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Do Council mergers ever increase scout membership?

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Mohegan and Nashua Vallley Council are in talks to merge. After reading the QA released, A Case to Better Serve the Youth of Central Massachusetts.

 

http://www.mohegancouncilbsa.org/council-merger-qa/

 

and taking aspirin, I wondered if any Council mergers increased the number of Boy Scouts in the affected area in a year, 3 years, 5 years? Don't want to hear about Cub Scouts or Scout Reach numbers.

 

Just wondering.

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I'm with KDD... why not be interested in improving Cub Scout numbers? What percentage of Boy Scouts do you think started after age eleven versus the number that started as Cub Scouts.

 

I don't think the basic merger of two administrative teams would make a hill of beans worth of difference at the pack/troop/crew level. Exception being if the merger brings a wider range of camp options or an improvement to the professional support staff to a lesser performing council.

 

Membership numbers are generated at the unit level with solid recruiting support and maintained via the hard work of individual unit leaders. A merger of councils will not make your scoutmasters or cubmasters better. If increasing membership is the goal more resources should be spent on improving the performance delivery of the units and not worrying about what council one belongs to.

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My concern is in improving boy scout membership, that is where I believe we have the greatest impact on youth character and skills development. Around here we have seen up spikes in young Cub Scout membership but that declines in Webelos through cross-over. Burn-out, sports, the usual suspects. So yes 90% of our Boy Scouts come from Cub Scouts whether we get 1 new scout or 12 each year, but more Cub Scouts has not translated into more Boy Scouts at least not around here.

 

So my question does anyone know of a councils merger that increased the number of boy scouts in that area? This is a goal of this merger. If so, did it take a year, two, five? My gut tends to believe that mergers at the council or unit level more often reduce scout membership than increase it.

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Councils are the financial definition of Scouting. Councils do a support role, they own the camps, they publish the magazines and tabloids. They collect the tax free bigbucks from Lockheed and Bechtel. It will always be up to the mom and pop volunteers that make the Cubs want to earn the AoL and Go See the County Garage and the snow plows. When the Council leaders begin to see the numbers take a down turn, then their livelihood is threatened. Mergers are always about "cutting our losses" . If two Scout Execs can be eliminated by merging three Councils, why not? Those Good ol' Scouts can be given a side promotion to "Regional Director" or something in Irving can be found....It's when the camps start being sold because they (they) can't seem to make the camps "fully utilized", even with volunteer, unpaid "Camp Masters" to run them, that folks start noticing the merger epidemic.

Sometimes, the mergers are like any other management change. Things happen because the new boss wants to "make his mark", whether it is an improvement over what was before is another question.

Most Scouts are not aware of the change in leadership until the camp is sold and we have to find a new summer camp. Unless the merger finds a New Boss who can enliven the image of Scouts, there will be no increase in Scout numbers, and since the merger no doubt removes some of the DEs and other support folks, there will be less inclination to increase those numbers.

As Tip Oneil usta say, "all politics is local". Same with Scouting, only worse.

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I would be willing to bet my money on merging councils has zero impact on membership in the units. Why would it make any difference to a Boy Scout unit to have to drive an additional 20 miles to get to some council office? It may have an impact on the adult leadership and all of their meetings, but that doesn't affect membership in the boys.

 

Stosh

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Drop the 20 freaking mini Merit Badges from Webelos and get them out camping. Not Cub Family Camping with mom yelling at him not to get his britches wet, just fun camping. Get ride of "Camp promotion" as a requirement for Brotherhood and have the brotherhood candidate be a weekend Webelos campout counselor. Just put some REAL adventure in the program and drop all the class room stuff. The insane part is we do Webelos mini merit badges, then t-1 we discourage merit badges and focus on skills. Then back to Merit Badges.

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Okay, so responders say 0 change in membership, no one has mentioned an increase.

 

If this merger goes through, it will be interesting to see where the council office will be as for many, the council camps are closer than the Mohegan Council office. I believe Pine Tree Council (Maine) moved their council hq to Camp Hinds and Knox Trail (Mass) is moving to Camp Resolute. I hope that trend continues.

 

As for brick and mortar scout stores, I think they are heading for extinction.

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I haven't been to a coordinated meeting to compare #s in a while. So I can't speak to our merger(s). Any numerical growth is a credit to boots on the ground who sacrifice income by taking a pass on the second shift at work.

 

What it has provided our boys is the sense that they have more primitive camps to choose from in "exotic" locations. (For example, one is near Flt 93 memorial.) There's a consolidated reservation system for every campsite in council, so a boy can figure out plan "B" if his patrol's first choice is already taken. And right now the merger has provided more choices.

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The way to fix 2 Councils that are under-performing in membership is not a merger, you end up with all of the problems and none of the management skills to deal with them on a larger scale. It doesn't immediately stock a District Committee, either. Unless a mega Council is absorbing a tiny red headed neighbor, the real problems just get kicked down the road

 

Most mergers I've seen (I lived thru one as a Pro) are financially driven. Camps, staffs and especially a SE is expensive to maintain - the finance model of the 1970's Council doesn't work anymore. I feel that the membership argument is merely a beard for the financial discussion that no on really wants to have

 

I feel the OP's migraine pain. That Q and A page is the same for every merger, National probably wrote it

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Okay, so responders say 0 change in membership, no one has mentioned an increase.

 

If this merger goes through, it will be interesting to see where the council office will be as for many, the council camps are closer than the Mohegan Council office. I believe Pine Tree Council (Maine) moved their council hq to Camp Hinds and Knox Trail (Mass) is moving to Camp Resolute. I hope that trend continues.

 

As for brick and mortar scout stores, I think they are heading for extinction.

 

I am curious to see what happens to Nobscot Reservation- looks like they are going to sell off at least a piece of it since they kicked out those long-time tenants on one edge of the property. I hope they are not planning to get rid of the whole thing. But I am glad to see them moving the Council office to a Scout property- that office building in Framingham is ugly.

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That Q and A page is the same for every merger' date=' National probably wrote it[/quote']

 

follow-up Q&A

http://www.mohegancouncilbsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Question-Answers-revised-10-10-14.pdf

 

"We want it (council office) freeway close..." Hah, you could be right. There are no freeways in New England, we have interstates and highways.:p

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NASHUA VALLEY TURNED DOWN THE MERGER!

 

Mohegan Council had been pushing for a merger, which many in Nashua Valley Council saw as having zero or negative benefit. It was not stated (very disingenuous) which Council office and store would close but it was likely NVC.

 

http://www.mohegancouncilbsa.org/201...wn-the-merger/

 

"Well, got some surprising news last night from the Nashua Valley Council. At their Council meeting by a vote of 31 to 26 the merger resolution was defeated."

 

Great getting the COR's out to vote as unit leaders or committee chairs had NO vote in this.Though their input on a new Council name was welcomed! The Nashua Valley Council executive board had voted previously 20-8 in favor of the recommendation.

 

Q: What is the total number of active members, and what is the quorum requirement? What type of vote is required?

A: The total number of active members as of January 9, 2015 is 118. The council bylaws specify that a quorum for all special meetings of the council shall be 10% so the quorum for the meeting on the 28th will be 12 people. A simple majority is required for all votes at meetings of the council.

 

The above came from a FAQ from Nashual Valley, very revealing (meaning it may disappear)

http://www.nashuavalleybsa.org/cm/in...swers#finances

 

Hooray! Now both councils can focus on program which as they are suppose to do and not the following %$#& nonsense: [TABLE]

[TR]

[TD]February - March 2015[/TD]

[TD]Nominating Committee recommends new board of directors and officers

Implementation committee develops new bylaws

Selection committee interviews and hires new Scout Executive

Recommendations accepted for new council name[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Early April 2015[/TD]

[TD]Council members approve new name, bylaws, board of directors and officers[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]April - August 2015[/TD]

[TD]Committee chairs appointed and committee integration work begins[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]September 1, 2015[/TD]

[TD]New council formally launched[/TD]

[/TR]

[/TABLE]

 

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I don't have any data, but my guess is it would have zero, or negative impact on membership. The Total Available Youth (TAY) for the gegraphic area, and you would have fewer professionals (DEs) out there going after them. The only reason for a merger is to reduce overhead costs.

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I should have said, "the TAY for the geographic area remains the same..." The edit function wouldn't work for some reason.

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