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Scouting for a few dollars more.

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  • #16
    Don't you all know that the BSA is a "growth industry"?




    for professionals.....

    Comment


    • #17
      When a "normal" company hits a financial wall, sacrifices are made to fix the problem. In the real world the first people to feel the pain are us worker bees. BSA has a different dilemma. The worker bees all pay to volunteer. The cuts will have to occur at the pro level. I think its been an inflated bureaucracy for years and has only got fatter.

      Comment


      • King Ding Dong
        King Ding Dong commented
        Editing a comment
        More likely we will see a lot properties go up on the block.

      • Basementdweller
        Basementdweller commented
        Editing a comment
        KDD this has nothing to do with local council.....

        This is a national increase.....I do agree that some councils may try to use this as an excuse to sell some property..... Taking advantage of us un edumacated folk

      • Tampa Turtle
        Tampa Turtle commented
        Editing a comment
        I agree. I wonder if this will affect any FOS donations? Probably not as other activities are going up as well. But it may dredge up the old discussion of what do we get from National.

    • #18
      People People People.....

      It is $9....relax for pete sake.

      Heck you can't but two folks a meal the golden arches for that any more.

      Comment


      • FrankScout
        FrankScout commented
        Editing a comment
        It's a 60% increase!! Not a big deal??? Multiply that $9 by everyone registered in your pack! This will be one hot topic at tonight's pack committee meeting for sure!!
        Last edited by FrankScout; 09-03-2013, 05:38 PM.

      • Basementdweller
        Basementdweller commented
        Editing a comment
        So Frank, does your unit offer free scouting????? Don't your families pay for scouting???? Just adjust your budget by 9 bucks a head.

      • FrankScout
        FrankScout commented
        Editing a comment
        I got back tonight from our Pack Commitee meeting BD, where I broke the news to them. NO ONE had heard about this, including the very active, district involved Cubmaster! The leaders unanimously agreed to raise dues $3 a month (for 10 months) to $10, with a $20 discount for those who pay in full by October 1st. Believe it or not, people DO "jump" at the "discount", and we get the much-needed funds much more quickly that way. Prices at the Scout Shop have gone up too, check it out next time you go! I'm just glad we were able to take care of this BEFORE our recruitment nights, next week. (THANKS to this forum!!!!) No nasty surprises for anyone at recharter time, and THAT'S the problem for our unit. Our budget was set for the year! Now it has to be reworked. Our Dues pay for all advancement, and den leader supplies--everything else (B&G, Pinewood, subsidized activities, RE-registration etc.) is fundraising. Also agreed, NO popcorn this year, we need a better return on the product than 30%. Not quite "free scouting", but we raise what we need, and spend what we raise. Usually we start the year with 200-300 dollars, enough for 1-2 pack meetings.
        Last edited by FrankScout; 09-03-2013, 11:14 PM.

    • #19
      An increase in memberhsip fees probably isn't going to help the membership issue.

      The other item I heard that was discussed and is moving forward is Council consolidations. Supposedly trying to reduce the number fo Councils down to around 200. Not that's how they will manage to sell of camps an assets to bank it for some future need, if anyone is still around.

      Comment


      • Builder
        Builder commented
        Editing a comment
        I'm in a council that is the product of a "consolidation" of 2 councils a little over 4 years ago. Since then enough professional positions have been created to more than offset the supposed savings (see my post above). Someone please explain the difference between the following:
        -- Director of Field Services
        -- Field Director
        We got one of each now. Among a number of other "created" council level pro positions that magically appeared after the consolidation.

        I did some math this evening. Our council website claims 23,000 youth served (cough, cough) and a $2.4M budget. For those without calculators handy, that's almost $105/youth. Around 15 years ago my troop figured that it cost about $100/Scout to support him for 1 year. Some of that cost overlaps, e.g. membership fee. But the point is that adding those costs together you get close to, or over $200/year/youth. How many more popcorn orders do you really need this fall?

      • NJCubScouter
        NJCubScouter commented
        Editing a comment
        Builder, the BSA web site has a handy list of position descriptions (although I think some of the descriptions could be a little more, er, descriptive) at http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/...positions.aspx.

        Here is what they say about those two positions:

        "director of field service: The number two position in councils. Responsible for supervision of two or more field directors."

        "field director: A professional Scouter who is responsible for the supervision of professionals in two or more districts. Serves as the interim district executive when a vacancy occurs."

        I always thought the latter position was called "field service director" but maybe they have changed it to reduce the confusion between the two positions. (Not enough.) But they are at different levels on the org chart: The director of field service supervises the field (service) directors, who supervise the district executives. (I know there are some "district directors" who cover more than one district; not sure where they go on the chart.)

        Interestingly, it says there should be at least two field (service) directors, but you say your council has only one. It wouldn't seem necessary to have a field (service) director if the council is so small that there is only one. The district executives (etc.) could just report to the director of field service. Maybe a few dollars could be saved that way. Also, this definition says the director of field service is the number two person in the council, but I know our council has an assistant scout executive, who presumably is number two. Maybe he is also director of field service. (Update: I just checked my council's staff directory: We have an assistant scout executive AND a director of field service, and we only have one field director. So, go figure.)
        Last edited by NJCubScouter; 09-03-2013, 10:31 PM.

      • TSS_Chris
        TSS_Chris commented
        Editing a comment
        AFAIK, the Field Director position is a pay grade for professional Scouters. They progress through the ranks like a Scout: District Executive (entry-level), Senior District Executive, District Director, Field Director. These are all front-line positions that serve the youth.

        Director of Field Services is equivalent to the Council's COO. The Assistant SE professional is probably a non-youth facing administrator, like a CFO, CTO or Chief Fundraising Officer.

    • #20
      So this is the other shoe that had to drop? I would like to hold the National Executives that orchestrated the membership change accountable but how do I do that? In my district, I am laying it directly on the Methodists churches. Man up, you got your way, now you have to pay. Any UMC's that are not currently sponsoring a unit will get the hard sell. As for you "national" types, you day is coming.

      Comment


      • Basementdweller
        Basementdweller commented
        Editing a comment
        So what are you jibbering about????

      • Builder
        Builder commented
        Editing a comment
        Originally posted by Flyingfish View Post
        I am laying it directly on the Methodists churches.
        As an almost life-long Scout/Scouter and as a life-long Methodist I'll take a bit of exception to that statement. The one and only "official" UMC statement I ever saw about the new membership policy took a "we don't necessarily agree with it but we love the sinner, hate the sin" stance. In fact, the LDS church had a much more liberal "official statement" after the decision than the UMC did.
        Last edited by Builder; 09-03-2013, 07:53 PM.

    • #21
      Get this twist. I told my friend about the increase and he asked his DE. His DE freaked out on him a bit, said it was true but not public yet and wanted to know where he heard the news. His DE said that it wasn't suppose to be announced until October. That explains why the council hasn't announced the change. Makes me think they are waiting until after recruitment so the extra cost doesn't affect sign-up numbers.

      Comment


      • WAKWIB
        WAKWIB commented
        Editing a comment
        The news did get pushed out via Scouting Magazine today.
        http://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/201...ur-24-get-you/

      • Basementdweller
        Basementdweller commented
        Editing a comment
        What fun over on bryan.......

        Seriously people if 9 bucks is a no go for you....Well I just don't know what to tell you.

        How about live below your means????

      • Scouter99
        Scouter99 commented
        Editing a comment
        Poor Bryan, hahahaha! That is one ugly mob.

    • #22
      Originally posted by Tokala View Post
      An increase in memberhsip fees probably isn't going to help the membership issue.
      Why? How many times last year did an applicant's mom say "Hey, how long has the fee been $15?" You just told them it's $15, they said OK and wrote the check. So now it's $24.
      The only reason an increase this year would effect applicants is if sourgrapes dummies say "it woulda been $15 but friggin' national raised it." Any existing members can find $9 more in their sofa.

      Comment


      • Builder
        Builder commented
        Editing a comment
        Seriously? Really?
        Economics 101 supply/demand graphs.

        When supply exceeds demand price/item decreases. When demand exceeds supply price/item increases. Please show me where BSA membership is so "in demand" that it deserves a 60% increase in price.

        No, this is all about "[...] but administrative costs have continued to rise faster than projected." Read, cost per professional and insurance/lawyers.

    • #23
      While an extra $9/ year may not seem like much, it can hurt some of us. It will hurt me as I am already paying for 2, luckily my pack picks me up as a leader, but come next June it will be 3. Plus if the pack decides not to pay for leaders, it's going to be 4. I'm already seeing increases in food, gas, car insurance, home owners insurance, medical insurance, utilities, etc. Add on top of that mortgage, medical bills,student loans, etc and that $9 extra per person per year hurts.

      Already tightened the budget: no cable TV, or regular TV for that matter since I live in the boonies. Go out with the wife 4 times per year if I am l lucky, birthdays, anniversary, and maybe 1 other time if we are lucky. And vacations consist of scout activities or visiting relative.

      Comment


      • Scouter99
        Scouter99 commented
        Editing a comment
        What is your recharter month? You (and everyone else) have at least 2 months to save back $18 more than what you budgeted. It's just not that big of a hurdle.
        I'm saying all this as a low-paid contractor who'll only work 2 days a week at most until December; I get "tight budget."

    • #24
      Do they really think we're DOPES???

      From the Bryan On Scouting Article: (my response in paretheses) What does your $24 buy?

      Simply put, the Boy Scouts of America National Council provides program materials and support for 280 local councils that administer the Scouting program, with each covering a specific geographic area. To be more specific, the following are the key functions of the national council:
      • Provide liability insurance to registered adult members, local councils, chartered organizations and the national organization
      (Um, no, the unit pays the insurance separately from the registration fee, and that too has increased.)
      • Provide technological platforms for the Scouting movement
      (How about a platform that WORKS? That would be nice)
      • Provide local councils with program as well as tools for camp and office planning and evaluation, extensive financial counseling, planned giving and fundraising information, and professional personnel support.
      (Really?? Not seeing it in MY council. Please get here when you can. Pretty Please?)
      • Coordinate a communications network through magazines and literature (handbooks, merit badge pamphlets, brochures, training materials, and professional development training)
      (Don't WE pay for these as well?)
      • Make available uniforms, equipment, and program supplies
      (I'm still waiting for new uniforms, equipment and program supplies from National...C'mon, you know my address, don't you?)
      • Develop and maintain year-round national high-adventure bases and execute national events (jamborees, National Eagle Scout Association and Order of the Arrow conferences, and National Council meetings)
      (Last I heard, the participants pay these fees. Ever check the prices for a week at Jambo, or Philmont, or Sea Base lately?)
      • Maintain communication with chartered organizations that use the Scouting program (religious institutions, civic organizations, labor unions, professional organizations, business, and industry)
      (I'm a COR, and our CO gets absolutely NO communication from National, or even council for that matter. None. Nada. Zip.)
      • Maintain liaison with Scouting associations in other countries as a member of the World Scout Conference
      (There's a FEE to belong to the WSC?)
      • Set and maintain program standards (e.g., Advancement, health and safety, etc.) to ensure consistency of the brand throughout councils across the country.
      (OK, you got me there!)

      They really do think we're that naive!!!!

      My guess is: Bryan has never attended a Troop Committee meeting.
      Last edited by FrankScout; 09-03-2013, 10:59 PM.

      Comment


      • #25
        BD has replied as follows:
        I call Bull pucky.......


        Get off your butt and look for them on ebay, craigslist or any of the other thrift stores.

        Thanks BD, As always, I appreciate your advice and insightful perspective.

        Comment


        • Scouter99
          Scouter99 commented
          Editing a comment
          You will one day see me on TV in a hoarders episode sitting on a pile of vintage BSA uniforms. I'm not a rich man. You can get complete uniforms on eBay for less than $20, "if you look for them."

        • Basementdweller
          Basementdweller commented
          Editing a comment
          EWD that wasn't directed at you but Flying fish saying that Salvation army and good will have an agreement to not resell uniforms.

          I am more likely to believe they have an agreement with local resale shops than chucking them in the trash or giving them to council

      • #26
        Originally posted by WAKWIB View Post
        Membership fees will increase to $24/year. Two bucks a month is not too painful for me. However it's a bit of a pain during recruitment time to tell folks it's one price and then come back with an "update."
        Pretty hilarious that these loving Christian reporters have decided to turn junkyard bulldog on BSA.

        Comment


        • WAKWIB
          WAKWIB commented
          Editing a comment
          I think it's pretty hilarious that the loving Christian reporters gave you guys a heads-up on the fee increase long before Professional BSA deemed you worthy to receive the news.

        • Scouter99
          Scouter99 commented
          Editing a comment
          3 days, bud.

        • WAKWIB
          WAKWIB commented
          Editing a comment
          Well...take what you get, bro. My guess is that well over half of Scouting's unit leaders haven't heard of this yet. Council leadership isn't exactly shouting it from the rooftops.

      • #27
        You know, if it's true that a very large portion of the increase is going to increased salaries, maybe Scouting's "best supporters" (in the words of Scouting Magazine) can step it up a little more: http://digital.scouting.org/scouting...rces/index.htm (p 42/43)

        Comment


        • #28
          Scouter99
          I have a buddy that would give you a run for your money. My original comment dealt with the lack of uniforms in the thrift stores as resellers are snapping them up. As you will problably
          remember we used to be able to buy them for under $5 per piece

          Comment


          • #29
            It is hard to see how a 60% increase in fees that already have little, if any, local impact should be received with anything but scorn by the parents and youth. Our local Council adds fees on top of the National registration fee (currently $2.00 for "insurance" although I thought that was already covered by the National fee). I hear there is discussion of increasing this local amount, but I don't know how true that is other than when I called Council today, they refused to give me a recharter amount and said there would be an announcement after the local bigwigs discussed the matter.

            While the increase may be relatively small, it has to be taken into context with all of the other costs of Scouting: awards, achievements, administrative unit costs, trips and events, car mileage...this ads up to hundreds of dollars per year, so it is a bit disingenuous when there is a suggestion of all the great things that a youth gets for his $15...er, $24...well, $26...whatever, money.

            talked to my committee chair this evening who has been budgeting with unit dues all year long for the recharter, only to find out he is now at least $9.00 short per Scout. In the end, a 60% increase is a pretty big increase. Now, if that increase was accompanied by an announcement about all the great things that would directly benefit the Scouts, then it would be more palatable, but that is not the case.

            When the FOS folks come a callin' next year, I seriously doubt my unit will let them speak to the parents! While there is no connection between recharter fees and FOS, I can't imagine the parents will care. I know the unit key three has a low sense of humor about it.

            Comment


            • Scouter99
              Scouter99 commented
              Editing a comment
              We do our own FoS presentation and exceed goal every year. Last year, the district forced their guy on us and he pulled in less than half of our goal. kekekeke

            • Basementdweller
              Basementdweller commented
              Editing a comment
              I wouldn't brag about exceeding your FOS goal....That is money that isn't benefiting your scouts it is going to put your council SE in a Half million dollar house on the golf course. I would have a friend of Troop 99 a meeting or two before the FOS presentation...Then use the money to replace gear or create a scholarship fund.

          • #30
            I was enjoying the flame session over on the Bryan on Scouting comments page. That got me wondering how many times can BSA piss off their volunteers/customers and write it off as a just a bunch of whiney malcontents? Over time, like a buck or two on the membership fee, it has to add up. As they say, friends come and go, enemies accumulate.

            And from the Department of Unintended Consequences, I wonder how many units will figure out that they can cover the fee increase for the Scouts by dropping some of their "extra" committee members and ASMs? Last year you were a committee member running the Pinewood Derby, this year you're just a dad doing the same job. And of course that means no background check and likely a lesser chance of having a trained leader. How many of those need to accumulate before there is a problem.

            By the way, over on the Bryan on Scouting site some fellow posted an analysis of BSAs financials for the past two years. Revenues up, expenses down, net up something like $49 million for the year. Nine bucks times 1.5 million members sounds a whole lot like $13.5 million. I wonder what they're really going to do with the money?

            Comment


            • Basementdweller
              Basementdweller commented
              Editing a comment
              I saw that as well, I wonder where the figures come from and how factual they are

            • Basementdweller
              Basementdweller commented
              Editing a comment
              I will say that it is good fun over there.....Especially the folks that are whining about $10 camp outs and having to pay for everything

            • TSS_Chris
              TSS_Chris commented
              Editing a comment
              I took a read through the comments just to find this analysis. He's only looking at one year. It's hard to tell anything from that.

              I did my own analysis of the BSA Financial Reports from 2007-2012. My results are in this Excel file. It's flawed, since I'm approaching this like you would for a for-profit business, and ignoring investment income or endowments.

              My takeaways:

              + Total revenues are up 3% per year 2007 to 2012.
              + The growth in revenue has been primarily from contributions. The years 2009-11 were really good, with total contributions averaging $60MM for those years. '12 was closer to, but still above the prior average.
              + Overall expenses have increased at about 9% per year. Well in excess of the gains in revenues.
              + The biggest single expense was Insurance payouts. The program went from $23MM in '07 to $63MM in '12. That's about a 30% increase per year.
              + The "Other Expense" category also saw a large increase from $23MM to $48MM. About 18% per year.
              + Delving into the notes, most of those gains are in the Field Services category, which, among other things, pays for "administration and funding of the defense of our private membership rights". If the trend holds, that's going to add another $15MM in expenses for '13, and $22MM in '14 -- The same that is currently spent on Program Materials.
              + Membership, both youth and adult, has been declining at the steady rate of 1% per year. Will there be a step change in this when the "Conservative Scouting Movement" announces at the end of this week?
              + Overall, salaries in the BSA have increased at about 2% per year. However the top 12 employees of the BSA have seen raises of more than 9% per year.
              + The salary numbers in the blog comments are way off: Bob Mazzuca made a cool million a year in pay. If the BSA was a public company, that would put him at 486 on the Forbes highest paid CEOs list. When Wayne Brock was the #2 guy, he was getting over a half million a year. Wonder what he gets now? My council's SE made about $300k. A small council SE makes about $100k.
              + Those top 12 take home about 11% of the total salaries paid. This makes the average salary for an employee at National somewhere around $13k per year.

              So my bets: Most of the money will go to pay for legal costs and judgement against the BSA, and the rest will be used to make up for a significant decline in membership.

              I'd like to hear a real announcement of where the money is going within the BSA, rather than this bogus "value for the money" story.

              It might also be a good time to hear the business case for continuing to defend the BSA's private membership rights. These seem to be causing the most trouble with the huge punitive damage awards.
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