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  1. I admire all of our paid Scouters. Our SE is involved and engaged with our Scouts and enjoys spending time with them. Our DEs are exceptional and work tirelessly to assist our units to be successful. Thay are worth every penny they're paid. When I retired I was asked to take on the responsibilities of a DE and I declined the offer as I am well aware of the work they do and the sacrifices they make. If they were paid by the hour they would all be wealthy. Scouting needs those professionals and I am thankful for them.
    5 points
  2. I have been around the "legal system" for over 40 years and the only conclusion that I can make is that no one will know what will happen until it happens. Until this whole convoluted mess is adjudicated we just won't know. The only positive recourse, as I see it, is to keep our local units alive, support our districts and councils, and work hard to give the kids the best Scouting experience we can. This takes a lot of work and dedication in lieu of uncertainty. I am committed to helping do what is necessary to provide Scouting to every single young person who wants to be a part of this t
    4 points
  3. A friend of mine is an accountant and did see the books. There is no accounting system set up for my council. There is only one account. Nobody could ask, for example, what is the net on a summer camp? Is it making money or losing money? Each camp should have it's own account, I'd think. So yes, we have repeatedly asked and repeatedly gotten nowhere. One of the council staff is solely funded on volunteer run events bringing in enough extra money to cover this person's salary. So does this mean the "budget" covers salary for all staff? Who knows? But this still evades the issue of value. W
    3 points
  4. All of the angst is about the cost of running a council and the fact that most of that is covered by donations. It's $600/yr/scout in my council. Add in the fact that we talk about how boring eagle required MBs are, is there really a surprise that parents are questioning the value of scouts? Trust me that I don't enjoy this but this is one of those hard facts that needs to be addressed.
    3 points
  5. As a former pro, I cannot tell you how many former coworkers either doubled, and in one case tripled, their salaries leaving the BSA to work for a board member or with the board member's company.
    2 points
  6. It is funny, we often hear the most complaints about the pay at the top, and then a snicker of the pay at the bottom. We will have a broken professional core as long we pay entry level DEs such a tiny wage for someone with a 4 year degree.
    2 points
  7. I don't think it's the pay that is at issue. It's who we are recruiting. We don't seem to hire competent people, but if we do, they leave or stay through altruism but suffer in frustration. This forum is full of stories about competent people being pushed out or around by the BSA farm system. There was a recent discussion about what DEs and DCs and Councils do and it was mind boggling how dysfunctional the whole structure is. If you don't hire competent people, or competent people are unable to operate within your system, then every salary is going to be resented.
    2 points
  8. Very directly put, the claimants and their lawyers should want to see a BSA national and the councils to continue to exist so they can continue to pay into the pension plan. If national liquidates, the Guarantee Corporation attaches pretty much everything. I share this to encourage everyone that there are significant reasons why the claimants will want to agree to a reorganization plan.
    2 points
  9. The lawyers and claimants are incented to agree to a reorganization plan that includes payments to a victims trust fund. After the trust fund is in place and funded, a trustee would review the claims in detail. She would eliminate the ones she thinks are fraudulent, and pay remaining claims by applying criteria she would develop. More severe claims get a bigger payout, etc. If national liquidates and the Guarantee Corporation takes most or all national and council assets, there would be little or nothing left for either national or councils to fund a victims trust. (The council portion
    2 points
  10. Except those trademarks may be the ONLY thing that they can't sell. Why? 36 U.S. Code § 30905 grants the "Exclusive right to emblems, badges, marks, and words" to Boy Scouts of America ("National") In order for the bankruptcy court to order the sale of the trademarks, the court would have to (in effect) overturn an act of Congress and somehow find 36 U.S. Code § 30905 not binding? Unconstitutional? I do NOT see that happening. What I've said since the beginning is this: National (the corporate entity created by Congress) survives with $0 assets and whatever Congress granted
    2 points
  11. My Council Key-3 hosted a annual review/update. While much of the focus was Council ops, the bankruptcy came up. The Key-3 were somewhat limited in terms of what they could say, but the broad strokes: 1) At least SOME of the plaintiffs lawyers "want us [BSA] dead." That message is coming through loud and clear 2) National's lawyers and the Committee of Councils have put liquidation(s) on the table as a warning/threat and given the TCC/Plaintiff's lawyers two options Option 1: TCC/Plaintiff's lawyers take a restructuring deal that does NOT result in the liquidation/death of BSA a
    2 points
  12. My only wish is that all requirements were in one plain-old-ascii file. Same thing for annual reports.
    2 points
  13. We forget , as Mashmaster notes, it is (or should be) up to the Scout. Not every Scout will earn every award. Life is more than piling up bling. Scoutson earned Eagle. His time in the Troop was spent helping other young Scouts. He was the Totin' Chip Instructor. Had no interest in OA, or Seascouts (he went to Seabase, had his own sailboat, loved canoeing), or Venture Scouts (active in 4H, won awards for Rabbit breeding, earned Diamond 4H Award) , did not want to devote any time to the religious awards (altho he had more than half already accomplished just by "habit" and osmosis). Mom
    2 points
  14. This idea that we're breaking norms or rules by asking for something that will help us out sort of illustrates the problem. If the council's primary focus was on helping units put on a better program then the answer would not be, no, you can't do that. It would be let's figure out how to make this work. @ValleyBoy doesn't want to wait months to get paid back but the council wants to keep records. Okay, settle the accounts at the camporee and write down what was paid for, generate receipts for the accounting system that can be put in the following Monday. If they have enough cash they can finis
    2 points
  15. When I gave my FOS pitches, I always took our DE with me. Most of the parents only saw a pleasant - appearing young man but aso saw the Commissioned Scouters present smiling at him (reflecting their positive experiences). That gave maning to my report on the hours he put in, units he helped form, and units he had helped survivie times of crisis. We led the council all three yeasr in FOS donations, exceeding our "goal" each year.
    2 points
  16. The problem that councils have with any of these sorts of discussions is that it is very difficult for a council to show value to an individual Scout. Scout executives, district executives, and mich of the staff are focused on sustaining the council. The money that a scout pays in terms of fees almost entirely goes to pay for amorphous things like DE salaries or office expenses or depreciation of equipment. Very little of that has any tangible benefit to youth. My recommendation has been that councils need to establish two different parts of their budget. One part pays for is funded by
    2 points
  17. I think what @RememberSchiff is saying is that units never see these numbers until after the fact. The Activity Fee is mandatory vice FOS being voluntary. Some units are lucky in that their members still have money left after the national fee and unit fees to voluntarily give some more. In today's world not so much. Some parents walked away with the $25 extra fee just to join. A 3-5 year projected budget might be helpful but never seen one. With the huge reductions across the board in the BSA, most would want to see a corresponding reduction at their council...not pretty but
    2 points
  18. Let's take a look at some numbers. I pulled Orange County CA's website and 990 and took a look. According to their website, they serve 20,000 youth members. From their 990 in 2018, they had expenses of $11.8 million dollars. Of that $11.8 million, they spend: $4.8 million in salaries $1.1 million in payroll taxes and benefits $1.1 million in depreciation/amortization $1.2 million in occupancy $879K in office expenses $299K in staff travel $272K in insurance $270K in interest on loans $1.9 million in a variety of other expenses F
    2 points
  19. IMHO, let's discuss the new transparent explanation of proposed Council spending and how it is approved before discussing any new means of funding it.
    2 points
  20. Yes. Median Household Income in my city is 43k annually. Why would anyone take on the responsibility that comes with that sort of job for 43k?
    1 point
  21. Can you blame them? Most people sitting in the unit, district, or even council chair don't see what an SE brings to the table. They see council workhorses serving most of their needs.
    1 point
  22. Mosby. Exactly. Where is our Captain? What leader does not communicate with his/her troops? Like... at all?
    1 point
  23. I still don't see the connection between law suits, trusts, bankruptcy, victims compensation and all the legal deagle verbiage and kids participating in Scouting. This does not have to impact how Troop 123 delivers the program to it's members. If we want Scouting to survive it will. There may not be grand high adventure bases, national committees or even a national office. But this debacle can't keep kids from camping, hiking, building fires and having fun unless we loose focus on the real purpose of Scouting. A lot of people like to quote Baden Powell but few acknowledge his statement wa
    1 point
  24. Agreed ... This article, with only 5,000 claims, was estimating the fund would be on the order of $5B. Assuming insurance would have to cover 70%, BSA would need to come up with $1.5B. I can't imagine BSA not liquidating with 95,000 (or 85,000) claims. It's over for National. I fully expect 100% liquidation. Sell everything, including trademarks (good bye Eagle Scout). The lawyers will collect their fees and move on to COs & Councils. At Stake in Boy Scouts’ Bankruptcy: $1 Billion in Assets, or Much More - The New York Times (nytimes.com) Very sad .... I hope I'm w
    1 point
  25. Just FYI, approximately 10,000 Proofs of Claim have been found to be either fraudulent or duplicates.
    1 point
  26. To test it, I mentioned it to my son tonight. And he said that is interesting but I am not going to go back and count up all my nights. I said we could do it together and he said no thanks. I asked him how many nights he thinks he has camped with cubs, troops, ship, crew. He said "a lot".... 🙂
    1 point
  27. Arizona man says LDS Church threatened expulsion for abuse report So, I pulled the case from the court. Even though the plaintiff is a John Doe, I an not going to link to the case. I will simply note the following 1) The defendants include both the The Corporation Of The President Of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints and The Corporation Of The Presiding Bishop Of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints. They are going after the whole organization. 2) The local Bishop is named in his person/personal capacity. 3) The local council is named.
    1 point
  28. ❤️ Copy and paste as you like. Now if I could just upload it into forum directory....
    1 point
  29. True, but I will say that there is a responsibility of adult leaders to make scouts aware of the opportunities. For example, I know one troop (not mine) that the SM in his newsletter once a month to parents and scouts has an "award of the month" that describes the award and requirements.
    1 point
  30. This was announced at the National meeting last year. Long term ALL BSA publications will be online/print on demand.
    1 point
  31. Just checked, this continues to be the advancement policy book on the national website.
    1 point
  32. The biggest problem in my district on event costs is that the Council wants event fees turned into Council. The Volunteers that put on the event then have to jump thru hoops to get back there out of pocket for event costs. The volunteers do not like having to wait several months after the event to be reimbursed for the cost of putting on the event.
    1 point
  33. I wasn't wearing my moderator hat. Continue burrowing. I believe the rest of your post contained many shoulds, that aren't happening. No disagreement there.
    1 point
  34. It's not that attention should be paid first to the struggling units, it's that those are bigger fires that need attention. I know that sounds the same, but typically struggling commission corps are the cause of struggling units and they in their unstructured mind only fix big problems. Units would likely see their UC in a well run corp. But, many folks feel they should see their UC every week, That is not the case. You contact the District commissior. Infact, all units should know the District commissioner. They are usually the one that handles the more challenging problems. UC's are
    1 point
  35. How is it that a discussion about council budgets went back to a discussion about volunteers? Cost of running a council, and whether there's value for that cost is being related to how good the volunteers are. That tells me that the $600/year should entirely go to helping those volunteers. This is why budgets need to be transparent. And not at a one page view but where all the money is spent. If it turns out that camp infrastructure (dining halls, showers, wifi, etc) is where all the money is going and none of this is helping the volunteers put on camporees, and nobody really cares for the sum
    1 point
  36. I do not think you can make that a blanket statement. Every council is different. In mine, we have had some great volunteers on the district and council levels who get fed up with the interference of professionals in their programs that they say the heck with it, if the DE wants to tell me how to do things, he can run it. It is a major problem. Best example I can give is district camporee chief being told told that a Cub Scout event would be held simultaneously at the same camp as the district camporee and IOLS training. This information was given 5 day prior to the camporee. Both the cou
    1 point
  37. I'm sorry to hear your council is struggling so significantly. Clearly your district/council volunteer structure is broken. District & Council programming is the purview of volunteers. If the district programming is boring and the council programming nonexistent, that lies in the fault of the volunteer ranks. For whatever reason, these volunteers either are don't exist in your council, are not up to your level or expectations, or are not fulfilling those roles. Somewhere in your council some volunteers need to start focusing on fixing this situation. I know in your case you a
    1 point
  38. Nice documentation of issues in your council/district. My council/district (Montana) does much better in all these categories across the board, so when ICL does ramp up, the district representative has a much easier time asking for donations. Montana Council does not charge a recharter fee. They rely on commissions on popcorn sales and ICL. They get large donations and have an endowment fund to update facilities at camps in Montana. The shower/bathroom facilities at Melita Island and K-M Scout Ranch are awesome. The new dining hall/admin building at K-M Scout Ranch is amazing and they are look
    1 point
  39. And only good for two years? Whereas a NCS certification is good for five?? For me to volunteer to be your Short-Term Camp Administrator? I'll pass. Instead, I think I'll apply for the National Office job of Short-Sighted Camping Program Demolisher
    1 point
  40. I think that's the nut of the funding problem. Councils have a hard time showing benefit to youth. All people see is what looks like bloated overhead.
    1 point
  41. I think I was talking more in terms of trying to market the increasing expenses to newer scouts and families. Great if you can access a huge pdf to parse through but I think Councils who want to recruit newer families need to work harder to be more transparent, i.e., act like other organizations and include a pie chart or some other breakdown prepared for you that shows you what you are getting for your investment. If 70% of the Council budget is going towards salaries then I think you have to spell out what those positions do to benefit scouts at the unit level.
    1 point
  42. Which again, required to be disclosed by IRS regulation and state law. 990 Schedule C. Political Campaign and Lobbying Activities. And state lobbyists have to list who the are lobbying on behalf of. Here's Texas since 2016. https://www.ethics.state.tx.us/search/lobby/loblistsREG2016-2020.php And again, if you know when your council's budget is set, have you ever bothered to ask to see the next year's projected budget? As I said, in a good number of states, the "ask" carries with it the requirement of law (they HAVE tell you what the expenditure is for/what the budget is prior to
    1 point
  43. First, I know of no local not-for-profit that does 3-5 year projections. BSA might as a large national organization, but a local council doing 3-5 YEARS out? No way. Given that membership organizations are notoriously hard to budget for (e.g. associations), I cannot imagine a 3 year projected budget being anything more than mere guesswork and THAT becomes a problem when projections are way, way off. Then everyone gets mad at Council for missing budget targets. Second, as for reductions, again, all that information is in the 990s. They record total employees (and that number dropping as la
    1 point
  44. I never, ever understood this argument that council is "hiding" how they spend money or not being "transparent". 1) Federal law: All Councils have to file IRS 990s. By law. These are easily available either direct from the Council for the asking (prior 3 years + the Council's not for profit application) or from the IRS (COVID has created a lag time of 6-9 months before they go online). There's also places online (Guidestar) that post these. 2) 28 states require that a not-for-profit or charity file annual audit statements if they take in revenue over a set amount a year (e.g. Arkansa
    1 point
  45. I think Council fees should replace FOS for current registrants. I think an FOS appeal could still be targeted to alumni if a Council has its records in order. I am concerned though that the Council fee might just become another bucket you are expected to pay into. Our Council instituted the maximum Council fee this year. We still had a pitch for FOS. We were still asked, though not required, to participate in popcorn sales. We had additional pitches for a Covid relief fund. Granted there was no hard sell for any of these things other than the new Council fee, but it has been a constant ask.
    1 point
  46. Talk to your troop. Ask them if he is still on the roster. If so great. If not ask them to re-register him. And make arrangements to make your payment. Should not be a problem.
    1 point
  47. Passing judgment when ignorant of the facts is simple. Those who know the facts find it harder to judge.
    1 point
  48. I struggle though with how to reconcile the gains and successes we've had as a country in the last 50 years. Even in my lifetime, I see a noticeable difference in the amount of racism and increase in the amount of equality in our social structures. I applaud that we continue to focus on rooting out discrimination and racism. Yet, to listen to my teenage kids talk, our country is an awful place full of racists. I don't know how to communicate to my kids with any credibility that we've come so far as a country from what it was 50, 100, or more years ago.
    1 point
  49. How are other Packs doing with recruiting so far? I personally took applications 4 new Scouts and two Den Leaders in the past month. Today, one of those Scouts Dad offered to sign up as a Den Leader. One of my existing parents offered to sign up to be a Den Leader. After a Den Meeting today, one of my existing Den Leaders gave contact information to a mother at the gas station just because he was wearing his uniform, I have 3 other Scouts via local community FB pages that want to join and I have sent them a PDF application. This is my 4th year in the Pack and I h
    1 point
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