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Tinnerman Canoe Base is no more....

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I have a friend who went with his son to Tinnerman a few years ago. They had a great experience.


A while back someone posted a topic about how rising fuel costs (and the economy in general) may affect your program. Well ...

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As soon as you get true volunteers sitting in COR positions, who get trained in their position, who understand that they control what happens, who then attend meetings at both district and council level in order to ensure that the district and council does what the units want and not what the professional scouter's want just to make themselves look good.


Or, "never".

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Oak Tree, COR's even in force don't really have any control over what the pros want to do. Camp owasippe of the Chicago council is a prime example. Council wanted to sell the camp. Supporters of the camp rallied the troops. COR's came out in force to vote down the new executive board. They did so in a 5 to 1 vote. They had another vote a month later and the same thing happened, the board was voted down by the volunteers with voting power. Then an intersting thing happened. A pro from national came with a some top secret rule that states if a board is voted down twice, that national can appoint the board. Which they did - the same board that the volunteers voted down twice.


The BSA as a volunteer movement is an illusion. The pros run the show. They are in control. They handpick their board and get a head nod yes vote during the annual business meeting and the board approves whatever the SE wants.


There are several good posts from former pros who have told it like it is. They have been trained getting the volunteers to go along with what they want.


I am a COR.

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Looks like to me like you're really disagreeing with Gary.


He suggested that if CORs really did their job, they could take back the BSA. I replied with a clever one-line tongue-in-cheek response indicating that wasn't going to happen.


If I read you right, you are saying that even if that did happen, it still wouldn't really be enough, since the pros have so many other advantages.


No argument from me. I still say you're never going to get an entire set of activist CORs, but I think you're right, the pros are the ones who can control the big picture.


Too many words, this time... sigh... I'll work on getting wittier.

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Hi Oak Tree, you are right, the message was meant for Gary.


I don't disagree with him; in fact I believe that Gary has the right idea. Unfortunately, it won't work. We volunteers have been fooled by the pros in believing that we have a say. The pros like when COR's are simply figureheads. The majority of COR's I never see.


But the CAC situation truly shows what happens when COR's and volunteer leaders try to take the council back - they cannot.


Volunteers are manipulated to do the bidding of corporate Scouting. Should a volunteer start making trouble for the professional agenda, they are quickly shunned or removed.


Speaking for my council, the executive board is made up of mostly business types who are not in anyway involved in the Scouting program. Perhaps they may have been Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts in the long past, but they are certainly not involved with the current youth. They don't visit the camp; they don't know what problems the volunteer leaders are having. One only gets to know who they are if you go to the annual dinner and get a program. That is the only time and place they are listed hence the majority of folks in the volunteer program have no idea who or even what they are.


My council has in the past sold two of its camps. The selling of the camp was a done deal before anyone knew that there were even intentions of selling the camps. I have read the news story that RememberSchiff posted. It appears that the selling of this canoe base was a done deal before any volunteers knew about it.


It is a shame that council's are selling their camps. When I read stories about other councils selling their camps, sometimes you read that some long time volunteer had his Scouting membership revoked because he spoke out against it. I recall a story about Richard Knaul from a New York council who spoke out about a camp being sold and the fact that the SE wanted to spend money to renovate the Scout office. He was dismissed.


Scouting has certainly changed since I was a Scout.


(This message has been edited by abel magwitch)

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A few weeks ago, our Council Executive gave a lecture to district Scouters with the theme that there were three elements that controlled Scouting ---- volunteers, "suits," and professionals.


Suits were mostly the people sitting on the council board.


I think that's a reasonable description of reality.


If all three are working together in harmony, you ought to get a pretty good to excellent program. If one or more are fighting each other, there are going to be problems.


If volunteers fight suits and professionals that are united, the volunteers are probably going to lose, I would suppose. Perhaps they should.


If the board wants to fight the professionals, they can probably fire the council executive and make it stick.


In our council, we have a top flight council President who is a leading businessman with a looong family history in Scouting. A former CEO of Boeing is also on the board. Any council executive trying to hand a line to those folks would be making a BIG mistake.


Perhaps for that reason, there are no stories of such conflict I've heard about. We are lucky to have volunteers, suits and professionals working together.


Frankly, as a volunteers I have only a limited understanding of the finances of the council. It's not surprising that volunteers reflexively oppose selling off council camps, but it's not surprising because volunteers are usually emotionally invested in camps, but are poorly informed about the council finances that need to support camps and program.


A lot of councils are under financial stress these days. It may be that selling off camps is the best way to maximize the ability of a struggling council to survive and continue to provide the Scouting program for youth. If that's the case, then selling a camp may be the right thing to do, even over the objection of volunteers.


And if the board and professionals agree on that, it's likely to happen.

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Abel, The COR position is the key as they represent their organization and scouting units at the district and council level. However, to be effective and have any credibility they have to be involved all the time not just when something is not going the way they think it should. Its the organizations who charter units and without units there is no council. Without the council the professional staff has no job. It really is that simple and will work.


The problem is that most CORs don't understand their responsibility and are just a name on the charter.

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Are we saying the oil embargo in 1973 killed this camp? Is that why attendance dropped?


It would be nice if there was an announcement on what was going to be done with the money from the property sale and the reduction in operating expense. My guess it will go into the general fund never to be seen again. Yea a roof or two will get fixed but otherwise the council will not replace this asset once sold. The money will be more or less treated as revenue.

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There was a considerable volunteer effort to promote attendance at Tinnerman, including fund-raising to supplement pay for Guides. Didn't work. Money was raised and spent, but attendance kept falling.


Then Ontario revoked the permit to operate the base because Council had not built the $200,000 septic system (for dish and shower water) required by law. (Ontario had given Council a series of one-year temporary waivers.) The small number of crews signed up for 2011 were sent to Boundary Waters.


Then the question was what do do given that there was no $$$ to build the septic system and fewer and fewer crews from Council taking advantage of the base and its program.


The result was hardly a surprise. There is sadness, but not the outcry that accompanied the closing of two Council camps previously.

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  • 3 years later...

Tinnerman Sold Today, the executive board of Greater Cleveland Council, Boy Scouts of America voted to unanimously accept a cash offer of $415,000 for the 10 acre property on the French River in Ontario, Canada that was the Tinnerman Wilderness Canoe Base. The purchase offer has no contingencies and is expected to be completed in early May 2012.

The canoe base began operations in 1962 after the Tinnerman family donated the property to the council. The base remained in operation for nearly 50 years. Declining attendance, increasing Canadian government regulations and other issues, compelled the council to cease operations. The canoe base has not operated since the summer of 2010 and the property was listed for sale in fall of 2011.

How the net proceeds from the sale will be used to support and enhance the Scouting program in our community has not yet been determined by the board.


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