Jump to content

Atlanta Scout Executive resigns amid scandal

Recommended Posts

Perhaps we're missing an opportunity. Let the audits roll on, let the resignations continue, sweep out the barn (to use Ross Perot's terminology). Maybe that will leave top brass that is focused on the same thing we're focused on - the boys.

Plus, probably save a lot of money otherwise spent on salaries of people who spend most of their time raising money to pay their salaries. ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 72
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Read through and note the details NOT reported elsewhere.


From 15,000 (not the lower 10,000 number BSA publicizes now - c'mon doe sit really improve tings when you're overstating by ONLY 100% instead of 200% ???) to 5,361 BUT ONLY 3,485 were active and THIS was based on a SAMPLE audit 68 out of 482 !!?????!!!


Beasley of Operation PUSH/Rainbow Coalition is right not to trust the "audited" claims. ONLY 68 units were checked - or were those the only units they could find?


When is BSA leadership simply going to stand up to the plate and DO WHAT IS RIGHT!?


One of the few "successful" Troops has apparently lost any faith in BSA as a result of all this. Who is hurt?


ALL volunteers should be demanding that National stop the BS focus on "numbers" and own up. Read teh explanations of what is OK. I'm appalled at such moral and ethical "shortcutting." ANY paid staffer that lies is out. NO EXCUSES.




Link to post
Share on other sites

The real question is how do we get our own repective councils to straighten out. Most of us are not on the Executive board, but as unit scouters we can make a difference. When a unit folds. Ask why their number still shows up. Look over the list of units in your district. Chalange unknown numbers. I've done this, it is funny to watch the topics change at the District committee mneeting when I show up.

Link to post
Share on other sites

FB, you are right on the money. We know, for instance, how the U.S. government squanders and wastes our money on projects we don't support. Yet, we don't move to Mexico. Why? Because in our judgment this country is the best one. Scouting is the same way. We can write letters, we can talk to executive board members, we can agitate for honesty. Just like the letters I write to my congressional and state legislative people, I don't expect a lot of results.


But it's no reason to leave Scouting. Scouting is by far the greatest program for youth and the only one doing anything about teaching values and self-reliance to kids on any volume in the country. It's no reason to be suspicious or nasty to our professionals, either. They do what they have to do, they have hard jobs and very few work a 40 hour week.


Whether there are cheats and crooks in the BSA or not, my unit or yours can be the best thing that ever happened for several hundred kids over a period of years.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought I would give you a little background on how the Boy Scouts inflate their membership numbers. As I know you are aware,every Scout unit is granted an annual charter. It can be from 6 to 18 months. Most are 12 months long and usually end in October, November or December. The BSA runs on a calendar year, so all membership figures used are from December 31 for united way, grants etc. A Scout unit will have, (X) amount of boys when it starts and then boys can join throughout the year and the membership fee is prorated for each month.


It cost $10 per year to be a member of the Boy Scouts or .84 per month. So a scout unit accumulates boys throughout the year. Lets say you start with 30, 20 join and 15 quit or drop out. The Boy Scouts will report 50 even though there are only 35, because they will carry them through until a unit recharters or renews then all boys who have not paid their $10 registration fee are dropped off.


Now this is how the BSA can and does manipulate the membership:


A council and/or its professional staff will add names to a scout unit in its last month before it renews. For example you could add 20 youth to a Scout unit that renews in October for .84 each instead of a higher prorated fee earlier in the year and be able to count that membership on 12/31 because, most councils will not renew an October, November or December Scout unit until January 1, because they dont want to lose the membership before the end of the year. A unit goes into a lapsed state for 60 days after its charter month. So an October Scout unit can be held and you can count the membership through 12/31 and artificially inflate your numbers. You do this to 50-100 Scout units and you are talking about a possible 2000 kid difference in your end of year numbers in a small council, much larger in a metro area. Most of the time the registrars know the membership is questionable, so they usually dont even print and mail membership cards or if they do the executives will say they will deliver it and toss the cards, the unit recharters on Jan 1 and the unit leaders never even know the kids were added. This is a very, very common way to manipulate numbers. The Boy Scouts call it Membership Management.


The next way they manipulate membership is through their Inner City or Scout Reach Programs. Most sizeable councils have a Scout Reach person, who is a Para-professional that works exclusively with inner city youth. These guys go into inner city neighborhoods and sign up every kid possible. 90% of them never even know they are in Scouts. Councils usually pay for the membership, the United Way loves it, and they think they are doing a good deed, but they are really helping the councils inflate their membership. They never ask to see if a unit is earning advancement. That is a sure way to tell a fake, ghost or inactive unit they dont earn any advancement. I have seen Scout reach guys ask how much membership do you need, and then bring it in 4-5 days later. It is free for the kids, even though they may never go to the first meeting.


Exploring the Co-ed Career Education Program for high school kids is another area. #1 the BSA runs surveys in the schools where kids choose careers they would like to learn more about. The survey requires: Name, address, City, St, Zip, and Tele & Date of Birth. Everything you need to put them on the Exploring registration list. No application is required, just a BSA form. BSA Execs have literally tens of thousands of these at their disposal to add to units at the end of their charter dates, usually October, November and December. Another thing BSA execs will do is go sit in the cafeteria to promote Exploring, tell the kids it is free, pay for one month of their registration at the end of the year then never bother to really get them to join.


How is this funded?


Several different ways. Some councils that are flush with cash and just run it through a specific assistance line item in their budget. Others are not and the executives must be creative, so they skim cash off of camporee fees and other activities and rat-hole it away to pay for the membership. It only takes $84 to add 100 kids to your year-end numbers, so a lot of executives do it; some even pay for it themselves. 100 kids can make the difference between a 2% and 10% pay raise for a district executive.


What is the motivation?


Pressure from your boss. #1

Pay increases for reaching your goal

Peer pressure




Some other interesting facts:


The Scout Executive (Executive Director) is well paid. A Scout Executive can make in the neighborhood of $100,000- 250,000+ a year, on top of that - benefits, company car, liberal expense account, company credit card etc It is way out of wack for a not-for-profit pay scale. The general contributor, blue-collar guy who gives $50.00 to support Scouting has no idea they are paid this much. If you review United Way applications from the BSA they hide this by using what they call a fair share. Say you are applying for funding from the United Way. It will ask what administrative salaries are. The Boy Scouts take the membership in that county and divide it by the total council membership and come up with a % and they will divide the Scout executives salary by that % and show only that amount. They will not come out and say that the Scout Executives salary is $250,000.


Scout Executives work for the executive board of the Council. Most of which were chosen by the Scout Executive. So he surrounds himself with people he chose and usually they only hear his side of any story.


The SOP will be to find lower-level executives to place the blame on and produce Membership Validation agreements signed by every executive that says they will uphold the membership standards of the BSA. And claim they had some bad apples doing the inflated membership, when it has been a part of the corporate culture for decades.


How To Spot a Fake Unit:




Usually has only 5 members

Minimum number of adults registered, usually 4 for an Explorer Post, 6 for a cub pack, 5 for a troop. Adults are multiple registrations. Which means their primary registration is in another Scout unit and either a copy of their adult application has been used or filled out by a BSA staff member

No advancement earned within the unit

Professional staff members appear as adult leader on the rosters.

Youth with same addresses or birth days.

Leaders never attend roundtables.

Unit never visible at any district events.

Long-time Scouters never heard of them.





Link to post
Share on other sites

While i am sure x-ray has the best of intentions in his lengthy article on scouting fraud his has a boat load of misinformation at his disposal.


he speaks as though all of the 310 councils all have districts that rechatrter at the same time of year. That is not true. he suggests that every independent United Way Chapter all use the same tabulation methods, run their campaigns at the same time or base their distributions in the same way. That is also untrue.


Scouting professional's incomes are bsaed on the size and capabilities of the local council and vary greatly though out the country.


Scouts who stop atteneding meeings are still considered members until their paid membership runs out at the end of the charter year. They may return at anytime soto terminate their membership and not count them would not be in their best interest.


Learning for Life runs the explorer program not the BSA. It is a separate corporation. Even those applications require a signature.


If the way to spot a fake was a troop with 5 boys then there are posters here who lead fake troops. Why 5? Is a troop of 6 a valid unit, but 5 is not? Adullts are dual registered? Most adults who are active in scouting carry dual registrations by their own choice. professionals appear as leaders? I know a teriffic SE who had two boys in the pack of 125 where he was the cubmaster. Are professionals not allowed to enjoy scouting with their sons? Leaders never attend Roundtable? That would meen in our council that over half of all units did not exist. and I know that's not true. Units not visible at district events. My sons troop has over 50 scouts and they have attended 1 district or council event in 5 years. Do they not really exist?


Sorry x-ray, you obviously feel you have a bone to pick with the BSA but you have so many 'facts' that are just plain incorrect they cannot possiblly lead to an accurate conclusion.









Link to post
Share on other sites

Now this is how the BSA can and does manipulate the membership:


A council and/or its professional staff will add names to a scout unit in its last month before it renews.


I find that comment offensive. Could a council and/or professional staff do this? Sure, but why is the assumption that it is done? There are cases of fraud, and I for one find one case one case too many and make no excuses for it. That does not mean that all councils inflate their numbers.



How To Spot a Fake Unit:



You list many items that often are discussed right here as a challenge to units. I'll not list each one and counter, though I was tempted, but decided to not to--I'd probably end up sounding as bitter as this poster.


I'm not sure why you wrote such a long post of ways in which you think councils lie, but I'm not feeling as generous as Bob: much of what you wrote is flat-out wrong, and if there's some truth in there, it's so tangled up in fiction that it's hard to find it. It serves no purpose except to try to look the BSA look like an organization designed to line the pockets of SEs by lying to the public and fabricating youth and leaders.(This message has been edited by bbng)

Link to post
Share on other sites

"Lets say you start with 30, 20 join and 15 quit or drop out. The Boy Scouts will report 50 even though there are only 35, because they will carry them through until a unit recharters or renews then all boys who have not paid their $10 registration fee are dropped off."


The council has no way of knowing 15 boys have dropped out until the unit fails to recharter them. If a unit starts with 30 and adds 20, how many should be reported if there is no knowledge of any boys that dropped out, if any? Even the unit may not know a boy has dropped until he stops coming to meetings for several months.


Hey, by the way what difference does it make anyway if the number on some report says a unit has 35 members or 50 members??

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bob says:


Learning for Life runs the explorer program not the BSA. It is a separate corporation.


Maybe in the official books in some lawyer's office somewhere, but in real life, I'm not so sure. We've had this discussion before. For anyone who doesn't know what I am talking about, do a Google search on "learning for life division" and see how many BSA Councils have a "Learning for Life Division." It doesn't sound very separate to me. Look down the page to threefirescouncil.org and click on it, there you will find a council web page that says:


"Learning For Life Division - Exploring, Venturing, and Learning For Life"


So there's a council with the Venturing program, of all things, run by the Learning for Life division. Interesting, no? And there are many other examples though I don't think I saw any that think Venturing is supposed to be included in the Learning for Life Division.


Just another example of how theory, no matter how well it may be legally documented, doesn't necessarily match reality. There may actually be a separate Learning for Life corporation, but it doesn't seem to actually run the Learning for Life program, the BSA does.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bbng, BobWhite and FScouter, I am not sure what point you are trying to make. Are you saying there isn't significant fraud in the membership statistics in some councils? Or are you just saying xray's description of how it happens is incorrect?

Link to post
Share on other sites

NJCubScouter writes:

There may actually be a separate Learning for Life corporation, but it doesn't seem to actually run the Learning for Life program, the BSA does.


Oh, c'mon, www.learning-for-life.org has their OWN address right there at the bottom:


If you are unable to locate an office in your area, contact Learning for Life's national office

at 1325 West Walnut Hill Lane, P.O. Box 152079, Irving, Texas


How can you seriously say the BSA controls L4L? I suggest you write the BSA's national office

at 1325 West Walnut Hill Lane, P.O. Box 152079, Irving, Texas

and ask them to clarify the situation.

Link to post
Share on other sites

"Bbng, BobWhite and FScouter, I am not sure what point you are trying to make."


I was going to ask the same thing. What is the point in these long diatribes about cheating on the membership report? You'd think this was some kind of scandal on the scale of Watergate. Explain how BSA benefits from having 1,100,000 on the roll vs. 1,000,000? Who has been defrauded? What have been the results of this fraud and how have the defraudees been injured?

Link to post
Share on other sites

NJCubScouter: I admitted that fraud has happened and that it is wrong. What I will not agree with is that because of one (in this case, Atlanta) council inflating all numbers that all do. The only council I can speak for is the one I am involved in; I know for a fact that every effort is made to keep records accurate. My point is simply that because a unit, district, or council can inflate the numbers does not mean that it will.


FScouter, who does it hurt? Personally, I don't care for the numbers game in any organization. The emphasis shouldn't be on numbers. What I find objectionable is the idea that all councils do lie, and after all, deliberately putting down an incorrect number or filling out an app that doesn't have a person attached to it (the fakes), is a lie. Numbers? I don't care about them. The person who will lie to create numbers that might impress people? I have a problem with that and don't believe that because one does it all does it.


I'm sorry that I wasn't clear on that, and also for being rather harsh.(This message has been edited by bbng)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Before Politenessman clonks the boneheads on this thread (me included) with his gauntlet, I want to welcome xray10 to the forums.

Xray10 (are there 9 more of you out there somewhere?), I think it would be illuminating to get the sources for the information you mention. I am willing to reserve judgement (unlike some others here) and examine what you say in light of your sources. Are the things you list merely your opinions or do you have some documentation you could cite for us?


Merlyn, you had me going there for a few words. (This message has been edited by a staff member.)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would add my welcome to Xray10. Not to burst anyone's bubble, but his analysis is pretty much right on. I can't verify everything Xray says, but I know enough about it to tell you that he has been really close to the situation. While it's true that not every council indulges in all the excesses that Xray mentions, I would be willing to bet there are staff members in every single council who do exactly what he is talking about with regard to adding boys to units who are due for rechartering. I was a professional long ago, but the practices were the same. Not all professionals do it, I'm sure, but the ones who get ahead do it to some extent. Most professionals probably have never created a fictitious unit, but certainly most have chartered a unit that they knew in their hearts would fail. Most units in poorer, inner-city neighborhoods will fail unless they have a paraprofessional working directly with them. It's hard to get trainers and commissioners and all the support systems you find in better parts of town to get them up and running.


I'm also sure that some professionals do this for reasons of greed, but most do it for reasons of survival. If you want to keep your job, you will probably be faced with the situation at some point or other in your career.


I don't know how most councils report their staff incomes, so can't comment on that, but I know there are some games played. For instance, the Chief Scout Executive receives X hundred grand as a salary, but he is also Editor in Chief of Boys Life magazine for which he receives another X hundred thou.


It's not my intention to cast any aspersions on the BSA, but I think most of the responses to Xray's comments reflect a misunderstanding of how the professional part of Scouting works.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...