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Eagle1993

Per WSJ -BSA may declare bankruptcy

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19 minutes ago, dkurtenbach said:

Concur that program delivery varies widely among units.  In my view, consistently anemic units with poor programs that go on year after year are the single greatest long-term threat to Scouting.  Why?  Because adults who had a poor Scouting experience as youth won't put their kids in the program, and neither will their friends and family members.  Yet because shutting down an ineffective unit will look bad on this year's district and council membership statistics, district and council officials won't even consider it; they will even nurse the unit along each year at recharter time even though there is no improvement.  Corporate Scouting.

Our job is to grow scouting, not kill it. If the leaders aren't properly trained to run a functioning unit, that falls on both Professional and Commissioner shoulders.  If it's a leadership issue, you recruit new leaders.  Helping/Coaching a Unit in hopes that it will eventually grow into a successful program is a heck of a lot better for the kids than killing it and trying to restart it.

 Let me tell you, starting a unit from scratch is a lot harder to do now than it was even 5 years ago. 

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12 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

The districts are the front line of the BSA in improving unit quality.  You want better quality units, you invest in stronger district teams.

While this is bound to rustle some jimmies, that starts with the DE. But national doesn't put much stock into us anymore because of the insane turnover rate. 

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5 minutes ago, NJCubScouter said:

It has always been my assumption that BSA National owns Philmont.  The question would be whether there is any "restrictive covenant" in the deed by which the property was transferred to the BSA, which seeks to control what the property can and cannot be used for, and what happens if the BSA no longer owns it. [Note after seeing Mashmaster's comment:  Ok, I was thinking in the right direction, but not far enough.]

I see no reason why Philmont would be any more "immune from divestiture" than any other non-residential property owned by any other person.  (Residential property, meaning the home you live in, can be protected, unprotected or partially protected, depending on what state you are in, and the specific financial factors at work in that case.)  That's one of the main reasons to file a Chapter 11 - to try to keep your property while getting more time to pay your debts, and often to reduce certain kinds of debts. Sometimes it means that some property will be sold while other property is retained.  If you cannot get approval for a reorganization plan, or your reorganization fails for some other reason, you often end up in a "liquidating 11" in which all your property is sold and the proceeds are used to pay creditors.  That is what happened to Radio Shack and Toys R Us.  They originally filed for reorganization and closed some stores, with the intention of remaining in business as a smaller operation, but it didn't work out and they were liquidated.

This is an area of law that I know something about, but I have been withholding general comment because (1) if I had a dime for every company or individual who "might file" but never does, I would be a rich man, and (2) you never really know what's going on until you see the "schedules" that are filed with (or shortly after) the bankruptcy petition.  They will list every asset and its value, every debt (both undisputed and disputed), every creditor (including those who have filed lawsuits that are still pending, though in the case of sexual abuse it may not list their full names and the amount of the claim will probably be listed as "unliquidated" - which means, by the way, that we would know how many of these lawsuits there are, which I don't think we know at this point), and either at the beginning or sometime later, every category of income with amounts, and every item of expense, with amounts.  This is likely going to be way more information than they put in their public annual financial reports, and way, way more than they would like to disclose..  That's one of the disadvantages to filing bankruptcy, you have to lay out your entire financial life for the public to see,  but it's all part of the "deal" in which you can get some relief from your debts and stay in operation.

Since you have experience in such matters would you say the financial situation should be somewhat dire to have to go down this road?

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8 minutes ago, Eaglein87 said:

Can anyone confirm costs on Bechtel? Is it true that the cost is close to the total BSA endowment? Some articles out there claim such.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/west-virginia-mega-camp-adds-boy-scouts-troubles-flna6C10643112

"Costs are rising. Initially budgeted at $176 million through 2013, the Summit's cost is now estimated to reach at least $350 million by the end of this year and $439 million by the end of 2015"

The sad part is, this is exactly what was predicted by some in this forum when this donation was accepted.  My recollection is that National thought they would get a good chunk of money by renting out the Summit for events, but there was that tax problem with the State of West Virginia and I am not sure how that got resolved, and I am not sure how much rental income there ended up being.  Not nearly as much as they thought, evidently.

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2 minutes ago, Eaglein87 said:

Since you have experience in such matters would you say the financial situation should be somewhat dire to have to go down this road?

Dire, yes.  For a business (which I assume would include a non-profit like the BSA) to file for any kind of bankruptcy, its assets would be less than its liaibilities.  The tricky part here is that when a substantial part of your debt is pending and anticipated claims for things that do not have a fixed dollar value (like pain and suffering, emotional distress and disability, etc.), what is your debt, actually?  It's an estimate, and different parties to the case may have an interest in doing different estimates.  Is Former Scout X's case eventually going to produce a recovery of $2 million against the BSA, or a recovery of zero because a jury decides that X's story is not credible?  (Which also makes it tricky to settle a case like that, although most are settled before trial.)  Add enough of those 2-million-$ (or more) swings together, and you see the problem of figuring out what your debts are.  It's much easier if your business has assets appraised at say $2 million but you have a bank loan of $2.5 million with no dispute as to the amount due, and overdue trade debt of $300,000, and no other debt.  You are insolvent and can file a Chapter 11.  If in the same scenario the bank loan is $500,000, you're not, and you can't.  But that's not even close to being the situation here.

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3 hours ago, Eaglein87 said:

So somebody tell me how Bankruptcy is a sign that we have competent leadership at the top that are making decisions in the best interest of the Boy Scouts

I don't really have an opinion on the national leadership of Scouting, but I will say that this is clearly just a way to dump/force negotiations on sexual abuse settlement claims.

This is the way businesses legally shirk their financial obligations.

Not really a fan of it but this is what businesses do.  Doesn't sound incompetent to me in that regard.

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25 minutes ago, Eaglein87 said:

Can anyone confirm costs on Bechtel? Is it true that the cost is close to the total BSA endowment? Some articles out there claim such.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/west-virginia-mega-camp-adds-boy-scouts-troubles-flna6C10643112

"Costs are rising. Initially budgeted at $176 million through 2013, the Summit's cost is now estimated to reach at least $350 million by the end of this year and $439 million by the end of 2015"

 

Yes.  It is a cash drain.

If you read the notes (buried I might add) in the annual report the true picture of the issue comes to light.  There are forward thinking statements about "upcoming fund raising" and "anticipated donations".  Also there is a balloon payment north of $125 million on the bonds in 2021 I believe.  Assume they would refinance that for more interest and kick that can down the road.

Bottom line Summit is sort of a microcosm of what is wrong with "corporate" scouting.  Some group within National (volunteers and pros) decided THIS is what was needed.  This giant EGO project.  A big shiny Disneyesque camp to draw all these Scouts to it, cash would roll in.  They based some of this on the "waiting lists" for Philmont and Seabase, and to a lesser degree Northern Tier.  There was supposedly this unfulfilled population that could be tapped.  Well shockingly that is actually a smaller group. Also Scouts want real adventure and action.  If you want zip lines, mt biking, whitewater rafting, backpacking, water park adventures, and planned climbing; guess what, my unit can do it waaay cheaper locally.  No one bothered to ask if units wanted that or would they spend money to go there.  Answer seems to be nope.

The local unit is where Scouting happens.  Maybe they should ask units what they want and more importantly, what they will pay to actually do.

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3 hours ago, Eaglein87 said:

So somebody tell me how Bankruptcy is a sign that we have competent leadership at the top that are making decisions in the best interest of the Boy Scouts.

The leadership we currently have is not necessarily responsible for the failings of past leadership that resulted in so many sexual abuse cases. There may simply be nothing any competent leadership team can do to overcome that potential financial burden.

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15 minutes ago, Hawkwin said:

The leadership we currently have is not necessarily responsible for the failings of past leadership that resulted in so many sexual abuse cases. There may simply be nothing any competent leadership team can do to overcome that potential financial burden.

It's not the one thing that will take down Scouts. It's a multitude of factors. True that the current leadership is not responsible for handling of assaults that occurred a while ago. Most however may have had a position on Bechtel. Also the idea to replace the LDS numbers with girls poaching girls scout membership resulting in additional litigation. The ones responsible for these go-ahead decisions should be evaluated and removed if need be. You can't keep making "feel good" decisions that do not solve the problem or make it worse. Seems like there is a lot of Scout experience on this board and I bet most were not consulted/polled on their views of these major issues. 

Edited by Eaglein87
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7 minutes ago, Hawkwin said:

The leadership we currently have is not necessarily responsible for the failings of past leadership that resulted in so many sexual abuse cases. There may simply be nothing any competent leadership team can do to overcome that potential financial burden.

I think that is true.  This situation does not necessarily show that current leadership is incompetent.  On the other hand, it doesn't show that they are competent, either.  :)  As I said before, if the BSA files, and after their schedules are filed, there will be a lot more information by which us, the general rabble, can evaluate (and argue over) what and who the problem really is, and was.   And eventually, when the BSA proposes to set up a fund to pay these sex abuse claims, which will result in lower payments than the plaintiffs are looking for, the plaintiffs' attorneys will have their say as well.  And if there are any other creditors who are going to get shorted, they will also have their say. 

If the BSA does file, it is unfortunately going to be quite a spectacle.  A lot of council-approved popcorn will be consumed by the spectators.  It is not going to end up being a good thing for anybody.  But that's the way things go sometimes.

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10 minutes ago, Eaglein87 said:

 Also the idea to replace the LDS numbers with girls poaching girls scout membership resulting in additional litigation.

The litigation from GSUSA is really rather trivial at this point and I don't imagine that such could come anywhere close to pushing BSA into chapter 11.

And "poaching?" Really? As if GSUSA owns girls?

 

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48 minutes ago, carebear3895 said:

While this is bound to rustle some jimmies, that starts with the DE. But national doesn't put much stock into us anymore because of the insane turnover rate. 

That's what happens today- but it's the wrong model.  The district volunteers should be taking ownership for growing and nurturing their district.  If a given district isn't doing that it's the fault of the district committee and it's chair.  

If all the districts in a council are not doing it, it's the fault of the council committee and president.

If districts around the country are not, it's the fault of the national board and chair.

We as volunteers rely too much on the professionals and it's wrong.  We need to assume more ownership for this.

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Just now, Hawkwin said:

The litigation from GSUSA is really rather trivial at this point and I don't imagine that such could come anywhere close to pushing BSA into chapter 11.

And "poaching?" Really? As if GSUSA owns girls?

 

Nobody said owned. That is a ridiculous comment. GSUSA sure feels like BSA is trying to take their membership. Just ask them or oh yea they felt so much so they filed a lawsuit.

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2 minutes ago, Eaglein87 said:

Nobody said owned. That is a ridiculous comment.

Poach: illegally hunt or catch (game or fish) on land that is not one's own.

 

3 minutes ago, Eaglein87 said:

GSUSA sure feels like BSA is trying to take their membership.

No, girls are not their membership (there again you convey ownership).

Additionally, GSUSA made no such claim. To quote, "[GSUSA] claim the move by the Boy Scouts will “marginalize” the female organization and “erode its core brand identity.”

Further, "Since BSA’s announcement that it would admit girls to its core programs, GSUSA’s fears about the damage that would be caused to its trademarks and the mission those trademarks symbolize have been realized."

No claim of "poaching" members otherwise belonging to GSUSA.

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Just now, Hawkwin said:

Poach: illegally hunt or catch (game or fish) on land that is not one's own.

 

No, girls are not their membership (there again you convey ownership).

Additionally, GSUSA made no such claim. To quote, "[GSUSA] claim the move by the Boy Scouts will “marginalize” the female organization and “erode its core brand identity.”

Further, "Since BSA’s announcement that it would admit girls to its core programs, GSUSA’s fears about the damage that would be caused to its trademarks and the mission those trademarks symbolize have been realized."

No claim of "poaching" members otherwise belonging to GSUSA.

"erode its core brand identity" by making girls think that girls are now part of Boy Scouts. Not much of a leap for girls to think I don't need to join Girls Scouts I can just join the Scouts BSA with my brother (part of BSA marketing at cub level). It's absolutely poaching. The reason for the lawsuit is that GSUSA realizes if they do nothing there is a good chance their numbers will drop more than it already has. I have no skin in GSUSA game as my boys are both in Scouting. The point is that poor decisions are being made that is resulting in more damage for BSA and there is no accountability for those making the poor decisions.

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