Jump to content
Cburkhardt

You Solve It -- A likely Bankruptcy Scenario

Recommended Posts

10 hours ago, Cburkhardt said:

If that is true, National will have a role in funneling what will happen to these example councils.  Those who favor an expedited approach might hope that charters are withdrawn and new geographies are negotiated.  Those who favor a Darwinistic approach might just let a suffering movement "work it all out" at the micro level through years of bankruptcies, lawsuits and internal disputes.  What say you?

I've been looking a lot at the councils in our area and it's unclear to me that consolidation would bring much benefit.  

I fear that the primary issue we face at the council level in Scouting today is a lack of technical knowledge on how to effectively grow Scouting.   How does a council put together a membership program?  How does a district put together a membership program?  How does strong program impact membership?  How does the fee structure impact program & membership?  How does unit service impact membership?  How does one effectively strengthen units in a volunteer organization?

To me, these are the kinds of questions that need to be considered when assessing council health.  It's unclear to me that national knows how to measure and grade those.  It's unclear that national knows how to weigh the merger prospects of two councils.

The optimistic in me thinks that national does understand these concepts and that council mergers will result in stronger councils.

The pessimist in me thinks that national will simply look at the same sets of criteria that it has for 25 years that are simply not working.  What fundamentally has changed through bankruptcy that allows it to correctly assess the viability and long term prospects of two councils?

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My last posting for a while.  Some upcoming professional activities on my part will make postings inadvisable for a while.  I have learned a lot about the the reorganization effort, and I have come to understand the principal points of view.  Best wishes to everyone.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Cburkhardt - best of luck with your professional activities.  I've really enjoyed the insight, thoughtfulness,  and thought provoking nature of your comments and topics.  I wish you all the best on the trail until you are able to join us again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, ParkMan said:

I've been looking a lot at the councils in our area and it's unclear to me that consolidation would bring much benefit.  

I fear that the primary issue we face at the council level in Scouting today is a lack of technical knowledge on how to effectively grow Scouting.   How does a council put together a membership program?  How does a district put together a membership program?  How does strong program impact membership?  How does the fee structure impact program & membership?  How does unit service impact membership?  How does one effectively strengthen units in a volunteer organization?

To me, these are the kinds of questions that need to be considered when assessing council health.  It's unclear to me that national knows how to measure and grade those.  It's unclear that national knows how to weigh the merger prospects of two councils.

The optimistic in me thinks that national does understand these concepts and that council mergers will result in stronger councils.

The pessimist in me thinks that national will simply look at the same sets of criteria that it has for 25 years that are simply not working.  What fundamentally has changed through bankruptcy that allows it to correctly assess the viability and long term prospects of two councils?

Your key point:  "council level in Scouting today is a lack of technical knowledge on how to effectively grow Scouting."

Agree.  As a 12+ year district volunteer, districts and councils chat all the time about how to drive membership.  But there is little special they can do.  The only success is helping units run their own membership drive.   Flyers.  Road signs.  

IMHO, districts are a bygone idea of the past.  Councils are the new districts.  Perhaps, states should be the new council.  Individual border cities could align with a different state if it makes sense.  BSA needs to rethink the structure because times have changed.  

Recruitment should be nationally driven.  If units need flyers, put ten different fliers on the national site and I as a unit volunteer can get them printed.  If they are even needed anymore as schools don't hand out paper fliers anymore.  

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The way to recruit new Scouts is to build a program they want to join. Currently that is on local units and the district/council.

Local units need energetic and active programs. Training with knowledgeable volunteer willing to work with and mentor new Scouters is key. Online training does not allow for the interaction and explanation on why things are done a certain way. I have seen Scouters take online training, think they know better, and do their own thing which hurts the program, and retention.

Districts and Council need to have support mechanisms to promote program; training, camps, specialized equipment for rent, activities, etc. 

 

More later.

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a paradigm shift for you...

Hire a Scoutmaster who mentors young people to create and run a damn good program...

2 minutes ago, John-in-KC said:

Is the Congressional Charter a public law?

Yes

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Except that if the Corporation is liquidating, there IS no corporation to hold on to said IP. 

1 minute ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

Here's a paradigm shift for you...

Hire a Scoutmaster who mentors young people to create and run a damn good program...

Yes

I had just gone to law.cornell.edu to search that. 🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, John-in-KC said:

Is the Congressional Charter a public law?

And, John, BSA has used this "Charter" to bludgeon others, which are legitimate "scouting" organizations, to prevent them from calling themselves any kind of a "Scout".

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, John-in-KC said:

Except that if the Corporation is liquidating, there IS no corporation to hold on to said IP. 

The corporation will not cease to exist...it will mostly likely be restructured, with assets sold to cover liabilities at pennies on the dollar...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That Congress no longer issues charters begs the question as to why others are allowed to continue...

Why can the DuctTape Scouting Association (the DSA) not get a Congressional Charter??

Or, @DuctTape will you call it the DTSA??

Edited by InquisitiveScouter
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, John-in-KC said:

Except that if the Corporation is liquidating, there IS no corporation to hold on to said IP. 

I had just gone to law.cornell.edu to search that. 🙂

The Corporation is perpetual. 36 U.S. Code § 30901 Unless you think that a bankruptcy court is going to strike down a Congressional Charter as unconstitutional (hint: they won't).
 

Quote

 

As I said: I think the idea of a liquidated National that no longer exists is about 0% likely. A crippled, hobbled, penniless shell? Yes. Total liquidation? No. And it is the congressional charter that may save it.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

That Congress no longer issues charters begs the question as to why others are allowed to continue...

Why can the DuctTape Scouting Association (the DSA) not get a Congressional Charter??

First, others are allowed to continue because in order to end them Congress would have to pass a bill revoking the charter. That's not going to happen.

Second, the DuctTape Scouting Association (the DSA) can get a  Congressional Charter just like any other association can: just lobby, lobby, lobby.

Third, Congress does still issue charters.

Quote

In 1989, the chairman of the House Subcommittee on Administrative Law and Government Relations, Barney Frank, and the ranking minority Member, Craig James, announced that the subcommittee had approved “a motion for a moratorium on the granting of federal charters.”

BUT
 

Quote

 

This subcommittee moratorium did not, however, stop all requests for, or consideration of, charter requests. Notably, it remains possible for another committee, or for the full Congress in its plenary capacity, to “charter” nonprofit organizations and have them listed in Title 36. Indeed, this has been the case in several instances in recent years. In 1996, the Fleet Reserve Association was chartered (36 U.S.C 701) without the legislation being referred to the Judiciary committees of the respective chambers. The charter was included in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997 (P.L. 104-201, Title XVIII; 110 Stat. 2760). Also in recent years, corporate bodies (e.g., Corporation for Promotion of Rifle Practice and Firearms Safety, 36 U.S.C. 40701; National Recording Preservation Foundation, 36 U.S.C. 152401) have been created by Congress and listed by the House Office of Law Revision Counsel under Title 36.

 

 

Edited by CynicalScouter
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@CynicalScouter,

Interesting read...

"As a consequence, the House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee of jurisdiction instituted a moratorium on granting new charters in 1989. (The Senate generally defers to the House on chartering matters.) On several recent occasions, however, Congress has established Title 36 corporations despite the moratorium."

"In 1992, Chairman Frank [I am no fan of Barney Frank, though] called charters “a nuisance,” a meaningless act; granting charters implied that Congress was exercising some sort of supervision over the groups and it was not. “When I first raised the issue, ‘What is a federal charter?’ The answer was, a federal charter is a federal charter is a federal charter.... You could make up an organization for the preservation of Albert DeSalvo, the Boston Strangler. We’d have no way of checking into it.”34 Moreover, the subcommittee understood that the committee could be drawn into public disputes touched off by any controversial activities or statements by a Title 36 corporation or employees or members thereof.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

The way to recruit new Scouts is to build a program they want to join. Currently that is on local units and the district/council.

Local units need energetic and active programs. Training with knowledgeable volunteer willing to work with and mentor new Scouters is key. Online training does not allow for the interaction and explanation on why things are done a certain way. I have seen Scouters take online training, think they know better, and do their own thing which hurts the program, and retention.

Districts and Council need to have support mechanisms to promote program; training, camps, specialized equipment for rent, activities, etc. 

 

More later.

My district does put in a lot of time and energy in recruitment and they do get potential scouts directed to our units. When I was associated with a pack 3 years ago, the DE was able to double our pack size. Problem is after I left for the Boy Scouts with my son, the pack numbers fell significantly. So what Units do or not do has a huge impact in retention. The district and council levels cannot fix unit problems related to retention beyond being there for support. In the end, the quality of unit volunteers is important. The healthiest pack in my district has a cubmaster and leadership that has been doing those jobs for a long time. The packs that turn over leadership frequently struggle. 

I'm not sure what the solution is, but expecting the Council to be the solution is a bad expectation. They cannot train leaders that do not want to be trained. They cannot overcome leaders that cannot or will not put in the time into their Units. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Owls_are_cool said:

In the end, the quality of unit volunteers is important.

OK, expand the paradigm shift...hire a Cubmaster, too!

Edited by InquisitiveScouter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...