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Two Councils May Merge

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Our Council merged with another about four years ago.  The lodges were forced to merge as well about a year later.  About two years ago, the new larger Council announced its ten year plan for its properties.  It was decided (not by those of us volunteering and wearing the tan shirts) that it would be in the Council's best interest to sell several properties.  Two camps have already been sold, both from the larger of the two Councils (the one that kept its name in the merger).

 

Council mergers are always interesting, but are really nothing new.  The one Council I'm in today, is the culmination of a dozen different Councils merging at various points in time over the course of.100 years.

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"Follow the money"

"Publicity.  Get a local news writer interested."

"Communication"

"CORs are the voting members"

"Who REALLY owns the camps?  Research the land titles"

"Publicity. Facebook, tweet, blah, blah."

"It's for the kids"

"Confront the Council Leaders with the Scout Law. Are they Trustworthy? etc.  "

 

"Good Luck"

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As of the early 80's, New Jersey probably had about 15-20 councils, and I would not be surprised if earlier there were 25 or more. Now I believe there are five councils entirely in NJ and two others with some territory in NJ but based in Pennsylvania. (The late great OldGreyEagle's council, Minsi Trails, is one of the latter; the other was the Bucks County Council up until a couple a couple years ago, now called the Washington Crossing Council to reflect the fact that it now includes both sides of Washington's crossing of the Delaware.)

 

Some of the old councils in New Jersey were very small geographically. My father was a Boy Scout in the Bayonne council, which consisted of one small city.

 

 

The George Washington Council merged to form Central Jersey Council which disbanded spinning off districts to neighboring councils.  We went to Bucks County which changed its name to the Washington's Crossing Council.  Central New Jersey had two camps - Kittatinny Mountain Scout Reservation and Yards Creek.  Neither were maintained sufficiently to operate a summer camp.  My experience with Washington's Crossing has been positive.  The only downside is that it is a longer trip to the Scout Shop.  The councils that remain in New Jersey seem pretty strong.  Northern New Jersey, Patriot's Path and Garden State  have multiple camps and Jersey Shore has a nice facility at Citta.

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I have heard from a couple of different people that there is talk of merging four or five councils in Northeast Ohio into one large council.  I haven't heard anything official, but a couple of different people who are not in the same circle saying this has me somewhat concerned.

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I have heard from a couple of different people that there is talk of merging four or five councils in Northeast Ohio into one large council.  I haven't heard anything official, but a couple of different people who are not in the same circle saying this has me somewhat concerned.

Encourage those in your area to look at the Michigan Crossroads Council.  All of the councils in lower Michigan combined several years ago and it has not gone well.  By the end of the year more than half of the camps they started with will have been closed.  Council promised that the merger would result in more boots on the ground to help with programming, that also has not happened.  The larger council has made it harder to get answers and left many scouters feeling like they have no say in the local scouting program. 

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