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KenD500

Charter Org bankrupt?

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Question for the person in trouble: Does the CO know they own your gear and assets? Most COs I know don't know that, so they would not count the scout gear as assets.

They have a vague idea.  I've told them repeatedly but they went 15+ years with little to or no contact with the Troop so they kinda get it.  The previous COR was the CC.

 

Clarification point - the church hasn't said they're going bankrupt yet.  They have said they're having financial difficulties.  I'm just pursuing thoughts that arise in order to be prepared.

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They have a vague idea.  I've told them repeatedly but they went 15+ years with little to or no contact with the Troop so they kinda get it.  The previous COR was the CC.

 

Clarification point - the church hasn't said they're going bankrupt yet.  They have said they're having financial difficulties.  I'm just pursuing thoughts that arise in order to be prepared.

There are a few units in our area that had similar issues. One just south of you asked their CO if they could find another CO, citing their desire to eliminate the unit as a "distraction" to the CO's problems. The CO gave them permission to leave and take the gear with them. They found another temporary CO, stayed there a year and then found a permanent home a year after that. They worked with district so that they knew the unit wasn't dissolving and that they were staying within the district.

 

I'm just south of you. If we can help in any way please let me know.

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I would still be careful. "Route incoming dollars to a new account or a new CO" still sounds like hiding money from the bankruptcy court. Remember, it's all still the CO's money, even if you put it in a different account.

 

Agreed.   The only slight difference is troop checking is often just a routing path.  parents pay $$ for camping.  Troop pays the camping expenses.  But, you are probably still right.  Under the lens of more strict financial accounting, it would be very questionable.  ... being a business man though ... and knowing scouts are not often a focus of audits ... I'd still do it to protect the scouts money.   But it would be difficult to defend.

Edited by fred johnson

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There was a CO that, for whatever reason, was going to get rid of their troop. Despite being a hands off CO, when they discovered they legally owned the troop money and gear, they got dollar signs in their eyes.  SM and troop committee did the following:

 

1) found new troops for their scouts to join.

 

2) Sold troop equipment for pennies on the dollar. My troop was able to get 2 tents and other gear out of it. Wish we could have gotten more, but the sale was offered to only those troops getting the Scouts, and amount of gear was based upon numbers joining the troops.

 

3) Paid off any bills they owed

 

4) Paid for summer camp for everyone in the troop, and I think part of jamboree for 1 or 2 scouts interested.

 

5) Had a massive going away Court of Honor.

 

6) Gave the CO <$100 that was in their account.

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:) I guess I would have an issue with the "honesty" of such activity.  The CO with the $$'s in their eyes is bad enough, but the unit with $ in their eyes spending the money that wasn't theirs and dumping equipment that wasn't theirs would leave a bad taste in my mouth.  I guess I would be tempted to do that, but actually doing it would be something else.

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:) I guess I would have an issue with the "honesty" of such activity.  The CO with the $$'s in their eyes is bad enough, but the unit with $ in their eyes spending the money that wasn't theirs and dumping equipment that wasn't theirs would leave a bad taste in my mouth.  I guess I would be tempted to do that, but actually doing it would be something else.

 

Yeah, people get funny when money is involved.  I can sympathize with both sides.  I lean toward the scout unit though as the CO usually doesn't help fundraising or managing the equipment or the budgets.  As such, there is little involvement of those funds.  But you are right it might leave a bad taste.  On the flip side, the CO via their COR approved the unit leadership.  As such, it is the CO's scout leaders who are making the best choices to support their scouts.  

 

Sometimes it is hard to find a win win ... especially given BSA's CO model ... owning the unit but rarely being involved.  Approving the leaders, but not really knowing who they are.  etc etc.

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I can understand where the suggestion is coming from, but one must realize that the CO is a church with financial difficulties.  Yes, the boys raised the money, but the women of the church raise a ton of money as well.  Even the church's regular youth group raises money.  But the money is the CO's because all of the money from any of these organizations fall under the non-profit status of the CO.  So as a former pastor and a current SM, I'm lead to believe that selling off the equipment at a fair market value, returning the parent contributed funds being held by the troop for specific boys' activities, Philmont fund, etc. and then turning all the proceeds over to the struggling CO as they left for the new CO would be the honorable thing to do.  Kinda fits in with the Trustworthy, Helpful, thingy as well as "help OTHER people at all times", too.  Of course if word got out as to an questionable way of handling the transition it would not bode well for a neighborhood scouting unit to have taken advantage of a struggling church,  "There's not much to see in a small town, but what you hear makes up for it."  One doesn't want to be part of those kinds of conversations.  :)

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In the situation I mentioned, it was not a struggling CO; it was one of the local social groups that was the CO. New leadership wanted to have nothing to do with the Scouts. If memory serves the IH gave the unit a time limit to remove everything from the meeting space and  shed. Someone from council, I am assuming the DE, tried to intervene and save the unit. When it didn't work, the pro asked for the equipment as a donation. That's when the IH realized the CO owned the equipment.

 

One of the CO's officers was involved in a different troop. When he found what the new IH planned to do, he informed the troop's adults. He worked with the unit to get stuff paid for the scouts, and got some Scouts and tents for my troop.

 

Don't what the deal with anti Scouting bias was in my area. But Not only did a troop fold due to it, my troop had to switch COs because the new IH also had an anti-Scouting bias.  Heck she called the police on us for trespassing because we were late leaving a COH!

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My apologies for misunderstanding we were dealing with two different example threads here.

 

One has to remember that when the organization signed the charter contract it was good for the entire year.  If this person was calling the police for trespassing, I would counter sue for breach of contract.  :)  Surely there was a lawyer somewhere in the unit's scope of influence that could have shot off a quickly letter stating such. 

 

I guess instead of getting upset with such a situation, I would have turned it around and had some fun with it.  Once I got done with a pro bono lawyer, the local news reporter would get the scoop.  :)

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Funny thing with the trespassing call.  It was an ECOH, and we had our congress critter at the COH. One reason why it went over ( you know how long winded politicians can be, especially in an election year ;) ).  And the officer that responded to the call was an ASM in the troop. He actually asked two of us if we saw anyone fooling around the property that didn't belong.

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They have a vague idea.  I've told them repeatedly but they went 15+ years with little to or no contact with the Troop so they kinda get it.  The previous COR was the CC.

 

Clarification point - the church hasn't said they're going bankrupt yet.  They have said they're having financial difficulties.  I'm just pursuing thoughts that arise in order to be prepared.

When our CO was in a tight spot, the troop offered to contribute toward the light and heat bill. They declined, noting that they had a full food pantry and several nice Eagle projects on the grounds thanks to us.
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Years ago we had an issue develop with our CO, not financial or bankruptcy but it created similar concerns. Background, our Co was "OK", about all they did was to provide a meeting place and storage closet, we did a service project for them on occasion, they never provided one cent in funds not any equipment. Like most they were pretty much disconnected from our troop. Rules may say the CO owns the troop, it's funds and equipment, but the reality is it was paid for by fundraising the boys and familys did, donations from former scouts, parents and friends of our troop, the CO provided none of it. The rules SAY it all belongs to the CO but they did zilch in contributing to those materials, funds and equipment being there so we say it belongs to the troop.

Issue with CO eventually worked out but bottom line we were strongly considering going to a new CO and there was no way we were going to leave equipment and funds behind to an un-engaged CO that did nothing to help provide any of those assets.

Our troop trailer was owned and registered by an individual, not the Co so we packed all the troops god equipment in the trailer that was parked off site. We filled Lockup with junk tents, junk cooking equipment and the like so if we went to new CO and old one wanted to claim the equipment they would be left with a lockup full of garbage basically. Troop funds were used to prepay summer camp, replace any worn equipment, down payments on wreaths for next wreath sale season and most of the balance was King Soopers gift cards used latter to buy groceries for campouts. Funds paid in advance by families for their sons activities were also refunded so those folks would not lose out.

We did not end up leaving for the new CO and all moneys were used appropriately but had we needed to change to new CO the troop the boys and the families would not have been robbed of the funds they had created in support of the troop.

 

Maybe these tactics would be of help to the original poster.

 

The rules may say it belongs to the CO but if CO did not provide any of it, those that created those assets and saw them go to the CO due to an arbitrary rule, to me that just constitutes theft and to me that is the greater wrong.

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Years ago we had an issue develop with our CO, not financial or bankruptcy but it created similar concerns. Background, our Co was "OK", about all they did was to provide a meeting place and storage closet, we did a service project for them on occasion, they never provided one cent in funds not any equipment. Like most they were pretty much disconnected from our troop. Rules may say the CO owns the troop, it's funds and equipment, but the reality is it was paid for by fundraising the boys and familys did, donations from former scouts, parents and friends of our troop, the CO provided none of it. The rules SAY it all belongs to the CO but they did zilch in contributing to those materials, funds and equipment being there so we say it belongs to the troop.

Issue with CO eventually worked out but bottom line we were strongly considering going to a new CO and there was no way we were going to leave equipment and funds behind to an un-engaged CO that did nothing to help provide any of those assets.

Our troop trailer was owned and registered by an individual, not the Co so we packed all the troops god equipment in the trailer that was parked off site. We filled Lockup with junk tents, junk cooking equipment and the like so if we went to new CO and old one wanted to claim the equipment they would be left with a lockup full of garbage basically. Troop funds were used to prepay summer camp, replace any worn equipment, down payments on wreaths for next wreath sale season and most of the balance was King Soopers gift cards used latter to buy groceries for campouts. Funds paid in advance by families for their sons activities were also refunded so those folks would not lose out.

We did not end up leaving for the new CO and all moneys were used appropriately but had we needed to change to new CO the troop the boys and the families would not have been robbed of the funds they had created in support of the troop.

 

Maybe these tactics would be of help to the original poster.

 

The rules may say it belongs to the CO but if CO did not provide any of it, those that created those assets and saw them go to the CO due to an arbitrary rule, to me that just constitutes theft and to me that is the greater wrong.

 

Nope, sorry, totally unacceptable Boy Scout morality.  You say the CO provided nothing when it comes to the troop.  Well according to the BSA and the CO's charter agreement, NONE of that troop would be in existence, been able to fund-raise tax free and exist in a location without the signature of the CO.  That troop owes it's very existence to that CO, and the BSA would totally agree with me.

 

Sorry, if my troop behaved in this manner, they would immediately be without a SM. That's not the character building lessons I wish to be a part of.

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I don't think character building is sitting on your hands doing nothing to pevent basically the THEFT of the material and funds the familys and the scouts and donors created, to me that is waiting around to be a victim. You can handle it your way, fine but I think it is foolish to knowingly let someone or an organization come in and take what others created.

We didn't have to leave so none of this had to happen in the end, but if it had.......

 

Families that put money into the troop to pay for their sons campouts in advance wouldn't have been stolen from tem. It would have been rightfully refunded to tehm prior to the potential theft

 

Scouts that were going to summer camp would have had their camp fee reduced by troop money that was always meant to support scout activities so there is no wrong in that 

 

Replacing worn equipment early and using funds to benefit the troop so I see no wrong there

 

Grocery store gift cards purchased by troop funds meant to support troop activities that would have been used to get supplies for troop campouts....using funds as they were intentioned so nothing wrong here

 

Moving troop equipment that the COR had no hand in so the people in the troop were responsible for having to a place it couldn't be confiscated (Stolen) by a COR that had no moral right to had it come to it. 

 

We had 3 offers to have others become our new CO so the CO we had we were not desperate for, we really owed them nothing, for the meeting space we did projects to beenfir the CO.

 

The tax number was one of the key issues in why were were looking to move, they wouldn't let us use thiers. (long Story) but my heart doesn't bleed for them, my loyalty is to the troop the scouts the families and those that donated, not to some very poor rules and a CO that really didn't care and was occasionally a pain in our rear.

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It struck me that I'm not illustrating this form the point of view as I see it. No disrespect intended but as I see it....


 


If I went to my troop the scouts all the parents etc and told them we had a problem with the CO (Financial or any other reason) and that the CO had rights per BSA to ownership of all funds and equipment. And if I then told them that the relationship with Co was likely to dissolve and the CO would take (Steal) the funds and equipment that the CO never provided in the first place.


And then when asked if I would refund family moneys for prepaid campouts, summer camp, or do anything to protect the monetary or equipment assets of the troop and my answer was....No.....we have to leave it all there un protected so the CO can come in and take it all unjustified (Not do anything smart to protect what was rightfully ours).....


 


They would ask me if I had lost my mind......and they would be right in asking. And I would probably be kicked out and someone willing to protect the troops stuff would take rightful action


 


If I had advance notice that my house would be burglarized while I went on a vacation, I would be stupid to not take all my valuables out of the house to my relatives for safe keeping to mitigate loss, despite if the town had some ridiculous rule saying I am not allowed to move/hide valuables for any reason.


 


One thing is breaking what seems to be a very stupid rule, but to be a helpless victim and do nothing to help yourself seems to be far worse to me. It is part of taking care of me and those around me. I see nothing morally wrong, I see it very wrong to teach folks to be sheep like helpless victims and not take reasonable precautions in life.


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