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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

Hello All!

First post for me...☺️

Wondering if you could help me understand something???...I see Arrow WV named in the Chap 11 filing.  When I went to Charity Navigator and pulled up their IRS 990 from 2017 (for example), it names Surbaugh as VP and Director, with reportable compensation of $624,714 (page 7 of 45).  When I check BSA National's for same year, it lists Surbaugh with exactly the same compensation (on page 26 of 111).   Any corporate finance gurus out there explain that?  Looks strange to me...

 

 

 

While I make no claim as a finance guru, I understand that Arrow WV is an entity (if that's the right word) that directly ties to the Summit.   So funds, such as a good chunk of the mortgage that National took out on Philmont (without advice/consent of the Philmont Oversight Committee) are steered to the Summit via Arrow WV.  I may have the legal/accounting terminology a bit off, but that's the crux of it.

Edited by desertrat77

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It would seem to me that this info from the BSA information service, would be blasted front and center and very boldly.  Maybe I just missed it.  

More...

Story contributed by Laura Clay, district director, Catuenga, of the Western Los Angeles County Council

As our council’s family Scouting staff advisor, I was working with an organizer for all-girl troop, Troop 642 in Calabasas, CA during August and September when they expressed a desire to reserve Camp Josepho for their troop to do camporee prep. After some discussion with staff in our camping department, as well as other girl troop organizers during our “Scouts BSA Boot Camp” in October, we decided to move forward with a “Trail to First Class” event with the goal of offering an opportunity for girls to easily get a taste of what Scouting is like, as well as connecting all of the brand new troops to one another.

The “Trail to First Class” Event

Once word got out, the Scouting community came together to create an amazing event. We recruited young female staffers from our camps to lead stations and many adults from the new troops stepped up as well. We also spread the word to surrounding councils, as there are several in the Los Angeles area and we could clearly see the desire was there for an event encompassing all the new troops of young women.

At the event, we offered eight stations: swimming, fire-building, knife, ax & saw, first aid, rifles, knots, and nature. Almost all of the staffing was female, as one of our goals was for the girls to see other female role models already in Scouting. During campfire, our council commissioner, Jessica Pazdernik, spoke about what Scouting meant to her, how she was proud of her daughter now being invited to join, and how the girls can step up to be leaders in their community by supporting each other. We also had guest speaker Sherri Zhu from a company that sends youth from China to our Scout camps talk about the international Scouting movement.

The mood was electric, with 100+ new Scouts from 20 troops across 7 councils – Orange County, GLAAC, WLACC, Venture County, Verdugo Hills, Los Padres, and California Inland Empire – and lots of excitement from the girls, their leaders, staff, and everyone who came out to visit. “I was feeling burnt out as a volunteer, but this event and the invitation of girls into Scouting has re-energized me completely,” shared Howard Schwartz of Troop 642.

The girls left not only with several requirements towards the first few ranks, but they also gained lasting friendships as well! I’ve seen many girls tagging each other on social media about the event and in news coverage for girls’ troops since then! 

To see more photos from the event, check out their Flickr album. Councils are encouraged to orchestrate similar events in their communities to continue building the momentum of welcoming girls into Scouting.

Scouting Wire would like to thank Laura Clay for contributing this story.

 
 
Published in Scouting.org News
 
 
 
 
 
 

642709e57a.jpegPlease help us congratulate George Villalobos, who will serve as Scout executive of the Ventura County Council in Camarillo, California effective June 1, 2019.

George began his Scouting career as a district executive at the Los Angeles Area Council in Los Angeles, California. During his tenure with the council, now known as the Greater Los Angeles Area Council, he successfully served as director of all markets, director of development, director of field service, and for the last three years as deputy Scout executive.

George enjoys outdoor activities including golf, hiking, and camping. Most of all, he enjoys time spent with family, reading, and being active in the community.

George and his wife, Lorraine, have two Eagle Scout sons, George and David. They also have a daughter, Rachel, who claims she would have been an Eagle Scout as well.

In the comments below, please join us in congratulating George as he joins in partnership with the volunteers and staff of the Ventura County Council to deliver quality Scouting experiences to the young people of the communities they serve.

 
 
Published in Scouting.org News
 
 
 
 
 
 

You may have heard media coverage discussing the Boy Scouts of America’s Volunteer Screening Database and our organization’s Youth Protection efforts. The safety of children in our Scouting programs is our top priority. As an organization, we have an important duty and an incredible opportunity to focus on keeping children safe, supported, and protected. 

Our Volunteer Screening Database, previously known as “Ineligible Volunteer Files,” is at the forefront of youth protection procedures. While it has often been misunderstood and criticized, time and time again it has successfully prevented potential predators from re-joining our organization and gaining access to youth – which is precisely why we have been maintaining these records since the 1920s. 

The database system is one of the approaches most often recommended by experts, including the Centers for Disease Control, to keep kids safe and is a collection of information on individuals who, due to past inappropriate behavior or suspicion of inappropriate behavior, are prohibited from participating in BSA programs.

How the Volunteer Screening Database (VSD) works:

  • Individuals are added to the Volunteer Screening Database based on violations of our policies, or suspected violations of our policies. They don’t need to have been convicted to be added to the VSD. We have a very low threshold for removing someone from our scouting programs. Again – this is because our priority is to protect kids, first and foremost, above all else. We believe victims and routinely remove individuals based on only allegations of inappropriate behavior.
  • When an individual is added to the VSD, they are removed entirely from any Scouting program. They are also prohibited from re-joining anywhere.
  • Every instance of suspected abuse is reported to law enforcement. Once the individual has been removed from Scouting and has been reported to law enforcement, the BSA has no other avenue for further investigation or public disclosure. 

Our goals for protecting children go beyond our organization– we seek to be part of the solution both in and out of Scouting.

The BSA fully supports and advocates for the creation of a national registry overseen by a governmental entity, similar to the national sex offender registry, of those who are suspected of child abuse or inappropriate behavior with a child, and thus allowing all youth serving organizations to share and access such information. We have advocated to Congress for enhanced youth protection policies, initiatives, and efforts. Specifically, BSA has recommended to Congress the following programs and ideas that independent experts agree will keep children safe, including:

  • Establishing and funding a system where volunteers can register/be cleared through a common screening process for all states and organizations, with an affordable process for conducting background checks and periodically renewing the clearance to reduce the risk that potential abusers can gain access to children by moving across state lines or to other youth serving organizations;
  • Enabling youth-serving organizations to share information about individuals who have been removed from their programs for alleged inappropriate conduct – even if the individuals have not been arrested or convicted – to keep potential abusers out of these organizations;
  • Strengthening mandatory reporting laws; and,
  • Requiring that sex abuse offenders serve full sentences.

We are optimistic about these efforts because we know that they will make a difference – we have seen firsthand the impact they’ve had on our own organization’s steps to protect children.

For more information on BSA’s Youth Protection efforts, please visit Scouting.org/YouthProtection.

 
 
Published in Scouting.org News

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Posted (edited)

Just a little litigation update.  You may recall that the Girl Scouts of the USA sued the Boy Scouts of America in federal court in New York, alleging violations of trademark law by BSA.  Generally, GSUSA claims that when referring to a program for boys, BSA has exclusive right to terms like "Scout" and "Scouts," and when referring to a program for girls, GSUSA has exclusive right to "Scout" or "Scouts."  So when BSA uses "Scout" or "Scouts" when referring to girls in BSA programs, it creates confusion and infringes on GSUSA's trademark.  That case is still in the "discovery" stage, in which the sides seek to obtain all kinds of information from each other to support their claims and defenses.  BSA has notified the New York court that it is now in Chapter 11 in bankruptcy court in Delaware and that the "automatic stay" under bankruptcy law halts all other ongoing litigation.  The New York court has now ordered GSUSA to ask the bankruptcy court to allow the trademark suit to continue in New York. 

Edited by dkurtenbach
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10 hours ago, dkurtenbach said:

...BSA has notified the New York court that it is now in Chapter 11 in bankruptcy court in Delaware and that the "automatic stay" under bankruptcy law halts all other ongoing litigation.  The New York court has now ordered GSUSA to ask the bankruptcy court to allow the trademark suit to continue in New York. 

3/10/2020:

GSUSA motion for relief of automatic stay request  to resume trademark action

https://casedocs.omniagentsolutions.com/cmsvol2/pub_47373/805656_155.pdf

GSUSA 88 page brief in support of that motion

https://casedocs.omniagentsolutions.com/cmsvol2/pub_47373/805658_157.pdf

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20 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

3/10/2020:

GSUSA motion for relief of automatic stay request  to resume trademark action

https://casedocs.omniagentsolutions.com/cmsvol2/pub_47373/805656_155.pdf

GSUSA 88 page brief in support of that motion

https://casedocs.omniagentsolutions.com/cmsvol2/pub_47373/805658_157.pdf

From the GSUSA brief at p.7:

Moreover, the association between the Girl Scouts’ brand, long a symbol of girl empowerment,
and that of the Boy Scouts’ brand, one mired in ever-mounting scandals regarding sexual abuse,
has caused further harm to the Girl Scouts by tarnishing its unique and historic legacy.

And from pp. 12-13:

The continued use of the SCOUT mark and variations thereof in connection with all of
Boy Scouts’ core programs offered to girls of all ages on a nationwide basis has diluted and will
continue to dilute Girl Scouts’ famous GIRL SCOUTS trademark by blurring its distinctiveness
and creating an improper and inaccurate association with Boy Scouts. Such improper
associations are of particular concern to Girl Scouts because Boy Scouts has received significant
negative publicity regarding its activities conducted under the BOY SCOUTS and SCOUTS 
marks, such that the goodwill associated with those terms when used in connection with boys’
leadership development services has been damaged.

In particular, there have been lawsuits and media articles alleging: a poor child safety
record with respect to certain aspects of Boy Scouts’ programs; acts of misconduct perpetrated
by some of its leaders over the years; and Boy Scouts’ decision to lobby against child protection
statutes in certain states. The threat to the Girl Scouts’ brand has become more pronounced
with the commencement of this Bankruptcy Case and the negative publicity that comes with it.
This Bankruptcy Case in particular will be accompanied by more negative publicity than would
be expected in the normal course of a bankruptcy proceeding, as the aforementioned sexual
abuse scandals and lawsuits at the heart of the bankruptcy will receive increased press scrutiny.

 

 

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And a little glimpse of what modern business litigation looks like, from page 15 of the GSUSA brief:

In the Trademark Action, the parties have:
• produced more than 350,000 pages of documents,
• completed 37 fact depositions,
• collected documents from the majority of the 15 subpoenaed third parties,
• nearly completed document collections from 14 Girl Scout councils and 18 Boy
Scout councils, and
• exchanged opening round expert reports concerned with consumer surveys.

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Posted (edited)

If the GSUSA is granted relief to proceed with the trademark lawsuit in NY,  is the GSUSA then removed from the Chapter 11 select creditor panel?

I did not understand their selection as their claims appear wholly based on damages yet to be "proven" in that trademark lawsuit. :confused:

Edited by RememberSchiff

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On 3/6/2020 at 12:55 PM, InquisitiveScouter said:

Hello All!

First post for me...☺️

Wondering if you could help me understand something???...I see Arrow WV named in the Chap 11 filing.  When I went to Charity Navigator and pulled up their IRS 990 from 2017 (for example), it names Surbaugh as VP and Director, with reportable compensation of $624,714 (page 7 of 45).  When I check BSA National's for same year, it lists Surbaugh with exactly the same compensation (on page 26 of 111).   Any corporate finance gurus out there explain that?  Looks strange to me...

So to build the Summit BSA formed a corp (Arrow WV).  That group sold bonds, etc to finance the endeavor.  The Arrow WV group "borrowed" funds from BSA to build the great and powerful Summit.  This amount more than doubled and donations dwindled, but we digress.  This is now listed as an asset (receivables) somewhere north of $400 million.  If Summit is worth that much, have I got a deal for you on some bundled mortgages.

Here is an article from 2013 that highlights the impending challenger

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-boyscouts-finances-specialreport/special-report-a-439-million-camp-adds-to-boy-scouts-money-crunch-idUSBRE96E08B20130715

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5 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

If the GSUSA is granted relief to proceed with the trademark lawsuit in NY,  is the GSUSA then removed from the Chapter 11 select creditor panel?

I did not understand their selection as their claims appear wholly based on damages yet to be "proven" in that trademark lawsuit. :confused:

I suspect that given the amount GSUSA is asking for in its claim, it will remain on the panel.  Any and all claims must still (1) be determined to be valid (that BSA owes something to the claimant), (2) have the full amount of a valid claim determined (how much BSA owes to the claimant), (3) have a determination of how, and how much, valid claims will actually be paid from the available assets.  The validity and amount of many claims will be undisputed.  The validity of many claims will be undisputed, but the amount owed will be disputed.  And both the validity and amount of many claims (like GSUSA's) will be disputed.  Whenever there is a dispute, it has to be resolved through some process in the bankruptcy court (such as an "adversary action," essentially a sub-lawsuit within the greater bankruptcy), or a process overseen by the bankruptcy court (negotiation, mediation), or a process authorized by the bankruptcy court (a lawsuit in another court -- what GSUSA is asking for).  Once the dispute is resolved, the result still has to be rolled into the bigger bankruptcy's overall resolution and payment.

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Posted (edited)
On 3/11/2020 at 10:26 AM, Jameson76 said:

So to build the Summit BSA formed a corp (Arrow WV).  That group sold bonds, etc to finance the endeavor.  The Arrow WV group "borrowed" funds from BSA to build the great and powerful Summit.  This amount more than doubled and donations dwindled, but we digress.  This is now listed as an asset (receivables) somewhere north of $400 million.  If Summit is worth that much, have I got a deal for you on some bundled mortgages.

Here is an article from 2013 that highlights the impending challenger

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-boyscouts-finances-specialreport/special-report-a-439-million-camp-adds-to-boy-scouts-money-crunch-idUSBRE96E08B20130715

And how were  the Bechtel folks included in all this?   When the Summit was being dreamed/designed/built, the story I heard (files somewhere)was that Bechtel gave (?) $25M to purchase the reclaimed strip-mine site from WbygodV and then another umpteen million for the construction, roads, infra structure etc.   How is this included, or were we misled?  

Edited by SSScout

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I get the corporate structuring of Arrow and BSA.  What I was writing about earlier was that Surbaugh was an officer of the two separate 501c3s, but being paid the exact same salary from both.  Doesn't really pass the sniff test...

 

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Posted (edited)
On 3/7/2020 at 10:07 PM, skeptic said:

You may have heard media coverage discussing the Boy Scouts of America’s Volunteer Screening Database and our organization’s Youth Protection efforts. The safety of children in our Scouting programs is our top priority. As an organization, we have an important duty and an incredible opportunity to focus on keeping children safe, supported, and protected. 

Our Volunteer Screening Database, previously known as “Ineligible Volunteer Files,” is at the forefront of youth protection procedures. While it has often been misunderstood and criticized, time and time again it has successfully prevented potential predators from re-joining our organization and gaining access to youth – which is precisely why we have been maintaining these records since the 1920s. 

The database system is one of the approaches most often recommended by experts, including the Centers for Disease Control, to keep kids safe and is a collection of information on individuals who, due to past inappropriate behavior or suspicion of inappropriate behavior, are prohibited from participating in BSA programs.

How the Volunteer Screening Database (VSD) works:

  • Individuals are added to the Volunteer Screening Database based on violations of our policies, or suspected violations of our policies. They don’t need to have been convicted to be added to the VSD. We have a very low threshold for removing someone from our scouting programs. Again – this is because our priority is to protect kids, first and foremost, above all else. We believe victims and routinely remove individuals based on only allegations of inappropriate behavior.
  • When an individual is added to the VSD, they are removed entirely from any Scouting program. They are also prohibited from re-joining anywhere.
  • Every instance of suspected abuse is reported to law enforcement. Once the individual has been removed from Scouting and has been reported to law enforcement, the BSA has no other avenue for further investigation or public disclosure. 

Our goals for protecting children go beyond our organization– we seek to be part of the solution both in and out of Scouting.

The BSA fully supports and advocates for the creation of a national registry overseen by a governmental entity, similar to the national sex offender registry, of those who are suspected of child abuse or inappropriate behavior with a child, and thus allowing all youth serving organizations to share and access such information. We have advocated to Congress for enhanced youth protection policies, initiatives, and efforts. Specifically, BSA has recommended to Congress the following programs and ideas that independent experts agree will keep children safe, including:

  • Establishing and funding a system where volunteers can register/be cleared through a common screening process for all states and organizations, with an affordable process for conducting background checks and periodically renewing the clearance to reduce the risk that potential abusers can gain access to children by moving across state lines or to other youth serving organizations;
  • Enabling youth-serving organizations to share information about individuals who have been removed from their programs for alleged inappropriate conduct – even if the individuals have not been arrested or convicted – to keep potential abusers out of these organizations;
  • Strengthening mandatory reporting laws; and,
  • Requiring that sex abuse offenders serve full sentences.

We are optimistic about these efforts because we know that they will make a difference – we have seen firsthand the impact they’ve had on our own organization’s steps to protect children.

For more information on BSA’s Youth Protection efforts, please visit Scouting.org/YouthProtection.

 
 
Published in Scouting.org News

Somehow I ended up with far more here than intended, and I am unable to figure out how to fix it, as the edit feature is not obvious to me, if it is there.  The only part I was trying to feature was the Screening discussion, not the other material.  If someone can fix that, I would appreciate it.  Or, it can just go dormant on its own I guess.  Thanks.

Edited by desertrat77
By request

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54 minutes ago, SSScout said:

And how were  the Bechtel folks included in all this?   When the Summit was being dreamed/designed/built, the story I heard (files somewhere)was that Bechtel gave (?) $25M to purchase the reclaimed strip-mine site from WbygodV and then another umpteen million for the construction, roads, infra structure etc.   How is this included, or were we misled?  

I would say all the facts were not laid bare is a good way to put it.  The original cost estimates to build the place were way off, and the BSA had put way too much stock into donations being received that had never been guaranteed.  

I hate to disparage the place, especially never having been there, but what they offer looks to be things our scouts can get here in New England (and I would say that is true for most of the US- there are some fantastic mountains, rivers, and zip lines elsewhere, with many guide outfits ready to work with you).  If we were to think about rolling out of New England for a HA base, the Summit would be at the bottom of our list.  

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27 minutes ago, skeptic said:

Somehow I ended up with far more here than intended, and I am unable to figure out how to fix it, as the edit feature is not obvious to me, if it is there.  The only part I was trying to feature was the Screening discussion, not the other material.  If someone can fix that, I would appreciate it.  Or, it can just go dormant on its own I guess.  Thanks.

Curious to what others think: should IH/COR's have access to this database? I would say the intent right now is that new applicants will be screened by the Council office to the National database, but, what is the timeframe for that to occur? Say you have an adult approach the unit to become a volunteer.  They hang around the unit meeting, then fill out an application.  The unit submits the application say a week later to Council, and Council takes a week to screen it.  Conceivably the unit has had this person around the youth for two weeks before you get any notification that this person is persona non grata.  I would say protection of privacy is important, but I feel like the unit should want to get the response ASAP.   

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