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ParkMan last won the day on January 14

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About ParkMan

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  1. You are absolutely correct that this requires a mind shift. Too many volunteers above the district level are too beholden to what they think are the rules. This is absolutely where a council could have a servant leadership mindset. They could be looking for a way to help the volunteer resolve the problem - regardless of whether they know the rules. 95% of this discussion on the past few pages is doable today, under current BSA accounting rules and practices. The reason this doesn't happen and doesn't work is that many volunteers are simply not aware of how the process really works. A
  2. I'm not actually sure what we're debating here. I'm not suggesting that districts be financially separate entities. I'm suggesting that the council budgets be more friendly to district operations. Specially, in this case there is no reason that a council could not track a line item internally that grows and shrinks based on district expenditures. If a district has a surplus at the end of a year that money amount could be placed as a line item in the next year's budget for a district to draw upon. A district is effectively nothing more than a council operating committee that is res
  3. Respectfully, you are making this too complicated. All that is being suggested is that the council maintain a line item for each district which is the amount of the current district surplus. At the end of the year, any district surplus adds to/subtracts from that line item. If a district knows it has a surplus, it can draw from it for programming. Districts are still a subdivision of the council and the council still maintains all the records and accounts. Many of the posts suggest some sort of animosity between districts and council. There is more casual neglect than their
  4. I still think the right answer is not all that complicated. It can all start by simply splitting the income/expenses so that it enforces certain behaviors. program fees go to pay for programming donations can go to either pay for growing scouting, unit support, or programming - it's at the discretion of the person who donates. Create a hard wall between the different sides financially. In the council's annual report, get them to specify income, expenses, and what they did for each aspect.
  5. You are correct - this could be easily done, even in the current structure. There just needs to be a reason to want to do it. Primary reason that it doesn't happy now is that many council budget committees are oblivious to the need.
  6. Right. I've been through the budgeting process from a district perspective a few times. What I noticed in that was that the council team is well established. The district team doesn't even know how to navigate this process. When I last did it, the council budget committee turned to the accountant in the office for info, the accountant turned to the DE. The DE turned to the district chair and said "here's what I'm submitting - what do you think?". The district chair is new enough that they don't know that they should even be advocating for something more. What is really needed is
  7. Sort of. Districts are not separate from councils. In the BSA structure, a district is just a subdivision of a council. The council can maintain a fund which has money left over from last year, but different parts of a council don't immediately just have an account with left over money. i.e., the council camporee doesn't have left over funds it can spend next time. Districts are no different than any other part of the council. The challenge for districts is that they don't tend to advocate for funds from the council budgeting process that really could improve their programming.
  8. Thanks. That's the kind of thing I was looking for. Districts really do need to be able to build up some funds and equipment to improve the programs. Districts are where units and Scouts most interact with Scouting outside of their unit. In my mind this isn't all that expensive to do either. The only real expense to any of this is a little bit of staff time. Allocating some percentage of program fees to districts to build up local equipment I suspect would go a long way too. To your point - buying rope, fixing the axle - these are small things that a modest expenditure from pr
  9. @MattR When Scouters talk about council value add, they often come back to program activities. Almost all program activities are driven by council/district volunteers today. I'm all for increasing the council focus and shifting financial resources towards enabling volunteers to be successful. I suspect that the best way for this to happen is for a council to spend more money on: district/council volunteer training district/council volunteer support improve council infrastructure for activities Beyond that, I wonder - what should a council do to help volunteer
  10. 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
  11. Sorry - what I meant is that our council is not trying to do anything shady with fees in this time. There is no pressure to increase charges for events, not pressure to set unusual refund deadlines, no pressure to have events just for the money. Yes - our council has not reduced the program fee. I am certain that many parents are frustrated that they need to continue t pay the program fee.
  12. 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
  13. I suspect that if we look around the country, most councils are acting like the othe non-profits you describe. I know that our council is absolutely trying to do the right thing.
  14. 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
  15. Yes, you are correct - sorry to have been vague. The poly wool pants of link to look nice and go with the poly wool shirt: Scouts BSA Polyester Wool Uniform Short Sleeve Shirt, Men's I'm happy I purchased a set, but I don't take them to camp.
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