Jump to content

jkhny

Members
  • Content Count

    194
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

10 Good

About jkhny

  • Rank
    Senior Member
  1. Last time the IRS called BSA on carrying over too much cash - they offered a nice early retirement package to paid staff. No attempt to expand national camps - which have far more people trying for spots than are available. NO aid to local councils. The money flows UP in BSA - to National. The individual fees, profits from all Scouting merchandise and Council fees pay for National. What does National really do for you? Think about it. This from someone AT National who's a bit cynical about things. They noted that there's a culture within BSA that focuses on the ILLUSION of performance (no matter how achieved - maybe that's why there are recurring membership numbers scandals) for promotion but no real accountability for failure. After all BSA has lost membership for decades, their pact with the LDS and others has driven out other groups yet there's no accountability at all. Senior execs are VERY well paid for the non-profit world - it's a topic that has regularly come up in the non-profit world. BSA has been something of an embarassment - a sinecure for those at the upper levels (conceding that DE's and most are NOT all that wellpaid). Our former SE is now gone - having alienated the volunteer base (to the extent that 200+ ACTIVE adults have quit with many others who stopped working at any level above their local unit. He showed 'growth' by creating a fifth district - though ALL numbers have declined. A promised audit of numbers never happened. Regional said 'all procedures were being followed'. No comment onmembership claims. We are down to two facilities - having sold off prime real estate to bulk up the trust funds. FOS contributions have tanked - and many will never contribute again. This SE did the same damage here he did in his previous council. His 'inner city' programs wer revealed for the fraud they were and real numbers were LOWER when he left than when he arrived. He was an arrogant and incompetent little Napoleon but has protectors - he's back in Southern Region when he should have been fired after FAILING in one Council much less two. Somehow 'volunteer relations' seems not to factor in to performance - even when you have a few hundred calling for your removal your performance in the eyes of BSA is fine. As for salary levels - he made TWICE what his Girl Scout equivalent did - while Boy Scouts had less than HALF the number of kids. The new SE will be fighting an uphill battle trying to get back to where things were BEFORE this last SE. Truth is that volunteers have little control over even their local Councils - as Chicago showed. BSA will do all it can to maintain control and dictate what IT wants. It's more than the limited choice any Council has in choosing an SE - handpicked resumes from National - ANY signs of real dissent and National threatens to yank the Council's charter (with all assets reverting to BSA National if that does occur). The paid 'pros' have run BSA for THEIR benefit for decades - in no other youth organization does so much money go to the compensation of those running it. Yet BSA has been failing for decades - getting smaller and smaller. Those in charge have NOT succeeded in slowing the decline and have in fact hastened it. Yet there is NO open debate in BSA over this or anyother issue. Merely questioning BSA policies gets your membership revoked. Instead of denouncing any valid criticism as an 'attack' on BSA, there needs to be an open and honest discussion of how BSA is run. But that's not going to happen. Those in charge won't allow it. So BSA will continue its steady decline, beholden to groups like the LDS, alienating more and more people becoming more and more conservative and extreme. Because BSA defends to the death its monopoly on 'Scouting' in the US, ther ewill be no competitors and in another few deacdes all that will be left is an LDS youth program - funded by all of us because all Council Assets revert to BSA when a Council folds.
  2. Last time the IRS called BSA on carrying over too much cash - they offered a nice early retirement package to paid staff. No attempt to expand national camps - which have far more people trying for spots than are available. NO aid to local councils. The money flows UP in BSA - to National. The individual fees, profits from all Scouting merchandise and Council fees pay for National. What does National really do for you? Think about it. This from someone AT National who's a bit cynical about things. They noted that there's a culture within BSA that focuses on the ILLUSION of performance (no matter how achieved - maybe that's why there are recurring membership numbers scandals) for promotion but no real accountability for failure. After all BSA has lost membership for decades, their pact with the LDS and others has driven out other groups yet there's no accountability at all. Senior execs are VERY well paid for the non-profit world - it's a topic that has regularly come up in the non-profit world. BSA has been something of an embarassment - a sinecure for those at the upper levels (conceding that DE's and most are NOT all that wellpaid). Our former SE is now gone - having alienated the volunteer base (to the extent that 200+ ACTIVE adults have quit with many others who stopped working at any level above their local unit. He showed 'growth' by creating a fifth district - though ALL numbers have declined. A promised audit of numbers never happened. Regional said 'all procedures were being followed'. No comment onmembership claims. We are down to two facilities - having sold off prime real estate to bulk up the trust funds. FOS contributions have tanked - and many will never contribute again. This SE did the same damage here he did in his previous council. His 'inner city' programs wer revealed for the fraud they were and real numbers were LOWER when he left than when he arrived. He was an arrogant and incompetent little Napoleon but has protectors - he's back in Southern Region when he should have been fired after FAILING in one Council much less two. Somehow 'volunteer relations' seems not to factor in to performance - even when you have a few hundred calling for your removal your performance in the eyes of BSA is fine. As for salary levels - he made TWICE what his Girl Scout equivalent did - while Boy Scouts had less than HALF the number of kids. The new SE will be fighting an uphill battle trying to get back to where things were BEFORE this last SE. Truth is that volunteers have little control over even their local Councils - as Chicago showed. BSA will do all it can to maintain control and dictate what IT wants. It's more than the limited choice any Council has in choosing an SE - handpicked resumes from National - ANY signs of real dissent and National threatens to yank the Council's charter (with all assets reverting to BSA National if that does occur). The paid 'pros' have run BSA for THEIR benefit for decades - in no other youth organization does so much money go to the compensation of those running it. Yet BSA has been failing for decades - getting smaller and smaller. Those in charge have NOT succeeded in slowing the decline and have in fact hastened it. Yet there is NO open debate in BSA over this or anyother issue. Merely questioning BSA policies gets your membership revoked. Instead of denouncing any valid criticism as an 'attack' on BSA, there needs to be an open and honest discussion of how BSA is run. But that's not going to happen. Those in charge won't allow it. So BSA will continue its steady decline, beholden to groups like the LDS, alienating more and more people becoming more and more conservative and extreme. Because BSA defends to the death its monopoly on 'Scouting' in the US, ther ewill be no competitors and in another few deacdes all that will be left is an LDS youth program - funded by all of us because all Council Assets revert to BSA when a Council folds.
  3. BSA continually claims it is a "Representative Democracy" - yet the truth is far different whenever its volunteers actually manage to wrest control from the professionals and their hand-picked boards. CAC has voted DOWN the same old board numerous times. Courts supported the volunteers when the Executive Board refused to run alternate candidates approved by the volunteer membership. Yet instead of following clear corporate bylaws and court orders, BSA National intervened and put up the same old candidates - with the threat of dissolving the Council if the membership did not approve. Democracy? this all makes a mockery of the term. And it makes clear what BSA is all about now. BSA is now dominated by the paid staff who - instead of SERVING the volunteer base in Scouting - dictate to them with the expectation of full and complete obedience. BSA is no longer about serving youth - it is about financing an organiztion for the benefit of overcompensated "professionals" who do little to directly support Scouting. BSA sells off properties and puts funds in "endowment funds" which guarantee that salaries are paid or membership "bought" via "Learning for Life" (a contrived sham of a program that even BSA does not claim is "Scouting"). Without "LFL" the precipitous decline in BSA membership would be even worse than reported. Meanwhile there are limited spaces at Philmont or any other NATIONAL camps - where demand outstrips supply. Excess funds do not go to expanding SCouting programs but instead go to generous "deferred compensation" programs - making BSA execs some of the best paid non-profit execs in the country (despite decades of declining membership in an organization that continues to contract). Yet the game is rigged. Dissolve a Council and the assets go not to the original owners or donors, but the BSA National. BSA National sits on hundreds of millions of dollars in liquid assets and more in property - outside of the assets held by local Councils. Why isn't the money spent on youth in Scouting? It's a fraud.......a plain old corporate fraud where executives hide their failure to perform but still collect big paychecks, doing all they can to silence critics while selling off capital assets while lying about their "accomplishments". They blame their failures on anyone but themselves - even though so many have been caught lying about numbers, finances and more. I was afraid this was how CAC would end up.... but the game is rigged. DO as BSA says or lose your council and all its assets anyway. BSA could care less about its volunteers or the youth it claims to serve. It's all about the ILLUSION of serving youth while doing as little as possible. Someone please explain to me how BSA can possibly claim to be a "representative democracy" in light of all this? When BSA blatantly ignores corporate bylaws and the results of clear and undisputed elections to force unwanted "leadership" on its volunteers, BSA is nothing more than a dictatorship. We should all be ashamed.
  4. Westchester-Putnam Council represents the suburbs just north of NYC. This is an affluent area and has a rich Scouting history. It USED to have a rich selection of facilities available to Scouts as well. No more. A succession of Scout Execs has pushed to sell off property - with each sale being the "last", the "solution" to Council funding problems. Now why such an affluent area that is supposedly running such a "successful" Scouting program HAS funding problems is a question nobody seems ever to ask. From three summer camps we are now down to one - four hours distant - TOO far for younger boys and frankly, too Primitive for many. We sold off closer camps that were perfect for young Scouts AND weekend activities. And somehow those sales always occurred over the objections of the volunteers in the Council, sold for less money than expected with NO explanation why. The last sale went to a neighbor of our then Scout Exec for half the originally expected price...... the usual routine preceeded the sale ..... limited "availability," then "it's not used enough", no money spent on upkeep then the place is run down and "has" to be sold because it's "too expensive" to fix. So it's sold. New cabins - costing 3x the budgeted amount (and more than we got for the camp sale) are built on our one remaining "local" reservation. THAT place is a pile of rocks around a stagnant lake operating under a conservation easement for swampland. A far better nearby place was sold to a hunter's consortium that DOUBLED their money in reselling a year after purchase. A dozen properties sold since I was a kid - the funds going into "Endowment funds". Every year the SE's incompetence and failure to meet fundraising goals gets rewarded with further withdrawls from the endowment. Hell, the Exec Board even approved a select Executive Committee that could approve withdrawls without approval of the full Board. Chicago played the same games to disenfranchise volunteers trying to rein in finances. If you want to give money to support Scouting give it DIRECTLY to successful local units. BSA is now a money machine with absurd national salaries (Williams is getting close to a million a year with "defereed compensation" - a fact that has raised numerous questions in non-prifit oversight circles). National has hundreds of millions in "endowment funds" - for what? Ever try to book a trip to Philmont or Sea Base? ANY National facility? The demand outstrips the supply but is BSA expanding these facilities? NO. Last time the IRS complained that BSA had TOO much money retained from year to year - a no-no with non-profits - how did BSA spend the money? The offerred nice bonus packages to paid staff - with boosted retirement packages (already better than those from comparable orgs). BSA spend money to benefit Scouts? "Endowment Funds" are a scam where volunteers and donors give up real control over funds to paid staff and hand-picked Boards. Our endowment has tanked under our last SE - with donations dropping by 40% and FOS tanking. He made up budget shortfalls out of the endowment funds. He also tried to sell one of the 3 remaining facilities we own and has been fought tooth and nail. Local zoning may yet make it so the municipality buys it and allows Scouts use of it. Ironic since we were MAKING money leasing out time to the municipality and other orgs. The Council wants to "grow" the endowment fund (and take the endowment fund provided with that facility for maintenance and upkeep). I bet the donor is rolling over in her grave.
  5. One of the DE's formerly under this joker noted that BSA policy usually limits a professional to two terms as a SE with a career path moving UP after that. This guy has already had his two terms. Once again, not enough desks in the Supply division? This same DE has followed his former SE's career and noted (as have I) that SCOUTING numbers have DECLINED substantially here despite unending pressure to "add members" with every trick in the book. The pattern here is EXACTLY what it was in his former Council. An uptick in counts that turns out to be questionable (all LFL additions) while SCouting numbers decline precipitiously. Here vigorous efforts to boost counts by increasing LFL have not even kept total numners the same. Meanwhile dues paid to National have declined 30% or more during his tenure - a direct reflection of ACTIVE participation. Council contributions have declined 40% and council assets have declined by 30%. Adult leadership has dropped by a few hundred - those being ACTIVE and involved leaders. Council and District structures have been damaged beyond belief with senior volunteers walking away - refusing to deal with this guy. The ONLY thing this guy did was "increase popcorn sales" - the same comment being made when he left Flint River. But that increase in popcorn sales doesn't come close to offsetting the drop in FOS contributions. I hope that this Council can recover from the damage this incompetent has done. I wouldn't bet on FL being happy to get him back - Central FL was glad to be rid of him, as was Flint River. This is simply "passing the trash" - he's got connections in Southern Region watching out for his tail. Why does BSA keep such incompetents around? And about Chicago? Seems like BSA will do ANYTHING to keep volunteers from having any real say over what happens in Scouting.
  6. Well, this and too many other cases make clear what BSA is all about now. And it's not about boys, not about Scouting, and certainly not about "ehical and moral decisions." The paid "professionals" in BSA who are supposed to SERVE and SUPPORT the efforts of volunteers running Scouting programs are only in it for the $$$$$. BSA is one big corporate sham. They lie about their numbers to keep the $$$$ coming in and will do whatever they have to do to maintain control. God forbid the volunteers actually manage to make their voice heard....... and HORRORS if the volunteers actually manage to take control of a Council and take control of their own assets. So..... the executives at National continue to rake in ridiculous salaries, huge deferred compensation packages and damn nice perks while Scouting continues its downward slide. And nobody's ever held responsible. Any and all asete eventually revert to National to keep those retirement funds paying out - even after BSA completely collapses..... The hypocrisy is astounding. At least it seems like our incompetent SE is finally getting the boot at the end of his contract. Despite packing the board, he couldn't make up for massive drops in contributions, asset declines, and membership dues that show a drop of 30% participation in Scouting despite intense efforts to manipulate year end totals. We never did get the membership audit we were promised though NE region said there is no evidence procedures are not being followed (and what does THAT mean!?!). The same mess here in Westchester-Putnam got left behind at Flint River.... how on earth does BSA let guys like this stay? The Mission of BSA is to teach youth to make ethical and moral decisions - what a crock..... theri own leadership doesn;t know the meaning of "ethical"
  7. Here in Westcheater-Putnam we're seeing a redux of what happened in Flint River......postings made here a half dozen years ago could have been made by our Council members...... when the same complaints are aired by people independently in completely different areas, and are about the same person doing the same things..... the problem is that SE. Another case - Auburn NY Richard Knaul, a 17 year Scoutmaster removed over the objections of his Troop. He - and 20 odd others questioned why a VERY small Council (seemingly kept as a sinecure for the SE, they didn't even HAVE a DE) was acting "ethically" in spending $500,000 on unneeded new offices. NEGA - the former SE, now in Greater Alabama - removed an Eagle Scout and his mother - as cited above in the original post. I've seen all the paperwork provdided by AlcovyScout - who has posted here as well. Check out Guidestar....where are NEGA's 990 filings for the past half dozen years? Greater Alabama - the Board Member - Willis - remains out of Scouting after going public with enrollment fraud. He was in charge of training and concerned that so many units had no trained leaders.... they didn't exist. He was told not to worry and threatened with ouster when he pursued this. The girl in Venturing and her mother are out West. Their SE was up for a promotion and didn't want another scandal - his Camp Director had been arrested by the FBI the year before...... the new SE is trying to get these two reinstated......but I wouldn't bet on it happening..... a dedicated Scouting family is pretty despondent over what happened. And NOBODY has explained Grand Teton Council and what's happened there...... how BSA can defend that is beyond the pale Funny, but I've been contacted by people all over the country saying "unfortunately we're seeing much of the same..... and you'd better NOT speak out if you want to remain involved....." For an organization that touts character, ANY incidents like these should be grounds for full investigations and dismissal of paid staff involved..... but it doesn't happen. Conversations with paid professionals made clear that only a handful of professionals have EVER been fired at the SE level or above..... BSA has adopted a Corporate CYA attitude towards all of this.... No, it's NOT everywhere but none of this should exist ANYWHERE in Scouting...... the same old scandals keep arising, swept under the carpet...... why? If your Council is fine, great, but ANY scandals in Scouting tar and feather Scouting everywhere. If BSA National set high standards for ethical and moral behavior and enforced them like they do the "athiest and gay" rules, all of this would end. And many of the professionals concede privately that there ARE serious problems in National with all of this - THEY are embarassed but - quoting one "The number one rule in BSA is NEVER criticize another professional, no matter how much of a monster they are"..... he worked for our current SE in his previous Council. These remarks are backed by communications from others all over the country and even postings on this board in the archives. Ignoring real wrongs and trying to justify horrid behavior does nothing to help Scouting. Hold BSA - ALL of BSA and its professionals - to the standards BSA itself claims to represent. THAT is my point..... instead of saying "This is wrong" too many jump to defend BSA for ANY reason, when they DON't deserve it..... The very nie large salaries being paid out to senior BSA officials - who have really accomplished NOTHING (except preside over continued declines in Scouting over the past few decades) would be far better spent directly on programs for kids...... And if you're in some nice 1950's world where it's easy to get a full Committee, Den Leaders and people willing to spend a weekend camping, you're lucky....... here too many are involved simply to pad a corporate or political resume and do NO real work....... those dedicated to Scouting are getting fed up and leaving, making things even worse......
  8. Had a long and disturbing exchange with a former leader here..... first hand. He was finally told why he had his membership revoked.... turns out the reasons were complete fabrications but it doesn't matter. Saw the court filings.... what a joke. One of those things that cause people to make lawyer jokes...... If BSA throws you out, don't fight it. You can't win. It's all a joke. A rigged system, a lost cause. BSA can do whatever they want. SE's have been revoking the membership of various volunteers unjustly - under the procedures drawn up to "protect youth". This has happened where volunteers have questioned enrollment numbers, finances or raised issues that proved "embarassing" to Council leadership. One case occurred in NE GA where an Eagle Scout and his mother complained about a DE buying alcohol for underage Scouts. Another occurred where a girl in Venturing and her mother complained about sexual harassment from a camp counselor (a felony in that case). Archives here on Scouter.com detail a disturbing case where a Scout was - unjustly and without cause - falsely accused of abuse. Local law enforcement showed the accusation was baseless - an impossibility actually, but the boy accused was thrown out and had to move because of the accusations. BSA procedures - which are "Top Secret" and unavailable to anyone but top Council officials - go to great lengths to protect BSA - while making no real effort to determine the truth in any case. While caution may be warranted where abuse is suspected, the secrecy and complete lack of anythign resembling Due Process has led to these procedures being abused horridly. First, a volunteer's only recourse within BSA is to file an Appeal. Often a volunteer will NEVER be told WHY they have been removed - making it impossible for them to defend themselves. BSA procedures require that a volunteer provide their version of what occurred. BSA is particularly weaselly about this. BSA will NOT state why a volunteer has had their membership revoked in writing. They will claim that a volunteer is told "verbally" but there is never an independent witness to these instances. Frankly, this is all a ploy to avoid any suits for libel or slander. And BSA's Appeals process will not make a decision for at least a year - running out the clock on the timeframe for libel and slander actions. These procedures are being regularly abused now by SE's when they want to get rid of any critics or embarassments. A volunteer will be removed under these procedures - drawn up to "protect youth" - but is often told that "nobody will be told about this." Another ploy. If the volunteer wishes to fight their revocation, they must make public their removal - undercutting grounds for a libel and slander action. Now.....if someone is removed becuase they are a real threat to youth - shouldn't that information be made clear? But then in too many cases BSA has NOT reported abuse to authorities - in violation of BSA procedures and state law..... BSA counts on people being unwilling to spend time or money fighting removals in court. A volunteer here had his membership reovked two years ago. He was a unit Scouter and removed without even consulting the Troop and Pack he served. THEY objected to his removal. He had his membership revoked shortly after receiving an award for his service to local Scouting from his Troop, a highly respected and accomplished Troop. The SE REFUSED to say why this volunteer was removed. THe volunteer was not told, nor was the Scoutmaster of his Troop. The SM WAS told that the reasons for his removal had nothing to do with youth and he was not a threat to youth. THe volunteer was even sent a letter saying he was "free to participate in any Socuting activities as a parent." The Cubmaster of the Pack he also served was NEVER told of his removal. Neither Chartering Organization was ever informed of this volunteer's removal. This voluteer had been a Cubmaster and Den Leader for years - as well as serving as a leader in our local Troop. He is from a Scouting family - his sons are accomplished and all around good kids. No complaints about him or his sons. He's involved locally in various things. So why was he removed? He filed suit in court - a procedural effort seeking to get BSA to simply say WHY he was removed and give him an opportunity to defend himself. ONLY then did BSA say why he was removed and it was absurd. None of the "complaints" listed were true. Not even BSA's attorneys attempted to claim that they were true. BSA had "reason to believe that they were true" - and that was good enough for BSA procedures. BSA's legal arguments were semantics - the type of legal weaseling that makes people fed up with lawyers. The word "should" doesn not mean BSA "has to do something." Basically, BSA can do whatever they want - they're a private organization....... forget the ethical and moral aspects........ Now the real shame here is that this volunteer is pretty ethical himself..... He worked hard reviving a local Pack that was on the verge of failing. He stepped down as Cubmaster when he had to move his mother back hear as she was dying. He remained as a Den Leader for his youngest son - while still helping with the Troop for his oldest. He's been oneof the most active here in local Scouting - with Cub Scouts and Boys Scouts. He even built a Pinewood Derby Track and has run a dozen or so races..... helps units build cars...... has spent a fair amount supporting local units as well. He had real reservations about the only person wanting to take over as Cubmaster..... a mediocre Den Leader who did little. He'd been warned about this guy..... we all know the type, they do little but publicize all they do, take credit for other's work.... This guy took 3 years to get trained, ran lousy Den Meetings maybe two times a month. There were rumblings about this guy's personal life - marital infidelity - but nothing that you could prove. The DE at the time asked this CM not to step down....problems were expected - and occurred. Within 4 months this Pack was threatened with charter revocation. Unwilling to spend his own money, this new CM - and the new clique he brought in as a Committee - was obsessed with fundraising. The old CM had spent quite a bit of his own money on Scouting - as do most of the leaders I've seen around here, but not this one. This group came up with an effort that broke almost every BSA fundraising rule on the books..... it would have had kids standing outside in the middle of a very cold winter selling raffle tickets for goods solicited from local businesses. A nice detailed analysis showed how many tickets each boy was supposed to sell....... no thoughts seem to have been given to obtaining required permissions or complying with clear BSA rules.... The former CM and local Commissioner objected. The new CM actually told Council he didn't recognize their authority as was going to proceed as "Friends of XXX Scouting" - breaking local state law on non-profits...... The DE and SE were useless...they were "trying to reform" these leaders. Only the Commissioner kept this travesty from proceeding..... These new leaders continued to cause problems..... the former CM left for another unit - and was followed by all the members of his Den (with the approval of the local 20 year Commissioner). Those parents were unhappy with the new Pack Leaders as well. As is, this unit had continual turnover, with few boys lasting and few Den Leaders serving more than a year or two. The boys coming out of this Pack never seemed to last in Boy Scouts - most were never seen again. The new leaders of this unit have been an embarassment to local Scouting - raising lots of money which seems to go ????? Their self-promotion has been a bit ridiculous - getting a local restaurant to provide food for a camping trip - while another Pack is preparing packages for troops in Iraq..... A Blue and Gold dinner (at a nice local restaurant) with politicians and proclaimations galore - for no real accomplishments.... our local Troop reserves proclaimations for Eagle Scouts..... clearly this isn't about the boys. Locally, people routinely make jokes about this bunch and how they issue press releases when they take a leak and hit the can. Somehow they managed to spend over ten thousand dollars in "renovating" a local postage stamp park - though kids never seemed to do anything and they hired people to do a few plantings..... funny how they spend more than the Troop has spent in ALL its many Eagle projects.... Well..... this group complained incessantly about our Commissioner and the former CM after their fundraising effort was stopped...... They wanted the Commissioner removed and the formere CM throw out of Scouting..... the new DE made it clear that there were no grounds for doing either..... But after the volunteer revolt here in our Council - spurred by property sales and the wholesale removal of people from District and Council positions, both the Commissioner and this former CM were ousted. It's now clear that NO currently active experienced Scouters would take the Commissioner spot - outraged by what happened. When the SE tried to put in one of these Cub Scout leaders (with a year in Scouting, one of those behind that fundraising effort) as Commissioner, local units protested ewn masse and he never took the spot. Our current Commissioner lives in another state (he's retired and is a paper appointment), so this Pack has been running amuck without oversight.... Fireworks are fine as part of advancement ceremonies - even if they are illegal...... this group has raised more money than any other Scout unit and violated more safety rules than you can count..... gotta love the photos on their web site showing rafting without PFD's..... Anyway...... the former CM had spoken out at a Fireside chat and questioned the sale of properties. Our SE doesn't like criticism..... Clearly, his removal was because he po'd the SE. A few other unit Scouters were threatened with removal at the time as well..... when the peasants revolt, hang one as an example...... Two years later, the "official" reasons listed for this CM's removal came from TWO of these Pack Leaders - complaints from problem leaders that a year earlier were dismissed as invalid and not justifying his removal. But any excuse will do. It doesn't even have to be true. The SE lied - repeatedly - in all of this . Doesn't matter. He even told a Board member that an order of protection had been filed against this leader....... no such thing, a complete fbrication. No grounds for doing so. The local police Commissioner even wrote a letter in his support - along with 40 odd Scout and community leaders and parents. The SE refuses comment when asked about this. If he said anything, he'd provide new grounds for a libel suit. The time frame ran out while the appeal was in BSA. So.....dedicated leaders here get removed from District and Council spots, and even thrown out of Scouting completely. You don't have to have a valid reason. A SE doesn't have to follow procedures, BSA can do whatever they want. The irony in all this is that the leaders behind these complaints have been embraced by our SE as "award winning leaders" - even though they are a joke in our community. THe new CM's marital indiscretions have become clearly visible.... one parent approached a Troop Leader and asked "What's with this guy, is he in Scouts only to bang housewives?" .....you can't make this stuff up..... the kids coming out of this Pack are a bit scary... one slashed tires and keyed cars - with that parents going "It was a misunderstanding" - the CM's kid thinks it's funny to stage fake attacks - pretending to beat others with a bat along a busy street..... and the former Committee Chair is now living with a former Den Leader's (now) ex-wife (the direct cause of THAT divorce....) Frankly, it seems like you've got a group of rather horrid parents trying to show that they're really "good" parents by being Scout leaders..... And meanwhile, the character of long serving Scouters - our SM, former Commissioner and this old CM are beyond question.... people who work hard, do the right thing and actually avoid publicity because they're in it to serve kids..... The local Troop declined to take on any more from this Pack after the few that did show up proved so problematic - the new CM's oldest kid always seemed to have patches and stuff that other kids has "lost"..... funny how his father never helped with anything during his short tenure but complained incessantly...... Yet the new CM had bragged about starting a new Troop but never did so - even though Council also thought it a good idea..... it seems he was trying to force his youngest kid to stay involved in Scouting - though he clearly did not want to be involved.... Starting a new Troop shouldn't have been a problem for such "award winning leaders" - after all, they claimed to have 15 Webelos moving up.... but then they also claime to have 50 odd kids when only a dozen showed for the local Memorial Day parade .......but no.....a few went elsewhere but odds are none will remain involved by next fall. So......sell popcorn and sign up lots of kids (who never seem to stay) and you're "award- winning"..........break all the rules you want. Long serving leaders that actually accomplish something of substance aren't wanted...... The problem is that those embraced by "Council" here do nothing of substance for Scouting in the long term..... many of the most accomplished unit leaders refuse to serve in District and Council spots - fed up with the behavior of the SE. Nobody shows up at roundtables and District Meetings anymore - no point in speaking out or you'll get removed...... Professionals that are supposed to enforce BSA rules and procedures and support the efforts of volunteers to run a quality Scouting program do just the opoposite. It's all backwards. And try to say anything and YOU'll get thrown out........ Willis is still out in Alabama...... the old SE that lied about numbers got to retire and the new SE has an even worse record..... How do things like this happen in an organization that touts such high levels of "character?"
  9. A few points - early on in the US there WERE competing "Scouting" organizations. BSA actively sought and won political support - gaining a Congressional charter - which they then used to end the "Scouting" claims of competing groups. In fact BSA sought to prevent Girl Scouts of America from using "Scout" when they first started up. As far as costs and such - volunteers do most of the real work in Scouting. They run local units, training for new members, run events, staff camps (at least the majority) and more. In our Council - "Camping and Activities" revenue (things that you think of when it comes to Scouting) actually pay for the costs for these things. Actually they're profitable - our Council makes money on them..... but then charging $75 if you use any firewood out of the box at the local reservation's cabins....... Camping and Activities account for just over a third of the budget. AN in-depth analysis of our COuncil shows that salaries and related costs are over half of our budget...... ironic in that many volunteers say the ONLY time that they see paid staff is when they show up to ask for money.... candid conversations with DE's reveal that they are under tremendous pressure to raise money - to bring in 3x their own salary. THAT is their main focus - and a major complaint. Litle time is spent "directly" supporting Scouting - at least around here..... SO..... what DOES "Council" do? Record keeping ain't that good...... and the basic bookkeeping is not well handled.....more than a few SM's have complained that the office doesn't WANT to deal with summer camp payments and such ..... "It's like pulling teeth to get them to TAKE your money" - and it seems like there are ALWAYS problems even when you do pay...... I don't know ANY business that could run so poorly and survive..... Our SE hasn't made ANY of his goals in 5 years, a few hundred volunteers have walked away but he's making $135,000 for watching over 7-8,000 SCOUTS (lets ignore the LFL fraud..... we raise money for "handicapped Scouts" and pay LFL to teach crafts to retarded kids once a month...... but we claim those numbers.....). In contrast our Girl Scout head here earns $86,000 while overseeing a program with 17,000 kids in SCOUTING. BSA's "numbers" are an exercise in confusion. Read the BSA annual report and compare it to Girl Scouts....... Even the way BSA counts is deceptive. We claimed an "increase" in youth served a few years back - a number that has gone down since..... a challenge led not to an investigation not by a local volunteer but a BSA audit that showed "no evidence that procedures were not being followed...." NO numbers were investigated despite clear "problems" and conflicts among Council documents and reports..... Strangely, the dues paid by Council to National are dropping by double digit percentages....... a more accurate indication of participation than "total served by year end" numbers..... Who cares if a kid shows up for one meeting and isn't ever seen again? No success there. But it boosts total counts. Dues have to get paid for every member for every month they participate. If THAT number is down by over 20%.... you have a problem..... and THAT is one of my problems with BSA..... WIlliams touts measuring "success" with statistics but all BSA does is manipulate statistics - and STILL can't show any REAL success...... SCOUTING numbers continue to tank..... LFL is a contrived joke of a program designed to get funding BSA can't get from charities or government....... But BSA has some of the highest paid execs in non-profits in the US - despite the failure of their "leadership" BSA does a horrid job of serving a wide range of youth - hence the high fraud levels in "innner-city" and "disadvantaged youth" programs..... staff are under intense pressure to show "success" that simply isn't there...... BSA is desperate to hold onto the LDS - its only guaranteed source of members - and as a result has allowed them influence no other group has in BSA..... this applies to training and even program conduct..... In a few more years what's going to be left of BSA? I don't know but ANY organization that ignores those that do the work, and limits its appeal to a broad base to appeal to a few large "customers" eventually is held hostage by those "customers" and loses any broader appeal..... But this matters little. Even if BSA dies, the professionals will still have nice big pensions and benefits - more than their volunteers will get from their jobs.
  10. So..... the SE making $242,000 a year gets to retire with benefits after being caught twice grossly faking enrollment numbers... and keep in mind this was the guy blaming the ACLU for missing units and trying to explai away all the "John Does" living at Council offices as being listed this way for "their security" - he couldn't even lie well..... he's being replaced with someone who left a Council in hot water with the IRS..... BOTH threw out people who tried to get them to "do the right thing"........ I want to know if ANY professional EVER does anything bad enough to get fired..... and keep in mind that the SE in Atlanta resigned - on his own - actually shocking a few others in taking responsibility for what occurred under his leadership....... When excuses are continually made to excuse not only unethical but illegal behavior on the part of BSA professionals - and there's NEVER any consequences.....something stinks.... Most companies FIRE people for far less...... and the SE in Grand Teton is still there....... after a half dozen settlements for abuse and more in the courts..... How on earth can BSA allow a professional who MULTIPLE times failed to report abuse as required by BSA rules and state law.... BSA claims to teach youth to make ethical and moral decisions..... yet too many of their own paid staff routinely fail to do so - and BSA defends them to the hilt - a corporate CYA mentality that should be completely unacceptable in Scouting. THAT is my point.
  11. From the frying pan into the fire........ If anyone in Greater Alabama expects things to get better with their new SE, they should check in with NE Georgia...... their new SE had a long stretch there before his current Regional spot..... Seems that there was a nice IRS investigation, NEGA seems not to have filed 990's for a few years of his former tenure...... Local members there also note that the same SE threw out an Eagle Scout and his mother when they complained about a DE buying beer for underage Camp Counselors... the SE denied that this occurred - the DE was a good Baptist who'd never buy alcohol - but who was arrested for DUI a short time later..... vigorous efforts by dedicated volunteers got the Eagle Scout reinstated - in spite of the SE's objections.... And Tom Willis remains out of Scouting after blowing the whistle on fruadulent membership overstatement while the former SE got to retire - he should be doing nicely with his pension....after all he was making $242,000 a year. Why was he allowed to reiter after getting caught faking numbers for the SECOND time in five years? Wasn't BSA getting serious about membership fraud???? lol....... Does BSA fire paid professionals for anything?
  12. Funny how National steps in when the volunteers finally - after COURT action - manage to vote out their current leadership. The VOLUNTEERS were following bylaws, while Council leadership did not. But now, even after winning in court and getting court to order new elections with a slate of candidates that the VOLUNTEERS chose through a nominating committee according to bylaws, the VOLUNTEERS once again lose ANY voice in things. Somehow NATIONAL is now choosing who runs things. How is this possible? THE VOLUNTEERS once again have no voice in what will be happening. How is this? Why didn't National simply let things go forward - according to bylaws. LET the elections go forward with the candidates the VOLUNTEERS wanted....... but then the VOLUNTEERS may end up doing something National doesn't want done....... Anyone still believe that BSA is a representative democracy where volunteers have any real say in how things are run?
  13. "These were the two gems of wisdom we were told in Texas. We learned a bit about programs and some other things as well but the focus was mainly on money and manipulation. It looks like your own DE was successful in brainwashing you into thinking his way as well. I refused to use these techniques with my volunteers, yet I always achieved my goals while others did not. My bond of trust with my volunteers was so solid it amazed the three SE's I worked for, but four years of Nationals hypocrisy was enough for me. So yes Commando I do blame the policies of National and the quality of their scouting professionals for the mess scouting is in today." This sentiment fits with what I've heard from too many professionals - professinals who care deeply about Scouting and will talk only far, far "off the record." One stated that the focus is numbers and money. PERIOD. It's a superficial approach but one that professionals live or die by in too many Councils. ANd in too many Councils the professionals will do whatever is needed to meet their "goals." DE's are expected to bring in their own salaries in multiples. Here the ONLY time you see a paid professional is when they show up to ask for money. Even when a unit lost their chartering organization and finally found another home, Council wouldn't participate in a ceremony to honor and thank the new Chartering Organization unless they could do an FOS presentation. EVERYTHING is focused on money and numbers - yet BOTH have tanked under our new SE who has this and this alone as his focus. MOre than HALF our Council budget is salaries and related costs for the professionals. Yet DE spots are left empty most of the year to keep costs down - and so our SE can get his 6 figure salary. Council is running a routine deficit. They've so completely alienated the volunteer base that FOS is down by over 20% for the upcoming year alone. Total Contributions are down by 1/3 in the past 2 years. Popcorn sales do NOT make up for these shortfalls. And popcorn sales are NOT the key to a quality Scouting program. Most professionals ARE dedicate to Scouting but WILL candidly admit that there are far too many problem professionals - and too many of them are too far up in the ranks. But say anything bad about another professional and YOUR career is dead. The few bad apples have set the tone and culture in BSA. Look at the CYA mentality. NO SE has EVER been fired for enrollment fraud. Volunteers get thrown out for questioning finances and numbers. This is from http://boyscoutsfortruth.com/wst_page8.html "Can leopards change their spots? Professional Scouters have shown themselves to be as slippery as eels in the past. Sadly, I have reached the point where I do not trust them as a class. One of my local colleagues suggested that the folks in Atlanta had violated real laws. That real harm had been done to people (careers ended, resources illegally diverted, services not delivered) by their actions and that, if Scouting was serious about reform, a mea culpa and a resignation would not be enough. I suspect, though, that that, and some vague promises about cleaning up the council, were all you got. If some one were held personally responsible, it would send a message to the whole organization that these behaviors are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. As things currently stand, no such message has been transmitted. Instead, rumor has it that our council board has been cautioned to steer clear of the media and to refer all questions about membership to the professional staff. By the end of summer, that same message is likely to have filtered down to all the key volunteers. On the one hand it makes sense to coordinate the flow of organizational information through those who are in a position to have the big picture (though one wishes that board members had the big picture). The cynic, however, sees a determined effort to plug leaks and avoid the rogue board member who goes public with the problems. I suspect that similar guidance is happening all across the country. Rumor has it that Scout Executives are taught that there are two kinds of Board Members. There are those who think for themselves and who can bring creative ideas to the organization (along with a certain amount of chaos) and those who are yes men who will not bring much energy to the process but will not bring much disruption either. Smart Scout Executives populate their boards with the latter. Whether or not they are taught to do this, my experience with Scout Boards is that they are largely filled with people who, by habit and inclination, defer to the professionals. It should also be noted that the professionals have what amounts to veto power over the appointment of all key volunteers. Boat rockers, whistle blowers and agitators, who are all too rare to begin with, can be effectively screened out by denying them any power positions (and therefore, information access) in the organization. The combination of lap dog boards and control of senior and middle volunteer management positions give the pros an immensely powerful position from which to block reform (and protect their own positions). It will take a grass roots rebellion or a determined legal attack at the top to actually reform the system nationally. Small determined groups with strong ethics and strong stomachs can achieve local results but, unless the tide shifts nationally, the system always tries to return to the old status quo." The SAME complaints keep surfacing about the professional ranks in BSA..... it's not everywhere - thank God - but this behavior shouldn't be ANYWHERE in Scouting. BSA will clearly do whatever is necessary to protect their professionals. Here a volunteer had his membership revoked after speaking out against property sales. The SE claimed - repeatedly - the the volunteer was told why he was removed. This was a lie. The volunteer requested that the SE state - in writing - why he was removed - a reasonable request. If there were valid reasons and procedures were followed, there should be no reluctance to do so. Nope..... The volunteer's appear was drawn out in BSA for almost 2 years. Turned down. Well, to file for slander or libel you have to do so within 12 months. That explains alot. Don't say WHY. Delay like mad. No legal recourse. The volunteer took it to court over procedural issues. ONLY in court filings were reasons finally cited. Court filings claim that the SE merely "tried" to inform the volunteer "verbally" - a change from past assertions. The reasons cited for his removal were false - completely and utterly. There were NO valid grounds to remove the volunteer. The SE knew it. He didn't even follow his own handwritten noted. BSA knew it. Their own material showed it. Court filings didn't even try to claim that complaints used to remove him were true. The units he served objected to his removal. But he's out. And BSA's legal arguments amount to mere semantics - that "should" is not "imperative" - does not mean "has to" and such. This is the worst type of legal weaseling - and it works. BSA will do whatever they have to to protect a professional. PERIOD. BSA can do whatever they want. Their procedures are written in a way that should disgust anyone who believes in being "trustworthy" - but the work in court. ANd that is ALL BSA cares about. THAT is why their procedures are top secret. They don't exist to protect boys - they exist to protect BSA. If BSA wanted to earn the trust of their volunteers they would hold the professionals to HIGHER standards ethically and morally than they hold volunteers. In too many cases we see nothing resembling the "ethical and moral" decision making BSA claims to promote. Our SE arrogantly told a volunteer that he "loves a good fight" - of course. The fight is and always will be fixed in the professional's favor. Even senior Council volunteers are walking away at this point. Some stay hoping only to outlast the guy but I wouldn't bet on that. Incompetent professionals can and have manipulated Council Boards to give themselves permanent sinecures. They become permanent SE's in a Council when they know there's no spot in Regional, National - or even the "supply division" for them to find shelter. There's even an insider name for it - naming the technique after the first professional that successfully pulled it off. And interestingly, even though BSA's own "investigation" showed that there's "no evidence procedures are not being followed" in membership reporting, nnumbers for last year are down only slightly but the membership dues paid to National are off by a huge amount. Now dues have to be paid monthly, right? SO dues represent a cumulative amount - how many "member-months" were paid. If dues are down for the last three years.... then participation rates - the monthly participation rates reflected in dues - are off. So even if you boost "total served by year end" - by signing up lots of boys that don't stay for long...... you're showing a drastic drop in meaningful participation..... but BSA looks only at the "year-end count." Volunteers see the fraud. We know membership is tanking. And it may look fine if there's a name for every District and Council positions but no work getsdone if they're paper appointments. Some of thos enames haven't been active or seen in years. Our local commissioner doesn't even live in this state most of the year. Council finances are always shown in the cleverest ways. You NEVER see a budgeted vs. ACTUAL. That would point out the regular shortfalls. Instead we show last year's actual vs. this year's budgeted. It LOOKS like we're doing better in that comparison...... but then we'll fail to make this year's budgeted numbers and play the same game - dropping numbers again...... We don't even break out "camping and activities" expenses and revenues separately anymore since someone pointed out that "Camping and activities" not only paid for themselves but were profitable. And the "fundraising expenses" number shown on Council reports sure doesn't jive with what's on 990 filings. We've seen contributions tank even afer doubling the expenses allocated to fundraising. And any professional will tell you that a good part of that "Direct Unit Support" time allocation is fundraising - thought it's not classified as such. Non-profits don't look good when too much of their costs and saff time are spent on fundraising so BSA simply decides not to describe it as such. It's all a game with those a the top being overpaid for failing at their jobs. I know a bunch of Scoutmasters that would gladly trade jobs with our SE. They're already spending a big part of their lives on Scouting for free..... and making alot less in their paying jobs than our SE. HE seems to spend alot of time at dinners - NOT raising much money. Lousy management faking results is too much of a problem in BSA. And someone please explain how Roy Williams is one of the higherst compensated non-profit CEO's in the country when BSA has seen Scouting numbers tank under his leadership. Rant - yeah. You haven't seen how much WORSE summer camp looks after MORE deferred maintenance. But our SE gets his salary - and has Council lending him the downpayment on his house. I wonder how bad they'll let it get before they use that as justification to sell that too.
  14. BSA settled. Given the way court testimony was going - against them - this was probably a smart move. Of course there's a confidentiality agreement. No way to know how much got paid out.
  15. "It would be a good thing if the COR's in the forums all showed up this year at their annual meetings and asked for outside audits of membership roles, and annual reports that comply with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles which show clearly where donation and fundraising dollars were spent. And a fix of the local bylaws to prevent things like da Chicago mess. " BSA is a "representative" democracy BECAUSE COR's DON'T pay attention to what's going on in Scouting. Most don't really want to be involved and simply sign the paperwork once a year. Only the LDS and a few conservative religious groups have used their collective clout - and not necessarily in a good way. BSA could VOLUNTARILY call for regular independent outside audits of membership numbers. Instead they adamently REFUSE to do this though the calls for this have been regular and loud. BSA could FIRE paid staff that violate BSA rules and break the law. THey REFUSE to do so and work quite hard to keep misdeeds under wraps. BSA can show the character they claim to represent or continue hypocritically hiding behind "values" whenever caught in wrongdoing. People aren't attacking your "values" by expecting you to show some ethics and morals. Let's be real. The system is rigged in favor of the Execs running things. They're well paid, have great benefits, have almost NO accountability unless they are really blatant in faking things....why on earth would THEY want to change things? OF COURSE they hand-picl Executive Boards and do as they want. They do it BECAUSE they can do it. Most are decent guys and do not abuse their authority but even the "good guys" see the larger problems and abuses but know better than to speak out.
×
×
  • Create New...