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Cburkhardt

Positive Council Changes during Financial Reorganization

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1 hour ago, Cburkhardt said:

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.  

This is exactly what I am against, and why I dislike councils so much.  

 

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If you have been following the college admissions scandal, there is something you can take away from it.  People are sick and tired of having wealthy people buy their way into positions that, by all rights, ought to be earned.  People who bypass the admissions process and buy their kids way into college can go to jail.

Now, I am not a socialist.  It is no business of mine how much money somebody else makes, how big a house he lives in, or how nice a car he drives.   But unlike houses and cars, some things should not be for sale.  When my kid tries out for a baseball team, he should have the same consideration as the kid from the wealthiest family in town.  When he goes to college, he should be judged by his grades and not by his parents' bank account.

Everyone should come into scouting on an equal basis.  The idea that awards and positions should be gotten based on money and social status is morally repugnant.  

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1 hour ago, David CO said:

If you have been following the college admissions scandal, there is something you can take away from it.  People are sick and tired of having wealthy people buy their way into positions that, by all rights, ought to be earned.  People who bypass the admissions process and buy their kids way into college can go to jail.

Now, I am not a socialist.  It is no business of mine how much money somebody else makes, how big a house he lives in, or how nice a car he drives.   But unlike houses and cars, some things should not be for sale.  When my kid tries out for a baseball team, he should have the same consideration as the kid from the wealthiest family in town.  When he goes to college, he should be judged by his grades and not by his parents' bank account.

Everyone should come into scouting on an equal basis.  The idea that awards and positions should be gotten based on money and social status is morally repugnant.  

I largely agree with you here.  I generally dislike royalty myself.

In clarifying the purpose and goals of the executive board, I think we'd find that there would be board committee that would develop board level knowledge in specific areas.  I think those area would largely mirror what we see in district & council committees.  You'd have:

  • staff oversight
  • strategy
  • program
  • finance & fundraising
  • membership

Generally, I think Scouting experience would be a benefit in these roles.  For some it would be essential.  For example, the strategy & program committees should consist of those most familiar with the BSA.  Staff oversight should probably consist of those people who interact with the staff the most - district & unit key three leaders.  Membership would fall somewhere in the middle - people who know why kids join scouting, but also are aware of how to market the organization.  The finance & fundraising committee could consist of those people with less experience. 

But again, we need to let the needs of the roles drive the experience.  Just as I dislike royalty, so too do I disagree that this is a tenure system.  You don't serve for 20 years and get a seat on the board.  

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On 2/7/2020 at 8:47 AM, Jameson76 said:

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.  

I think your math is "reasonable" but off. 

I bet the stores break even if they average $100 per hour of sales.  The issue is the profit.  I'm betting the average profit is 50%.  Some profit is higher.  Even clearance is probably at least 20%.  ... Space at $40k to $50k per year.  With the store open 3,120 hours, that is space at $15 per hour roughly.  

Space at $15 per hour plus two employees at $13 per hour.  Make it $20 per hour each with benefits.  That's an overhead cost of $50 to $60 per hour.   I'm betting $100 sales has store breaking even.  Annually, breaking event at $300k of sales every year.  

 

 

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On 2/4/2020 at 10:54 AM, Cburkhardt said:

How can the coming Financial Reorganization Bankruptcy improve things at the council level? 

Not really council, but unit.   With national not paying rent to councils and councils needing to reduce overhead ... and with more sales on-line (reduce overhead) ... maybe there is the slightest chance patches, advancement, uniforms and printed materials could become cheaper.  I understand $10 for a scout handbook, but the leader materials should be free as PDFs. 

 

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I am not a promoter of royalty and am not a highest-asset person myself.  But, as a former council president of a large metropolitan area and as the administrative VP of a small council I am personally aware that many local council Executive Boards have lost their connectivity to high-asset and high-influence individuals who can provide the finance and fundraising expertise Parkman references -- as well as very significant contributions from themselves and friends.  These are not lofty nose-in-the air prigs -- who should be avoided.  Rather, these are more-typically highly-successful Eagle Scouts and others in the active phase of their careers who have some kind of connectivity to Scouting and who can be recruited to provide the leadership to the finance and fundraising needs of councils.  They typically know a lot about management and could be helpful on strategy and personnel matters as well.  We have an excessive number of folks who have permanently "graduated" to Executive Board membership status where they participate and contribute minimally.  Councils are increasingly starved for finances, and product sales and FOS are not replacing the previous large dollar contributions from the folks I am referencing.  It just cannot hurt to have a reasonable representation of the leadership of the larger economic entities from your territory on your Executive Board.  I don't intend to be harsh or inappropriate, but the BSA is headed toward financial tough times and we need to identify and recruit these kinds of people.

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1 hour ago, Cburkhardt said:

It just cannot hurt to have a reasonable representation of the leadership of the larger economic entities from your territory on your Executive Board. 


Sure it can hurt.  It can hurt a lot.  To start with, it can hurt to the tune of a tax for another $60 per year per scout.  It can hurt by doubling the annual dues.  It can hurt by charging exorbitant prices for uniforms.  The list of hurts goes on and on.

One thing is clear.  The wealthy don't care about the poor.  Put them on a board, and you will not end up with good programs and modest scout camps. You end up with the summit.

The wealthy board members have a quid pro quo arrangement with the scout executives.  The SE appoints them to the boards.  They return the favor by giving the SE job security.  Neither of them give a fig for the Chartered Organizations, the units, or the scouts.  This is council.

Edited by David CO
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14 hours ago, fred8033 said:

I understand $10 for a scout handbook, but the leader materials should be free as PDFs. 

 

Cub leader guides are free PDFs now, at the new Den leader experience in Scoutbook.

 

i have yet to be unable to find anything out there with a little searching.  


Our Council gives out flash drives with everything available if you take any training course.

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1 hour ago, David CO said:


Sure it can hurt.  It can hurt a lot.  To start with, it can hurt to the tune of a tax for another $60 per year per scout.  It can hurt by doubling the annual dues.  It can hurt by charging exorbitant prices for uniforms.  The list of hurts goes on and on.

One thing is clear.  The wealthy don't care about the poor.  Put them on a board, and you will not end up with good programs and modest scout camps. You end up with the summit.

The wealthy board members have a quid pro quo arrangement with the scout executives.  The SE appoints them to the boards.  They return the favor by giving the SE job security.  Neither of them give a fig for the Chartered Organizations, the units, or the scouts.  This is council.

It doesn't have to be this way. The quid pro quo in days gone by was the networking between the business leaders in exchange for their businesses supporting scouts both financially and with time. It is unfortunate that todays business leaders see scouting, education, community, etc... as a resource for their business to exploit instead of engaging as partners (with their "payout" being the networking between each other). It is short sighted on their part.

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These are the high-asset people I have said we need more of on our council executive boards:

"... highly-successful Eagle Scouts and others in the active phase of their careers who have some kind of connectivity to Scouting and who can be recruited to provide the leadership to the finance and fundraising needs of councils.  They typically know a lot about management and could be helpful on strategy and personnel matters as well."

Applying an upward limit test on a person's wealth in order to serve on a BSA board is not unlike applying a minimum net asset test to be a member of a BSA board.  We certainly should not do either and I hope that is what you are suggesting.  The thrust of my comment is simply that we lost the practice of recruiting local economic leaders to take a turn on our local council executive boards over the last 20 years and are seeing a negative effect both in terms of lowered financial prospects and the quality of decision making at the local level.  We need a variety of positively-spirited people with different backgrounds.  Highly-successful and economically influential people should be restored as part of our mix.

 

 

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24 minutes ago, Cburkhardt said:

 

Applying an upward limit test on a person's wealth in order to serve on a BSA board is not unlike applying a minimum net asset test to be a member of a BSA board.  We certainly should not do either and I hope that is what you are suggesting.  

 

I agree.  We should not do either.

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26 minutes ago, Cburkhardt said:

Highly-successful and economically influential people should be restored as part of our mix.

It sounds as if you are contradicting your previous statement.

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2 hours ago, Cburkhardt said:

These are the high-asset people I have said we need more of on our council executive boards:

"... highly-successful Eagle Scouts and others in the active phase of their careers who have some kind of connectivity to Scouting and who can be recruited to provide the leadership to the finance and fundraising needs of councils.  They typically know a lot about management and could be helpful on strategy and personnel matters as well."

Applying an upward limit test on a person's wealth in order to serve on a BSA board is not unlike applying a minimum net asset test to be a member of a BSA board.  We certainly should not do either and I hope that is what you are suggesting.  The thrust of my comment is simply that we lost the practice of recruiting local economic leaders to take a turn on our local council executive boards over the last 20 years and are seeing a negative effect both in terms of lowered financial prospects and the quality of decision making at the local level.  We need a variety of positively-spirited people with different backgrounds.  Highly-successful and economically influential people should be restored as part of our mix.

 

 

Fully agree here.  I am sure that it is very helpful to have people of this type on the board.

I think a lot of this comes back to board credibility.  I get the sense that the credibility of council boards is at a low at this point in time.  Further, I think the same can be said for Scouting professionals.  Reductions in programming, increases in costs, mandates on rules have developed a rift between the unit volunteers and professionals/board.  The BSA needs to  be paying attention to credibility here.  Stacking a board with lots of disconnected, successful, high-net worth people doesn't breed confidence.  50, 75 years ago the world was different.  Today, qualifications and experience matter much more.

 

 

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21 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

Fully agree here.  I am sure that it is very helpful to have people of this type on the board.

I think a lot of this comes back to board credibility.  I get the sense that the credibility of council boards is at a low at this point in time.  Further, I think the same can be said for Scouting professionals.  Reductions in programming, increases in costs, mandates on rules have developed a rift between the unit volunteers and professionals/board.  The BSA needs to  be paying attention to credibility here.  Stacking a board with lots of disconnected, successful, high-net worth people doesn't breed confidence.  50, 75 years ago the world was different.  Today, qualifications and experience matter much more.

 

 

OK, so who recruits these people? Maybe we are looking for the wrong experts.

Barry

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12 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

OK, so who recruits these people? Maybe we are looking for the wrong experts.

Barry

I think there are different types of people needed. Those that understand bureaucracies, those that understand scouting and those that understand the kids in their community.

I wish luck to anyone looking to change their board.

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