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Chapter 11 announced - Part 3 - BSA's Toggle Plan


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12 minutes ago, ThenNow said:

Would someone be kind enough to briefly list (or point me to a link) of the professional Scouter tiers? You talk about Key 3 and SE, DE and such. I recall our Scout Executive and District Executive, but don't have a working knowledge of the chain of command, if you will. It might help me understand who's making decisions (or not) at the various levels. Thanks very much.

There's a Bryan on Scouting article about "Key 3"...

https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2015/08/19/what-is-the-key-3/

In short, there's a Key 3 at every level, two volunteers and a paid employee (except at the unit level, where all are typically volunteers, although one or more might have a day-job at the CO as well).

And the important levels from lowest to highest are Unit, District, Council, and National.

Edited by DavidLeeLambert
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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, ThenNow said:

Would someone be kind enough to briefly list (or point me to a link) of the professional Scouter tiers? You talk about Key 3 and SE, DE and such. I recall our Scout Executive and District Executive, but don't have a working knowledge of the chain of command, if you will. It might help me understand who's making decisions (or not) at the various levels. Thanks very much.

Your "standard" Council (and let me say again, "standard") works up from

1) District Executive - a paid professional who is assigned a district within a council. This district can have anywhere from a few to dozens of units (Scouts, BSA; Cub; Explorer; Venture; Sea Scouts). Along with the District Committee Chair (volunteer) and District Commissioner (volunteer) they form the District Key-3.

2) Middle management, to be discussed below.*

3) Scout Executive - a paid professional who is assigned to run a council. The Scout Executive hires the D.E.s directly or indirectly (there may be a middle manager in-between the SE and the DE). Along with the Council President and the Council Commissioner, they fomr the Council Key-3.

Now, every other position at the council level is somewhere in between. For a large, incredibly complex Council (looking at you Circle Ten) there can a slew of middle management*. Field Directors (who can act like supervisors of DEs or like super-DEs in their own right), camp staff, council direct support staff (registrar, scoutstore staff, etc.)

Above the Councils are Territories (used to be Areas and Regional, but they got smushed into the new Territories). Again, lots of volunteers (training, development, etc.) and a few paid pros.

Above the Territories is National with its own Key-3. Chief Scout Executive ("Chief Scout"), National Board Chair, and National Commissioner. https://www.scoutingnewsroom.org/about-the-bsa/national-leadership/

Now, here is where phrases like "chain of command" fall apart.

1) Keep in mind MOST of the positions and people I just described are volunteers. If Roger Mosby as Chief Scout Executive "orders" a local district volunteer to do something, the response will be to go pound salt.

2) Local councils have their own boards, own finances, and own view on how much deference and control the cede to National. ULTIMATELY National could revoke the council's charter and has done so due to financial mismanagement or in order to merge councils. But day to day, the council sets its own budget, controls its own volunteers, etc.

3) This above is why it is often thought of or called that National "franchises" councils or units (for the record, the annual charter for both is issued direct from National). That's true...to a point. But as has been noted over and over, there's a legal question on whether BSA TODAY, NOW simply "order" local volunteer council boards to turn over all LC assets to BSA. If Mosby were to tell a local council "you must sell Camp XYZ today and turn over the money to us?" See the aforementioned pounding of salt.

Some things are non-negotiable: Councils cannot run around and create their own criteria for Eagle Scout, or create their own merit badges, etc. But they can decide whether to sell that camp, or participate in the bankruptcy settlement releases or not.

Edited by CynicalScouter
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30 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

We, well New World 19 LLC,  lost money on hosting the World Jamboree at Summit.

I have wondered if Summit has higher revenue from non-scouting events.

https://casedocs.omniagentsolutions.com/cmsvol2/pub_47373/812000_374.pdf

In defense of Summit, it has more statues than any HA base or scout museum and has also changed the GTSS to allow alcohol to be sold and consumed on scout properties hosting non-scouting events.

Maybe Bechtel will buy Summit back for their Bechtel University

My $0.02,

Perhaps the statues are a key to some of the desire to retain the Summit.  The statues are of major donors and many are national executive board members.  Doubt that if any of us gave a substantial gift would like to see it sold.  There are several buildings on site as well that required sizable donations to construct  

As someone else pointed out, when councils are forced to sell camps for which they have cared and improved for decades, there will be a need for a summer camp. The Summit is within a day’s drive of half of the US population.  

When Dr. Bob Gates was Secretary of Defense under Obama, he said that it was not likely that the military would allow future national jamborees.  That was the impetus for the Summit.

I personally doubt that the Summit could be sold for $350 M so it would not be a surprise if more is owed than its value.

A last point, the BSA argues that the high adventure bases are core to its mission.  If one is offered, the TCC will argue that all should be sold.
 

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20 minutes ago, ThenNow said:

Would someone be kind enough to briefly list (or point me to a link) of the professional Scouter tiers? You talk about Key 3 and SE, DE and such. I recall our Scout Executive and District Executive, but don't have a working knowledge of the chain of command, if you will. It might help me understand who's making decisions (or not) at the various levels. Thanks very much.

Scouting on the local and national level is volunteer led and professionally guided.  So local councils have committees all chaired by volunteers in a hierarchical structure that report to the volunteer executive board.  The executive board hires and fires the Scout Executive who is the council CEO. 

The structure of the national council is just the same with all committees chaired by volunteers who develop the program, policies, and standards for the BSA though many require national executive board approval.  The national executive board is composed of volunteers who are CEO’s of primarily Fortune 500 and many Fortune 100 companies.  The national council did have a chief scout executive who was a professional but Roger Mosby came from the volunteer ranks and is the president and CEO of the BSA. 

In addition to Roger, there is the Chair of the national executive board and the national commissioner who constitute the national K3.

Hope this helps. 
 

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I guess that I don't see a group of statues as key to Scouting's mission. That might matter to the donors, so there might be some political benefit to having them, but kids at camps don't care who the donors are/were.

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Just now, SilverPalm said:

I guess that I don't see a group of statues as key to Scouting's mission. That might matter to the donors, so there might be some political benefit to having them, but kids at camps don't care who the donors are/were.

I agree. 

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41 minutes ago, vol_scouter said:

Perhaps the statues are a key to some of the desire to retain the Summit.  The statues are of major donors and many are national executive board members.  Doubt that if any of us gave a substantial gift would like to see it sold.  There are several buildings on site as well that required sizable donations to construct  

It is truly an edifice built in their image. How could you sell that? 🙂 The buildings and mountain are named after other donors. 

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59 minutes ago, ThenNow said:

Would someone be kind enough to briefly list (or point me to a link) of the professional Scouter tiers? You talk about Key 3 and SE, DE and such. I recall our Scout Executive and District Executive, but don't have a working knowledge of the chain of command, if you will. It might help me understand who's making decisions (or not) at the various levels. Thanks very much.

Sorry to quote myself, but it seemed the easiest way to include all of you who were kind enough to reply. So, who is responsible (directly and ultimately) for the selection and oversight of Unit leaders and what is the interplay between the COs, who I've come to understand have more responsibility and a greater role than I knew or certainly ever experienced during my 7-8 years in Scouting? I might need a Venn Diagram or A Beautiful Mind string board wall...

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18 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

I looked at a few and they are consistent.  Insurance companies have different reasons. One was very interesting as they are targeting a specific council.

 

This firm represents 4,000 claimants.

https://casedocs.omniagentsolutions.com/cmsvol2/pub_47373/7cef4ee9-129c-42d4-8e66-7e691ea43021_3284.pdf

I found it interesting to see how they look at council finances and camps.  I had a feeling that councils selling camps left and right (just for operational cash) would come back and haunt us ... 

 

I seem to remember that the courts have already ruled that Owasippe can not be sold unless it was a camp. The new owners could not develop it due to zoning. I think this was in federal courts.

This was part of the whole Chicago Area Council attempt to get money that resulted in several court cases, 2 different executive boards, the scout exec being fired, CAC with condtional charter and several million spent on lawyers already. 

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26 minutes ago, ThenNow said:

So, who is responsible (directly and ultimately) for the selection and oversight of Unit leaders and what is the interplay between the COs, who I've come to understand have more responsibility and a greater role than I knew or certainly ever experienced during my 7-8 years in Scouting? I might need a Venn Diagram or A Beautiful Mind string board wall...

UNIT is as follows and, as always, starts with a Key-3

  1. The Institutional Head (IH) selects a Chartered Organization Representative (or names themself). The COR is entitled to sit on the Council Board. In a church, for example the IH may be the pastor while the COR is a deacon, member of the congregation, junior pastor, etc.
  2. The IH or COR names a Committee Chair. The Chair is a registered adult leader and responsible for the unit's administrative functions. Fundraising? Paperwork? That's suppose to be committee (it tends to get dumped on Scoutmasters, but that's another story)
  3. The IH or COR names a Unit Leader (Scoutmaster, Cubmaster are the ones you are likely familiar with). This is typically on the recommendation of the Unit Committee, but the unit committee does not "hire" the Unit Leader, the IH or COR does.

Under the terms of of the annual charter agreement between the CO and Boy Scouts of America (note: NOT the local council), the CO is to oversee these three and the entire program and adhere to BSA's directives and program. Note that the language changed over the years, but usually includes language like this.
 

Quote

The Chartered Organization agrees to:

• Conduct the Scouting program consistent with BSA rules, regulations, and policies.

• Assure that adults selected as unit leaders are suitable by, at a minimum, having the appropriate leaders of the Chartered Organization review and sign each application

Below these Key-3 are

  1. Unit Committee members: again, all must be approved by the COR.
  2. Unit Leader Assistants: Den Leaders, Assistant Cubmasters, Assistant Scoutmasters are the most common. Again, must be approved by the COR.

Merit badge counselors are technically DISTRICT positions, not unit. Another story for another day.

THE BIGGEST CRITICISM of this relationship is that the IH and COR, while they are suppose to be exercising oversight of these units and taking seriously the men (and women) they select to these positions in reality just sign the papers.

  1. CORs tend to be someone in the congregation who wants to help run the unit.
  2. Unit leaders tend to be whoever is willing to take the job.
  3. Committee chairs are whoever are willing to handle the paperwork.

The joke of the relationship is that other than signing that annual charter agreement, the IHs and sometimes even the CORs wouldn't be able to identify the unit leaders in a police lineup. It is looked at like the Troop/Pack is some outside youth group that uses the church's basement once a week.

THAT IS NOT HOW IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE but it is how it evolved. The CO/COR is completely checked out.

That's why so many COs dropped scouting last year. The lawsuits and bankruptcies made them realize:

  • Who was it that signed that adult application to allow the absusive scoutmaster in? That's your signature COR or IH.
  • Who was it that utterly failed to supervise any of the abusers or the scout unit? That would be you COR or IH.
  • But, who is now on the hook for negligence in selection, oversight, training, and retention? That would be you COR or IH.

You just thought you were leasing space to the scouts for weekly meetings for free. LOL You're screwed now.

Edited by CynicalScouter
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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

UNIT is as follows and, as always, starts with a Key-3

Good grief. No wonder there's confusion, laying off of duties and gaps in the ranks. Forgive me for saying so, but that's quite a web. This all helps me understand why there are so many job openings in the professional areas, as well.

As I said, I think the church janitor gave us a key and the Unit was passed to my SM when the previous one became sick with cancer and died shortly after. They key was similarly passed. I don't know if the church was involved, other than I recall the priest visiting a meeting after the new SM was installed. I was a kid, so maybe I missed the behind the scenes goings on. We cleaned the gym and did whatever else they asked after our Monday meetings and sometimes during the week after school events. We had access to the parking lot for paper drives, gathering before campouts and the activities center for fundraisers.

Edited by ThenNow
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7 minutes ago, ThenNow said:

I was a kid, so maybe I missed the behind the scenes goings on.

Yeah, as a kid, I barely knew who the committee chair was other than from BoR. That is by design, the committee takes care of the bureaucracy and behind the scenes stuff. 

Those 2 parts of the key 3 for a unit works well. Basically there is "program and staff". Similar to other organizations, in this case the front line people are the SM and ASMs. The "backend support people" are the committee, lead by the committee chair. Again, not an uncommon structure. 

The break down is the COR. In a number of units, the COR is the committee chair, as that is an allowed structure. The CO and IH, are totally out of the picture.  Our current COR is very good and really does fulfill the duties. It is due to him really knowing Scouts well and the responsibility. That is not common. 

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Just now, ThenNow said:

Good grief. No wonder there's confusion, laying off of duties and gaps in the ranks. Forgive me for saying so, but that's quite a web. This all helps me understand why there are so many job openings in the professional areas, as well. 

The purpose of the pros is, in the best of cases, to be the institutional memory and help units survive and thrive. At worst, they are tone deaf egotists and bean counters who don't know what "real" scouting is and just want to beg for money for the council to pay absurdly large scout exec salaries.

Your mileage may vary, and there are entire sections of this site dedicated to debating the positives and negatives of the professional staffers.

But, anyway, back to the point; the pros are suppose to help units because the units are all volunteer (although early on there were reports of paid Scoutmasters, that was dropped by the 1930s).

Volunteers who are untrained, unprepared, and don't know anything about how a BSA unit is suppose to operate or how to operate the unit in compliance with BSA policies.

So, there you have it: Boy Scouts of America.

  1. A (mostly) volunteer organization
  2. guided (or dictated to, depending) by paid professional staff
  3. based on the absurdly laughable premise that the chartered organizations are selecting and overseeing the men (and later women)
  4. who are responsible for children
  5. and this entire mess insured by BSA National and the Local Councils

Now, do you see what the insurance companies are like "No way are we paying for this mess."

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26 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

UNIT is as follows and, as always, starts with a Key-3

  1. The Institutional Head (IH) selects a Chartered Organization Representative (or names themself). The COR is entitled to sit on the Council Board. In a church, for example the IH may be the pastor while the COR is a deacon, member of the congregation, junior pastor, etc.
  2. The IH or COR names a Committee Chair. The Chair is a registered adult leader and responsible for the unit's administrative functions. Fundraising? Paperwork? That's suppose to be committee (it tends to get dumped on Scoutmasters, but that's another story)
  3. The IH or COR names a Unit Leader (Scoutmaster, Cubmaster are the ones you are likely familiar with). This is typically on the recommendation of the Unit Committee, but the unit committee does not "hire" the Unit Leader, the IH or COR does.

Under the terms of of the annual charter agreement between the CO and Boy Scouts of America (note: NOT the local council), the CO is to oversee these three and the entire program and adhere to BSA's directives and program. Note that the language changed over the years, but usually includes language like this.
 

Below these Key-3 are

  1. Unit Committee members: again, all must be approved by the COR.
  2. Unit Leader Assistants: Den Leaders, Assistant Cubmasters, Assistant Scoutmasters are the most common. Again, must be approved by the COR.

Merit badge counselors are technically DISTRICT positions, not unit. Another story for another day.

THE BIGGEST CRITICISM of this relationship is that the IH and COR, while they are suppose to be exercising oversight of these units and taking seriously the men (and women) they select to these positions in reality just sign the papers.

  1. CORs tend to be someone in the congregation who wants to help run the unit.
  2. Unit leaders tend to be whoever is willing to take the job.
  3. Committee chairs are whoever are willing to handle the paperwork.

The joke of the relationship is that other than signing that annual charter agreement, the IHs and sometimes even the CORs wouldn't be able to identify the unit leaders in a police lineup. It is looked at like the Troop/Pack is some outside youth group that uses the church's basement once a week.

THAT IS NOT HOW IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE but it is how it evolved. The CO/COR is completely checked out.

That's why so many COs dropped scouting last year. The lawsuits and bankruptcies made them realize:

  • Who was it that signed that adult application to allow the absusive scoutmaster in? That's your signature COR or IH.
  • Who was it that utterly failed to supervise any of the abusers or the scout unit? That would be you COR or IH.
  • But, who is now on the hook for negligence in selection, oversight, training, and retention? That would be you COR or IH.

You just thought you were leasing space to the scouts for weekly meetings for free. LOL You're screwed now.

I am glad I have a good relationship with our COR.  He is in my phone as a contact.  He for sure knows who I am. :)  We were doing Scouting for Food donation pickup and he came out of his house to visit when we went by.  He does show up to Unit events and meetings regularly.  

I think it might help that he actually was a Scout.  For the public events that he attends, he always does it in full uniform.

We are chartered by the Methodist Church and they do on some sort of regular basis rotate their ministers.  When the new minister came a couple of years ago, I made sure to introduce myself and we invited him to a few of our events.

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1 minute ago, mrjohns2 said:

The CO and IH, are totally out of the picture.  Our current COR is very good and really does fulfill the duties. It is due to him really knowing Scouts well and the responsibility. That is not common

Nope. But I wonder how common that will remain if these units are looked at as legal liabilities. For example, I know Catholic Church chartered units in my diocese must, in addition to BSA YPT, take Virtus, be registered as PARISH leaders, and are subject to oversight by the pastor (IH) or a similarly designated person who sits on the Parish board as the COR. The pack I came from it was a Deacon, then the newest junior priest, then back to the Deacon.

In other words: if you are going to get this parish into potential legal liability, we want to know who you are, what you do, and you are going to be vetted (defined as the Diocese).

If you suck as a Scoutmaster or Cubmaster, whatever. But you are NOT going to be a legal liability.

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