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    • Back in the day, when I served on the Pittsburgh and later the Syracuse council staffs we had the Scoutreach program. I know that in Syracuse it has been over a decade since the council provided services to low income city youth. With the rise in adolescent suicide, crime, drug use, failure to complete school and other serious issues, I have to question if one, do we have a responsibility to get scouting to these neighborhoods and two, if so, how do we manage to meet that responsibility and obligation?  In Syracuse, and I imagine in many other councils they don't have enough income to even maintain a minimal staff to support the remaining traditional scouting units let alone launch a Scoutreach program. I would imagine putting together an outreach that would include business, schools, churches, community centers and even law enforcement would be a great first step but where to go from there? Do we just let all of the social evils that exist in that population continue to destroy young lives or do we find a way to intervene? For 6 1/2 years I ran the Scoutreach program including running a troop myself and seeing that kids got to go camping, participate in district events and council cub and summer camps. I know it worked. A police officer at the center where my troop met told me some years later that 'none of my kids went through the system'. He thought it was important to tell me that because without scouting he pretty much knew that some of them would have gone down a dark path. Let me know what is happening in some of your councils to address this issue or thoughts on where councils/national need to go to meet the need or even if you think we ought to address this issue considering all the other hurdles the BSA has ahead of it. 
    • Many local councils had to sell properties and dip deeply into endowments in order to kick in their share of the settlement. AS you pointed out, the settlement will have long lasting financial consequences for the BSA and structured fee increases was and is a part of that settlement. I believe that part of that projection was predicated on membership growth which seems ridiculous on the face of it since the BSA has not had traditional membership growth since the early/mid 1970's. I believe the loss of the LDS church was factored into things but the impact of covid and the bad press from all the ads that the law firms ran not to mention the NBC documentary special on abuse in the BSA are things that will make it very difficult to maintain, let alone grow the program. Additionally, local councils tacking on insurance and service fees will make growth even more unlikely. The issue extends from the top to the bottom and it ain't going away!
    • Any talk about the future of the BSA must begin with the financial situation it is in.  Unlike most bankruptcies, BSA doesn't leave it nearly debt free and in stable financial shape.  They entered bankruptcy with nearly $300M in cash and $180M endowment.  The endowment is gone and cash is at $25M.  They also added to their debt right before the bankruptcy ... and exited with all of that debt $222M of secured debt (I believe on their HA bases) and $364M of debt on Summit. So, $25M of cash on hand and $586M of debt.  Let's say that loan is 4% and 30 years ... that is $34M a year in debt payments starting back up.  Or ... $34 per every scout per year. At $80 per scout in National Fees, removing $34 for debt and likely $50 for insurance doesn't leaves any room to pay anyone at National.   They need to refill their endowment and find a way to reduce that debt fast.  Growing membership will be important, but $80 per scout won't get them out of this hole fast enough.
    • I'm sure Sea Scouts/Venturing cost money at National.  There is some amount of insurance, some attention form leadership, etc.  If numbers keep dropping there will be a risk vs return point where BSA feels it is no longer worth the risk/cost of supporting the programs.  BSA gets about $1M of revenue a year from them (from fees)... much of that probably goes to insurance. So in terms of fees., the number of members left provide little revenue to offset any cost.  If they get a lot of donations backing these programs, they will last. If donors don't care much about these programs... My guess they are at risk.  So donations will really be key to keep them around long term. I really think the future of the BSA will be based on donors.  What do individual and corporate donors want to see in a scouting program.  Looking forward to our new AI offerings ...
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