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CynicalScouter

"Establish minimum standards to be considered a council"

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It's funny how management consultant types harp on mission and vision, but never want it to have teeth ...

2 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

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

No, unless they have, as a default, a city-state identification (okay, Transatlantic Council gets a pass) in standard-issue, I don't think a council has met the minimum standard for it's existence. (No offense, Laurel Highlands, New Birth of Freedom or Michigan Crossroads. But all your names do is sweep under the rug how much clusters of community organizations have pulled their support out from under BSA.)

The name of an established location speaks a lot about vision. Areas that resent their scouts and scouters wearing a rival city on their sleeve might give a care about everything else it takes to from a council from troops nearer-and-dearer to their town of choice.

That's my opinion. I don't expect it to be popular.

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, qwazse said:

No, unless they have, as a default, a city-state identification (okay, Transatlantic Council gets a pass) in standard-issue, I don't think a council has met the minimum standard for it's existence.

So the name of the council is what matters? Not financial stability or membership stability, just what you can put onto a patch? Ok. Agree to disagree.

Edited by CynicalScouter

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40 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

So the name of the council is what matters? Not financial stability or membership stability, just what you can put onto a patch? 

Strangely enough, that stuff does actually matter to some people.  Look at how many people want an eagle patch on their uniform even though they have very little enthusiasm for outdoor activities.  I don't understand it, but it happens.

My preference would be to eliminate the council patches entirely.  Go back to the community patch.  Better yet, have a Chartered Organization Patch.  

 

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I forgot JTE Gold is all we need!!🤣

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1 hour ago, CynicalScouter said:

So the name of the council is what matters? Not financial stability or membership stability, just what you can put onto a patch? Ok. Agree to disagree.

I okay with agreeably disagreeable. I'm hoping most folks post things with which I might not agree. I sincerely hope few of those are things I could downvote without explanation. :ph34r:

"membership stability". What's been more stable? The membership of a council with an obtuse name, or the members of a community? Yes, our rust-belt towns have had a lot of churn, but they are still on the map. Just talked to a young man in line outside the DMV who, like my daughter, is moving back home. Neither of them are moving back to scouting. (I'm working on it, it's a tough sell. Gotta smooth out that MB counselor registration process.)

"financial stability" You want councils to have money? Well civic groups want to know where their money's going. They see a scout doing a good turn, they see their nearest big town named on his shoulder, they have their answer -- in red and white (or green and tan).

 

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3 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

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.

I wonder if there isn't a 3) New membership/financial standards that are far beyond all/most existing councils, requiring acquisitions by the largest council in an area. 

@Cburkhardthad a thread a while back on mega-councils centered around major metropolii as I recall.  

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1 minute ago, walk in the woods said:

I wonder if there isn't a 3) New membership/financial standards that are far beyond all/most existing councils, requiring acquisitions by the largest council in an area.

That's in effect 1- Measurements of Failure. National will set a standard that most existing councils will fail forcing mergers. I don't know about largest council; I can see them forcing several smaller ones into one or some such.

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Posted (edited)

Whatever minimum you want but allow units to select their council service center. Councils become market driven to meet that minimum and service to customers (units) improves.

Community strip (from back in the day) or CO patch replaces Council patch.

My $0.02,

Edited by RememberSchiff
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5 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

Whatever minimum you want but allow units to select their council service center. Councils become market driven to meet that minimum and service to customers (units) improves.

Community strip (from back in the day) or CO patch replaces Council patch.

My $0.02,

Been saying this for years....Allow units to go to the best provider.   The franchise model we are locked into has failed.

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One standard might be total youth served...after the significant membership losses in which all councils were affected,  there are 75 councils with less than 2000 youth and 29 of these less than 1000 and as low as 200. 

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22 minutes ago, PACAN said:

One standard might be total youth served...after the significant membership losses in which all councils were affected,  there are 75 councils with less than 2000 youth and 29 of these less than 1000 and as low as 200. 

Is there a listing of all councils and their rosters? I'd be curious to know how my council shapes up.

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Council's and Districts get graded with the mighty ruler of JTE but my guess is that it won't be used to measure the standard for being and remaining a Council.  Our unit has never gotten less than Gold, but I don't consider it the Gold Standard or all that important of a set of metrics.  Feedback I get in SM Conferences and in eavesdropping around the campfire is how I measure the success of our unit.  That being said Professional Scouters seem to think it is the way to determine quality of a unit, but I'm guessing they won't use their JTE Scores solely to determine viability of a Council. 

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I really believe, from a finance standpoint, councils have to develop a robust endowment.  A string endowment, properly managed with a mission focused withdrawal system, could make if possible for pros to truly focus on program instead of FOS. I would like to see an element of the “minimum standards” focused on that. 

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12 hours ago, ALongWalk said:

I really believe, from a finance standpoint, councils have to develop a robust endowment.  A string endowment, properly managed with a mission focused withdrawal system, could make if possible for pros to truly focus on program instead of FOS. I would like to see an element of the “minimum standards” focused on that. 

This brings up a question I have : what happens to a council's endowment when it is dissolved and absorbed by multiple councils?

I ask because my council is doomed, see my post in Council Relations on the latest info, and I know at one time my council was #1 for it's council size in the Southern Region for it's endowment. One individual's bequest gave every Eagle Scout and all council support staff a West Fellowship the year he died.  I don't know how large it is now, but i personally know that several of the donors, including the one who left the large bequest, wanted the money to support local Scouting, with the hopes it benefited the Scouts of their district.

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