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Cburkhardt

Positive Council Changes during Financial Reorganization

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46 minutes ago, Cburkhardt said:

My view is that we should have smaller Executive boards of truly national or state class distinguished personalities 

It sounds to me like you want scouting to be controlled by wealthy elites.  No thank you.  

 

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1 hour ago, Cburkhardt said:

I am also thinking that the boards should be accountable to the unit key three members and not just the CORs, giving the units 2/3 of the formal influence.  That way things will become more unit and district focused.

Not a good idea.  If you have the unit key three all voting and representing the Chartered Organization at council, CO's might insist that all three positions be held by active members of the Chartered Organization.  It is often hard enough for a Chartered Organization to find a good COR from within its membership.

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1 hour ago, Cburkhardt said:

giving the units 2/3 of the formal influence. 

… giving the SE the ability to stack 1/3 of the board with his hand-picked minions.  

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12 hours ago, fred8033 said:
    • Re-partner with "Walgreens" or another vendor to sell scout shirts again.  ... I really think scout shirts and stuff in neighborhood stores was a big-time marketing tool.  My first exporsure to scouts was at the local five & dime with their four/five feet of scout stuff.  

Now you are into National Supply which is another whole deal.  

My council has generated a CSP for the summer camp.  I was at the office and went to the Scout store, but had to buy the CSP at the program desk.  Seems that (in our council) the large Scout Shop is not the council's deal, but is National Supply run.  The folks who work there are not part of the local council, but are National employees.  My assumption is that National Supply pays rent to the local council for the footprint.

Now, when I realized this, I wondered what the overhead for this must be for National.  The footprint in my council is probably 2,000 SF.  Assuming 2 staff for 8 hours - 6 days per week and rent, just the overhead would be easily $150K annually.  Assuming a profit of 10% on sales, that would mean the store would need to generate $1,500,000 annually or $600 in sales per hour every hour the store is open (assuming 6 days per week and 8 hours per day) JUST TO COVER OVERHEAD.  Also I am likely under estimating overhead and over estimating profit.

National Supply should have everything on-line.  With one DC you could greatly reduce inventory and have a higher fulfillment rate for scout uniforms ordered on-line.  The local council could have 100 SF of shelving for the patches and awards.  

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4 minutes ago, DuctTape said:

I, too, remember scout stuff at Sears and/or JC Penny.

Pretty sure my first uniform (all green with garrison hat) came from Sears.  

In the movie "Follow Me Boys" the local hardware store has a Scout Section, becomes a big plot point.

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2 minutes ago, DuctTape said:

I, too, remember scout stuff at Sears and/or JC Penny.

And Mickey's men's store. The first pen-knife I ever bought was from there. Mr. Bruno stopped selling scout stuff there because, at least in our area, BSA started cutting exclusive deals with JC Penny. If BSA stopped trying to big-box it, and would focus on exclusive delivery to small and minority-owned businesses, it would go a long way to producing good will on the side walks of this city.

Frankly, a really nice catalogue in every barbershop (every few pages with a Boys Life or Scouting article) could change the face of scouting in this town.

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I retired from the County's Transit service.  Bus lines.   We had a wonderful manager type person,  named Dave . He was "in charge"  of planning,  service establishment, and service maintenance. I forget his "title", but that was ultimately not important to the service he, we , provided to the public.   He knew EVERYTHING, because he had been there at the inception.  Need permission?  Ask Dave.  Need a question answered? Ask Dave.   Suggest a new service? Adjust a route?   Tell Dave.   If he needed some info or some on the spot inspection, he was not averse to calling directly or even driving out and telling you (me !)what he wanted done. You wanted to help him make the system successful, because he valued every employee and made sure you knew it.  Once he asked me to go to a shopping center office (I'd only been in my position maybe 6 months) and speak to the owner/manager about re-routing and re-positioning a bus stand.  Me, a mere underling in the county hierarchy.  I combed my hair and went to speak to a lady I later, privately, came to call the "Dragon Lady" because of her demeanor, but that's another story.   When Dave retired, his replacement was the establishment of  THREE new departments and three new Department Heads and attendant staff.   Was this a better arrangement, more efficient?   None of my colleagues thought so, but , hey, we don't make those decisions.  

Am I making a comment on the present BSA situation?  Am I trying to point out the problems that  our new CEO/CSE/Whatever his title is has instore?   I hope so.  

As to Councils, the franchise idea can work  IF  the COR idea is made to work.   The Pro's work FOR us,  their job(s) is /are to make Scouting easy for us "one hour a week" fellows.  BSA must be made to understand that their success depends on OUR success, on the SCOUTS success.   No outdoor program, no camps,  no Scouts(why do they join?),   no BSA.    Sexual Abuse lawsuits not withstanding,  BSA will stand or fall on the program's ability to please the Scout. Not so much why a kid joins Scouting but why should they STAY?    Dorky uniforms?   Too high fees?   Too many Bling?   Scoutshop too far away? Can't buy Scout necessities at the local hardware store?   Scout Camp just got sold for a high end development?  Rules and Regs seem unnecessary or too strict?   All very possible  "cons", but if Irving/BSA/Councils do not come back to realizing what MADE Scouting so successful in the Past (urban, YSL, Varsity, Skill Badges, HaHa !)  then we are indeed doomed.   

Bill Hillcourt, please call your office

Edited by SSScout
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Maybe national has "control" over SE and maybe that was apparent during the rate increase where national must have put a gag order on SEs.  The SEs were quick to say we have nothing to do with bankruptcy as we are independent fiefdoms.

EB are made up of a number of folks who just want it on theIr biography or emeritus folks who are on there for the pockets. They produce nothing of value.  CORs are invited but most don't go because they see no value added.

how many of you have Executive Committees who meet separately and are made up of the ones approved by the SE.

how many of you see ever any minutes from either group

unless Mr mosby is going to hold council charters to achieve compliance nothing will happen until it might be too late.

JMHO.

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9 hours ago, David CO said:

It sounds to me like you want scouting to be controlled by wealthy elites.  No thank you.  

 

An executive board should be the group that understands the purpose of a council, translates the purpose into specific goals, determines high level policies, creates the high level structure, and selects key leaders.  My understanding is that the executive board is analogous to a board of directors in a public company.

Membership in the executive board should be dictated by who has the skills to do that work. Stacking it with a bunch of high level potentates who are disconnected from Scouting isn't helpful.  You could have the CEO of a fortune 100 company in your council - but if he's just going to come to meetings, approve a few motions, and not otherwise be engaged, we should find someone else.  Similarly, stacking it with a bunch of folks who understand Scouting, but can't translate it into board level activity isn't helpful either.  So, we need to be on the lookout for people with the right combination of specific skills to make a council board successful.

In terms on composition and size - you want a board big enough to get the work done, yet not too big so that it bogs down.  Of course, big boards can work with proper structure.  But in a council setting, it's not necessary.

.From a governance perspective, we need to follow the trend in business.  Employees (SEs & National) should not have significant influence on board membership.  It makes sense that the exec board be chosen by the CORs or their designee.  I would be fine if a COR were to designate a CC to vote on their behalf.

 

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24 minutes ago, PACAN said:

Maybe national has "control" over SE and maybe that was apparent during the rate increase where national must have put a gag order on SEs.  The SEs were quick to say we have nothing to do with bankruptcy as we are independent fiefdoms.

EB are made up of a number of folks who just want it on theIr biography or emeritus folks who are on there for the pockets. They produce nothing of value.  CORs are invited but most don't go because they see no value added.

how many of you have Executive Committees who meet separately and are made up of the ones approved by the SE.

how many of you see ever any minutes from either group

unless Mr mosby is going to hold council charters to achieve compliance nothing will happen until it might be too late.

JMHO.

It's certainly natural for national to want control over the SEs.  National is trying to accomplish certain things and having SEs in councils who largely are in line has it's benefits.

But, it's really not good for national.  Stronger, independent SEs are ultimately going to deliver better results for national.

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1 hour ago, DuctTape said:

I, too, remember scout stuff at Sears and/or JC Penny.

My first uniform came from JC Penny, back in 1964.  I recently bought another of the 60's web belts on ebay, as it was listed as 'never worn'.  When it arrived it was still in the plastic wrap, with a bright, shiny brass buckle and a JC Penny price tag of 45 cents!

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2 hours ago, Jameson76 said:

Now you are into National Supply which is another whole deal.  

My council has generated a CSP for the summer camp.  I was at the office and went to the Scout store, but had to buy the CSP at the program desk.  Seems that (in our council) the large Scout Shop is not the council's deal, but is National Supply run.  The folks who work there are not part of the local council, but are National employees.  My assumption is that National Supply pays rent to the local council for the footprint.

Now, when I realized this, I wondered what the overhead for this must be for National.  The footprint in my council is probably 2,000 SF.  Assuming 2 staff for 8 hours - 6 days per week and rent, just the overhead would be easily $150K annually.  Assuming a profit of 10% on sales, that would mean the store would need to generate $1,500,000 annually or $600 in sales per hour every hour the store is open (assuming 6 days per week and 8 hours per day) JUST TO COVER OVERHEAD.  Also I am likely under estimating overhead and over estimating profit.

National Supply should have everything on-line.  With one DC you could greatly reduce inventory and have a higher fulfillment rate for scout uniforms ordered on-line.  The local council could have 100 SF of shelving for the patches and awards.  

Most clothing items, whether buying from your local Walmart or Macys, has at least a 50% markup over wholesale.  The whole model with National Supply is slated toward max return (it is completely a business for BSA, not a service).  Our council shut down running a "trading post" at the council office- we have two NS run stores that are outside the borders of our council, but are just conveniently located in adjacent towns from either end of the council.  If a council wants to carry items, NS sells to them at a price point they create, such that they are making $, and also controls the retail price that the council sells the items for to you and I.  The same would be true for any third party retail outlet.  So, for example, a pair of the green Thorns hiking socks at retail is $15.99.  NS probably pays $3 to the manufacturer per pair.  They'll sell them to your council or third party for say $10.  Your council/third party is required to retail them at the same $15.99 NS does, so you can't undercut their business.  

I have such problems with NS.  The NS store closest to my area will only sell uniform shirts that they have sewed the purple World Crest and CSP to.  So you pay for the uniform shirt, the World Crest badge, and the CSP, plus a $5 sewing fee.  The manager there refuses to sell the uniform shirts any other way.  I say it is extortion to those who are looking to purchase a new shirt because their kid grew a size and would normally just move their patches from the old uniform to the new.  I contacted NS that they need to step in, this manager has no right to refuse to sell me a shirt without these items.  I got a "we'll look into this matter" - 5 months ago! Nothing in this store has changed.  So, I boycott them.  I travel for work, and visited Scout shops in Florida and Connecticut, both run by NS- the managers there never heard of such a practice.  The local council shop in adjacent council will sell me whatever I want, and charge me actual USPS costs to mail to me.  Purely on principal I'd rather pay the $1.50 postage for USPS on that pair of socks, let that council make some $, than give this manager the satisfaction of padding his sales figures or give NS $7.50 shipping & handling they would charge if I bought online through them.

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"Camp Stigwandish serves as a home to Adventure Camp and National Youth Leadership Training (Lake Erie Council) in the summer and also helps out with the Beaumont Scout Reservation summer camp program [overflow]. September through May, Stigwandish is open to units and families for weekend camping and service area activities! Stigwandish is the primary home to Scouts in Lake, Geauga and Ashtabula counties (OH). This camp is a great place to return to nature, yet still being close to home!"  -- until later in 2020 when it closes. Beaumont Scout  Reservation is 15 minutes from Stigwandish but is already operating at capacity .

Edited by RememberSchiff
Last sentence? Added links for geographic reference.

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In the 60s and before the Executive Boards of councils always had a good number of wealthy individuals who typically were the owners or managers of the most significant commercial entities within the council's territory.  Typically this comprised 30-40% of boards membership.  These individuals raised large sums of money that was used to build and maintain many of the facilities we have today.  They also were the captains of influence within the area and arranged for assistance from other relevant charity organizations, government entities and military organizations.  The BSA Boards in those days were (admittedly) elite institutions -- including some of the individuals referred to as "potentates".  The remainder of the boards typically included accountants, lawyers, mid-to-small business owner/operators and a small selection of program Scouters who had worked their way up through the volunteer ranks to the council board.  When a person of influence with a Scouting background moved into an area, that person often looked to see if he could get on the local BSA executive board -- because that was where he could serve the community meaningfully and gain personal influence through association at the same time.  Board meetings were business affairs and did not obsess over program details -- because that was the purview of the districts and their program-related leadership groups, a deference to those folks was the typical approach. 

Today we are not what we once were with regard to the influence of some of our council executive boards.  Instead of having a predominance of the influencers and financially connected individuals in a community, we have a larger representation of program-oriented volunteers who sometimes view being on the board a right and a means through which to "defend" a priority.  Some of these people do not donate to FOS and a few are even "anti-council". 

Part of this was caused when the BSA adopted Don't Ask Don't Tell in the 90's.  It does not really matter what you think about that issue and is not relevant to this discussion.  But, the effect was that a lot of senior government and corporate people left our council executive boards when their constituents, customers or stockholders demanded it.  Those people were often not replaced with people of similar influence.  We have too many board members who are not net-contributors of influence or finances to our council executive boards and this leads to deformed decision-making.  Fortunately, we are now recovering from the days when service on our boards was viewed in certain quarters as a potentially-toxic affiliation for a community leader.  

Parkman has it right.  My way of saying the same thing is that we need a balance of Executive Board members who are community influence and financial leaders and understand enough about Scouting to gather significant contributions and apply their influence -- and other Board members who are primarily Scouting-oriented, but can evaluate the larger issues by prioritizing what is best overall for the youth.  We have too many of the latter and not enough of the former.

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