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Chapter 11 announced

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Good thoughts, and certainly of import.  The larger question is how do we "actually" screen our applicants?  Other than hearsay from friends and acquaintances, how do we make an educated and rational decision to even go to the actual registration point, and how do we do a "non" official interaction?  None of the safeguards are foolproof, no matter how much we try to make them so.  The worst actors are often also the most tenacious and scheming.  I know we generally discuss unexpected individuals coming forward with no direct apparent connection to the unit or its members.  But, since we encourage Eagles, for example, to come back to Scouting as their lives allow, often after college and so on, we can not out of hand say someone is suspicious simply because they are not attached to a family/group member.  When I first got involved I was on base in the service.  Later, I was simply looking to get reinvolved in a program I feel and felt had merit.  The first two times I attempted that later adult involvement, the local council ignored me, for what ever reason.  When the Great Western, at the time, responded immediately, I was hooked for life.  It is common sense and balance.  Unfamiliar individuals likely need to be kept at arms length until proper checks and observation can occur.  On occasion, we may have someone that is fine, but does not have the interaction skills we may need.  They may have another way to be involved though.  We need the skill levels of many, and we should NOT drive away someone for no reason, other than "they have no kids involved" concerns.  After all, most of the camp staffs are made up of young people with "no kids" and who are just trying to stay involved.  

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6 hours 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 will not comment on the misled, in my opinion, mis-managed or mis-judged

Yes the land maybe was provided, but costs spiraled up as the wish list was made.  Also two driving factors, and honestly cannot find the original documents, the Summit was to be paid in two main ways.  

  • Donations - which lag behind
  • Attendance in NON Jamboree years - which lag behind

The attendance was supposed to be heavy as the typical marketing stuff, 65% of the BSA is within XX hours to drive there.  It will be the new Scouting mecca.  I know for a fact that Summit reached out to local council camps to try and get them to be a "portal" for Scouts to do High Adventure.  Scouts check in at council camps then they (and their camp fees) head up to Summit.  Obviously the councils likely have their own HA summer camp stuff and they also need the revenue, so that has not panned out.

Combine all of that; No Control of Cost, Low Donations, unrealistic attendance...you end up $400MM in debt and no real way to right the ship.  Just kick the can and the bond debt down the road a might.

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The effort was originally simply to have a jamboree site.  The Goshen Scout Reservation in the Shenandoah was chosen as the site (National Capital Area Council).  A group of national volunteers decided to amp-up the concept into something that would transform BSA programming with extreme sports and other things.  That led to where we are.  The use of the facility during the non-Jambo years is the fundamental weakness.

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There is an unusual ability for the BSA to profit from Summit if they can assemble the right amenities and promote the place.  That is because WV changed its constitution by a statewide vote to allow the BSA to actively profit from the site by hosting private profit-making services.  

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Cburkhardt said:

There is an unusual ability for the BSA to profit from Summit if they can assemble the right amenities and promote the place.  That is because WV changed its constitution by a statewide vote to allow the BSA to actively profit from the site by hosting private profit-making services.  

The BSA successfully lobbied to change the WV Constitution. In Nov, 2014, voters approved the amendment which allowed just one non-profit (BSA) to rent their facilities to for-profit groups.

As far as I know, the Summit has not been financially self-sustaining as promised. 

Edited by RememberSchiff
need coffee
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Hopefully we will hold on to the bases through the bankruptcy.  If so, part of the future of the Summit would be to maximize it as a publicly available facility families could visit as part of visits to the new river gorge national park property.  They could stay there in the same way families stay at national park lodges and campgrounds.  Another concept has been to have national-class sporting events originate from the site.  These are examples of potentially profitable uses of the summit that rely on a positive image for Scouting.  One bright spot is that the Asst.Chief in charge of the bases at this time is precisely who we need.  Al Lambert is a program oriented “Scouter’s Scouter” who can do it if properly supported.

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32 minutes ago, Cburkhardt said:

Hopefully we will hold on to the bases through the bankruptcy.  ...

Or, maybe not. Consider the trajectory of membership growth since the addition of And agressively promotion HA bases.

If BSA isn't squandering $$ on swaths of property inaccessible by most scouts (by miles and fees) it might just afford to keep costs down, thereby affording more members.

If all the litigants asked for were titles to property, I'd give it them in a heartbeat.

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Remember to attract outside bookings at Summit, e.g. Spartan Race, the BSA changed their long-standing GSS policy stipulating no alcohol on scout property.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

And now the policy is it's not allowed if it's not allowed, but the language of prohibition was eliminated.  Duh!  Only "should" left - not mandatory.

Edited by TAHAWK

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8 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

The BSA successfully lobbied to change the WV Constitution. In Nov, 2014, voters approved the amendment which allowed just one non-profit (BSA) to rent their facilities to for-profit groups.

As far as I know, the Summit has not been financially self-sustaining as promised. 

These are not exactly 5 star facilities.  At the surface, maybe, but it is NOT a conference center.  Actually what is expected in a "conference" center has changed substantially in the last 20 years.  Now you want to be able to fly in, easy access, good facilities, hotel rooms, great dining, maybe some offsite entertainment (Top Golf / Regular Golf / Entertainment complex) to add to the conference.

Not sure the recovered strip mine has that

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@qwazse  I love your  "trajectory of membership growth" statement.  The end of 2019 numbers showed around 40%  of the membership as Scouts BSA or Ventures/Sea Scouts 800k out of 2M.   These are the eligible attendees of the HA camps.   The impact of the LDS is not included but  is rumored to be up to 300k loss.  These numbers do not bode well for the BSA HA camps anytime soon.

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The benefit of our going through the reorganization bankruptcy is that the need for the BSA to have each base will get close scrutiny and the economics of current base operations will come under the eyes of experienced operations people.  The BSA will genuinely need to prove to very hostile parties that these facilities are indeed required for going-forward operations.  And, DIP management will need to show that each base will not be a money-loser.  In a way you will all get what you want out of this process, and it will all be conducted in a very open manner.  There will be no secrets.

This is just a hunch, but it might be that it will be easier to meet those proof standards with regard to Philmont and the Sea Base.  

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3 hours ago, Cburkhardt said:

it might be that it will be easier to meet those proof standards with regard to Philmont and the Sea Base.  

And Northern Tier.

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I realise that the Summits Perry Park is not a highly promoted venue but when I had an oppertunity to visit I was amazed at the opulence located in a scout camp and the learning center that is still under construction is a modern and amazing structure by any standards. Amazing and beautiful projects but I hope in ten years they are not boarded up and filled with cobwebs.

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