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CynicalScouter

"Establish minimum standards to be considered a council"

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Posted (edited)

The newly released results of the Churchill Committees are out (will be official shortly) as Scouting Forward: A Plan to Lead
The plan is suppose to be executed between September 2020 and September 2022

There is a nebulous statement in it: "Establish minimum standards to be considered a council"

1) What SHOULD be those "minimum standards"?

2) What do you think WILL BE those standards?

Edited by CynicalScouter

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I think two likely standards will be:  (1) No debt; (2) summer camps consistently generate an operating surplus.

 

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2 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

What SHOULD be those "minimum standards"?

Council has the support of the Chartered Organizations.  If it doesn't, the council should be dissolved, and the COR's should be invited to form a new council.

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5 hours ago, David CO said:

Council has the support of the Chartered Organizations.

Define "support" because a) lots of CoRs are basically just passive see-you-at-recharter-for-signatures types and b) "support" may simply be a lack of willingness to disband what you have.

Far too often "support" for an organization or anything really just means "too hard to disband and start over, so we'll limp along with what we have".

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6 hours ago, dkurtenbach said:

I think two likely standards will be:  (1) No debt; (2) summer camps consistently generate an operating surplus.

Forget "operating surplus", I'd take "neutral effect on balance sheet on average over last 3 years" (up years, down years), but I hear you.

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For the sake of marketing and civic pride, a council should return towards being plain-spoken:

1. Be named after the most populous city (as recognized by the US census) within its bounds. The default patch would be the city, state strip in the standard issue colors/font of unit numbers.

2. Decorative patch may incorporate either:

  • That city & state's seal,
  • A map of the region, or
  • An image of at least one great leader, brandishing weapon(s). (Yes, the pen or pulpit could be a weapon. Yes, the leader may be from a minority.)

That means my hometown becomes Pittsburgh, PA council, BSA -- even though they are far outside that bubble. If they don't like it, they can call on their local civic organizations to build the capital to support an independent council in their locality.

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Posted (edited)

That's great, but I don't think a patch or a name is the issue and it should not be a consideration when deciding the "minimum standards to be considered a council."

There are a LOT more important things that pretty patches.

And as for insisting the patch include a person "brandishing weapon(s)"? Huh?

Edited by CynicalScouter

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

Define "support" because a) lots of CoRs are basically just passive see-you-at-recharter-for-signatures types and b) "support" may simply be a lack of willingness to disband what you have.

Far too often "support" for an organization or anything really just means "too hard to disband and start over, so we'll limp along with what we have".

At the very least, support would mean the council could survive a vote of no confidence.  You're right.  Maybe support should include the ability to get a quorum of COR's at council meetings.  As it is, COR's are giving the councils a passive vote of no confidence.

Edited by David CO

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@CynicalScouter, this builds on the patrol method philosophy: "... a patrol is a group of friends ..." instead of an administrative unit of a troop.

The minimum requirement of a council should be a group of civic organizations in and around a city/town enthused about scouting in their region.

If a council is not that, it will merely be an administrative unit of BSA, and from a consumer perspective, nobody will care. Which means that a couple councils a year will fail to meet standards based on your so-called "LOT more important things".

The "patch" example came from my council's Jambo patch, which depicted the French and Indian war ... censors removed the native's weapons from their hands. Turning the set into what one of my scouts decried as "least traded patch, ever." The point is, if council uses imagery, to use honest historically accurate imagery of local persons/events. If they can't settle on that, revert to the default.

Do, I expect this to be in the minimum standards? Obviously not. But I expect all other minimum standards to miss their mark so long as it isn't.

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44 minutes ago, qwazse said:

Do, I expect this to be in the minimum standards? Obviously not. But I expect all other minimum standards to miss their mark so long as it isn't.

OK, but the topic is National's announcement they want to "Establish minimum standards to be considered a council."

So you think unless they have a pretty patch, they cannot meet any minimum standards to be considered a council?

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Are there no minimum standards now?   

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, carebear3895 said:

This will be known in time as "The Merger Standard" 

I agree, but I wonder how it will be phrased. I can see two directions.

1) Measurements of Failure: Those councils that meet the following criteria will be merged forthwith (membership BELOW X, finances BELOW Y, etc.) All others will be deemed to be OK.

2) Measurements of Success: Those councils that meet the following criteria are exempt from merger (membership ABOVE X, finances ABOVE Y, etc.) All others will be merged forthwith.

Edited by CynicalScouter

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33 minutes ago, PACAN said:

Are there no minimum standards now?   

Nothing concrete and specific such as finances below X, membership below Y, etc. I would be curious to see if there are certain benchmarks a council MUST hit to be safe (Measures of Success) or certain warning signs that if the council hits those the council must merge.

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13 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

2) What do you think WILL BE those standards?

How much income a council generates for national.

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