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2 Councils to Merge

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I am hearing rumors from my neighboring state of PA that they are looking to merge 2 of their councils, Keystone Council and York-Adams Area Council.

Why would they want to do this?

I mean, Baltimore Area Council could certainly be split into 2 or three councils, it is that big, but why would they want to merge 2 councils into one? What would be the benefit to the youth?



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There could be a number of reasons for this. It could be a simple case of cost cutting, which may or may not directly benefit the boys.


It could also be that one or both of the councils is underperforming and the determination has been made that one larger council would provide a "critical mass" to provide better service. The latter would definitely benefit the boys, as the quality of service and support from council would be improved.

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The problem with your theory is that rarely if ever does the merger of two councils benefit the boys. After going through two mergers myself what it mostly creates is much greater frustration in getting assistance, adequate training classes, and even greater inconvienence in obtaining supplies necessary to run your unit as the scout store is always out of stock. The only positive is that it cuts down on overhead expenses, but that also means cutbacks in camps and services to the units.(This message has been edited by BadenP)

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So you're saying that leaving a floundering council in place would be preferable to a merger, then? I'm not saying that that's what is happening in this instance, but I am saying that a merger is not always a negative. However, I will concede that a merger done purely for cost-cutting reasons probably does more harm than good.

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I wouldn't be at all surprised if in the next few years we see a lot more mergers here in SW-PA.

Small Councils had a hard time paying their way when times were good!

I was talking on the phone to a pal from a small Council. He was saying that this year they only had 300 Scouts attend Summer Camp this year.

The camp site is nice, many of the staff volunteer their time to work at the camp over the summer. But the hard truth is that a camp just can't operate with only 300 Scouts.

Another Council I know of here in PA is reaching less then 10% of the TAY of Cub Scout age.

Another had a really wonderful capital campaign which did well, sadly most of the money raised was used in the operating budget and most of the planned capital expenditures is more than lightly never going to happen. They have tapped out all the people who are lightly to donate large sums of money. Some of these people were given promises that the Council just can't keep and the donors are a little upset.

The big Metro Councils like Baltimore and GPC are still able to find funding from large corporations who have their corporate offices close at hand.

The Council I serve has in the past few years gone through some very rough times. Right now there is a rumor that we might go down from four Districts to only two Districts.

When our FD went a few years back, he was never replaced.

Some of the professionals are wearing more than one hat, also working with the LFL program which has seen its staff cut by over 65%.

We volunteers may not like to hear it but Councils do need money to survive.

I'm not sure if the youth do better in a large Council?

I tend to think that everything comes down to what is happening at the unit level.

The guys I talk with from GPC don't seem any more or any less happy than the guys next door from the Council I'm in.


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Keystone and York-Adams have been trying to merge for years. This is nothing new.


The most obvious reason for merging is to reduce overhead...paid staff, buildings, camps, etc. While maybe inconvenient for the membership, I don't necessarily see it as a bad thing.(This message has been edited by scoutldr)

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No sherm a floundering council should first be analyzed as to why its not doing well financially, usually it is due to poor management by the SE. and many times it could be saved with new and competent management. The sad fact is that once a professional is made an SE National allows them to move from council to council, even if they are incompetent instead of firing them as a corporation would do. This results in allowing them to financially bankrupt one council after another, that is what happened in both merger cases I experienced personally. In one case the SE got the council in massive debt with a large balloon payment they could not make, the result was the scout camp, scout office and all councils assets were liquidated in bankruptcy and the council was merged with one fifty miles away. If National doesn't hold the SE's accountable for their actions then who will?


Sometimes it does makes sense to merge two councils, but most of the time it is due to plain mismanagement.

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"If National doesn't hold the SE's accountable for their actions then who will?"


Strange. Seems to me that's the Council Executive Board and Council President's responsibility. They have the right, although it's limited by National, to hire and fire.

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