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jkhny

Sweeping it under the carpet

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Our Council Leadership was challenged on enrollment claims last spring. NOBODY believes the claims made for overall enrollment - even one of the DE's quietly stated he would not be part of fraud. Seems like we have a lot of NEW staff - and vacancies in the paid ranks now.

 

Official numbers do NOT match claims and an analysis of numbers shows a HUGE level of "churn" - sign-ups that do not remain active. We are LOSING long term members while signing up boys that do NOT remain for more than a few meetings. Yet this suits our SE fine. The total count is all that matters - even if active participation has dropped precipitously. Our "inner city" units are a joke - with a handful of kids - being run by a paid staffer, hardly the raging success claimed previously.

 

It was clear that at least one of the Districts claiming Quality status was using bogus numbers. There were VISIBLE alterations on the worksheet copy passed out at the District Meeting and the numbers on the sheet did NOT come close to any of those on official Council printouts. Official Council printouts listed dead units and had numbers for some units that were clearly unsupported by reality. Needless to say, nobody has seen Quality worksheets or official printouts since then.... After realizing that people READ reports, they stopped issuing them.

 

Of note, our Scout Executive has alienated the volunteer base here since his arrival, been adament about pushing throught the sale of valuable property over the objections of volunteers (who fought it in court). Prices have tanked in the real estate market nad it seems they are selling this for HALF the projected price - LESS than earlier REJECTED offers.

 

He has NOT met his goals in membership or fundraising. He has managed to remove critics from most District and Council positions and changed the composition of the Executive Board, removing the District Chairs who used to have Board seats. The current Board is handpicked by the SE but he is running things through an even smaller "Executive Committee". All of this fits a pattern of fraud seen in other Councils where increasing secrecy is used to hide failures to perform.

 

Despite claiming success in meeting FOS goals for last year and closing out the campaign early, he has come up far short in collecting money and had to ask to withdraw funds from trust funds TWICE - over $100,000. Of note the Council 990 filing has been delayed far longer than usual - the 2004 filing is STILL not available on Guidestar - another bad sign.

 

A long serving volunteer was appointed to examine the membership numbers. He "could not" - or WOULD not certify the current claims. Didn't BSA implement a policy of REQUIRING a key volunteer to certify membership numbers?

 

Northeast Region was called in and examined ONLY the overall membership claim number - certifying that it was fine. Region REFUSED to examine other specific allegations of fraud saying they all came under the larger issue of total enrollment.

 

Adult participation is dropping off dramatically as long serving volunteers are simply walking away. Roundtables are empty, as are District Meetings and Roundtables. THe general concensus seems to be "Why bother? - we have no say in anything anyway."

Positions remain unfilled or filled in name only. Our Assistant District Commissioner lives in Maine most of the year (he retired years ago)- the Council is in NY.

 

Why does BSA continue to hide the incompetence of paid professionals and excuse the worst behavior?

 

Is BSA TRYING to kill off Scouting?

 

Many here believe there is a deliberate attempt to drive out all long serving volunteers so they can kill this Council off and take its assets - National has had its eye on our camp in the Adirondacks. This is NOT the only case where BSA is turning a blind eye to the horrid behavior of a SE - and is even complicit in the destruction of a Council.

 

National is quoted as having "no policy" on property sales in the recent (and NOT complimentary article on property sales). National CLAIMS to have a "no fraud" policy on membership but REFUSES outside audits and clearly in this case IGNORED clear evidence of fraud. The whole "Trustworthy" issue is wearing thin.

 

But meanwhile our SE made $60,000 more than his Girl Scout Counterpart, while overseeng maybe HALF the number of kids in Scouting.

 

What does it take to get BSA to do the RIGHT thing?

 

Of note CAC is STILL fighting to get their Council leadership to hold new elections after being voted down TWICE. And this after a COURT ORDER to hold new elections with new candidates. EVEN when BSA loses in Court, they won't simply do what's right.

 

And we TRIED organizing COR's here to vote out the Board - all the Chartering Organizations got phone calls telling them ther was "no need" to participate in any votes, and they fought efforts to register COR's to put in opponents who WOULD vote for change. It also seems a dismisse volunteer will be filing in court soon as well. One more case where a SE throws out a critic instead of answering valid questions. Some of the volunteers in CAC that brought suit there had THEIR registrations revoked, as did the whistleblower in Alabama (he's still in court). When you can't defend against valid claims, you throw the accusers out to silence them? How un-American.

 

We lost over 200 adult volunteers from 03-04 and probably the same from 04-05. These are the ACTIVE people - not the paper leaders. Many remain involved ONLY at the Troop level, REFUSING any involvement in District or Council. Many units are REFUSING FOS support - amd Districts show $0 under leadership contributions.

 

So..... when is this fraud of "representative democracy" going to finally follow its own rules? National numbers continue to decline, scandals smolder - while BSA hopes Americans have short attention spans..... CDC reamed BSA on Jamboree....

 

BSA is getting embarassing.....it hides behind rhetoric about "values" while overpaid staffers show anything BUT "values"

 

... but when you've got that Congressional charter..... that's a pretty valuable monopoly.

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jkhny,

 

I don't mean for this to be offensive....honestly, I don't. It has been a while since I've seen you around, but I thought your name and theme of your post sounded familiar. So I scanned your 142 posts. It dumbfounds me how someone so frustrated with and critical of the BSA could continue to associate themselves with it. I'm hard pressed to find a single positive statement made by you about the BSA in these forums. It seems that your main focus on scouting seems to be politics and business. If you are truly that dissatisfied, why choose to be a part of scouting? Just curious.

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Wait a minute here, I thought that jkhny was in Chicago and was upset that the CAC was selling Ossawippe against the wishes of the volunteers and it was the SE of Chicago that was the villain. Now reading this post, his home council is in New York.

 

jkhny, where do you live and which councils are you tlaking about?

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So after taking 5 minutes to read your tirade, which I have seen from you before, I ask the question someone previously asked, what do you want? You paint this big picture of doom and gloom, and give no sugestions as to what to do about it. Do you want to organize a letter writing campaign to Austin? Do you want us to all quit our positions in protest? I agree, if you are that upset with conditions in the BSA, and want to do nothing but complain about it, do ua all a favor and resign to do something else that you will hopefully enjoy more.

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When fighting an uphill battle, it's always easier to walk away than continue the fight. That's exactly what some would like to have happen. Working from within is difficult, and can be very frustrating. There's no reason that Scouters such as jhk can't come here for some venting and support. A few of us, at least, are probably happy to read what he has to say. If others aren't, just click on to the next topic.

 

BSA does many things very well; they also do a smaller number of things very badly. Internal control appears to be one of those less fortunate items in at least some parts of the country. CAC is kind of a mess right now. I'm not in it directly, but I'm only one council away. The issue of Owasippe is screwed up on both sides. CAC wants to sell it, apparently for the windfall profit they will make while at the same eliminating an asset that has become a liability to them from a financial standpoint. Lost is the importance of its history in U.S. Scouting, something you'd think BSA National would be interested in, but it appears not. There is a group trying to block the sale on what appears to be mostly emotional grounds, but they don't seem to have a plan for the money to keep it open for the long term. Camps at Owasippe have fallen into disrepair and have just been closed as participation continues to drop off. The issue of leadership challenges continue at CAC. There seems to be no end to the lengths the current leaders will take to remain in power. Once again, BSA National seems to be keeping hands off as this once life-filled council falls apart.

 

I find it pretty interesting that the National Office will rise up if a council violates one of the "hot button" issues of the national office, say, gays in scouting, or atheists, but seems content to sit by and watch other councils continue to deteriorate with more mundane problems like fraud. Maybe the National office is taking a strong part in these problems behind the scenes, but why not be more public, then? Why not make a statement that the National Office will not tolerate actions at the Councils such as those frauds perpetrated by some? There may be some lip service going on here, but as far as I can tell, that's about it.

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OGE,

 

I could be wrong, but in scanning jkhny's 142 posts, I never saw where he identified his home council. He complains about it a lot, but he doesn't identify it. In fact, it appears that any bad news at a council level is fair game since he also expended a lot of energy on the Atlanta council.

 

Prairie,

 

I can go along with your comments on swimming upstream to effect change from within and how tough it can be. While there is an element of that in jkhny's, he doesn't appear to be happy about anything within scouting and virtually every post is critical of scouting. I for one enjoy the Politics and Issues forum and a lively debate, but I do try to post in other forums and swap good positive info with other scouters. I just don't see the point in coming here and doing nothing but bash on scouting.

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Beav, I has remembered all the posts on Chicago, and I unfortunately assumed (so sue me) that jhkny was from the CAC. I admit I am wrong. Maybe P.S. is right and we should respect his right to rant.

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The problem isn't his right to rave -- he uses it quite well. The problems are: #1)it's a book we've all read at this point; #2)there's never any thought given to solutions; #3)jk's posts have in the past set us all up for conversational failure and in-fighting.

 

I'm happy to see that we're not falling for the traps this time.

 

jd

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Is the council a 501c3 organization registered with the State of New York as a charitable organization? Do you have evidence they aren't following their bylaws and are committing fraud? Take it to the Attorney General's Charitable Fraud Division for the State and let that office look into it.

 

Or do what my father and about 300 fellow volunteers did one year when they were angry at Council - hold a public Red Jacket burning and invite all the media - nothing embarrasses a Council more than seeing news footage of dedicated volunteers burning their red jackets on the 10:00 (oh, sorry - NY time - 11:00) news and nothing makes a television news directors heart go boomity boom more than knowing they'll have some great images of angry scout leaders burning something symbolic.

 

CalicoPenn

 

 

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Great suggestion CalicoPenn! Let's find more creative ways to hurt the BSA. Is that why you post here? By the way, I love those father & son Scouting storiesthe fond memories you must have.

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Whoa folks!!! Lets all take a deep breath and think kind thoughts. I have seen professional Scouters do some questionable things and I have asked the questions. These have been rare instances and in the main I have known Scouting Professionals to be people of integrity.

 

I would also like to say that I have read a number of CalicoPenn's postings and find him to be positive in his comments about Scouting.

 

I don't think we need to worry about a mass burning of red coats. Have you priced these things lately? A Scout is Thrifty.

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Quoting Baden:

 

"Whoa folks!!! Lets all take a deep breath and think kind thoughts. I have seen professional Scouters do some questionable things and I have asked the questions. These have been rare instances and in the main I have known Scouting Professionals to be people of integrity."

 

Me too and Amen

 

We have some of the same problems in the Greater Alabama Council as well.

My reaction?

I do almost nothing but work with my troop, help other units in the area, and occasionally help on some small district task.

My time could be spent fighting an uphill battle against the council, but at what cost?

Working within the troop is my place - I've made it that way for a reason.

I can do more good spreading what I love about Scouting to the Scouts in the troop and others that I know, than spreading discontent about those things that I don't like.

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