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CricketEagle

Path To Save Bsa?

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Yes, but ...here's my take.

Your unit “belongs†to your chartered organization, not to your local council.

 

The unit only "belongs" to the CO for the life of the unit charter, here's another quote from that link.

 

Remember, the chartered organization  owns the unit, and all funds used by the unit remain the responsibility of the chartered organization

as long as the charter issued by the BSA remains in place.
 

So the CO drops the unit, the charter ends, from the above it seems the unit gear and bank account is held in trust by the CO or council until it can be transferred to another BSA program, but if the CO wants to take possession of the gear and bank account, it would have to do so before the charter ends?

 

As Stosh said pea and shell game.

 

 
Edited by RememberSchiff

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And who's going to go to court over a old trailer full of musty tents and rusty Coleman stoves?  Any troop that saves up thousands of dollars over the years has basically cheated the boys out of a ton of programming along the way.  If a troop has a few hundred dollars left over every year, that's pushing it, they should be better stewards of their funds.  There is no excuse for thousands of dollars in the bank!

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For the troops that do BIG trips, with all the advanced trip reservations, it is not uncommon for $5K, $10K or more in their accounts.

 

And then there is the rainy day fund, camp/Philmont/NYLT scholarships, almost forgot SM retirement fund  :D 

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And if the unit collapses, all those funds become useless to the unit anyway.  They aren't going to go to Philmont, NYLT, summer camp, or BWCA, and all the money saved is going to go to someone else.  

 

Of course if the boys have their own accounts in their own bank and they shovel walks, mow lawns and have part time jobs, they can quit scouts and still have their money in the bank.  It's part of the Scout Law called "THRIFTY".  That's how I got through when I was a scout.

 

I still say the finances of the unit need to be better budgeted and if the boys have to do an emergency car wash or two to make ends meet at the end of the year, plan better next year that's what a good committee is supposed to be doing anyway.

 

I can see having a lot tied up in physical assets in a unit, but the rainy day hoarding of financial assets means the boys are being cheated out of money they earned for program.

 

And I for one don't believe it is ethical to fund raise money under false pretenses.  People (including the IRS) believe individual accounts for the financial gain of individuals raised under the pretense of it being a troop fundraiser is unethical in my estimation.  That might be partly because of my background in the Christian community where such practices are not allowed.  

Edited by Stosh

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Yes, but ...here's my take.

Your unit “belongs†to your chartered organization, not to your local council.

 

The unit only "belongs" to the CO for the life of the unit charter, here's another quote from that link.

 

Remember, the chartered organization  owns the unit, and all funds used by the unit remain the responsibility of the chartered organization

as long as the charter issued by the BSA remains in place.
 

So the CO drops the unit, the charter ends, from the above it seems the unit gear and bank account is held in trust by the CO or council until it can be transferred to another BSA program, but if the CO wants to take possession of the gear and bank account, it would have to do so before the charter ends?

 

As Stosh said pea and shell game.

 

 

I would agree it is a shell game. Heck I have seen DEs who literally had no idea that unit funds and gear "belonged" to the CO or the Council. As stated earlier, I have seen a few units in my area switch COs and they took the funds and gear with them. District did not say a word. Of course, district cannot find their own butt without two hands, a flashlight and a GPS receiver.

 

I am sure there are semantics to play out. If the unit folds during the year is the charter still active? What would district/council do if the CO said they will hold the money/gear and they will start up another unit? Does the BSA have the standing to take the money/gear if the CO doesn't start a new unit. Frankly, if my unit was disbanding we'd likely hold a big party and spend the money on all the boys, then donate the gear to local charities or other units. That way there's nothing left over for the do-nothings in district or council. They didn't earn/raise the money, why should they (and not our CO or someone more needy) get the benefits?

 

I know it is a tangent, but has anyone ever heard of a district or council swooping in and taking a unit's money/gear?

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I can see having a lot tied up in physical assets in a unit, but the rainy day hoarding of financial assets means the boys are being cheated out of money they earned for program.

 

 

One unit here that folded gave back all the down payments before they settled all accounts. The money left over was given to the CO's food bank. The gear was given to another unit and some to a local school who needed gear for their outdoor program. The trailer was sold and the money used to fund a small unit party. There was nothing left over for the district/council.

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There's a difference between a unit collapsing and a unit no longer being welcome.

 

I don't think a district will see any advantage in absorbing a half-dozen troop treasuries. But, if CO A gives a unit the boot and CO B says they'll sponsor them, I can see the DE pushing to move funds from A to B and not for CO A holding those funds to kick-start a TL unit.

 

Now if all the families in unit A want to move their boys from BSA to TL, that's where things could get hairy. I suspect families like that saw their boys as being brought up with CO A's ideals, and the BSA just happened to be the program they were using. Then if CO B wants to start a BSA unit, especially because they now feel their sexual ethics are now aligned (and they still have no problem excluding atheists), then I could see folks in unit A getting really hot under the collar if the DE comes asking for the checkbook!

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I don't see any ethics violation for a CO to switch from BSA to TLUSA and keep THEIR money and equipment in the process.  If the BSA boys wish to leave they leave under the same umbrella of "their" money accounts don't go with them.  IT'S NOT THEIR MONEY!

 

This is the problem a lot of BSA units get into when they start these individual accounts.  Somehow parents and scouts get the idea that that money is theirs.  Well, that just isn't the case and the troop leadership that promotes that is unethical in my opinion.

 

The DE has no authority over other people's money and to move in on a CO's program money constitutes theft.

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@@Scouter Matt, just my view but:

 

1) Get over the idea that anyone will change anyone's mind on anything related to gays. I have yet to see anyone say "you know, you're right, I think I've had this all wrong." Accept that a bunch of people will leave, wish them luck. For those that struggle with this and stay, listen to what their units want and help them out.

 

2) Get back to the outdoors. That's what we do best and that's the best way to teach kids to make good decisions. Figure it out with your buddies while having fun.

 

3) Look at British Scouting as they are growing. Yes, they allow girls but it's only 20% that are interested. Skip and Ian may be scratching their heads while watching this site but they belong to a group that is growing.

 

4) Start looking for a silver lining. National will have to cut the bloat if half the scouts leave. If Trail Life grows then maybe the competition will force the BSA to improve. I know this is a long shot but maybe summer camps will be forced to get out of the MB mill model and into the summer camp model.

 

5) Maybe this will help both the churches and scout units. The churches might have to drop out or go all in. My troop is obviously mixed religiously and so there is little I can do that will help the religious upbringing of my scouts. The fact that my CO is a church has nothing to do with my program. For those units that want their program closely aligned to their religion  they should go all in and limit their scouts to their religion. Everyone would be happier and more respectful of each other. The only problem I see is the LDS as, for some reason I don't understand, TL won't take them. So, they're likely gone but then they can make a program they like. If they take all the money they give to the BSA they could make what they really want for their boys.

 

Talking to an LDS friend, the LDS church has a youth program alternative for boys already created--they use it in the rest of the world.  He predicts they will drop out of BSA. 

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Talking to an LDS friend, the LDS church has a youth program alternative for boys already created--they use it in the rest of the world.  He predicts they will drop out of BSA. 

 

I heard that our local LDS that houses the district is going to kick them out.

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Oh come on, my very Christian, church active, CPA, wife who deals with the IRS A LOT, had no trouble helping the families with individual scout accounts. The families are told up front that the funds are used only for scouting activities and will stay with the troop when they leave. Only once did a family request the funds go with them because they transferred to another troop. We actually didn't mind, but that is where our CPA Treasure (very lovely wife) suggested we not start down that path. From her perspective, it is troop funds being divied out to the scouts for troop activities. Once we let the scouts take it with them for any reason, that is where the problems start. 

 

Districts and Counsils will only get involved is the COs asked them, otherwise they don't have a clue about individual unit funds and they like it that way. Most COs would rather not get in the middle of it either unless it is something substantial like a trailer of storage building. But in this discussion, likely the individual accounts and troop property will become the responsibility the CO. 

 

Barry

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I'd be really curious to know just how strong a claim the BSA would have on unit funds and equipment since the fundraising is done under the CO's EIN number and not the BSA's.

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I'd be really curious to know just how strong a claim the BSA would have on unit funds and equipment since the fundraising is done under the CO's EIN number and not the BSA's.

 

Article 11 on page 17 seems to gloss over that and go directly to "funds" and who controls them.

 

Given most districts can't even send a UC regularly to a unit, I suspect a unit could liquidate their monies and gear before anyone at the district level would even know there's an issue.

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On the other hand, BSA can revoke a charter and invoke the "give us all your money" clause at any time it wishes per the Rules and Regulations. Someone should game this out a bit farther with a team of law school students and figure out who the money actually belongs to.

 

When some local unit folded after having already raised money for camp that year, their approach was to go ahead and pay the camp fees just like they would have. So the soon to fold troop just went ahead and registered the boys for camp according to where the receiving troop was going and paid the fees. Then the boys transferred. Then the unit officially shut down, giving the small balance remaining to the CO. The reason this was necessary was a lack of capable adult leadership, which is technically a failure on the part of the CO and committee, so it wasn't reasonable to punish the boys for failing to to find a new Scoutmaster when it was the boys who did most of the work to raise money to go to camp (the receiving troops would not have been able to afford to send them to camp and the CO didn't want to mess with holding the funds in trust for the future, either). Thus the boys got the Scouting experience they were promised and that they worked hard to raise money for. It was probably the best outcome under the circumstances, but an old former leader who was no longer involved in Scouting at the CO was outraged and was convinced that the money should have stayed and that those boys, and their parents, and the leaders of the troop receiving them, were just traitors and thieves (his terms, not mine) and should all be kicked out of scouting. He wanted to get the local council involved, report it to the police as theft, and wanted to send out a press release naming names and accusing the other church publicly of being complicit in it. The key in such a situation is transparency with the CO, including keeping the Institutional Head (not just the COR) informed about any intentions for disposition of finances or assets, because the CO may have policies or intentions of their own. Arguably the leaders of a unit have something like a fiduciary duty to Scouting generally, and to the particular Scouts, and to the Charter Organization, so they need to do right by all parties involved.

 

Also, I thought BSA was still in favor individual Scout accounts? Has that officially changed?

 

What is a Boy Scout Troop in any case if it isn't a group of boys doing scouting?

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