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InquisitiveScouter

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Posts posted by InquisitiveScouter

  1. Just now, Mrjeff said:

    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 warning against Scouting being run by a corps of professionals.  I think it's imperative that we examine the methods that we as Scouters can use to keep going because there isn't much that can be done about the bankruptcy, what caused it, and how it will all turn out.  I believe that it's time that we accept the inevitable and take a positive look to the future and see what can be done with whatever is left.

     

    What were your recharter fees this year, compared to last? ;)

    Wanna place bets now on whether those fees will increase with a future-payments-victim-compensation-fund?

    You can bet your sweet campfire they will.  You and I and our future Scouts will be the ones paying into this.

    That's the connection...

     

    • Upvote 1
  2. There is a Chesapeake Bay Sailing Adventure offered thru Rodney Scout Reservation in Del-Mar-Va council.

    https://www.delmarvacouncil.org/high-adventure-opportunities/high-adventure-sailing-on-the-chesapeake/9297

    Cost is less than Sea Base.

    You can cut costs even more if you plan for and procure your own meals, which, according to my sources, is really all the Rodney provides for you....so, camp food.

    You can charter with the Captain directly, provide your own meals, at substantially lower cost, and still get a High Adventure program, including merit badges.

    DM me if you want more contact info.

    • Upvote 1
  3. 3 minutes ago, Cburkhardt said:

    Liquidation of national is ultimately to the disadvantage of national, councils, lawyers and claimants alike, because very little (if anything) would be left afterward. 

    How is it a disadvantage to lawyers and claimants, unless the settlement includes mandated future payments into a victim's compensation fund?

    If that is the case, then who has to bear that financial burden?

  4. 20 minutes ago, TAHAWK said:

    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.

    Just thinking about this...and please help me flesh out these thoughts...

    The IRS allows individuals to receive monetary gifts, up to a certain amount, tax free.  I have often thought units might give (even anonymously) gifts to value-added council employees to support them directly.  2020 & 2021 exclusion is $15K.

    Give privately, so council doesn't reduce their salaries.

    Having done Lone Scouting in various locations around the world (registration and support processes through electronic means), and with Scoutbook and Scoutshop on line, I can see a future for unit-level Scouting without the need for a district/council structure.

    We ran our own Summer Camp.  Kids loved it.  Agree that many units would not be able to mount that sort of effort.

    Maybe "Council" should just be centered around the Summer Camp (or a long-term camping experience).  Now that I think of it, that is where most of our council's expenditures are (outside of salaries) anyway.  (So, if we have a full-time paid Camp Director on staff, why should the SE be making a salary that puts them in the top 7% economic bracket, nation-wide??  The SE isn't the one managing the top expenditure in the council, the Camp Director is.  Hmmmm)

    Training done regionally...maybe with smaller regional area divisions, supported by National???

    What to do about insurance, though...we do need that support...

    Again, musings...have a great weekend.   Going camping now ;)

     

  5. 7 minutes ago, karunamom3 said:

    Is it in writing somewhere that cub scout camping counts? I can't find anything. Or is it assumed because the award says something like under BSA, so that includes cubs.

    If that's the case, does cub scout hiking, swimming, etc count too for the other awards?

    https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2014/03/13/interpreting-under-the-auspices-in-national-outdoor-awards-requirements/#:~:text=If it's part of a Scout's work on merit badges,state park wouldn't count.

  6. Just now, TAHAWK said:

    PICTURE POSTED FROM IMGUR.  

     

    [img]https://i.imgur.com/3up0W1K.png[/img]

    Lol...at the unit level, concur...and IMHO, this should be the case for district and council level events for units.  This is a great role for the OA!

    And as I shared in a previous post, our PLC had planned and geared up to staff/run several stations at two separate district events, and were waved off at last minute by district committee volunteers who said ,"We have enough adults to run things now."  Our PLC corporate memory still bears a bit of scar tissue from that.  I don't blame them...

  7. 13 minutes ago, TAHAWK said:

    We have gone from the partrol focus to the trrop focus to the council focus?  Youth learns leadership, self-reliance, democracy,  and responsibility how?  Is program an objective or a tool?

     

     

    A tool, of course, but one of the best in the tool box of things to attract, recruit, engage, and retain youth.

  8. 9 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

    Again, have you asked your council? As I noted in at least 1/2 of states you are allowed to inspect their books and/or audited financial statement BY LAW. You want to get into budget line items? Go right ahead.

    But the problem is we have people who say a) I don't want all the details but b) I want assurances that the money is not going somewhere I, personally, don't think it should be going to (camp wifi).

    You can't have it both ways. You want the information, file a request under your state laws and show up at council (the laws say you can inspect, it does NOT say they have to mail it to you).

    Nor do they have to provide you copies.  This was a speed bump, but I understand they don't need to spend time making copies.  So, I asked if it would be scanned to a file.  No, definitely not, was the answer.  Now the speed bump is a road block.  So I just wait until items are available on Charity Navigator or GuideStar and then distribute for public information.  This is part of why I am blacklisted.  I see it as just facilitating transparency ;)

  9. 25 minutes ago, MattR said:

    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 summer camp, then the money is going to the wrong place. This is what I meant by tough questions.

    I just know my council, but this idea of supporting volunteers is not happening. When some council says hooray, we will lower fees because FOS was high enough, all I can think is the parents donating more money is just delaying the inevitable. Cost keeps going up but value does not. That's not a recipe for success.

    Awww @MattR, the occasional rabbit hole is fine, right??

    Council fees should help fund professionals who go out and recruit and train (or see that training is provided to) adult volunteers (Commissioners included) to run the program.

    Tracing it backwards, bad program is usually a result of poor adult volunteerism, which is usually a result of a lack of recruiting/training by professionals, who get paid by the council fees...

    I firmly believe, if the program was the focus, the fees and fundraising would fall into place with no issues.  That does not seem to be the mindset here (in this council)...

  10. 48 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    Wow! What a mess.

    First off, you claim your running one of the best programs, but not getting any feedback. What feedback do you want? My experience with a struggling Commissioner corp program is that the resources are applied to units that need help. Do you need help?

    You state that the commissioner is the liaison of units to the Council. Commissioners are the liaison the DISTRCT. The DE is your liaison to the council, if you need it. Whether the DE does their job through commissioner corp or personally is up in the air and dependent of their character of how they work. What do you want to know about Council to continue to run your fine program?  

    I do agree the commissioner Crop is there to help you build a quality program, but again, if you have a quality program, what else do you want? If your commissioner corp is lacking and struggling, and I have the "Been there done that T-Shirt", then help them by not taking recourses you don't need. Use them when you need them for situations that are beyond the experience of the unit volunteers.

    As for the missing DE, OK, so. But you really want to see is the District Commissioner. The DC has the most power to influence units. Sadly, most districts don't understand their power and they seem to fill the position with someone who doesn't have the skills. But, if you really want to invite District/Council to see your program, the DC is the person you want because that is the Key 3 connection to the outside world.

    Finally, I cheer your desire to become a commissioner, but let me point out that you can only be as good as your District Commissioner manager (DC). And you aren't painting a very pretty picture of your DC.. Every situation is different, but my suggestion is to get on the District Committee somewhere where you can do good work and earn your way to the District Commissioner position. I took that route, and I was offered the DC position. I was Sadly, the offer came 5 years after I retired from scouting and I wasn't ready to jump back in. I was flattered they remembered me and felt I was their person for the job, but I moved on with my life. To bad really, I believe the District Commissioner has the most power for influencing program in the units. I believe a unit should never see the DE if the commissioner corp is doing their job correctly.

    I'm always excited to read your grounded opinions of scouting. I believe some of your thoughts will be influenced with district level volunteering. I know it changed a lot of my idealism. I look forward to reading your future posts.

    Barry

    Barry,

    The observation on our program is mine, when looking at other units, and speaking with volunteers and parents at multiple events.  And, I totally get that Commissioners' attention should be first and foremost to units that are struggling.  My point is just what you sussed out:  our council/district/unit Commissioner apparatus is broken, and I believe it directly affects the quality of programs at each level.

    The secondary point is that, if we did experience an issue we needed help with, I'd have no idea who to call directly.  We do not have a Unit Commissioner assigned, nor have we had any interaction with a Commissioner (except for Roundtables) for about 2 years.  And the last was a request by me to do a unit contact to "check the health", from which we got zero Commissioner feedback.  (No news is good news?)

    But, I see it as a DE (and the other two of the Key 3) responsibility to recruit Commissioners.  Am I wrong?  It ain't happening here.

    And the liaison bit was a direct quote pulled from the Administration of Commissioner Service manual https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/34501.pdf

    Finally, I am trying to tactfully engage our SE to find some way forward (to get off his blacklist), but he is swamped with funding/bankruptcy/DE&I/YPT issues.  So I remain on the back burner until his bandwidth is more open (sorry for the mixed metaphor ;) ).

     

  11. 7 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

    If a district is in a scenario where it is only being populated by a few "old guard" then of course district programming is going to stink.

    This is one facet of the problem.

    8 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

    You strike me as a Scouter who really wants to help and it is unfortunate that you are being blocked.

    Thanks.  And I am not the only one...there are quite a few around here who are in that boat.  It seems our council board is really out of touch with the volunteer base as well.

    We are a perfect example of where leadership is cutting off its nose in spite of its face.

  12. 5 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

    The $55 National Camping School fee is set by and goes direct to the National Council. And each Council has to then add in another $100 as a hosting fee.

    https://www.scouting.org/outdoor-programs/camping/short-term-camp/

     

    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

    • Haha 1
  13. 1 minute ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    Council fee is $33 on top of everything else.

    Got a letter today saying all district/council camping activities, not just the Cub Scout Family Activities, needs  a certified Camp Administrator and the cost of the virtual training is $55. WHY DOES IT COST IF IT IS VIRTUAL AND REQUIRED FOR PROGRAM? ( emphasis)

    I can understand IOLS charging. had to pay for food, supplies, handouts, etc. And when I did Cub Scout Basic Leader Training, we charged $5 for snacks, handouts, and a resource CD I put together. The info on the CD was well worth the $5 by itself.

    But $55 for a virtual class taught by a volunteer?

    Sometimes you wonder if they are trying to put themselves out of business...

  14. 1 hour ago, MattR said:

    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.

    @MattR and others...

    Spot on!

    A council (or any organization) must be of value, be able to demonstrate that value, and advocate for their value-added to Scouting.

    Our council is dysfunctional, for many reasons similar to those some of you see in other councils.

    That was my challenge to our council. "If you want our money and support, please tell us what value you give to our program." 

    -  Our district events are not fun or interesting for our Scouts, therefore not well attended.  If our PLC does not wish to do District events, I CANNOT veto them.  I only veto their decisions for health and safety reasons.  I have given much time to District events and Committees, but for the last two years, our SE has denied my participation, ostensibly based on my non-support of FOS.  Our PLC has volunteered to help run a few District events.  For the last two, the PLC responded on short notice to staff stations at an event, and, after jumping through hoops to get people and materials together, were told at the last minute, "We don't need you now, we have adults who will staff the event stations."

    - Our council events?  Aren't any...our last council-level event for units was three years ago.  Our Troop supported it, and constructed a Pioneering project that was a hit.  Constant line to participate and climb on it...  Cost for the event was $30 a head, and that did not include food cost for our unit.  Did not get program value for $30 a head.  (Our local amusement parks charge about $40 a head for groups over 20. Our Scouts prefer those.)

    - Our OA Lodge?  A self-serving organization that does nothing visible for our units.  Our Committee and I support using the OA in our unit as an honor recognition for our Scouts.  When they start doing service events in our council or community, I will encourage them to wider participation.

    - Our local camp?  Our Scouts don't want to go there to camp or for Summer Camp.  The facilities are horrible, and we can get similar or better services from our county and state parks, or local facilities, for cheaper prices, with less interference and interruption to our program.  Our unit has done at least eight service projects over the past five years worth thousands of dollars to improve portions of camp...  not one iota of thanks or recognition for our Scouts.  (Not that they do it for the thanks, but gratitude costs little to nothing.  We did a service project for our local land conservation non-profit (with expenditures similar to our council) and every single Scout participating got a hand-written thank you card from them.)

    - Our Scout Shop?  Awesome, keep it.  Although, we can get everything we need from on line Scout Shop, at same prices.  Our local shop allows us to get 99% of our needs quicker...you pay for convenience ;)

    - Our Registrar?  Awesome.  But, I believe most functions could be automated and placed on line.  Scoutbook has been a huge improvement in our ability and agility to file for advancements and recognize our Scouts.  It took two years of lobbying to get our council to put MBC lists in Scoutbook.

    - Our District Executive?  Don't have one.  I have done the Charter Agreement for our CO for the last four years, and delivered it to council.  We get support from our Scout office in no-cost-to-unit printing of recruiting materials.

    - Our Unit Commissioner?  Don't know who that is this week (sarcasm).  A Commissioner only visits when I specifically ask our District Commissioner for a visit.  They have an open invitation to attend any event or outing.  Never seen one...  "The commissioner is the liaison between the local council and Scouting units. The commissioner’s mission is to keep units operating at maximum efficiency, maintain regular contact with unit leaders, coach leaders on where to find assistance, note weaknesses in programs, and suggest remedies. The commissioner is successful when units effectively deliver the ideals of Scouting to their members."  I know we are one of the best units in District and Council, but we never get that feedback from any level...  We are left in a state of benign neglect.  I have offered to become a Commissioner when my tenure ends this year.  Will be dependent on whether SE still denies my participation at the district and council level.

    and the list goes on...

    I would love for our council to improve, but suggestions for change are not solicited, and, when given, are routinely ignored or rejected.

     

  15. Ours,

    National fee $66 plus council fee $60 (service $48 plus insurance $12) = $126 total for youth.

    National $42 plus $5 council (insurance) = $47 for adults.

    Does not include the $25 first time fee for youth...

    Our troop dues, $49...so Scouts in our unit paid $175 to recharter for the year....not including Scout Life.

    I will remain council-anonymous ;)

  16. 1 minute ago, mashmaster said:

    Hey, come to Central texas and teach us WFA.  I will smoke a brisket for you 🙂

    You cover airfare and rental car, and I'm in!!  I have relatives in SA and Fort Worth areas...which is closer?? :)

    So, if you can recruit someone to do it for your unit/council, here's what I did...

    Week long course at Philmont Training Center to be a certified WFA Instructor.  Includes certification to teach CPR/AED and Standard First Aid.  Cost for me back then was about $400 for the course.  We made it a family road trip, and the wife and kids did a week long program there too.  

    If you haven't been to PTC, highly recommended.  They did a great job.

    Then you have to purchase the training materials from the course provider...about another $250 (can't see my old invoices now), depending on the provider

    Then buy CPR manikins and supplies, and a practice AED...another $750.

    Practice First Aid supplies, Projector, computer, etc, etc,

    All in, you are there for about $1500 minimum if you already have the tech support.  That is the cost of about 8 WFA courses if your unit pays for them...

    You can recoup the cost of your outlay by training other units for a minimal fee.

    Worth considering...

  17. 3 hours ago, MikeS72 said:

    When I teach First Aid/CPR/AED for our council, I do not collect anything above the cost of the card.

    When I do these, I assess a small fee to cover the cost of my qualification and materials (instructor certification, curriculum slides, projector, computer, CPR manikins & bags, practice AED, bandages, etc.) that I paid out of pocket to start up the operation.  Still less than half the cost you'd see by council or on the market. 

    CPR/AED costs about $110 and WFA costs about $200 in these parts.  I do CPR/AED for $35, WFA for $60 (includes both).

    When I offered to do these for council at bare-minimum cost, and the professional training advisor said "No."  The reason given was that they had professional relationships to maintain outside of Scouting, and that undercutting prices for services Scouters get from Red Cross/REI/NOLS/American Heart, etc., etc. would damage those relationships. (I remain skeptical.)  If I did them through council, we had to charge a rate comparable to the market.

    I taught these for our council contingents to Philmont a few years ago, taught in council facilities.  Council charged them the $200 per person, folded that into the cost per participant, and gave me my $60 per, which is all I asked...

    I will no longer spend my time being a revenue generator for council.  I gladly teach volunteers, and they arrange for facilities and snacks...

    • Like 1
    • Sad 1
  18. 1 hour ago, ParkMan said:

    FWIW - It's not so much that it's anything goes.  There is one set of pants that goes with each uniform shirt.

    • Microfiber shirt - you purchase microfiber pants
    • Canvas shirt - you purchase canvas pants
    • Poly/wool shirt - you purchase poly/wool pants.

    Though I am sure that you technically can mix the materials, I almost never see that in reality.

    I do see microfiber shirts with canvas pants a lot around here....

  19. 15 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

    Second, where's the money going? Are units using this to supplement their coffers?

    @sunshinescout@CynicalScouter knows, as I do, that any monies raised for an Eagle Scout Service Project (ESSP) belong to the beneficiary of the project.

    If any Scout, unit, or organization other than the beneficiary, keeps money raised by an Eagle Scout candidate for purposes of funding an ESSP, then that is tantamount to theft.

    Now, if there is money left over from a fundraising effort, and the Eagle Scout candidate gives it to the beneficiary, and the beneficiary chooses to give it to some other organization or individual, that is their prerogative.

    Yet another reason National wishes to avoid projects that require fundraising...and why you should avoid one, as well, especially if you do not need it for your project.

    • Upvote 1
  20. 6 hours ago, TAHAWK said:

    patrol medallion

    position patch ?

    troop numerals

    rank patch

    event patch (temprary insignia)

    shulder loops?

    council patch

    international patch

    possibly plus  2-3 more patches

    BLING!

     

    knots, interpreter strip, service stars, trail and other medals, jamboree patches, honor patrol stars, troop veteran number strips, OA flap, Powderhorn emblem, JTE patch, Trained emblem, Emergency Preparedness pins (retiring)...

    Now we are talking, BLING!!

    But wait!!!  Doesn't the G2AI say

    "Excess Insignia With the exception of the Cub Scout badges of rank, members wear only the insignia that show their present status in the movement. Members should make every effort to keep their uniforms neat and uncluttered." (emphasis added)

    And didn't BP say,

    "A Scout should not use a showy uniform, because it would attract attention; but Scouts in a patrol, should as far as possible, dress alike, especially as regards hats, or caps, and neckerchief."

    Hmmmm.... Scout Life magazine...

    https://scoutlife.org/about-scouts/scouting-around/164940/is-there-life-after-earning-eagle-scout/

    keeplearning.jpg

     

     

     

  21. 13 hours ago, BlueandSilverBear said:

    Are these the current uniform pants?

    https://www.scoutshop.org/new-uniforms/leaders/scouts-bsa-men-s-uniform-switchback-pant-olive-28-52.html

    I'm formally registering as an adult leader and plan to have a uniform ready for when my Lion puts on the Cub Scout uniform.

    Yes, and official pants come in three different materials, each with advantages and disadvantages, as @KYScouterbegins to point out.

    Canvas, polyester microfiber, and polyester/wool blend are your choices.  Each material has its devotees.

    I am a devotee of polyester microfiber.  Light, quick dry, converts to shorts, cargo pockets, does not fade as quickly as the canvas stuff.  Disadvantages of poly microfiber?  Wind whistles right through it in winter (you need good under-layers), it snags on brush and threads get pulled out (canvas is more heavy-duty), and even small sparks from the fire burn right through.

    Enjoy the adventure!

    • Like 1
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