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  2. They aren't. My unit has high hopes for the scouting movement. These aspirations just don't include the council. Many people make the assumption that the scouting movement and BSA are inseparable. Not true.
  3. TMSM

    Do you "Scout Sunday"?

    We attend at out Co and they make a big deal that we are there and talk about the other things we do during the year. Its one of the few times I get a lot of people thanking me for what I do for scouts.
  4. ParkMan

    Do you "Scout Sunday"?

    Though we attend our CO's service, I'm not a big fan of Scout Sunday. Having an event like this where you come out once a year in force seems like a check box item. Feels to me like it would be preferable to have a more regular interaction. Perhaps quarterly service projects or activites where the unit is more tied into the life of the CO. Make engagement with the CO part of what the unit does.
  5. Today
  6. christineka

    Does mb counselor status expire?

    I need this in my life! I can't keep track of when I fill out forms that aren't online! I re-registered in bsa in early fall when the new troop became official. I'm sure the merit badge counselor paper I filled out was turned in over a year ago. No one told me I had to redo that on an annual basis. I have a new question, though. Since my son completed the merit badge in the middle of last year (and I have record of turning in the last requirement because it was emailed), can the man, who was merit badge counselor, sign the card and date it for last year? The badge was passed off.
  7. I worked on tort reform as a national public policy issue some years ago. Nothing happened then, nothing has improved since. It's only gotten worse. In parts of Europe and Canada, the legal liability system works differently and organizations like scouting don't have the same kinds of issues and challenges that we have here. We would have to change our system and also our cultural outlook. Americans like to sue. It's why I have always carried a very large personal umbrella policy. I don't like a lot of the changes National has made over the years, but I can understand why some of them happened.
  8. Fully concur. Great points. Not to relieve national of this responsibility, I have to imagine that we would could take some of the ideas out of these recent threads and bring them together into a series of guidelines for councils. A blueprint for success for councils in the 2020's and beyond.
  9. I often wonder why our aspirations as a movement as so low. My council probably covers a metropolitan area of 2 or 3 million people. How hard can it be to setup a fund to protect camp forever? That takes what - 5 million dollars? Hire a professional endowment company to guide you through the process and make it happen. I see stuff like this happen regularly in the religious and university communities. Time for major improvements at church - let's raise $2,000,000 dollars. Let's grow the university endowment to $250,000,000 dollars.
  10. I was going to write something about council camps and management and all that good stuff, but I stopped. There really is only one problem that needs to be solved at the council level. The person running it (and this includes the board as well) needs a very unique set of skills. For one, they need good, real experience running non-profits. Balancing budgets, hiring good people, replacing bad people, working with volunteers and poorly paid employees, drumming up donations, solving problems and, most importantly, making a positive impact in the area of the non profit. This does not come from an EDGE based training video. This doesn't even come from WB. Second, they need skills in making scouting work. How to help units thrive, how scouting really works and outdoor skills. Related to the once council level problem is a national level problem. National needs to make councils successful and listen to them. Give them the tools they need. They also need to review councils by people that also know this business. Check the books. Ask why council troops no longer go to the council camps. Finally, they need the real threat of revoking franchises of failing councils. While there is claim that this review exists my guess is it's superficial at best and done by some guy that really doesn't know what to look for. If this were in place then we wouldn't need to be having these discussions here because they would have been going on a long time ago between councils and national. Council level problems are people problems. Hire the right people and let them do their job. What's preventing this are national problems. Boards that don't do their job, inbreeding, a top down culture and just being so far from scouting that they don't understand their own product or their own customers. Compounding all of this is that there aren't many people with all of the skills described above. Not only that but doing this in the context of a greatly weakened national is going to be even more difficult.
  11. ParkMan

    Does mb counselor status expire?

    It would be desirable in my.scouting.org to see your registration status and items needed for re-registration. Imagine if... you could go in, see that you needed to re-do YPT and it has a needs to be done by date. if you needed MBC training, it had the link to the training. If there were other forms needed - such as a local council MBC form - it would be available there online, you could fill it in live, and then hit submit. The form would go to the correct district/council person who would receive it and hit accept. A district person could see the list of people online and see current status A unit key three member could see the list of MBC for the district. If only we possessed the technology in our society to do things like that. Ahh, but even if we did I'm sure it would be more cost effective for us to do this all by paper and having people chase forms.
  12. If he were around today, the Artful Dodger would probably become a lawyer. There is more than one way to pick a pocket.
  13. scoutldr

    Does mb counselor status expire?

    Merit Badge counselors (MBC) should be properly registered at the District level. It is not a troop level position. If a troop does not recharter, it should not affect their registration. They also need to keep their Youth Protection training current. Your son's SM should be able to get a list of currently registered and approved MBC from the District Advancement Committee. These are the ONLY people who should be signing off on blue cards.
  14. malraux

    Does mb counselor status expire?

    Yes, everyone has to recharter/renew every year. It would be nice if there were a better way to do that. The new troop should have the list of current merit badge counselors. I would think that most MBC would accept previous work, especially in being understanding of the turmoil you're experience because of the shakeup. Your son should talk with the scoutmaster about fixing this.
  15. And when you're taught how to right a swamped canoe, turn your flannel shirt into a life preserver, make tea from the bark of a sassafras tree, and read animal tracks, cairns and trail signs, you're gaining the confidence that you'll be able to adapt to whatever life throws at you. That's still relevant, not at all anachronistic. Boy Scouts needs to confront its painful past. But it might also be true that in the past it finds its future. ~ Michael Dobie , Newsday editorial board https://www.newsday.com/opinion/columnists/michael-dobie/michael-dobie-boy-scouts-of-america-bankruptcy-1.42041316
  16. As background, my son just celebrated his 13th birthday. We're LDS, we live in Utah. I'm sure you all know that the LDS church dropped the scouting program at the end of 2019. My son joined a new community troop in the fall. I have asked for my son's records. I was promised they'd get them to me. A couple months have passed and I've been doing some investigations of my own. (Looked on scoutbook, asked the scout leader, called council) and it appears that there aren't any records. My son does have a scout book, but was never instructed to bring it, nor was there ever any announcement of when they were doing advancement interviews (or whatever it's called). Council is really nice and has entered the date of the one and only non-Eagle Court of Honor as the date of achieving all ranks up to 1st class and the first aid merit badge. My son also earned personal management. Since he had to email the financial tracking sheet to the counselor, I still had that email handy. I emailed the counselor asking if he would sign a blue card for my son. He says that since the church didn't recharter, he's now expired and can't sign the card. Is it true that merit badge counselors expire? I am a merit badge counselor and haven't been sent any emails telling me that I have to re-register. I do keep up with youth protection. If this merit badge counselor is expired, what can we do (other than redo the badge) to get a current counselor to sign the card? I was told our troop would have a last court of honor (the previous one was held in May 2019), but I guess my family is the only one that cares about my boys being awarded the badges they earned. (I have an older son, too.)
  17. Tort reform would certainly help. If you have deep pockets, some lawyer somewhere is trying to think of a way to take your money.
  18. RememberSchiff

    Positive Council Changes during Financial Reorganization

    Alarms go off in my head when I hear of Council board members who work in real estate.
  19. I don't know why. Many of us have been saying for years that the BSA insurance coverage was probably insufficient to adequately protect us. We recommended buying your own insurance policy. I certainly did. My Chartered Organization did as well. Insurance companies still sell insurance. I would suggest that scout leaders contact a good insurance broker. He/she will be able to help determine the amount and type of insurance needed. Much better than asking for expert advice over the internet.
  20. In trying to visualize a more decentralized future for scouting, one of the things that keeps stopping me is liability insurance. Even if we are no longer BSA, if we are anything scout like, I wonder how we are going to be able to obtain affordable insurance. The liability insurance crisis isn't limited to scouts. In every sector I work or volunteer in, everyone is trying to avoid or reassign risk. You can't stand in front of a supermarket, use school or town facilities, or do just about anything else without a COI. Any insurance experts out there with thoughts?
  21. Yesterday
  22. Liz: Remember that your recruitment commission (what? The SMS didn't tell you about the commission for every Scout you enlist? Well. let me get my tongue outta my cheek) does not depend on ONLY AOL/Webelos crossovers. Make sure you have some notoriety in the middle schools . The School Counselors should know of your existence. Take home flyers? Ask about the backpack requirements and see your DE about getting some flyers printed up. Post cards for your Scouts to hand to their friends with an event invitation. Campfire hotdog roast, flag retirement, nature hike , something like that, easy and friendly. "All Scouting Is Local".
  23. It's a nice thought. It would be great if camp alumni bought up these camps (and created endowments) as BSA and councils sell them off to pay debts. I just haven't seen this happening. The camps are mostly being bought up by developers.
  24. The judgments will be for cash. How the BSA/Councils/COs raise that cash will be up to them.
  25. I was thinking about protection for the future, not so much protection from the abuse lawsuits. Let's assume for a moment that the lawsuits do get to some conclusion that results in your camp continuing to exist. Now, imagine that you knew the funding was there so that the camp would exist for 100 years. You could make improvements knowing the council executive board wouldn't sell the camp because summer camp enrollment was down. You could donate the "David CO" nature building and know it would be used forever. In my mind, the camp is more like college. The council board is more like caretakers of an institution that will be there for 100 years. Today we our councils are acting more like non-profits advancing a cause. In my mind the whole council should be thought of with that permanence too - but this is a discussion for another day.
  26. Since many of the reported cases of sexual abuse occurred at camps, I don't think the camps and the endowment funds would remain protected. The lawyers would definitely go after the endowment fund.
  27. @dkurtenbach - thanks for bringing up back to the original topic. I believe that in looking at what Councils do, we need to weigh an important factor. What are our members willing to pay for the Scouting program? To start, we need to recognize three important points about councils: Most services a council spends money to provide are not visible to Scouts and families. Most programming the Scouts receive from councils is done at a fee to Scouts. Unit support from a professional is usually the least cost effective way to provide that service In addition to my minor prior comments about focusing on building district volunteer teams, my approach to councils in essence would be: 1. Re-examine the efficacy of spending money on tasks not measurable by Scouts. Fundraising, membership, finance, & marketing. Is the overhead incurred by a council to provide these services worth it? Proposal: reduce expenses here by 75%. If it doesn't directly impact local Scouting, cut it. 2. Re-focus on councils organizing and promoting programming by volunteers. Proposal: limit professional involvement in programming to special, highly visible activities such as Summer Camp. 3. Unit support from professionals. What is it that professionals really do for units? We see our DE once a quarter? Is that support really so important? Proposal: Clarify just what it is that professionals do for unit support. council camps - Why is it that council camps are running a deficit? The land for most council camps is paid for. What costs money is stuff like salaries for staff, expenses for buildings, maintenance. Yet, every year councils raise all kinds of money to cover council operations. Imagine if donations to Scouting really paid for improvements to council camps. Similar to @RememberSchiff, I'm of the belief that councils camps ought to have established trusts or endowments. Universities do this, why not Scouting? Imagine if your council camp was protected by an endowment and didn't need to charge fees to stay open. Proposal: Council camps should be fully funded through self-perpetuating endowment funds. focus on volunteerism - Imagine if councils cut almost all the red tape. Imagine if district volunteers felt supported and encouraged. Imagine if district volunteers were focused on programming and activity at the local level. Imagine if district volunteers built strong relationships with units and those relationships were rewarding. I expect we'd see a lot more volunteerism in Scouting. Today most unit volunteers avoid district & council with a 10 foot pole because of all the overhead, red tape, and nonsense. Imagine if it was easy and fun to be a volunteer outside the unit. Proposal: reduce the council generated rules. Build strong volunteer district teams.
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  • Posts

    • They aren't.  My unit has high hopes for the scouting movement.  These aspirations just don't include the council.  Many people make the assumption that the scouting movement and BSA are inseparable.  Not true.
    • We attend at out Co and they make a big deal that we are there and talk about the other things we do during the year. Its one of the few times I get a lot of people thanking me for what I do for scouts.
    • Though we attend our CO's service, I'm not a big fan of Scout Sunday. Having an event like this where you come out once a year in force seems like a check box item.  Feels to me like it would be preferable to have a more regular interaction.  Perhaps quarterly service projects or activites where the unit is more tied into the life of the CO.  Make engagement with the CO part of what the unit does.
    • I need this in my life!  I can't keep track of when I fill out forms that aren't online!  I re-registered in bsa in early fall when the new troop became official.  I'm sure the merit badge counselor paper I filled out was turned in over a year ago.  No one told me I had to redo that on an annual basis. I have a new question, though.  Since my son completed the merit badge in the middle of last year (and I have record of turning in the last requirement because it was emailed), can the man, who was merit badge counselor, sign the card and date it for last year?  The badge was passed off.
    • I worked on tort reform as a national public policy issue some years ago. Nothing happened then, nothing has improved since. It's only gotten worse. In parts of Europe and Canada, the legal liability system works differently and organizations like scouting don't have the same kinds of issues and challenges that we have here. We would have to change our system and also our cultural outlook. Americans like to sue. It's why I have always carried a very large personal umbrella policy. I don't like a lot of the changes National has made over the years, but I can understand why some of them happened.   
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