Scouts this year. I feel completely thrown under the bus. I was concerned about my personal liability for a tax mess I had no part in making, and instead of getting help, I had the Council calling my house to tell me I "had to be more political". I don't give a crap about the politics between the BSA and the PTA. If they can't make a charter agreement that both sides understand and are willing to uphold, then I don't see how that's my personal problem. Are they all nuts? I barely have time to do the actual finances, much less deal with all the politics!

    Right now, the PTA insists that the BSA is supposed to file the tax returns. The BSA insists that the PTA is supposed to do it. Both of them expect the treasurer to just shut up and deal with the IRS if they ever come knocking. Wow!

    The only thing that keeps me in Scouts is the fact that I have an 8 year old who loves Scout events with his dad. This is a very special part of his relationship with his Daddy that I do not wish to spoil with all this adult drama. My son has no idea. I am trying to keep it together being in a pack with leaders who are pretty angry with me right now so I don't let this affect my son. Not fun at all. I could try another pack, but that would mean taking him away from his friends. I consider that a last resort.

    My take on the BSA after my experience is that they absolutely don't give a crap about the adult volunteers. They will run them into the ground, happily, as long as they rake in cash for our work. So, from now on, I will do the bare minimum I feel I should do as a parent, and hope the dozens of do-nothing parents in our pack will get a clue next year, step up, and do something. Yes, I am bitter too, KDD.

    And going to our Council offices and Scout Store doesn't help. It looks like the Taj Mahal. Why do the paid leaders of a volunteer run organization for children need a huge granite building that seems mostly empty and more appropriate for Fortune 500 CEOs? I can't help wondering how much of my little boy's hard earned popcorn sales went to pay for the execs plush offices, and how little went to actually do anything for the kids. A less ostentatious office would have a lot more credibility with me.

    So, all I can say, is don't go out on any personal limbs for the BSA. They do not have your back as a volunteer.

    Any other experiences or advice? Thanks for letting me vent.

    Georgia Mom

    Last edited by GeorgiaMom; 06-29-2013, 03:46 PM.


    • #17
      Here is deleted #9 post

      Yesterday, 02:37 PM

      Originally posted by Pack18Alex View Post
      ...However, the Council, Pack, and CO all told you that it wasn't a problem. ...

      Herein lies the problem: The Council, the Pack, and the CO all told me is wasn't a problem, but none of them are qualified to tell me this, nor do they have any authority over my personal tax decisions as a volunteer. None of the people who complained are CPAs, tax lawyers, or any type of tax professional.

      When I find myself in a situation in which I have good reason to believe I have tax liability (i. e. I'm a bank signatory for a group that hasn't filed any taxes in seven years), I go get professional help. I don't care what the BSA says, the pack leader overheard at roundtable, or the PTA president read on the internet. The PTA president is a stay at home housewife, the pack leader works for a hardware company, and I have no idea who the BSA has on staff trying to tell me what to do. Taxes are a serious responsibility, so I got professional help.

      The tax professional I consulted for advice told me that I was liable for unpaid taxes and fines as a signatory on the bank account. He said I should get my name removed immediately. I started talking to the pack leaders in March. By June, they still kept telling me they hadn't replaced me as treasurer yet, and I might need to wait until the fall. So, I put my foot down and insisted that they get my name off that account if they had to put their own names on in the interim as signers while they searched for a more permanent replacement treasurer.

      The tax professional also told me that the IRS could levy approximately $5,000 to $7,000 in fines in our situation, going back all seven years. He advised me to quit as treasurer, and send the end of year pack financials to the PTA with a letter telling them my concerns and what I had found out in our consultation. The CPA said that at least I would be documenting that I tried to get the taxes filed correctly, and this might help me if the IRS investigated.

      I did exactly that. I sent a simple and polite email to the PTA with the end of year figures and my concerns, with documentation. By dinnertime, I had an angry call from the Council telling me that "everyone" up to the state level of the BSA and the PTA had read my email, they were all very upset, and I might have just "given the state PTA a reason to shut down all PTA sponsored packs statewide". Clearly, I had no idea that getting professional advice could cause problems statewide, nor is it even reasonable that such a thing should happen.

      The BSA is wrong to be offended that I got professional advice to cover my own liability in a tax mess I had no part in making, nor was I informed about when I took on the treasurer responsibility in good faith. I have lost a great deal of respect for them due to their behavior this spring.

      The BSA insisted to me in writing that it was the PTA's responsibility to file taxes on behalf of our pack. So, what sense does it make that they'd call my house angry because I gave the PTA the numbers they needed to file the taxes?



      • #18
        GeorgiaMom has shown in her few posts here that she has a ton of friction with BSA, her CO, her Pack leadership, etc. If you have a problem with everyone, the problem isn't them, it's you.

        She was so certain of her righteousness (complete with the nonsense "opinion" of an outside CPA without the facts) that after being told by all involved that she was wrong, she quit scorched earth style.

        She came here for sympathy, and got told why she was wrong, so she deleted it. I think that reposting her comments is unnecessary, this thread should get wiped, but she wants out of this.

        I hope she stops personally involving herself in the BSA program at her school, she doesn't enjoy it, those around her don't enjoy her involvement, and her acting like a martyr is putting her son's program and the program of other youth in Georgia at risk.


        • Kristian
          Kristian commented
          Editing a comment
          she isnt wrong. and saying she is putting scouting in georgia at risk by actually following the law is one of those reasons why bsa has been loosing so many lawsuits lately.

        • Pack18Alex
          Pack18Alex commented
          Editing a comment
          Okay, if she's not wrong, what Tax Form was not filed by the Cub Scout Pack that has a potential set of fines of $49,000 as she was "told by her CPA."

          I maintain that the Pack is either a organizational unit of the PTA (same EIN), or a sub-group of the PTA (with a "For Banking Purposes Only" EIN), that has no legal owner and is part of the PTA. The financially from the Cub Scout Pack should be reported annually to the Charter Organizational Representative who brings them to the Charter Org financial person, who would incorporate them as part of the PTA's Balance Sheet/Income Statement (in the Corporate World with separate corporations becoming disregarded entities, this would be a consolidated return), and turn in the 990N (postcard return). I maintain that there is no missing tax return by the pack, nor did her Scout's financials materially impact any IRS reports due from the PTA to the IRS.

          If she is right, and everyone on here, in her committee, in her district, and in her Charter Org is wrong, then answer these questions that I posed to her:

          1. What tax returns that the cub scouts were alleged by her to fail to file should be filed?
          2. What law was not being followed that she was trying to follow?

      • #19
        BasementDweller, why would she feel guilty about ending BSA programs in her state? She doesn't like the program, doesn't like being involved, doesn't like her district executive, I think she'd be okay with the PTA throwing Scouting out, it might make her feel better that she showed the BSA for giving her a mean phone call.


        • Basementdweller
          Basementdweller commented
          Editing a comment
          Alex....I don't think that way......I never considered that she may view the BSA as a fundamentally flawed organization of law breakers.

          You are probably correct, she sees herself as doing a service by trying to get the Georgia PTA association to recommend that PTA/PTO don't charter Packs because of real or imagined tax liabilities.

        • jc2008
          jc2008 commented
          Editing a comment
          I think she just started off wrong starting off with the negative. It should have been a more positive discussion with her asking where she should give her numbers for tax purposes, or how that was handled. And if she was told it "wasn't handled" just inquire as to why. Without throwing up all these legalities and penalties.

          Your charter org should be the absolute last resort of anything after speaking to your pack first and then council. You don't want to cause any waves or trouble for the entity that is nice enough to let you fall under their umbrella if at all possible. You don't want the pta to think there is a bunch of crazy people running the cub scout pack.

          Stuff does happen with packs and it does make organizations reluctant to charter a new pack. Dealing with this now in our district with a school whos old pack, 6 years ago, had a messy divorce between the cub master and his wife who was the assist cubmaster. The pack fell apart since those two did everything and lots of confused and upset parents calling the principle (not even the pta) about the situation.

          If you want to make a mess you better be sure it is worth it because you could burn a bridge. If it was a child safety issue and your pack or council wouldn't help (i doubt this but it could happen), then yes make a mess.

          But finances and taxes, try to handle it in house positively. People respond to positive things better than negative accusations.

      • #20
        For the love of Scouting, please don't anyone tell GeorgiaMom about ISAs and the tax implications and laws regarding non-profit fundraising for individual benefit. Her head will explode.


        • #21
          This thread has taught me to never, ever get involved in the financial side of scouting. Hope y'all get it sorted out GM and that it does not hurt the scouts' program in the long run.


          • #22
            Wow, is right. You folks are brutal!
            granted, she may have been in the wrong, but keep in mind that we are all trying to do our best. Seems like she was misguided and perhaps a bit overenthusiastic, but i'd guess she was only trying to do what she felt was right.

            maybe there's a history here that I don't know..... & maybe I missed something critical in my skimming of this thread.....

            but what I see is......

            Came here for support.
            Should have gotten some guidance.
            Got flamed.


            • Pack18Alex
              Pack18Alex commented
              Editing a comment
              Except this is true with all her posts... She comes on, tells us how great she is and terrible everyone around her is... when the other side is pointed out to her, she doubles down and adds insulting us to the process.

              Deciding that she should look into this was wonderful and overenthusiastic. Getting involved in the tax question without understanding the structure (and therefore she got an incorrect answer from the CPA, who answered HER question correctly, but she asked the wrong question) is overenthusiasm from a volunteer. It was when she went off half cocked DESPITE experienced people telling her she went wrong that she loses sympathy.

              If the concern was her personal liability, she immediately resigns, hands a report to the Committee Chair, and gets out of it.

              But since she was upset about how she was told she was wrong, she didn't care who she hurt.

              Or do you believe that the "email that upset the state PTA and put scouting in jeopardy" was a polite and factual email with the financials for including in their tax return, or do you think it was the same "OMG, taxes weren't paid, we're all going to get fined" that her posts on here were? Remember, the result of the email was a 1 hour tirade from her district executive?

          • #23
            Originally posted by blw2 View Post
            Wow, is right. You folks are brutal!
            granted, she may have been in the wrong, but keep in mind that we are all trying to do our best. Seems like she was misguided and perhaps a bit overenthusiastic, but i'd guess she was only trying to do what she felt was right.

            maybe there's a history here that I don't know..... & maybe I missed something critical in my skimming of this thread.....

            but what I see is......

            Came here for support.
            Should have gotten some guidance.
            Got flamed.
            When I first joined this forum I thought it was a happy little family, helping one another out, etc. Booooy where did I get that idea from. You said exactly what I wanted to but words escaped me. Some of the adults here act like the teens I moderate on a day to day basis. Yes, she may have went against what most would have done or chose the flat out wrong way of handling it (again I don't know all the rules/regulations for this kind of thing so I personally cannot say) but some of the comments here are just downright rude and uncalled for. I've learned over the past month its easier for some to attack instead of inform - that's the way of the internet. Hopefully these same principles are not being taught to fellow scouts (if someone does wrong, explain why, don't stoop below your own level for the sake of being catty or cute.)


            • #24
              While I could certainly be missing something here, here is my take ...

              GM agreed to be HELPFUL to her pack and take on a job of some responsibility. She did not enter this job with the intent of creating problems and the pack considered her TRUSTWORTHY enough to trust her with some control over the pack funds, and to be responsible in that role. While she may, or may not have been overzealous, that trust was not misplaced.

              GM was put into a position she was uncomfortable with, and tried to do what she thought was right. We should all be so BRAVE.

              Ok, so she did not blindly accept from others with a clear interest in the status quo that this was not a problem. - ok she wasn't OBEDIENT/LOYAL. But I would not blindly accept the word of the Council or others either. Heck, I had a long discussion with my insurance agent over additional personal liability insurance when I agreed to be the CM for my pack.

              When given conflicting statements of who was responsible to resolve an issue, CO vs. unit, she reasonably sought out advice (presumably on her own dime, THRIFTY for the pack) and while that advice may not have been correct, it was not malicious or ill intentioned. Her adviser was probably unaware of the nuances of how scout units are organized and chartered for just these types of reasons.

              She didn't threaten or blackmail anyone, when confronted with the situation she was uncomfortable with, she worked to remove herself from the situation and provide the appropriate information to appropriate people. We can argue that as Treasurer, her responsibility may have stopped when she told the CC - obviously she felt that that would fall on deaf ears. I would never presume to stop one of my parents with concerns about myself or my CC from going to the CO/COR.

              She wasn't aware of the (potential) political repercussions of doing what she thought was the correct and legal way to resolve the issue. So what. It is not her resposibility to change doing what she thinks is right or wrong because of political considerations or the risk (no matter how big) of doing what she believes is right. While it probably could have been done without the cover letter, providing the appropriate tax information to the CO probably was what she should have done. Now I need to check and see if my own unit has been doing this. For most COs, this is just closing the loop, not creating a tax issue. Maybe she could have also just reported the information for the year of her responsibility, and not worried about prior years. As correctly stated, packs generally do not file their own taxes as they are not in of themselves legal entities, so raising the issue of prior years may have made people incorrectly and overly concerned, but again it was not malicious.

              The Council/DE failed to be COURTEOUS or KIND to GM in trying to offer a reasonable explanation of this is (apparently) a non-issue. Having already submitted the information, I'm not even sure what anyone hoped to gain by bullying her in this way.

              Some members of our happy campfire were also unkind and discourteous in how they responded to a forum post created from genuine concern of the problem. I mean really - I see nothing in what she did that makes Scouting a better program without her. Other members of this forum were more HELPFUL in trying to convey why this isn't really an issue, and if this could have been communicated from the start, there would probably be less of an issue for everyone involved.

              While I find nothing CHEERFUL in this situation or thread, GM if you are still watching this thread, I thank you and personally respect your efforts. I wish there would have been a more reasoned resolution for both sides sake.

              As for suggestions that we should have left her post deleted, or remove the thread - I disagree. We cannot learn from the situation, and it is bound to be repeated some day, if the correct answers are unavailable for searching.

              Yours in Scouting


              • #25
                The tone of the original email was belligerent....she was looking for a fight when she posted it....

                She has no idea about selfless service.......The BSA doesn't care about its volunteers....there are probably a couple of hundred thousand a crossed the country. and honestly why do I care if the BSA cares??????

                I am in the program for my boys.....nothing more or less.....I don't expect to become rich or famous from it......heck I don't even expect a thank you any more... i received a fortune in a cookie a while ago it read, He who expects no gratitude shall never be disappointed.


                • Basementdweller
                  Basementdweller commented
                  Editing a comment
                  A courteous first post with a question would have received a courteous response...

                  Reap what ya sow.

                • JoeBob
                  JoeBob commented
                  Editing a comment
                  BasementDweller, as one of the forum members who has learned to put up with your irascible nature in exchange for the good input that you sometimes provide, may I make a request?

                  Please treat people on the forum, especially tender new folks who come here in search of help, as politely as you would treat a new adult in your troop who just wants to help.

                  In the case of Georgia Mom you may have done some real harm to Scouting with your abrasive responses. Most of us think that the Ga PTA will probably not use this as a tool to drop charters, but if they do; I'm afraid that the responsibility will be as much yours as hers.
                  Instead of politely coaching her (Like mentoring a new SPL) to redirect her question to a more informed tax adviser using the correct parameters, you sided with the council and the DE (unfamiliar ground for you) and sent her running with her tail afire between her legs. And when she attempted to disengage by deleting her posts, you shot gasoline at her by re-posting her comments so that you could gloat some more.

                  Do you you think you improved her opinion of Scouting?
                  I hope that you didn't motivate her to stir up the state PTA even more...

                  For someone who always blasts others for their lack of 'selfless service', you sure blow a self-righteous horn.

                  a 'Self Absorbed Southerner'

                • Basementdweller
                  Basementdweller commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Fair enough Joe bob....But I am not the one who has posted multiple times that I will be leaving scouting the second my son eagles. In another thread you wrote that you could careless the fate of the BSA as your son will be done in less than 5 years.......A completely selfish view.

                  I will continue to serve the boys of my neighborhood and unit as long as I am physically able.

                  I reposted not to gloat, but so the thread could remain complete....... I will continue to do so if the original poster on any thread deletes it regardless of topic.
                  Last edited by Basementdweller; 07-03-2013, 12:06 PM.

              • #26
                I read this thread again and only found two members that I would consider flamed GM before she deleted. Brewmeister and our good friend BD. Those of us who on here frequently know that BD is just that way and his bark is worse than his bite. He can sure dish it out, but he can take it as well. Courteous responses just are not in his nature most days. In my opinion she was not ganged up on at all, just barked at by a couple our more rabid members. I believe everyone else was courteous in their response. Unfortunately, she was already burned out on the program for the same reasons I originally engaged her in conversation and it certainly took a different direction I intended. I am sure she has left the room. The lesson here is when you vent, expect people to vent right back at you.


                • blw2
                  blw2 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  good points KDD..... a drop of gasoline can ruin a whole lot of water.....
                  perception is projection
                  ..... and all of that.....
                  and I'm sure that on some level even the loud barkers you mention are just trying to be helpful in the way they themselves would like to be helped.

                  last year our treasurer left (son aged out of the pack). When there wasn't an obvious replacement, I considered stepping up and saying I would do it to help, but thought better of getting my hands in the money. That's a potentially volatile place to be for sure!
                  Last edited by blw2; 07-03-2013, 07:37 AM.

                • Pack18Alex
                  Pack18Alex commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I think you have a situation with a stay-at-home mom that thought of herself as more of an alpha mom (hence her "left a 6 figure job to work from home and be with her kids" comment, while disparaging the PTA president as a "stay at home mom"). She thinks that she's smarter than everyone else involved in the BSA program, she disparages their careers, their lives, etc.

                  This might all be true. But it made her a bad soldier.

                  She thought that the status quo was wrong, she suggested changing it. Once everyone with authority to do it said no, she needed to drop the idea of CHANGING IT. If she thinks that she has personal liability from her few months as treasurer, then she needs to quietly remove herself from that personal liability, with minimum interference.

                  Instead she used the excuse of "personal liability" to attempt to force her view after it was rejected. The Committee Chair told her no, she used her "I need to avoid personal liability" to overrule the Committee Chair in a backhanded way, that was wrong.

                  Incidentally, on the facts of the matter, she's wrong, but that has nothing to do with how she handled the situation wrong.

                  Then she came here, blasted people in her area, and when people here defended them, blasted people here.

                  After that, she deleted her posts and ran away.

                  The problem is her, not the people here.

              • #27
                OK, now that we're into the introspective, self-analysis phase, I have been watching all this with the 'fickle finger of fate' hovering, ready to pounce. GM seemed to be giving as good as she received but I sensed an expectation from the first post that she would get support from all you well-seasoned soldiers. She didn't. But she was plucky enough to continue to butt heads for a while. As I read her posts I sensed that she's good at that and I'm not saying that's necessarily a bad thing. But none of us wins all the battles and sometimes wisdom is expressed when we can make a good decision about which hill is the one we're willing to die for. She didn't seem to be good at that.

                I'm not sure she gained from this experience, either.

                All that said, I'm glad that I didn't apply the 'fickle finger of fate' but...wouldn't it have been great if everyone could have gained from the experience?


                • #28
                  Originally posted by Basementdweller View Post
                  She obviously doesn't want to carry the guilt if she did end PTA/PTO sponsorship of packs and troops in Georgia. Too late now.......Honestly the BSA is better off without someone like her. She would have been a thorn in the side of what ever organization she would have been a part of.
                  Agree X 1000! You can explain things to certain types several times, and in several different ways, and they just......don't.....get it.

                  So as not to lose our heads over this (as is what seems to be happening) here are the facts:

                  1. The Pack/Troop is an extension of the Chartered Organization and is included in their financial "umbrella". The scout unit is not, and never has been a financial entity itself.
                  2. The treasurer does NOT get involved with tax filings of any type. Bank accounts should absolutely be of a "non interest earning" variety, and include the name of the CO on the account and checks. (We also used the CO's EIN number to open the accounts.)
                  3. The treasurer should provide at least annual financial reports to the CO, whether they want it or not. End of responsibility for Pack/Troop treasurer.

                  Georgia Mom, if you're still reading, here is the description of what your job title was, as opposed to what you thought it was
                  Last edited by FrankScout; 07-06-2013, 03:01 PM.