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Cburkhardt

Your advice to the BSA National Executive Board?

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13 minutes ago, carebear3895 said:

We are losing money left and right. Council leadership is pushing us hard to collect with FOS and it's really starting to mess with me mentally. I can't keep going into meetings where people have nothing left and have the gull to ask for money. 

If our council go to the program fee, which I think they will, then I'm out. they can nickle and dime the scouters, but I won't be the one they send, not anymore. 

EDIT: Also, it's much for than 18%

I know it is hard, and I am glad I did not make a career out of of being a professional. Locally we have lost a lot of key district level volunteers and big FOS donors because of BSA's membership changes over the past 8 years. Our DEs are stretched thin, and service is not like it use to be. Our volunteers and families do not see any benefit for their FOS pledges, and  that is down. Add in National's last minute fee increases and some families that still do FOS had to renege on their pledges to pay for  the fee increases. I was one of them. Which in turn further hurts local council support.

And the negative publicity is not helping. These lawsuits are coming from 30-60 years ago, and the perpetrators are dead. Mandatory reporter laws were non existent, and  what the parents wanted prevailed. So if a parent didn't want it reported to authorities, it wasn't. But we are now getting the blame.

The 18% was in reference to the LDS Church. I know the percentage is much higher compared to 8 years ago.

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Now is the time to look back at all of the suggestions made on this site earlier in the year to focus the councils on the units and districts.  The PPP loan/grant infusions should be used to preserve our field and program staff.  Councils should act now to make permanent many of the furloughs of personnel who are not essential to provide unit service and program.  The virus circumstance will allow councils to sort who is and who is not necessary to support units.  Residential camping properties that are big revenue losers will be extreme revenue losers this year, because there will be no camp fees coming in.  Many will never re-open and Scouters will be open to going elsewhere after we resume in a year (or maybe two).  It will all become quite clear.  Will the key volunteer leadership at the council level act rationally or will they "go down with the ship" 

As for national, look for the furloughs to become permanent.  Liability insurance rates will continue to climb, but personnel costs will be cut by 2/3.  There is little left to "manage" at this point.  Responsible councils will be on their own and will receive little guidance from natinal executives.  Irresponsible councils will be no more. 

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51 minutes ago, carebear3895 said:

This is a garbage take. I'm sorry people were dying and we closed our offices, like almost every other business did, because there was a tangible danger to Scouts and Scouters. This is a really far reach to push the "professional evil" idea. We were trying to come up with every virtual idea out there because almost all of our units decided themselves that it was too dangerous to meet. It that was BP envisioned for the BSA program? heck no. But I'm sure he also didn't envision a global pandemic shutting down the country either. Virtual meeting are a heck of a lot better than no meeting at all. 

you're basically saying "The volunteers were out there saving scouting while the professionals were cowering and destroying the program because they didn't wait for the proper guidelines that came out 2 months too late". I think that is one of the most silly things i've read on this website. Can you imagine the liability lawsuits we would face? 

Moderate yourself. 

Sorry you are having a bad day.

My unit and I will continue our work to deliver the Promise, with or without help from up the chain in spite of Chapter 11, GSUSA trademark suit, covid-19, ticks (bumper year), weather, ...

Never said they were "evil". If I could get Council to do their part with EBOR and paperwork for our end of year, even answering our email beyond replying with a donation form...something.

My $0.02,

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Cburkhardt said:

...Residential camping properties that are big revenue losers will be extreme revenue losers this year, because there will be no camp fees coming in.  Many will never re-open and Scouters will be open to going elsewhere after we resume in a year (or maybe two).

I'm not a fan of family camping in Scouting but it may be a solution for this summer as mentioned in thread Summer Camps and the Coronavirus by new member @ScouterStL 

Instead, we will open many of our summer camp facilities to individual families to enjoy the great outdoors safely with self-guided family camping and day trip activities. 

and senior member @fred8033 

I'd contribute a lot of our summer camp funds to allow my son and I to camp in our traditional camp spot even if just for one or two nights overnight.  Absolutely great idea.  Heck, I'd make it a family camp for those in my house.  What a great idea.  We wouldn't even need to leave the camp site much because it's big enough. 

Consider a patrol safely (mask, distance) gathering in a park to plan a family scouting campout.

QM provides tents for those families who need. APL demonstrates how to setup tent. PL goes over safety guidelines. Meals are planned, etc. Family assumes liability, meals, transportation, and campsite reservation at hopefully an open scout camp.  Scout sets up tent, cooks meals, and whatever else the patrol planned for family campout. Anyway you get the idea - the Patrol Method with family camping.

My $0.02,

Edited by RememberSchiff
grammar

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I am not a fan of family camping at all a the Scouts BSA level. I have seen too many problems result from adults interfering.  Last time a family camp out was announced in advance by a troop I was in, I skipped it. 

More importantly my boys are against it. They have seen the problems first hand because their old troop became "family friendly." The last 18 months they were in the troop, every single camp out turned into a family camp out, most without advance notice. 

 

Patrol Camping, or troops separated by BP's 300 feet rule, is the way to go.

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Sadly the quality of council rise and fall with the leadership of the SE. I have seen great SEs, and mediocre SEs, and unfortunately  poor SEs who should be behind bars for some of the shenanigans they were doing (some have been caught, but not all). Lately I am seeing more and more of the latter 2 categories.

I wish that instead of focusing on money, they would focus on service. I wish they would provide a quality, challenging summer camp programs instead of summer school where MBs are given away. I wish national would focus more on the number of camp outs a unit does rather than how many are earning advancement 

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Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

 I wish national would focus more on the number of camp outs a unit does rather than how many are earning advancement 

I agree, but the die was cast decades ago.  Changing WB from outdoor skills to White Stag "what's your favorite color," the Improved Scouting Program, First Class in Record Time...these initiatives were launched by people who had no appreciation for what scouting is all about.  Scouting is largely run by people who would rather be in the conference room than by the campfire.  

Edited by desertrat77

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2 hours ago, Cburkhardt said:

Residential camping properties that are big revenue losers will be extreme revenue losers this year, because there will be no camp fees coming in. 

Or, like my council, they'll implement the $60/youth member/year ($36/year for adults) service fee in an attempt to cover the losses. 

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1 hour ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

I am not a fan of family camping at all a the Scouts BSA level. I have seen too many problems result from adults interfering.  Last time a family camp out was announced in advance by a troop I was in, I skipped it. 

More importantly my boys are against it. They have seen the problems first hand because their old troop became "family friendly." The last 18 months they were in the troop, every single camp out turned into a family camp out, most without advance notice. 

 

Patrol Camping, or troops separated by BP's 300 feet rule, is the way to go.

Family camping is not a option for our troop and agree too many adults make it harder to have the scouts lead. We do what now seems to old school - Patrol Mathod, 100yrds away, 1 SM and 2 ASMs and maybe 1 other adult with 25+ scouts. SPL checks in on the Patrols and provides updates to us. We keep an eye and ear open for any signes of danger.

I can't recall anything our council has done for us. We would be just fine without them or national. If we could order our badges online we would never set foot into a scout shop. They only time we talk to our DE is to get them to fix whatever they screwed up in scoutbook.

 

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You have the option to educate others that requiring families to over-subsidize a camp (especially if it is of marginal quality) is not a worthy request.  Urge its closure and consequent reduction of council operational costs.  Go to a different council camp of distinction.  The cash has run out and there will be no suddenly-appearing pot of gold. 

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2 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

I am not a fan of family camping at all a the Scouts BSA level.

I was not viewing it as a scout camping event.   Truly just family camping.  And, I'd pay our council for the privilege of using the camp site.  I'm sure they would accept the donation.

It's a bridge until his troop gets back up and running.  And a little selfish for myself.  I've been driving to that summer camp at least two or three times a year since 2004.  Probably a 1000 miles driving each year to that one camp.  I'd really hate to miss it this year.  ... So ... any excuse to get up to camp ... Ideally, my son with his scouts and his friends.  But if that can't happen, maybe we can do a non-scout outing.

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48 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

I was not viewing it as a scout camping event.   Truly just family camping.  And, I'd pay our council for the privilege of using the camp site.  I'm sure they would accept the donation.

Sorry about the misunderstanding, Fred.  After what happened in the last troop I was in, family camping is a very sore subject. 

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Probably a bit late on this but my input would be:

Improve communication and customer service  up and down and sideways in the organization.  Our forum should not be the source of official communications (but we are cool) 

Focus on a massive streamlining of all advancement, training and minutia that detracts from programs and makes adults not want the hassle of spending hours on non value added items

Eliminate the franchise organizational set up...allow units to go to the best support they can.   Units are trapped in poor service.

Eliminate underperforming councils...make their JTE a true outside evaluation not an internal check the boxes. 

 

JMHO. 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/15/2020 at 8:51 AM, Eagle94-A1 said:

I see increases coming at both the National and Council levels. National is losing members left and right. and with 18% of the membership gone, that is a huge amount of income that national no longer has. Then I am seeing more and more councils implementing council service fees. I see this happening with my council. Depending upon how much of a fee they charge, will factor into the members the lose. I can tell you family FOS is down in my district because the volunteers are not seeing any benefit. DE is not visible, let alone supporting the volunteers who do step up to the plate to help. Service center has the habit of losing records and applications

Given the number of similar comments I see on this, and my experience with our council over the last 10 years; If there is any one thing Councils could do to increase or support their value in the eyes of Scouters, getting paperwork processed correctly and promptly the first time and then being able to find it again afterwards would be it.  Honestly, if there was one position that I would think should be paid very well (relative to the market) it should be the administrative person who handles everything related to paperwork and applications. 

Edited by elitts
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