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Colonial Va Council troubles

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Copying this from a Facebook post.  CVC is my neighboring council and Bayport is a relatively new camp which replaced Camp Chickahominy which became surrounded by residential development.  Located on a river, Bayport had one of the finest aquatics programs in the region.

 

 

Last year we were informed that our council camp, Bayport Scout Reservation (http://www.bayportsr.org) was in in jeopardy of being closed due to its financial burden to the council. Since this time, the situation has only grown worse, now not only is the camp in serious peril but the council, our family, operations are also at an all-time low. Yes Bayport is the camp, the home, for CVC and that home is in danger – but more importantly the family is in danger. The family is the core, a home can be relocated – the family must be saved or a home is useless. The problem has become so dire that we had to turn the deed to the camp and council office building over to the lien holder. Furthermore the National leadership is considering dissolving our council, our family, and splitting us into other groups. 

The bank has not decided what they are going to do with the deed; they too do not want to see the family fall apart. So we still have a chance to save the family and also maybe, with enough support also save the house our camp. We earnestly need donors that will help us to not lose our scouting family and if possible our scouting family’s home. After a careful review of the books, our goals are;

1. Raise a minimum of $60,000 by the end of November 2015 for the operating costs of providing our scouting program – to keep the family strong.

2. Attempt to raise $380,000 by the end of November 2015 to go to the operating costs with the hope that National will recognize this effort and save the family.

3. Attempt to ultimately raise $6 million as quickly as possible to save not only the family but to pay off the capital loan, thus saving the camp – our home. 

All reading this can help in a couple of ways;
1) Donate, whatever you can $1, $10, $100 to the CVC Friends of Scouting (FOS) campaign. Every dollar gets us “one†step closer. To donate, you can send a check to Colonial Virginia Council at 11721 Jefferson Ave, Newport News Va. 23606 or on line at,https://cvcboyscouts.doubleknot.com/event/1538149. But more importantly,

2) Raise awareness of our situation. Use your social networks to get this word and request for assistance to as many as possible. Place a post on your social pages and reach out to those in your circles that would help if they knew the severity of the problem. 

But if you are a Scout/Scouter in the CVC I am asking for each of you to “Do a Good Turn†today and be that Scout/Scouter that “helps other people at all timesâ€. There are some simple ways that we can solve this crisis from the grass roots level;

1) Support and actively engage in youth recruitment – the youth is what this is about.

2) Support the Popcorn Sale; it is to us what cookies are to Girls Scouts.

3) Individual Scout Units, BE CREATIVE, it is what we as Scouts/Scouters do best, heck have your unit do a carwash with the proceeds going to FOS or talk to charter organization about sponsoring a fund raising event such as a spaghetti dinner, oyster roast, barbeque, etc. with them furnishing the fixings and you furnishing the labor.

4) Family Friends of Scouting is a great way to support local Scouting; consideration should be given to conducting a presentation in your unit for this year. Contact your District Executive or our Acting Scout Executive to schedule a presentation.

Remember that all DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE by using our id number of 54-0505994 which is in good standing with the IRS. The goal remains firm, to serve a growing number of youth in our community with an incredible Scouting program and Scouting experience. 

On behalf of the 7,000+ scouts just in our Colonial Virginia Council family that you are helping – I want THANK YOU. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask. Remember the “Power of Oneâ€, one person, one church, one business, one group, one action… it all starts with one. Please help by being part of the “One that Saves the CVC and Bayport Scout Reservationâ€.

With my deepest gratitude,

Tommy
Volunteer Scouter – Venturing Crew #595 

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This doesn't happen overnight. What is national doing to proactively assess and help councils? Anyone know? I'd be interested what programs national has in place to monitor and help councils...also to see how effective these programs have been.

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Unless something has changed, national isn't very up to speed on the health of its councils.

Why?

Well, it is at least in part because failing council's always want to paint a rosy picture in the hopes they can turn thing around without being merged.

 

In one case I am very familiar with, a council had gotten itself into very serious financial trouble, and region was blissfully unaware until the IRS informed the council that immediate payment on back due taxes (the council's finances had been so dire it had been taking out social security and payroll taxes and then not sending them to the goverment for a period of years) was required or the council's assets would be seized publicly in 24 hours. Under threat of IRS agents with TV crews in tow seizing assets of a council, region, once informed, dipped into its own emergency fund to hold off the IRS for a little longer. Shortly after that the council's charter was revoked and Scouting operations in the impacted area were the direct responsibility of the region director for a period of months (no other council was willing to take on the territory in question), though eventually the council got its charter back once it came up with a viable looking plan for paying its many debts. (That plan proved unsound after a few more years and a merger was forced, the council receiving the territory was nearly as unhappy with the arrangement as the one dissolved.)

 

I will say that while being chopped up into pieces and given to multiple councils is frequently talked about in merger situations, it very rarely happens. Usually the entire territory is absorbed by one other council, even if being broken up would have made more sense. I think the being carved up thing is something a scare tactic.

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Unless something has changed, national isn't very up to speed on the health of its councils.

Why?

Well, it is at least in part because failing council's always want to paint a rosy picture in the hopes they can turn thing around without being merged.

 

Interesting. I think I agree. We had a district event the other night. I was a chance for the Cub Scouts to meet the troops and talk to them. Think convention table top displays. It reminded me of rushing a fraternity when I was in college. The troops were out in force trying to reel Webelos in to talk. Most were talking AT kids/parents rather than asking them what questions they had. My guys just answered questions. I could hear parents complaining that they were overwhelmed.

 

How does hit relate to council? The district and council people present took the opportunity to chat up the troop leaders there trying to get them to bump up their JTE numbers, sign up for WB, volunteer for a committee, etc. Both them and the troop leaders were more concerned with the whole "business of scouting" rather than the people that make up scouting: the kids and the parents.

 

As I was leaving this nice lady came by and said that my guys were the nicest to their kids and we were the only troop that "seemed to care about the parents and the kids". While I was happy to hear that I was saddened that 25+ troops and a dozen district/council folks were cast in such a bad light in front of 150+ Cubs and their parents. If this is representative of what is happening in other councils/districts it is no small wonder things like this happen in councils eventually.

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http://www.dailypress.com/news/gloucester-county/dp-nws-mid-boy-scouts-camp-finances-20151008-story.html

 

This quote does not sound encouraging,

 

"Camps are just one way among many that we work toward our mission by providing character-building opportunities, a respect and appreciation for the outdoors, physical fitness and leadership development. From camping to jamborees, the adventures of Scouting develop young people's knowledge, skills and character so they understand the importance of service to others and good citizenship," Amanda Wroten, spokeswoman for the council, said.

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I wonder how many nights of camping Amanda put in last year?

Hah. Imagine if full-time Council employees were required to camp a weekend every month.  :D 

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It"s all part of the disconnect process required of every professional scouter.  These people would never say what they say without it.

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Why Don't we do that?

 

Our professional Scouters work for us, not for themselves.

 

I think it would be a great idea if we made it part of the job requirments that each month the council executive / ceo go on an outdoor activity with one of the troops from the council.  See how it is really done.  What boys are really like.  What resources our leaders really have available.  How well (or not) is our Boy led program going.  Mix it up with different troop sizes, locations served, types of activities.

 

Who really selects Council executives anyway?  Is it the membership, or the corporate sponsors board of directors?  How can we get this to be a part of the program?

 

In the nine years I worked on Summer Camp Staff, the CE would only come to camp for one day - the day of the national inspections, to walk along with the inspectors - they were usually out of camp before dinner (Although in case they weren't the quality of food that day was much better).

Edited by gumbymaster

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The reality is, scouting is a program that is sold by marketers and sales people who work for a paycheck.  The rest of us volunteer to implement the program

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I'd kind of like to think of it as like that undercover boss show.

 

Where the guy at the top gets into the trenches to see how things really go.

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It"s all part of the disconnect process required of every professional scouter.  These people would never say what they say without it.

 

reminds me of my initial thoughts when i first really getting into a scouter position a few years ago, looking for training.

 

I kept thinking why don't they offer these courses I need like say in the summer, when as a cub scouter things are slow for me.  I don't have time to sit through a day of balloo or whatever in the fall or early winter.... when I'm up to my elbows in pack program!  Don't they know what we're doing?!!!

 

Then I started noticing these events, as well as the cuborees and such are all totally ran my volunteers, who like me don't really have the time available to do justice to the work.

I get the argument that I wouldn't want these professionals to do the training because they don't know the stuff....

but I argue that they should

and if they don't they could help by facilitating a volunteer so the volunteer doesn't have to spend the hours of time planning, scheduling, etc...

 

I understand these DE's and other pros are underpaid and overworked.... but the work really seems to be misplaced from my perspective.

 

Make a better program and they will come, I say!

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