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Eagle94-A1

My district and council are doomed.

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I found out that my council has been on a conditional charter for 4 years now. We don't make goals this year, merger process begins next year. With COVID-19,  and increases in fees ($99 for existing youth including $33 in council fees) i see us losing existing members. Add in the incoming lawsuit commercials, i see no chance of meeting membership goals.

As for financial goals, we have been running in the red for a few years. Council cut 3 professional positions and increased facility fees. Now there is talk of harvesting and selling properties. Hopefully they will not sell the local camp, the neighboring council has a lot of units use it, and i bet they would love to have it.

And i told you how the pros have been running off volunteers, we are about to lose our district commissioner.  DE has been MIA for some time, and the commissioner emailed his boss and the SE to see what was up. DE sent a very rude text cursing out the commissioner over the matter. So we are losing our commissioner, and more than likely our DE.

So this situation explains my negative attitude towards BSA at the moment. The only positives, the things keeping my sanity, is the troop is surviving and my boys are advancing. Troop is meeting again, and we just did summer camp locally on our own. Overall a good time by all. Oldest got his credentials from, national,  so he can plan his Eagle COH. Middle son just passed Life this week, and has a goal of earning Eagle at an earlier age than his brother. I keep reminding him it's not a race, but what does dad know.  And youngest is now Second Class. Additionally 3 other Scouts have passed BORs at camp. The other 3 at camp are on their way.

 

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It is all very frustrating, I agree. But, the most important thing is the youth. I know it is easy for me to say but please keep focusing on your unit. At the end of the day that is where it truly matters. Thank you for ALL that you do.

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I also feel the same way after learning of my local councils plans.  If it were not for the boys I would almost  feel like leaving.  Local council had 2 zoom calls the 1st during the week that we held our week long unit camping trip/ summer camp due to covid19.  The 2nd was last week and I did not know about the call until the next day when call a unit committee meeting to discuss the councils plan that were presented during the call.  From the information I received before the unit committee meeting the worse I expected was our local council to start charging a council fee.  I was in for a rude awaking.  The councils plan is that each unit must raise 250 dollars for the council for each youth that is on the unit roster as of the last day July.  For our Troop which will have 13 youth on the unit roster that would be a total to the council of $3,250 which must be raised for the council before the end of December 2021.  If this dollar amount is not raised council has stated the unit will not be recharter for 2022.  This dollar amount is due to the council from 1 of the following 3 ways.   

1. Unit FOS that is paid.

2. Popcorn sales.  The percentage that council received from popcorn sales is the amount that counts toward the fee. (Council deducts the amount they have to pay for the popcorn)

3.  Camp cards sales .  Amount council makes off each card after paying the cost of each sold card.

 

Our Troop does do FOS  but we Do NOT sell popcorn.  We also do not sell camp cards due to the fact that the card do not include any of our local area businesses .   

The councils reason for this plan is due to the funds not coming into the council due to   Covid 19.  Projected loss of over 400 thousand for this year for the council.  The councils solution is to place the burden on the units.

My hopes is that this is just a scare tactic by the council.

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46 minutes ago, ValleyBoy said:

My hopes is that this is just a scare tactic by the council.

It sounds more like extortion to me.  I wouldn't pay it.

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8 hours ago, David CO said:

It sounds more like extortion to me.  I wouldn't pay it.

I'll third the motion to tell the council to pack sand.  You've already proven you can hold a summer camp without the BSA, why do you need them?

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9 hours ago, ValleyBoy said:

 If this dollar amount is not raised council has stated the unit will not be recharter for 2022.

Ok, I have not been around scouting that long, but I have never, ever, ever heard of a council demanding certain dollar figures being raised or else no recharter.

Council fees are one thing, can't do anything about that I'm afraid National allows them to be directly tie to recharter. But mandatory targets for fundraising? No way.

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I don't think they can force the unit to sell popcorn and camp cards.

I don't know how much FOS is given, but the council needs funds to operate and maybe there needs to be a better fundraiser that the units help in to raise money for the council. Councils provide benefit to the youth in the units but that requires money.  The employees at the district level don't make a ton of money. I don't think much of the rechartering fees goes to council. So it is a chicken and egg problem.

I know our council is healthy financially and we provide money to other councils that are in need.

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I'm always skeptical of anything I don't see in writing, so I'd start there.  Was anything put in writing announcing this?

Second, no one in the world knows what the council or national structure will look like in December 2021, so again I'm deeply skeptical.

I believe that we are part of the council and therefore have a responsibility to put forth reasonable efforts to support the organization, but reasonable is just that, reasonable.  Make the pitch for FOS, or allow council to make its pitch for FOS and let your families decide how much if anything they can contribute.  If you want to allow your scouts to sell things like popcorn or camp cards to help fund raise for themselves or the troop so be it;  if your scouts choose not to do that it's perfectly acceptable, fundraising for the council is NOT the responsibility of the youth.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, ValleyBoy said:

The councils plan is that each unit must raise 250 dollars for the council for each youth that is on the unit roster as of the last day July. 

Wow, my council only charges $200. But that was before covruptcy.

It looks like the exact same formula we have. They can't require it. National said as much when they said councils can't charge more than national.  We heard the same threats. We do the best we can and tell them good luck. Treat it as a recommended donation.

I stopped donating all together. I'm not sure about your council but mine is doing unethical accounting at best and likely illegal. When they get their act together I will resume donating.

Edited by MattR
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4 hours ago, MattR said:

Wow, my council only charges $200. But that was before covruptcy.

It looks like the exact same formula we have. They can't require it. National said as much when they said councils can't charge more than national.  We heard the same threats. We do the best we can and tell them good luck. Treat it as a recommended donation.

I stopped donating all together. I'm not sure about your council but mine is doing unethical accounting at best and likely illegal. When they get their act together I will resume donating.

It was my understanding also that the council cannot charge more than national which is why I thought the council would be adding a council fee.   I also feel it is  scare tactic and will take it as such until I see something official in writing that states otherwise.

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5 hours ago, T2Eagle said:

I'm always skeptical of anything I don't see in writing, so I'd start there.  Was anything put in writing announcing this?

Second, no one in the world knows what the council or national structure will look like in December 2021, so again I'm deeply skeptical.

I believe that we are part of the council and therefore have a responsibility to put forth reasonable efforts to support the organization, but reasonable is just that, reasonable.  Make the pitch for FOS, or allow council to make its pitch for FOS and let your families decide how much if anything they can contribute.  If you want to allow your scouts to sell things like popcorn or camp cards to help fund raise for themselves or the troop so be it;  if your scouts choose not to do that it's perfectly acceptable, fundraising for the council is NOT the responsibility of the youth.

I have not seen anything in writing at this time.  If I do I will post it here. 

Your post states exactly how I feel about the situation.

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There needs to be some serious work done by BSA - 

our Council was one of the ones that laid off Half the DEs and all but 3 support staff - citing expenses. Yet kept the SE who will get contracted increase anD makes more than some PhD school superintendents I  ouR area

Volunteers have shared they and a lot of their coworkers have had pay cuts as have their bosses so that more of them can keep their jobs.   Volunteers have mentioned this at zoom meetings and are starting to ask the hard questions - ‘what exactly are the kids and families getting for the $ you are paid’

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4 hours ago, Momleader said:

There needs to be some serious work done by BSA - 

BSA will never fix itself.  If any serious work is to be done, the units need to do it themselves.

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My Council is truly screwed up.

We are having a series of Town Hall meetings to go over the challenges we are facing. They have mentioned they may need to sell properties. Looks like they are trying to argue that the oldest camp in the council, the only camp that Cubs can do boating activities at needs to be sold. They are using 2019 data to show that it cost  almost $60 per camper to operate the camp, whereas the other camps cost $16-18 per camper to operate.

I love statistics :)

While there stats are correct, they are missing some important factors. 1. the camp was shut down for 6 months, so no day camps, camporees, or weekend camping was allowed. and 2. the road was washed out and had to be rebuilt costing $50K. Instead of being "maintence" it should have been part of "Capital" since the repair was a one time expense. taking out the $50K, the cost is about $10.50/ camper.

I am so fed up.

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