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About gpurlee

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  1. Our Spanish exchange student who is also a Scout in Spain just enjoyed his first Thanksgiving meal. We have hosted 11 exchange students (Germany - 4, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Spain -2, France, and Columbia) and they have all found this American tradition to be wonderful (wunderbar). Daniel will help me do the international Scouting presentation at this year's University of Scouting training event. It is great to be a part of a worldwide organization.
  2. I am the chartered organization representative for our units, vice-chair of the church board and a long time Scouter. As a sponsor, we have hosted Scouting continuously since 1911. We view it as an outreach ministry to the youth and families of our community. The following is our thinking at this time: The Scout troop has adequate reserves and can probably handle increased costs between $50 to $75 per Scout and Scouter. We will certainly have to look at our fund-raising capabilites in the future. Our Cub pack was totally re-organized this year. The good news is that we now have 50 active Cubs. The challenge is that many of these families are already under financial strain We have a LOT of children being raised by grandparents. And single parents with as many as four Scout age children. The church gave the pack $1,000 for supplies, training and scholarships to help the pack reorganize because the pack essentially had no monies. Unfortunately, even before the news of the national fee increase, we were already very concerned about the ability of the pack to recharter and to help families participate in the program. Nevertheless, we are determined to attempt to re-charter but realize that we may face an uphill battle. I wonder how many other units are in the same position? Our plan includes meeting immediately with key leadership after we get information from the local council on anticipated fees. We are looking at a combination of scholarship funds, potential assistance from the council if any is available (which they are hopeful), fund-raising and approaching friends and potential donors for one time assistance. And implementing a plan for next year. We will discuss this issue with our parent committee and the council on ministries next week to finalize our plan. With nly a month before registration and fees are due, we feel that we will probably have our backs against the wall if there is a significant increase. From the perspective of five decades of Scouting experience, this is the greatest challenge in Scouting that I can remember since the 1970's when we lost half of our Boy Scout membership in the council at the same time that nationally our numbers plummeted. However, this time feels more serious in many ways. A perfect storm scenario seems to be emerging with the loss of the LDS and several other long term sponsors locally, a flood of lawsuits across the nation and an increasingly tarnished image. I hope that the national council is successful in developing a long term strategy in dealing with what feels clearly like a major crisis, is as transparent as possible with stake holders incuding families and Scouters and seeks input from us. However, my perception is that there is a feeling that options at this stage are very limited and we run a real risk of being forced into a survival mode as an organization. I hope I am wrong.
  3. I am a new member and have been browsing previous comments and thought I would chime in on this one. I am the chartered organization representative for our units and a long time Scouter. Ironically, our church attorney who is also a board member and I were discussing a very related topic today at lunch. In my opinion, any chartered organization that would require a Scout troop to perform work as a condition of a payment is entering questionable legal waters. The key term is require. A chartered partner owns the unit under Scouting policies. If money is being exchanged based upon required work rather than a donation, we are beginning to look at a potential employer - employee relationship. It is somewhat similar to the issue on the establishment of individual Scout accounts where Scouts are credited based upon their sales. The IRS has some very specific rules around this and the chartered organization's tax exempt status could be at risk. It might be worth investgating further.
  4. I suspect that a bankruptcy filing is inevitable, probably sooner than later at this point. One of my concerns as a chartered organization representative and long time Scouter, is the impact of a bankruptcy filing by the national BSA on sponsoring organizations. The BSA, up to this point, has provided primary coverage to the sponsoring institutions and has provided a fairly high level of protection. However, if the resources of the national organization become limited due to an overwhelming number of lawsuits, it a likely that sponsoring organizations who "own" the unit may be at increased risk. As sponsors recognize this, recruitment and retention of sponsors may become very challenging. At the very least, it is incumbent upon sponsors and chartered organization representatives to be very involved and proactive to make sure that all child protection policies are followed at all times and there is strong oversight of the unit operations. However, from my experience, Scouting units are too often viewed simply as a community group housed by the organization rather than a part of the organization. The sponsor plays a very passive role. And it does little to reassure our existing and prospective sponsors when law firms are actively running advertisements seeking persons to file lawsuits.
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