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My district and council are doomed.


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10 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

But, do you really want a federal government agency in control of the mail service?  Reading your email, denying you access to encryption services, watching your reading habits? 

The same concerns about "federal control over the internet" were the same, verbatim, as federal control over the postal service.

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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

Ditto.  What if all the units just said NO?  Let the SE chew on that for awhile...

It's the old adage...Do we raise money to enable a community to have Scouts OR Do we have Scouts to enable a group to be able to raise money. Agree that way too many volunteers feel the "Council"

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13 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

The same concerns about "federal control over the internet" were the same, verbatim, as federal control over the postal service.

Sure, but like it or not there is an enumerated constitutional power to establish a postal service, and, I have options beyond the USPS.  Just because the feds have one power doesn't mean they should have all of them.

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36 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

Sure, but like it or not there is an enumerated constitutional power to establish a postal service, and, I have options beyond the USPS.  Just because the feds have one power doesn't mean they should have all of them.

@walk in the woods, of course you would have the same options as today. But in addition,

  • You would have a service obligated to deliver to every station in America.
  • There would be more stations. (Instead of P/O closures, they would be openings.)
  • The penalties for hacking and mail fraud would be severe.
  • There would be more ways to secure electronic absentee ballots, and the accuracy and speed of counting them would be greater.

Simply put, what current ISPs do not do (secure digital comms from every household to every household), the USPS would do.

The downside: because you would be buying stamps for digital communication, or renting the means to download from (or direct line to) your PO box, you might have to choose between Netflix or DPlus to make the budget work.

There is also a downside in terms of development, of course. The USPS would probably deliver in a fast-enough fashion. Enough to get bills payed and send advertisements. But not enough to get up-to-the-minute stock quotes. Having paid "enough" for the basic, albeit ubiquitous, service, the public (users or sponsors) might have less incentive to purchase broadband. As a result, those kinds of things might not develop as quickly.

Edited by qwazse
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It's probably easier to simply provide federal incentives and contracts to supply last mile broadband service.  I suspect that it will end up being a wireless technology anyways.

The FCC could administer the program.  If money needed to be raised for it, just place a small monthly surcharge on every communications subscription in the US.  The 95% of us that have good connectivity could fund the 5% that do not.

 

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  • 5 months later...

With all the bankruptcy stuff going on, I thought I would update on council  and district situation

Good news:

We no longer have a conditional charter according to the council key 3.

Bad news.

Council has downsized professional staff. From 8 districts to 3 districts.  

Local camp, which has not been in a trust since 2000, had some visitors last week. SE, 2 exec board members, and gentleman with a clip board who looked like a "suit," walked around camp inspecting it. Apparently the camp is a B+.

Why am I worried?

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19 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

Local camp, which has not been in a trust since 2000, had some visitors last week. SE, 2 exec board members, and gentleman with a clip board who looked like a "suit," walked around camp inspecting it. Apparently the camp is a B+

Best case scenario: This is part of the BSA/National Camp Accreditation Program.

Worst case: Appraisal as a lead up to a sale.

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34 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

Any surveyor stakes?

Not on the camp property. On the properties along the road to the camp. lots of them and new houses. Also an area off camp property we had permission to go to for ages has new owners, and no longer allows  us to hike there and back.

 

20 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

Best case scenario: This is part of the BSA/National Camp Accreditation Program.

Worst case: Appraisal as a lead up to a sale.

I checked the current NCAP, and see no grading scale listed  anymore. Back in the day when I ran day camp and there was a scale, I graded it as a  D. It was extremely primitive and neglected.

 

Forgot to add, Back in late October/ November had a town hall about  how much camps cost to operate per person. First of 3 meetings showed that it cost about $60-$70 per camper to operate. That included an emergency capital expense, the camp road was washed out and needed to be fixed, and the attendance was lower than normal because it was closed for 9 months. I mentioned this to some folks and the next meeting showed about $12/person.

"I got a bad feeling about this.

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The retention of Scout camps always seem to gravitate around the "cost to keep it up".  And the idea is that somehow the camp is limited to only Scout use. 

Well,  promotion and use need to be considered. Is the Council even THINKING outside the Scout box?   Rental to Outdoor Conservation schools.  Selective logging.  Most public school districts (and private school, too) have a nature curriculum. Rent to them, for their programs.    Got a nice dining hall ?   Church receptions, retreats,  wedding receptions (for those desiring a more "natural, simple " affair).  Even Philmont is developing a family camp option, with properties somewhat better than " roughing it". 

Our County Park system has several properties  where , in season,  for a price, one gets a tent site (level, pea gravel base), a picnic table, charcoal grill AND fire ring, lantern holder, a water tap nearby and a flush toilet/shower house down the road (room to park adjacent to the site).  Secure gate locked at night, on site ranger .  Camp store during the day.  Night time programs for the kiddies.   WHY not in a section of  Scout Camp Whatchacallit? 

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26 minutes ago, SSScout said:

Well,  promotion and use need to be considered. Is the Council even THINKING outside the Scout box? 

Right now that box is "We need cash, now, to pay the sexual abuse settlement, now."

The bill is going to come due very soon. What Three Fires Council did when it announced it was selling its camp was to say

1) We are selling the camp now/after Summer 2021.

2) If it sells, all proceeds go to the abuse settlement fund.

3) If it doesn't sell, Three Fires Council will simply transfer the title/deed to the camp to the settlement fund

Scouting has the same membership it did in 1941, but the infrastructure (like camps) it did in its heyday, when it had 200-300% MORE MEMBERS than it does now. Things have got to give.

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People (you, me, parents, just about everybody on this site) still want the BSA org to go back to what it once was.  I concluded that ain't gonna happen, maybe a year ago.  Not trying to be my usual negative self here, just going to share what I've done to keep moving forward.

I'm still the Cub Scout enthusiast, but now I'm a Unit Commissioner for anybody who wants me.  I've helped a group of students in a homeschooling pod two doors down, gave my neighbor's kids wood to assemble a toolbox, lent out my PWD tracks several times, along with my balloon launcher.  I'm also making how-to videos so even a noob parent can try to do these same activities with their children at home. 

Our Council is a private rich angry white club.  The Council just North of us is the opposite.  I can't control the appointed leadership, but I can chose what I can do with my remaining time here on this planet.  Any youth with nice parents are Cub Scouts in my book.  Helping them gives me the same satisfaction as before, just without the power tripping and hate.   My logic is that since I learned from volunteers, I don't owe the BSA any royalties.  Actually I paid a small fortune for a cluster of a Woodbadge event.  My local Council is desperate for money, but it's customer satisfaction is nearing zero.  And that is not my problem.

So did I gave up?  Or did I adapt?  I flip flop between those two questions all the time.  But really, I'm actually a lot happier being on the outside.  No more hypocrisy, anger, made up rules that vary from person to person.  I'm just an old guy that learned a lot and is willing to share and empower parents and kids.  I feel like I'm doing God's work, just without the stress.  I guess I'm giving any of you readers permission to keep helping kids even if your 'District and Council Are Doomed.'  

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27 minutes ago, CommishJulian said:

So did I gave up?  Or did I adapt? 

I try to not think about the headwinds that scouting is driving into. I have a group of boys that I am giving my all to as scoutmaster. I have 7 scouts (out of 11) working on their eagle rank. Recruiting for my troop will need to be rethought. Fewer number of webelos out there to recruit now. 

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  • 2 months later...

3 months later and wanted to give an update.

I do not know how the council reorg is going in other areas, but in mine not so well. We have folks refusing to recognize the new district and want to keep doing things as if the old, local district was  around. 

My old district had the best run district wide Cub Scout Pinewood  Derby in the council, and we had support from a local community organization. Person running the event, who is both a Scouter and a member of the organization, said the PWD is only for the Cubs in this county. If Cubs from other counties want one, they can create their own.  Another long time Scouter asked me about a letter he received about a meeting in a neighboring city is about. When I told him one of the council executive board members has stepped in to help organize the new district, he was adamant that the old district will continue officially or unofficially.

As for district volunteer leadership, we only have 2 active now: the commissioner  and me. Our district program guy quit in frustration. And I am concerned about the commissioner burning out. He is currently doing everything, and I do mean everything, to keep the new district going. As for me, I am focusing on one event, the district camporee. Between family, work, and unit responsibilities, I am slowly burning out myself. And  within the next 6-18 months, I will become the SM of my sons' troop. I will not have the time to help on the district level.

As for the DE, we have none. In fact, we have only 1 professional, a DE, in the entire council now. the other 2 DEs left in April, and our SE left May 31st. No idea when a SE will get hired, and of course no new DE's until after an SE is hired.

We had a Zoom  Round Table and attendance was poor. Topics were Cub Scout Day Camp and camporee. 2 packs were represented and  5 troops were represented. 2 of those troop had Scouts present, and only because I personally invited them.

As for the lawsuit situation, we are hearing nothing. I do know that according to court documents, all 4 the camps have restrictions on them. I know one of them is in a trust, so the council doesn't truly own it. Heck they do not make any improvements top the camp. If a troop or volunteers want stuff, i.e. pavilion, water lines, etc, they have to pay for and/or do the improvements themselves. As for the local camp in the district, I know the council owns it from property records, but it is listed as restricted in the bankruptcy document. I hope and pray the trust included some legal right of return if the council no longer wants the property in the deed of sale.

So now you all know why I say I am depressed with everything going on locally and nationally.

On a positive note, Middle child is still slowly getting requirements for Eagle done, and youngest is slowly getting stuff signed off on First Class. The troop will shortly have a new committee members, and we had 2 Scouts from another unit visit us about a month ago. They are not happy with their current troop, and are looking around to transfer. I think we made a positive impression, but won't know for sure until after their current unit comes back from summer camp.

 

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No comment on the Council stuff.  Professionals come and go. DEs? Creating Districts is often  a matter of "because I can".   

I used to work for the County Government.  Every time a new department manager/chief was named, "things changed". The new guy wanted to leave his/her mark on things. Did it really make things more efficient? People more responsible?  Often debatable.

Same with the BSA organization. Regions? Sections?  Districts?  I have lived in the same house for almost 30 years.  I have worked with pretty much the same group of dedicated Scouters thru that time.  I have lived in 5 (maybe six, depends on how you define things) DIFFERENT  named Districts/Service areas.  Our present District is almost EXACTLY the same defined area that I knew in 1995.  

We still camp and hike. 

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All good posts.  Thank you for this site.    I re-read my post above, and thought I nailed it rather well. 

What broke my heart is that I have a Masters in Commissioner Service, 3 PWD tracks, 92" Delta band saw, balloon launcher, space derby rig, sewing machine (with embroidery function), and so much more all ready to go...  and I can't help any parents in my district or council because I won't ever support the ruling adults version of scouting.  -I know I need to get on with my life, but I can't.  The logic part on my brain knows it is time to go, but the kid inside refuses to budge.  I've got issues.  I think I desperately want to have one last event where I can be part of an event where things go the way they're supposed to: kids get to act their age, and everybody gets to go home happy.

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