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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, carebear3895 said:

Just got off the retirement plan webinar. I really could've done without one of the Assistant Chiefs who makes 300k a year telling us "I know you must be mad, but remember why you joined in the first place" 

You likely have some marketable skills. It's clear the BSA isn't looking out for you as an employee, and future decline is likely inevitable. You should make for the exits before everybody else gets the same idea. It's noble to "go down with the ship" but I like being able to pay my bills and retire someday. 

Edited by Sentinel947
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Well, we've talked a lot about a few cows and lots of cats and dogs.  How about the two pillars of the Boy Scouts of America?  Suppose we can keep either Cub Scouting or Scouts BSA, but not both.  Which one is kept, which one gets chucked into the dumpster of history?  Should either be put on the chopping block in the "new" BSA?  Maybe replace Scouts BSA with STEM Scouts?

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56 minutes ago, Sentinel947 said:

You likely have some marketable skills. It's clear the BSA isn't looking out for you as an employee, and future decline is likely inevitable. You should make for the exits before everybody else gets the same idea. It's noble to "go down with the ship" but I like being able to pay my bills and retire someday. 

@carebear3895, I concur with Sentinel947.

More than anything we've discussed about the BSA's possible implosion, this retirement situation is the biggest red flag that @Cburkhardt's prediction will come true:  the BSA is going to be liquidated, right now to the last basketry kit.

If the retirement plans of the front-line pros are in jeopardy, so is everything else.

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4 minutes ago, desertrat77 said:

@carebear3895, I concur with Sentinel947.

More than anything we've discussed about the BSA's possible implosion, this retirement situation is the biggest red flag that @Cburkhardt's prediction will come true:  the BSA is going to be liquidated, right now to the last basketry kit.

If the retirement plans of the front-line pros are in jeopardy, so is everything else.

Pension funds (defined benefit) are to some extent guaranteed by the Federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. If an employee is vested, they will likely get some benefits, but the PBGC DOES NOT have to pay what was promised to the employees. It typically is the full amount, but given all the craziness with COVID-19 and possible bankruptcies related to that, I can't say with certainty. Defined contribution plan, any employer matches that are vested are the employees to keep. Matches can be reduced or cut at any time. 

The future of the BSA is uncertain, and I'd never gamble my livelihood and future by hitching my wagon to an organization like that. It's on a list with a handful of other legacy companies that are circling the drain, that COVID or no COVID, I won't work for. 

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15 minutes ago, Sentinel947 said:

Pension funds (defined benefit) are to some extent guaranteed by the Federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. If an employee is vested, they will likely get some benefits, but the PBGC DOES NOT have to pay what was promised to the employees. It typically is the full amount, but given all the craziness with COVID-19 and possible bankruptcies related to that, I can't say with certainty. Defined contribution plan, any employer matches that are vested are the employees to keep. Matches can be reduced or cut at any time. 

The future of the BSA is uncertain, and I'd never gamble my livelihood and future by hitching my wagon to an organization like that. It's on a list with a handful of other legacy companies that are circling the drain, that COVID or no COVID, I won't work for. 

The PBGC will not pay what was owed to the employee unless the pension was fully funded (not likely given the COVID market crash) and the recipient was retirement eligible at the time of default.  The PBGC pays me about 65% of what I would have gotten without my employer defaulting - my pension fund was 86% funded and I was 25 years into my career, so not retirement eligible at the time of default.  The other nugget is that PBGC payments are fixed - once you start drawing your pension, they will never go up.  Also, the PBGC is not exactly financially robust, either.

 

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10 minutes ago, ARH said:

The PBGC will not pay what was owed to the employee unless the pension was fully funded (not likely given the COVID market crash) and the recipient was retirement eligible at the time of default.  The PBGC pays me about 65% of what I would have gotten without my employer defaulting - my pension fund was 86% funded and I was 25 years into my career, so not retirement eligible at the time of default.  The other nugget is that PBGC payments are fixed - once you start drawing your pension, they will never go up.  Also, the PBGC is not exactly financially robust, either.

 

Welcome! Thanks for the clarification! 

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45 minutes ago, desertrat77 said:

Good question!

What the BSA should jettison:  Cubs

What the BSA would ultimately jettison:  Scouts BSA

In 2020, the BSA's overall mentality operates on a cub level, even for troops and crews.  Lots of adults, easy/low risk programming, tons of badges to present, national supply items galore, and everyone goes home at the end of the day.  Many would say a big "no thanks" on the idea of a high adventure backpacking trip in the mountains with a crew of mercurial teens.  Even though a trip like that is true goal of scouting (at least by my definition), it would require a level of leadership, outdoor skill, and risk acceptance that many scouters today cannot tolerate.

I don't see STEM being a big calling card for new recruits.  And chances are, the BSA would screw up STEM so bad everyone would quit.

I think you're right.  Cub Scouts is incredibly flexible when it comes to subject matter, so you don't have the same problem as Scouts BSA and its association with the outdoors.  And those Cubbies are so darn cute in their uniforms, especially the youngest ones, and they sell a lot of popcorn. 

Now, I could see Scouts BSA being cut down to a strictly two- or three-year trail-to-Eagle program:  Forty or so merit badges (that seems to be about the average these days) earned at monthly merit badge fairs, a few token campouts (but cabins are okay) and hikes (though you could substitute snowboarding, motorboating, or zip-lining) a couple of no-responsibility leadership positions, and a service project. The one sensible thing about it would be that practically everyone who joined would earn Eagle Scout. 

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On 5/26/2020 at 6:00 AM, Eagle1993 said:

I should have added … single gender Troops.

I think someone mentioned that BSA would focus less on "character" and with the loss of LDS, I expect the declaration of religious principles to fall.  

I certainly hope so

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20 minutes ago, Sentinel947 said:

Gross. At least we would solve the world's energy crisis by hooking up Dan Beard, William Hillcourt, Baden Powells graves to an alternators. 

No worries.  The young ladies wouldn't stand for it.  They want the rugged outdoor program and the challenge of really earning Eagle Scout.  They will easily outshine the boys and shame the leaders of male troops with their toughness, discipline, and determination.  The girls will save the program that was Boy Scouting despite their lazy laggard brothers.

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On 5/27/2020 at 10:12 AM, Cburkhardt said:

"Don't Ask-Don't Tell" was adopted by National in the 1990's at the insistence of certain subgroups active in the BSA.  This caused internal conflict, because faith groups had different positions on the matter.  So, we had certain faith groups insisting on adoption and enforcement of membership standards that were not agreeable to other faith groups.  Certain external advocacy organizations that had positive or neutral views of the BSA instantaneously despise us.  This catastrophic policy change is among the major causes of our big problems today. 

Those of us at the grassroots level can never allow Scouting to officially recognize religious dogma of particular faiths in our membership standards again.  

Upon reading your prefacing arguments, I thought I knew where you were going; but I came to the opposite conclusion.  Faith based organizations as COs have been a long and true friend to the BSA.  What have 'certain external advocacy organizations' done for you lately?

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Posted (edited)

When I first heard "Sacred Cows" Philmont ran through my mind. It usually generates a good deal of revenue, but two of the last three Summers have been decimated by fire and Coivd. Though I think the outcry and rage would be so significant that the loss of support would outweigh any value gained. 

My second thought was the Scouting Museum, particularly the Norman Rockwell Collection. There is a huge monetary value there and I would be far from shocked to see it end up in Sotheby's. It would be extremely sad to see it go but I doubt the rank and file would exit in protest in large numbers. 

The fiscal assets of Northern Tier and Sea base are too small to have any real impact and they both generate revenue. The Summit is in too much debt to draw a reasonable price, but might go just to eliminate the debt. 

Here are a few things that come to mind that could be done, some more distasteful than others

  • I don't think many people would mind seeing the national BSA structure ripped out. Turn it into a consumer cooperative like REI. Run most things via volunteers and have minimal staff. Basically turning local councils into Cooperative franchisees - 
  • Create a NFP Coop Insurance organization for CO's allowing them to purchase liability and other insurance even covering activities and facilities not related to Scouting 
  • Get rid of National Supply - have a small staff for design and compliance - outsource uniforms to 3-4 vendors and let them compete on quality and price. Same for other goods. Sell via Amazon and other platforms.
  • Open Source publications and make them completely digital with Print on Demand Options
  • Open source Scoutbook, Lodgemaster, Scoutnet (or whatever is replacing it) and all other platforms and go completely paperless for registration and management
  • Eagle Scout may become something like Religious emblems managed by a third party, like an independent NESA - setting the requirements and leveraging the marketing value through licensing fees on shirts.
  • Take the Order of the Arrow back to its roots, as a independent third party organization.
  • Place Philmont and other high Adventure Bases in independent Trust

Im sure there a plenty more I could think of if I gave it more than a few minutes thought. But bringing Scouting back to what it used to be, volunteer based would make sense.

Edited by HelpfulTracks
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1 hour ago, HelpfulTracks said:

When I first heard "Sacred Cows" Philmont ran through my mind. It usually generates a good deal of revenue, but two of the last three Summers have been decimated by fire and Coivd. Though I think the outcry and rage would be so significant that the loss of support would outweigh any value gained. 

 

  • Place Philmont and other high Adventure Bases in independent Trust

Im sure there a plenty more I could think of if I gave it more than a few minutes thought. But bringing Scouting back to what it used to be, volunteer based would make sense.

My question is how will the BSA generate enough cash to pay without selling off some or all HA bases? 

Settlements in the Catholic Church for sex abuse range from $300K per plaintiff to >$1M per.  Given est. 4,000 plaintiffs that would be at least $1.2B … before any other costs (resolving other debts, etc.).  Where is the BSA going to get at least $1.2B?  Expect the lawyers to push for far more.  I would be extremely sad but I don't see many paths that avoid selling off High Adventure bases (all of them).

Perhaps they do sell Philmont to an independent trust as mentioned above who provides full market value to the victims fund.  Then that trust charges trek fees to help pay down the debt generated + costs + improvements.  Similar questions for other HA bases.

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