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Fee increase - observations

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1 hour ago, Eagle1993 said:

 My disappointment is not necessarily the increase, but the lack of any transparency on what they did to ensure their financial house gets back in order.  

Lets hope that changes soon. I would like to see National do some cuts at the higher level and make a flatter organization.

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Council bailout.    thank goodness.

$72 for yearbook.  We only buy on their transition out of the school.  ... high school graduation and completing middle school year.   Just too much money and a real waste in hindsight.  Most people never look at anything but they year they graduate.  Even then, they take up significant space and are just weight to move around.  

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Maybe it's just me, but I spend much more money on things that I care way less about that I really don't mind the national fee and did eventually get over the $70 for that yearbook.

Both national & council may make many decisions that I'd do differently - but at least they're trying.

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I don't think it's the money. If things were going great, membership was increasing, and volunteers were aplenty, nobody would mind that much. But it's just the opposite.

Underlying all the angst is a desire for leadership. Everyone here believes in the program and if something came from national that really helped with membership and volunteers we'd be less grumpy.

I'm not sure what the answer is. My gut says it's nothing major, more like focusing on making the message and program more succinct. Adapt training to busy families and a wide range of interest and backgrounds. Have vision. 

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1 hour ago, MattR said:

... it's nothing major, more like focusing on making the message and program more succinct.

Hugely agree.  I think BSA is close, but it needs to do something to simplify and get the adults to back off.  Keep the passion, but let the scouts be scouts.  

 

1 hour ago, MattR said:

Adapt training to busy families and a wide range of interest and backgrounds. Have vision. 

This is huge.  Of my hundred+ BSA training line items, I think very few were enabling.  Though training is important, it's mentorship and experience that scouters need. 

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2 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

In the case of 4H, $0. 

Ahhhh...now I understand why my el-cheap-o brother had his kids in 4H!

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I think 4-H is an example of a youth organization that has done a good job of retooling and managing itself well to meet changing youth and family needs. 4-H also has about 6 million kids with a very similar leader/youth structure to BSA and yet very few reported cases of child abuse. There are problems in every organization -- 4-H isn't perfect either -- but BSA could probably learn something from how they operate.
 

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5 hours ago, TMSM said:

Lets hope that changes soon. I would like to see National do some cuts at the higher level and make a flatter organization.

National Executive Committee and National Executive Board  too, but it will probably take Chapter 11 to get it done.

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17 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

National Executive Committee and National Executive Board  too, but it will probably take Chapter 11 to get it done.

P.S. My understanding from the 2017 Annual Report,  (2018 Annual Report did not have this information) please correct me if wrong .  Note the Annual Report and By-Laws use different names for committees. :confused:

Quorums were finally specified in the 2019 By-Laws.

National Executive Committee ( called National Council in By-laws) is comprised of 16 National Officers which includes the Big Three. According to By-Laws, quorum is 50%, 8 members. 

National Executive Board ( called Executive Board in By-laws) is comprised of "no more than 64 regular members", currently around 76  individuals. By-Laws specify members shall include Executive Board (16),  Members of Regional Executive Committees and Area Commissioners, Local Council Representatives, Members at Large, Special Members. According to By-Laws, quorum is just 5%, so only 4 members needed. A lot of red flags here. 

Advisory Council  is comprised of about 66  individuals chosen by Executive Board and are mostly from local councils.  The Chairman of the Advisory Council serves as a Special Member of above Executive Board. 

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Just curious - what different structure would you propose for this national leadership structure ?  How would that improve things?

Edited by ParkMan

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1 hour ago, ParkMan said:

Just curious - what different structure would you propose for this national leadership structure ?  How would that improve things?

I am looking at other non-profit organizations  (4-H, Boys & Girls, Y, Red Cross) for better ideas.

It strikes me as odd that the Executive Committee controls and not serves the Executive Board.  No oversight. IMO, a see Chapter 11 addressing this, should be interesting.

Initial ideas:

1. Fix the inconsistent and confusing nomenclature used in By-Laws! 

2. The CSE should be the only member of the Executive Committee serving on Executive Board . CSE may not be Chairman of Executive Board.

3. Big Three downsized to a CSE (business) and Chief Scout (program, PR).

4. Reduce size of Executive Board but raise their meeting quorum to 50% or better (phone, txt, email). 

5. Advisory Council should be member-elected (us) , selects Executive Board Members , and presents action items to Executive Committee.

My $0.01. 

Edited by RememberSchiff
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3 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

I am looking at other non-profit organizations  (4-H, Boys & Girls, Y, Red Cross) for better ideas.

It strikes me as odd that the Executive Committee controls and not serves the Executive Board.  No oversight. IMO, a see Chapter 11 addressing this, should be interesting.

Initial ideas:

1. Fix the inconsistent and confusing nomenclature used in By-Laws! 

2. The CSE should be the only member of the Executive Committee serving on Executive Board . CSE may not be Chairman of Executive Board.

3. Big Three downsized to a CSE (business) and Chief Scout (program, PR).

4. Reduce size of Executive Board but raise their meeting quorum to 50% or better (phone, txt, email). 

5. Advisory Council should be member-elected (us) , selects Executive Board Members , and presents action items to Executive Committee.

My $0.01. 

Very nice ideas.  I could get behind those.  Some specific comments:
#1 - Yes, this whole business of executive board and executive committee feels cumbersome

#2 - Agreed.  It would make sense for the BSA to have seperate Board Chair & separate President.  Let the National Chair be the board chair and the CSE the President.

#3 - Yes - I'd like the Chief Scout to not be a career professional, but could deal with it if it were.  I could see the Chief Scout being a member of the board who is responsible for the program committee and steering efforts.

#4 - I could see 10-20 members on the national board.

#5 - Agreed.  It would take some thought on how such an election would occur.  Today "we" elect council boards through the COR positions - but I don't think it works too well.

 

There's an interesting section in the bylaws:

  • Article III, Section 1, Clause 1 - The Executive Board shall, in accordance with the provisions of its Charter and these Bylaws, be the governing body of the Corporation, manage its affairs, elect its officers, and be the final reviewing authority with respect to all matters whatsoever which may arise at any level within the Scouting movement, which in its judgment should be reviewed.
  • Article III, Section 8, Clause 3 - Except for the powers reserved to the Executive Board, the duty and authority to manage the affairs of the Corporation shall be vested in the Executive Committee. 

So basically, the Executive Committee can do most anything, but the Executive Board and overrule them.  So I do think the Executive Committee is subservient to the Executive Board.

 

 

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If we’re thinking Big Thoughts, I’d also propose a total end to the commissioner staff. I haven’t encountered a district yet that doesn’t struggle with attracting and retaining commissioners, let alone that uses that staff to support units properly. If we have people who want to be involved in Scouting, then put them to work directly with units as ASMs or MCs, or at the district level working on camporees, training, advancement, or camping promotion - direct program delivery, not as “consultants.” Don’t waste good bodies on a vague and usually useless organizational element that very few people understand.

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@shortridge  Amen to that.   My beef with commissioners are they don't stay current with what's actually going on in the program and telling units absolutely false information  which is particularly dangerous to newer units.  The biggest problem of course is that there would be no one working on their Doctorate of Commissioner Science...the dumbest thing the BSA has.

Also they need to hire from the outside for senior positions.  Get from expertise from financial, change management and IT to fix these long standing functional and organizational issues.

The Franchise model the BSA uses which traps units in poorly run councils/districts needs to go.    Why not let units sign on with councils for service with any council that provides them with better than they get locally, in other words get councils to earn your business by treating you as a customer...not the other way around.

 

Just my big nirvana thoughts.

 

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