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Cburkhardt last won the day on September 14

Cburkhardt had the most liked content!

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About Cburkhardt

  • Rank
    Scoutmaster and Skipper

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  • Location
    District of Columbia
  • Biography
    Scoutmaster of Scouts BSA Troop for Girls in District of Columbia. 51 Scouts, 11 Scoutmasters, 19-member Committee. Skipper of Sea Scout Ship for young adults in District of Columbia. 40 Sea Scouts, 12 Skippers, 25-member Committee. AOL/Eagle/Quartermaster/Vigil as Scout. Past Positions: District Chairman, Area Venturing Advisor (Central), Council VP (Abraham Lincoln, Springfield IL), Region Membership Chair (Central), National Venturing Committee V Chair, National Second Century Society Chair, Area President (Central 8), National Income Development Chair, Council President (Pathway to Adventure, Chicago), National Advisory Council, Assistant Webelos Den Leader.

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  1. Units should collect “all-in” dues to pay for operations and national/local fees. Everyone participating on this site knows we provide a huge financial bargain for our member families. This becomes very apparent when comparing Scouting fees to other activities for youth. When we started our all-girl troop in DC in 2019, we decided to calculate the all-in cost of our year long-program (with the exception of campouts and summer camp). This included purchase of things to keep our equipment inventory up-to-date, program materials and special activities and our annual dues to council
  2. Our mega-sized girl troop (that is not paired with a boy troop) does not rely on crossovers. We recruit at least 80% of our new members through simple open houses and similar tactics. I would focus on effectively recruiting girls. Solely relying on "crossovers" does not provide plentiful membership for girl troops. I would spend time figuring out how to recruit bunches of girls who have not been in Cub Scouts instead of figuring out how to operate a micro-sized girl troop. Your heart is in the right place and you will figure this out. Proceed with confidence. You have a wonderful progra
  3. When I serve on a council board or district committee, I want the senior responsible executive present to report on activities and be questioned on critical projects. The CEO of a company is always present at board meetings and is normally a member. Attendance of a paid employee is appropriate and not a key issue. It is the ability and willingness of volunteer council board or district committee members to fulfill their roles without allowing themselves to be overly influenced by anyone -- including professional staff. Paid employees are in the position to have more-extensive knowledg
  4. When a Council becomes fundamentally dysfunctional, it is because the council board is not doing its job. This is usually coupled with professional leadership that either overly-dominates the board or is incapable of inspiring its volunteers to fully embrace their board roles. The volunteer Board Chair (formerly known as "Council President") and other principal volunteer leaders are responsible to set policies and priorities for the operation of Scouting within a geographic territory. The Scout Executive is paid by and reports to them and not the other way around. Board members who all
  5. I have read most of your postings concerning the bankruptcy and am glad you added your voice here. Your thoughts informed many of us on topics we were not as familiar with and upgraded the quality of sensitive discussions. Many of us have had long-time engagement with the operational leadership of units, councils and the national organization and enjoy exchanging information and opinions on how the BSA can best provide safe and meaningful program for all of us to participate in. Sometimes these conversations can be very direct -- but that is only because we are seeking to encourage what is
  6. Regarding very small councils, the only way these work in a sustainable way is to (1) have camping property fully endowed and popular with out-of-council troops to break even and provide capital improvement revenue, (2) have a single professional employee (and maybe a helper) to function as a SE/DE and (3) use the camp for the service center. Those councils need to function mostly as volunteer-operated entities. If the expenses get loaded-up beyond that, it is the job of the volunteers to raise the necessary cash. When we did our combination, one of the combining councils was very small
  7. The combination I led was a 4-year project in a major metropolitan area, so it is not possible to adequately summarize the effort in a short posting. However, here are some basics: The principal challenge for the four predecessor councils was an inability or unwillingness to adequately govern and manage Scouting. Membership was dropping 5% - 10% annually and finances were on a steep decline. After years of encouraging the councils to upgrade things, national withdrew the four charters, disbanded the executive boards and directly implement a combination. There were seven camps, i
  8. The new council combination sounds like a great move. As former president of a council that was formed by a pre-bankruptcy/COVID four-council combination, I observe 8 years later that combining was the best possible move to address challenges that threatened to end essential services to youth in the involved geography. It was not a perfect process, but the things that worked were successful because we faced and acted on the big issues with complete honesty and transparency -- with the entire Scouting community providing input and being informed throughout the effort. Please do not fall into
  9. Summer Camp Experiences GREAT This Year Nothing is ever perfect, but my 2 experiences at summer camps this year showed me that we are moving in the right direction. I dropped my beautiful daughter off at Owasippe (reservation for Chicago area located in SW Michigan) to serve as a CIT and stayed 5 days with my wife. The spirit of the Scouts and Scouters could not have been better. Only 4 campsites remained available for the entire summer. Demand is through the roof. Better yet, there was relief and optimism on the part of the Scouters I met about the departure from bankruptcy. C
  10. $80 Youth $60 Adults $30 ScoutReach $25 Joining Fee $25 Merit Badge Counselors $50 Explorers These are now public. This is a $5 increase for youth, $15 increase for adults and a new fee for MB Counselors. The MB counselors are being required to pass YPT and undergo background checks as a result of the negotiated bankruptcy settlement. These fees are being subsidized by private donations to keep the increases at these levels. Without the private donations, the youth fee would be at least $100.
  11. While I do not have the specific numbers, I am generally aware through national contacts that Sea Scouts maintained membership and grew marginally during 2022. Its future will probably continue as a micro-program as long as it continues to be a low-cost/no-cost program to councils and restores more of its pre-covid/pre-bankruptcy membership.
  12. Early on, the bankruptcy discussions on these posts had a broader perspective including the impacts on both the BSA as an institution and claimants individually. There was a natural narrowing of the discussion and claimants led the way as the bankruptcy proceedings focused on the complex technical treatment of the claims and establishment of the trust. Now we are beginning to deal with the how the bankruptcy is significantly impacting the future for various BSA entities and it going-forward members. This discussion will ultimately include things like mergers, local council bankruptcies
  13. First, I’ll answer the original poster’s question. She exhibited objection to hearing religious viewpoints being shared at a BSA meeting (apparently a district BSA function), concern that her child might hear a religious viewpoint at some future BSA event and wants to know how she can avoid such circumstances. The answer is simple. The BSA will not limit the sharing of a religious prayer at one of its events. The BSA will not restrict a group of girls in our Troop from deciding they wish to pursue a religious badge. The BSA will not prohibit me from presenting my optional Sunday morning “
  14. The BSA’s Declaration of Religious Principles is a wide-open policy that welcomes all. In our Troop this certainly includes the girls who are still trying to figure out just what it is that they believe. It is the business of their families to help them sort those issues out. People who want to filter certain religious or philosophical beliefs from their children’s ears are free to do so. You just can’t use the BSA to enforce your personal views on others. This is because the BSA is not a temple, church or other religious, ethical or philosophical organization. Varying groups have tr
  15. I believe the declaration of religious principles as actually observed within the BSA is effective and appropriate. Those of us who have been deeply engaged for decades in promoting the operations and quality of the BSA have gone through many cycles of discussion and sometimes conflict regarding what the BSA should or should not do as its unpaid volunteers offer program to young people. I read through this thread and congratulate many for the low key and relatively accepting postings on a topic that has sometimes elicited rage. The BSA is sufficiently large and diverse to function as a
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