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Per WSJ -BSA may declare bankruptcy

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2 hours ago, Pale Horse said:

The insane turnover rate is fueled, I'm sure, by the long hours and low pay.  If they started investing in and rewarding quality DEs, the problem would solve itself.

It's fueled by a lot of factors, including those you listed.  A lot of kids right out of college don't last more than a couple months because they think the job is something completely different than what it actually is. The current generation of SE's have a  "I was treated like dirt as a DE in the 80's, so that's how I'm going to treat my employees" mentality which is a culture issue.

The biggest issue I have is with professional training, or "commissioning". It's only a week now, which I think is completely ridiculous. I went though training back when i had 7 months on the job, and I was the shortest tenured professional there! The only good part, imo, was meeting other DE's. The actual training was too rushed to learn anything useful. When national is pumping out 25-30 new DE's every month, it's a problem. 

Edited by carebear3895
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2 hours ago, dkurtenbach said:

Please see my response to ParkMan.  The one exception I would see to shutting down a chronically poorly-performing unit is where that unit is the only game in town, such as a rural area.  In that case, the only way to provide those youth a Scouting experience is to keep the unit alive and provide whatever resources are available.  (NOTE:  The size of a unit is not an indicator of the quality of the unit's program.)  But in a suburban area like mine with a dozen troops and packs within three miles that the youth can go to, there is really no excuse for nursing along a unit that has not gotten better over a very long period.

Ah. I am a DE in a mostly rural district. My biggest population center is a down on it's luck "city" that is pretty dead culturally. 

So if I let a unit it die, it is a major impact. 

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1 hour ago, allangr1024 said:

The council can revoke BSA membership if a crime has been committed, but it cannot and never has been able to judge the quality of a unit program or the competence of a Scout leader.  You are going to have to do some political miracle to pull that off, and fundamentally change Scouting forever.

No miracles required.  Local control.  The experienced local volunteers who serve as commissioners and committee members are able to assess the quality of a unit program and the competence of a Scout leader.  All that would be required to shut down a unit with a long history of poor program is that the unit not recharter.  And you get to that with a series of conversations with the unit leadership, the Chartered Organization Representative, the Scouts, the families, and the head of the chartered organization.  Of course, that is going to be after a couple of years' worth of prior conversations with unit leadership, the Chartered Organization Representative, and maybe the head of the chartered organization about the unit program.

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2 minutes ago, dkurtenbach said:

No miracles required.  Local control.  The experienced local volunteers who serve as commissioners and committee members are able to assess the quality of a unit program and the competence of a Scout leader.  All that would be required to shut down a unit with a long history of poor program is that the unit not recharter.  And you get to that with a series of conversations with the unit leadership, the Chartered Organization Representative, the Scouts, the families, and the head of the chartered organization.  Of course, that is going to be after a couple of years' worth of prior conversations with unit leadership, the Chartered Organization Representative, and maybe the head of the chartered organization about the unit program.

Disrupting the system in place now would obviously be a very difficult challenge, and one that would probably leave many units in a scramble.  The reality that a COR really has no training requirements about what the program even is leaves an obvious void on that person taking control over quality and what is actually going on in the unit.  Current unit for my son is chartered by American Legion- the "COR" changes every year, as it is the newly elected Post Commander that holds that title.  Fortunately, the current Post Commander has served in that role in the past, his son was a Scout (and he served as a troop committee member in those days), so he has understanding of the program and its actual workings.  What do you do with the COR who won't even take the very basic My.Scouting.org training module?

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17 minutes ago, dkurtenbach said:

No miracles required.  Local control.  The experienced local volunteers who serve as commissioners and committee members are able to assess the quality of a unit program and the competence of a Scout leader.  All that would be required to shut down a unit with a long history of poor program is that the unit not recharter.  And you get to that with a series of conversations with the unit leadership, the Chartered Organization Representative, the Scouts, the families, and the head of the chartered organization.  Of course, that is going to be after a couple of years' worth of prior conversations with unit leadership, the Chartered Organization Representative, and maybe the head of the chartered organization about the unit program.

Have you ever seen this done? 

Barry

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4 hours 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.

Yep.  I find myself bemused that Irving is blaming their Chapter 11 considerations on the one thing that is NOT their direct responsibility.  

Diminish nature and the outdoors in the core program - No harm - No foul.

Gay Members - No harm - No foul.

Gay Leaders - No harm - No foul.

Diminish God - No harm - No foul.  (Did we really need Mormons?  Guess not...)

Bechtel (Did we really need Bechtel?) - No harm - No foul.

Undercut the value of Eagle - No harm - No foul.

Add girls and eliminate boys' safe space - No harm - No foul.

Sexual abuse lawsuits...  Oh the cost!  (We didn't do it! We've put YPT on steroids!  We're blameless!) The foul cost!  Money pouring down the drain! Dastardly foul lawyers!  Punitive damages most foul.

And fowl droppings.

 

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3 minutes ago, JoeBob said:

Yep.  I find myself bemused that Irving is blaming their Chapter 11 considerations on the one thing that is NOT their direct responsibility.  

Diminish nature and the outdoors in the core program - No harm - No foul.

Gay Members - No harm - No foul.

Gay Leaders - No harm - No foul.

Diminish God - No harm - No foul.  (Did we really need Mormons?  Guess not...)

Bechtel (Did we really need Bechtel?) - No harm - No foul.

Undercut the value of Eagle - No harm - No foul.

Add girls and eliminate boys' safe space - No harm - No foul.

Sexual abuse lawsuits...  Oh the cost!  (We didn't do it! We've put YPT on steroids!  We're blameless!) The foul cost!  Money pouring down the drain! Dastardly foul lawyers!  Punitive damages most foul.

And fowl droppings.

 

Yep, I sort of agree. But you missed what I think is the National's biggest failure on the program, the over burdened Cub leader. The number one cause of Cubs not crossing over to troops is adult leader burnout. The effects of Cub leader burnout ripples through the whole program. The Tiger program alone requires a 3rd of the cub program resources. What does National do, ADD Lions. 

Barry

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Interesting message from the Atlanta Area Council today.....

 

Parents, Volunteers and Donors:
 
The purpose of this communication is to help you understand the position of the Atlanta Area Council, BSA and how it relates to National BSA's story in the recent Wall Street Journal article.
Below are some fast facts we would like to share with you:
  • We operate as a financially separate not-for-profit organization and our Council receives no funding from the National organization.
  • The Atlanta Area Council is a 501(c)(3) entity incorporated in Georgia. Our Camps, Volunteer Service Center and finances are owned and controlled by the Atlanta Area Council.
  • Local Scouting programs, camps and the Volunteer Service Center will not be directly affected by National BSA's consideration of their options.
  • All funds contributed to the Atlanta Area Council stay in Metro-Atlanta this includes Friends of Scouting donations, popcorn and camp card sales.
Our Council is strong, in fact the Atlanta Area Council is among the strongest in the nation from perspectives of fiscal health, quality programs, volunteer dedication, safety and staff quality.
 
It is our hope that the National organization can navigate the difficult waters that many organizations face over a century of existence; we will help the National organization as called upon. In Atlanta our primary focus is on bringing high-quality programs for over 31,000 Scouts in each neighborhood we serve. 
 
Thank you for continuing your role and providing leadership and support to the youth in Metro-Atlanta.
 
Yours in Scouting, 
 
Tracy Techau
Scout Executive/CEO
Atlanta Area Council, BSA
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3 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

Interesting message from the Atlanta Area Council today.....

 

Parents, Volunteers and Donors:
 
The purpose of this communication is to help you understand the position of the Atlanta Area Council, BSA and how it relates to National BSA's story in the recent Wall Street Journal article.
Below are some fast facts we would like to share with you:
  • We operate as a financially separate not-for-profit organization and our Council receives no funding from the National organization.
  • The Atlanta Area Council is a 501(c)(3) entity incorporated in Georgia. Our Camps, Volunteer Service Center and finances are owned and controlled by the Atlanta Area Council.
  • Local Scouting programs, camps and the Volunteer Service Center will not be directly affected by National BSA's consideration of their options.
  • All funds contributed to the Atlanta Area Council stay in Metro-Atlanta this includes Friends of Scouting donations, popcorn and camp card sales.
Our Council is strong, in fact the Atlanta Area Council is among the strongest in the nation from perspectives of fiscal health, quality programs, volunteer dedication, safety and staff quality.
 
It is our hope that the National organization can navigate the difficult waters that many organizations face over a century of existence; we will help the National organization as called upon. In Atlanta our primary focus is on bringing high-quality programs for over 31,000 Scouts in each neighborhood we serve. 
 
Thank you for continuing your role and providing leadership and support to the youth in Metro-Atlanta.
 
Yours in Scouting, 
 
Tracy Techau
Scout Executive/CEO
Atlanta Area Council, BSA

Great response. Showing leadership.

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8 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

Have you ever seen this done? 

Barry

We were most of the way through the process with a very small, struggling troop.  It was difficult for the SM and Committee Chair, who had founded the troop and wanted to keep it going, even though they knew things were not happening as they had planned or hoped.  The Chartered Organization was not particularly hands-on, and had lost an Explorer Post previously.  They pretty much would go along with whatever the unit decided.  We had just had a meeting with the parents to let them know that the troop would likely be folding unless there were some big changes, and if it was shutting down we'd be working with them to move the Scouts into another troop.  Then a miracle (the good kind) happened.  A big troop with a strong program and great leadership needed to part ways with its chartered organization (a Catholic school) after BSA's decision to admit gay youth.  A deal was struck, and the troops merged.  

In that instance, we had a supportive District Commissioner whose main interest was in doing what was best for the Scouts in the troop, rather than what was best for district statistics.  Usually what I have seen is the balance tipping in favor of keeping the unit on the books regardless of how weak its program was.

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2 minutes ago, Eaglein87 said:

Great response. Showing leadership.

Thats not leadership

thats called damage control

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2 minutes ago, Terasec said:

Thats not leadership

thats called damage control

We were pleased that they acknowledged there is an issue coming over the horizon.  They made clear the separation of National to Local council.  They specifically called out the properties (Woodruff and Bert Adams) and the VSC (literally in the shadow of the new Braves ballpark) would not be affected.  AAC is clearly in the latter part of this question...do you raise money to have scouting OR do you have scouting to raise money. 

Note that the message is addressed to Parents, Volunteers, and Donors.  No mention of the actual scouts who we are providing program to.

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6 hours 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.

I agree with you 100%. 

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4 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

We were pleased that they acknowledged there is an issue coming over the horizon.  They made clear the separation of National to Local council.  They specifically called out the properties (Woodruff and Bert Adams) and the VSC (literally in the shadow of the new Braves ballpark) would not be affected.  AAC is clearly in the latter part of this question...do you raise money to have scouting OR do you have scouting to raise money. 

Note that the message is addressed to Parents, Volunteers, and Donors.  No mention of the actual scouts who we are providing program to.

I agree.  The council made it clear that scouting will continue, whatever woes National may be facing.

Whoever drafted the council's release did a darn good job.

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17 minutes ago, Terasec said:

Thats not leadership

thats called damage control

I wish other districts/councils would also attempt to do some "damage control" instead of staying silent.

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