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Goodbye, Owasippe

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Beavah,

       The annual meeting is set for January 27, 2007. National has already said that no matter what the outcome of the vote, our current SE (the guy who started the whole "we don't belong in the real estate business" "sell the assets and bank the cash") Jim Stone, will remain our SE until the Owasippe sale is final. This is the result of talks centering around buying out the SE's current contract and replacing him with someone not predisposed to selling all our camps. National has made it pretty clear they want the money in the bank. At a recent fund raiser brochures were passed out to the attendees showing traditional scouts doing all the things traditional scouts do and having fun. The fund raiser itself and all the proceeds went to the LFL program, kind reminds me of "bait & switch" not to use the term fraud.

LongHaul

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"This time, I hope the volunteers see it through to the end. Complete with regular press releases..." I have to say this type of comment is way out of line.

 

Not sure why I'm outa line here. But whatevah.

 

IMO, The Scouter 11 made a mistake in not callin' National's bluff. Seizing the assets of an Illinois corporation is non-trivial, no matter what they say. So National can stop sellin' you materials, but yeh might be able to maintain the council assets intact and in the hands of volunteers. They can go start from scratch again. With public pressure, they can start from scratch with no money to pay executives.

 

High stakes poker to be sure.

 

Now, here's a message for all the rest of us. This year, when you send your COR's to vote at your council annual meeting, find out who they will be sendin' to the national annual meeting. Meet with them, talk about the Chicago mess (or just ask at the annual meeting whether executives should be allowed to sell campin' assets paid for by volunteers without the approval of their own legally selected board). Vote NO if they don't support the Chicago volunteers.

 

Let's send a bunch of those who support the volunteers and the camps to the National Council this year, eh?

 

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Beavah,

First I am not a lawyer so anyone with superior knowledge please chime in.

I was in agreement with you, in that the volunteers should have called National's bluff. However the way it was explained to me is that National was not bluffing. They would like nothing more than to dissolve CAC and divide the area up and incorporate the parts into the surrounding councils. The assets would revert to National and because there would be no CAC there would not be an injured volunteer base to retain assets. It's like a troop trying to file suit against the CO because the CO wants to dispose of equipment. In this case the assets were obtained legally and without a Charter from National all CAC assets revert back to the parent corporation. National would not be starting over and would have plenty of money, about 34 million dollars, to pay for the restructuring.

Sad part is that the general public and media in particular just do not care. We have had a difficult time getting coverage of our fight. Boy Scouts are not a favored son any longer in a lot of urban areas.

LongHaul

 

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Yah, nobody can give legal advice by remote, eh? I think yeh have to get high-quality counsel and go with what they say.

 

On the surface lookin' from afar, it seems that the CAC is a separately incorporated IL NFP, which applies for a charter to be da BSA rep. for the area, eh? So your analogy isn't quite right. The BSA tryin' to seize the council assets would be like the council canceling a unit charter then suin' the CO to get their uniform supply, camping equipment, the storage shed and the meeting room. Yeh can make arguments for it, but that doesn't mean yeh'd win.

 

(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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Well, this and too many other cases make clear what BSA is all about now. And it's not about boys, not about Scouting, and certainly not about "ehical and moral decisions."

 

The paid "professionals" in BSA who are supposed to SERVE and SUPPORT the efforts of volunteers running Scouting programs are only in it for the $$$$$.

 

BSA is one big corporate sham. They lie about their numbers to keep the $$$$ coming in and will do whatever they have to do to maintain control. God forbid the volunteers actually manage to make their voice heard....... and HORRORS if the volunteers actually manage to take control of a Council and take control of their own assets.

 

So..... the executives at National continue to rake in ridiculous salaries, huge deferred compensation packages and damn nice perks while Scouting continues its downward slide. And nobody's ever held responsible. Any and all asete eventually revert to National to keep those retirement funds paying out - even after BSA completely collapses.....

 

The hypocrisy is astounding.

 

At least it seems like our incompetent SE is finally getting the boot at the end of his contract. Despite packing the board, he couldn't make up for massive drops in contributions, asset declines, and membership dues that show a drop of 30% participation in Scouting despite intense efforts to manipulate year end totals. We never did get the membership audit we were promised though NE region said there is no evidence procedures are not being followed (and what does THAT mean!?!).

 

The same mess here in Westchester-Putnam got left behind at Flint River.... how on earth does BSA let guys like this stay?

 

The Mission of BSA is to teach youth to make ethical and moral decisions - what a crock..... theri own leadership doesn;t know the meaning of "ethical"

 

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jkhny -

 

Actually, I believe your Scout Executive was PROMOTED to Scout Executive in Jacksonville, FL. For all of our sakes, I hope you find the next Scout Executive more to your liking. I'm not sure we can take another four years of this kind of hatred.

 

>At least it seems like our incompetent SE is finally getting the boot at the >end of his contract. Despite packing the board, he couldn't make up for massive drops in contributions, asset declines, and membership dues that show a drop of 30% participation in Scouting despite intense efforts to manipulate year end totals. We never did get the membership audit we were promised though NE region said there is no evidence procedures are not being followed (and what does THAT mean!?!).

 

 

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Yah, jhkny is a bit shrill for me too, eh?

 

But I wouldn't call that promoted, necessarily. It could as easily be another game of corporate "pass the trash", where a lousy executive at one company gets a new executive job at another before he gets (or while he's getting) fired.

 

Much cheaper than dealin' with all the paperwork and litigiousness of actually terminating someone, if you can stomach the ethics of it.

 

 

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One of the DE's formerly under this joker noted that BSA policy usually limits a professional to two terms as a SE with a career path moving UP after that. This guy has already had his two terms. Once again, not enough desks in the Supply division?

 

This same DE has followed his former SE's career and noted (as have I) that SCOUTING numbers have DECLINED substantially here despite unending pressure to "add members" with every trick in the book. The pattern here is EXACTLY what it was in his former Council. An uptick in counts that turns out to be questionable (all LFL additions) while SCouting numbers decline precipitiously. Here vigorous efforts to boost counts by increasing LFL have not even kept total numners the same. Meanwhile dues paid to National have declined 30% or more during his tenure - a direct reflection of ACTIVE participation. Council contributions have declined 40% and council assets have declined by 30%. Adult leadership has dropped by a few hundred - those being ACTIVE and involved leaders. Council and District structures have been damaged beyond belief with senior volunteers walking away - refusing to deal with this guy.

 

The ONLY thing this guy did was "increase popcorn sales" - the same comment being made when he left Flint River. But that increase in popcorn sales doesn't come close to offsetting the drop in FOS contributions.

 

I hope that this Council can recover from the damage this incompetent has done. I wouldn't bet on FL being happy to get him back - Central FL was glad to be rid of him, as was Flint River.

 

This is simply "passing the trash" - he's got connections in Southern Region watching out for his tail. Why does BSA keep such incompetents around?

 

And about Chicago? Seems like BSA will do ANYTHING to keep volunteers from having any real say over what happens in Scouting.

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Jkhny writes: "And about Chicago? Seems like BSA will do ANYTHING to keep volunteers from having any real say over what happens in Scouting."

 

*********

The above observation is very true. Here are some of the current up-to-date facts about the Chicago Area Council as operated by the National Council of the BSA.

 

1) Since June the Board appointed by National to operate Chicago has had an obligation to have an election of Directors and all. There was no specific date given except for the election to be no later than by the end of January,2007.

 

There was no effort made by the appointed Board to have that election at any time other than as late as possible in their appointed term. It would appear to be considered an honor by the appointed Directors to occupy those seats as long as possible.

 

If there were true concerns about local control and operation of the Chicago Council the appointed Directors would have been pushing for the last seven months to get their replacements in place. There is no excuse for not having had the election as timely as possible with at least one, if not more of the possible additional votes (in case of slate rejection)done before the deadline.

 

It would appear to be pretty "heady stuff" to be appointed to a Board position by National that is to be savored and prolonged as much as possible.

 

2) It is now about three weeks before the date decided for the election and there is still no announcement of what the slates to be voted on look like.

 

How does a group of several hundred COR's do their "due diligence" in what appears to be foot dragging on releaseing the names that will appear on the ballot? The only possible answer is that due diligence is not desired or wanted by those who are in control of the Council.

 

When there is a history of COR's being expected to be nothing more than Rubber Stamps, for what the hired help and National Council, you have this type of assumption.

 

3) Why would the January issue of the Chicago Council publication "The Scouter" not have a mention of the Council's Annual Election?

 

In a 12 page publication intended to be read by Council-wide Volunteers (including the COR's) there is not a single mention of the Annual election set for the end of January. You would think that one of the seven different calendars that are printed would provide at least the date of the Election. Why shouldn't one believe that this is another example of editing information to keep people ignorant of the facts?

 

This is just further evidence of the belief by Scouting Professionals that they can hide important information and subvert the open and transparent operation of the BSA.

 

 

 

 

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This is a very sad situation for all of scouting. Maybe thats why I see so much Owasippe stuff on ebay these days? Can anyone tell me if the camp is open during all this trouble or is it in "limbo"? jkhny writes 'dues to national declined 30% or more, council contributions dropped 40%, assets decreased by 30%, and adult leadership dropped by a few hundred'. Well, thats exactly what they want in order to show a need to sell! Plead poverty and get rich--thats what America has come to. My union recently had to go to arbitration over 1 percent for our collectively bargained wage increase! It sounds like the CAC and BSA is no different than any other greedy corporation in this country. Sign me Proud to be president of my Union--local1400. I would suggest that those of you in the CAC who are keeping us updated to post the email and snailmail address so many here can send letters of support to those in charge to save a piece of scouting history. Also, has anyone approached the National Historic Register people? Sometimes you can outfox the fox! My union this past summer flooded the National Mediation Board website with over 50,000 emails and shut them down so we would be heard.(This message has been edited by local1400)

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Thank you for your message local 1400! I had the opportunity to visit Franconia and spend some time on that trip touring through the White Mountains NF. It was awesome! There are some exciting experiences available there and I hope the folks from the East Coast take advantage of them. Mount Washington in the winter would be a true challenge to anyone from the Rocky Mountain States.

 

Back to the topic!

 

The Michigan residents in the Owasippe community have contested the efforts by the Chicago Council every step of the way. The result of the September, 2006 National/Chicago Council attempt to accelerate and slam their rezoning and sales effort through local Circuit Court the Councils got their nose bloodied.

 

The National/Chicago Council attempts to divert attention towards the make believe world of reorganizing the Chicago Council (there were two additional attorneys added (guess how much that cost)and an attempt to "slam dunk" the local community in court. It was the most recent effort to cram a sale of the Owasippe property down the throats of West Michigan.

 

The National/Chicago Council was given a delay in the court actions in response to their abusive actions. The Court ruled that the Council attempted to avoid the "due process" that the local community deserves in the matter.

 

Rather than a trial in February the trial was moved to August. If the National/Chicago Council keeps up with their arrogant attitude they will find themselves in the same situation as the G R Ford Council did when they attempted to sell a camp for residential development in Muskegon County.

 

It took the Ford Council 14 years to get their property sold and the great bulk of the land is now a State Park (not houses as they wanted). The local Council couldn't win what they wanted in their own community. What gives the the National and Chicago BSA Professionals the idea they, as carpet baggers, will do any better than the local Scout Council. ARROGANCE!

 

The National/Chicago Council is accepting reservations for both this year and 2008! It is their attempt to cash in on the set-back from the Circuit Court.

 

That will make 97 years of Scouting camping at Owasippe. It is only arrogance and mismanagement that has taken 12,000+ acres of Scout property to the point of being totally dedicated to residential development.

 

The staff and rank-and-file of the National/Chicago Council will continue to work overtime through 2008 to deliver an exceptional Summer Camp experience. Perhaps by then the National/Chicago Council Professionals will discover that they are around for a very short time in comparison to the tenure of the members.

 

 

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Yah, this is annual meetin' month in most councils.

 

For everyone out there in net-land who cares about our fellow volunteers in the Chicago mess, or the several (many?) councils engaged in numbers shenanigans, it's time to make your voice heard.

 

Your council sends several people to the National Council as voting members. These are selected at your annual meeting. As soon as you can, grab your COR and have him call your council president and set up a meeting with the proposed representatives on the council nominating committee slate. Go with your COR and tell them that you expect them to introduce or support a national resolution in support of executive accountability and local control. Expect them to vote "yes" on the national slate only if it moves toward a more service-oriented approach, etc. Make your concerns known!

 

If your council's proposed representatives don't seem to agree and support such a position of heightened oversight and accountability, have your COR VOTE NO on the proposed slate at the annual meeting, and tell everyone in the room why. Yeh might not win the first year. Or the second. But if da good folks in Chicago and Michigan can persevere, so can we.

 

 

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First of all it seems that there is a widespread misunderstanding among many scouters that council exec's and de's work to serve them, this is far from the truth. Professional scouters one and ONLY loyalty belongs to National, that is made perfectly clear in all aspects of professional training at every section. It was grilled into us over and over again during our training in Irving, TX. You can quote any document or charter you want but those are the sad but true facts.

 

What is happening here is becoming more the norm rather than the exception and thats the real tragedy. When I read about scouters wanting to take on and demand that National reform itself I can't help but feel that it would be a daunting and expensive legal battle that National would probably win with their armies of attorneys.

 

My feeling is that you give minimal support to a poorly run council, and use the BSA program resources to benefit your boys with the best program possible. There are plenty of good camps out there to use if your council is playing games with your own camp. Eventually a badly run council will fold unless you blindly keep feeding it your dollars.

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An update on our ongoing problems here in CAC. I appologize to Jim Schlichting for reprinting this here without his expressed written permission. This is an example of what CAN happen when volunteers become complacent and allow the checks and balances to deteriorate.

LongHaul

 

Here is an outline of the Chicago Saga as it has now evolved:

 

Through June, 2004 three sets of candidate slates presented to the

voting membership of the Chicago Area Council BSA were rejected by

the Council voters.

 

A petition presented by the Council voting membership (presented

following the process specified in the Council by-laws) was withheld

from a vote by the Chicago Area Council administration.

 

In late 2005 eleven registered members of the Chicago Area Council

initiated legal action to prove that the Council administration had

breached the fiduciary duties owed to the members of the Chicago

Council.

 

The Council lost the case. The members of the Chicago Council won.

 

In June, 2006, following the BSA's loss in court, the National BSA

Council stepped in and removed certain Officers and Board members of

the Council, dissolved all committees. The National Council put into

place an Interim Executive Committee to operate the Council.

 

The appointed Interim Executive Committee included seven non-Chicago

Council BSA members and four Chicago Council BSA members. Oversight

by National included, at all meetings, a BSA Regional Executive.

 

The task of developing new candidate slates for the Chicago Area

Council voters was to be done by January, 2007. A Nominating

Committee, made up of the Nationally appointed Interim Executive

Committee, developed the slates.

 

The slates were first revealed on the Chicago Council web site one

week before the scheduled vote. No other attempt to directly

communicate with the voting members of the Chicago Council was

attempted. (can be viewed at http://www.chicagobsa.org'>http://www.chicagobsa.org)

 

A review, by members of the Nominating Committee, of the posted

slates reveals that as many as 17 of the people approved and

submitted by the Nominating Committee were omitted from the slates.

 

The changes to the slates for election were made at sometime by

someone unknown after the Nominating Committee submitted the slates

and their appearance on the Council web site.

 

It is observed that the by-laws of the Council allows for the Council

President to personally select appointees for vacant or unexpired

terms. Several such vacancies were created by the omission of the

approximately 17 names submitted for the slates by the Nominating

Committee.

 

Less than a week before the scheduled vote the appointed Chairman of

the Interim Executive Committee (not a member of the Chicago Council)

and the nominee for Council President appear in a nine minute video.

(can be viewed at http://www.chicagobsa.org)

 

The video includes statements by the nominated President of actions

being taken by the Council on certain issues. Issues that the voters

of the Chicago Council have deemed critical and that they believe

require the input of a locally elected Board of Directors (voter

comments can be viewed at http://www.fortdearborn.org).

 

On Saturday, January 27, 2007 the voters of the Chicago Council will

gather to cast the vote that they have. To either accept or reject

the slates that have a mystery surrounding them.

 

Why is it not possible for more transparency in Chicago Council

affairs? Why is it that the National Council, which has operated

the Chicago Council for seven months, created a situation of failure?

 

(Special note needs to be made that all of these happenings over the

years have evolved under the watchful eye of the same Chief Scout

Executive and Local Scout Executive.)

 

Jim Schlichting

Whitehall MI

 

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With less than 48 hours until the election there seems to be a scramble by the BSA National Council (which is currently operating the Chicago Area Council) to salvage another train wreck.

 

It's so sad that the guy at the top of this BSA Management is paid close to a not-for-profit $1-million a year. And at the top of the Chicago BSA Management the compensation is approaching $1/4-million a year.

 

Of course in this day of $100-million awards to Executives creating loosing business efforts the BSA Management isn't bad....I guess.

 

READ ON!

 

For the many of you who have contacted me directly concerning in the dealing of the Chicago Area Council, your message seems to be getting through.

 

As of today (Friday, 1/26/07) the Chicago Area Council web site includes a statement that reads:

 

"There are several names on this slate which had been approved by the Nominating Committee, but had not yet agreed to serve when the previous list was published. Since they have now agreed to serve, their names are included and identified with an asterisk." (can be viewed at www.chicagobsa.org) [

 

[Personal note: In speaking with two of the people added to the slates, they clearly state they never had a prior contact concerning their nomination. Third party information indicates that at least two others now added were never contacted concerning their nomination.]

 

An analysis of the revised slate shows that seven of the 16 or 17 names of the individuals originally submitted by the Nominating Committee have now been added to the slates to be voted on. It is also alleged that more names could still be added to the slates before the election tomorrow.

 

Please recall that the election is scheduled for Saturday, 1/27/07 at 5:30pm.

 

One of the National Council representatives who was appointed operate the Chicago Council for the last seven months has posted a lengthy personal message concerning the election to be held late Saturday afternoon. (can be viewed at www.fortdearborn.org)

 

None of the other 10 members of the National Council representatives operating Chicago Council affairs has shared their endorsement of the slates, election or other Council matters. The appointed Council President did prepare a video in advance of the election (can be viewed at www.chicagobsa.org).

 

It is observed that much is being claimed about the composition of the proposed Board of Directors and their involvement with the delivery of the BSA programs in Chicago. The proposed election represents no difference as far as the control of the Chicago Area Council is concerned. The real decision making of the Council has been, and as long as Council by-laws remain, to be solely in the hands of the Executive Committee. There has been no change to that Administrative reality.

 

*******

In my personal opinion, there has to be question if the membership goal of transparency is being reached with the actions of the last 48 hours. Or, have these last 48 hours been just nothing more than manipulation and the creation of confusion aimed at the voting local Council members. Confusion created by the people who the National BSA Council put into place to correct things to the satisfaction of the National Council.

 

Provisions are in place for a second election to take place in April. Perhaps by then the representative of the National Council operating the Chicago Area Council can settle on slates that can be considered by the electorate over a reasonable time in advance.

 

The election is taking place in Chicago but there is no reason why the National Council should let such elections take place under questionable politics. Of course, there are Regional BSA Professionals expected to be observers for the elections. It's interesting how the National Council is willing to treat this as a "third world election".

 

 

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