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Bankruptcy, everything but the legalese


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2 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

I’ve been in three councils and never had this happen.

BSA does require units complete a unit fundraising application for council to approve but I have never had to pay a fee or has council take any cut whatsoever. Typically the DE simply looked it over to make sure we weren’t doing anything we were not allowed to (soliciting donations, raffles, etc.) and signed it on the spot. 5 minutes tops.

Some councils and units conflict on this when the unit participates in none of the official fundraisers but only do events where the unit makes a big haul. I think one specific unit in my district had this as a threat over their spaghetti dinner fundraiser.

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6 minutes ago, Muttsy said:

But to be clear I don’t see this being a plan encompassing LC’s. With a Toggle plan or the TCC’s yet to be unveiled Toggle plus plan, a simple majority is all that’s needed.

1) Really? That seems counter to what the Bankruptcy rules had. My read is that ANY plan requires either 2/3rds of claimants representing at last 50% of value OR a cramdown. My understanding was that the way Lauria put it the plan was a) Send out the global plan (BSA/LC/CO) and when that goes down in flames, b) order the cramdown.

EDIT: Yep. Any plan, toggle, global, toggle plus, whatever = 2/3rds.

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Pursuant to section 1126(c) of the Bankruptcy Code, a class of claims can only accept a plan “if such plan has been accepted by creditors . . . that hold at least two-thirds in amount and more than one-half in number of the allowed claims of such class held by creditors . . . that have accepted or rejected such plan.” 11 U.S.C. § 1126(c) (emphasis added).

2) As for the TCC plan, again my recollection was the Stang had said at a hearing when exclusivity was about to expire that they could put together a plan in two weeks. However, then the RSA showed up.

Speculation: Stang's "Toggle plus" (BSA + LCs) became the RSA plan.

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My hope in BSA restructuring is that the NEC (12 member) and NEB (72 members) will be replaced with a single real Executive Board (I like REB for an abbreviation, :D) of 16-24 new members who will oversee BSA Corporate Officers and Directors.

Anyone have a current list of the Corporate Officers and Directors?

My $0.02,

Edited by RememberSchiff
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8 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

Anyone have a current list of the Corporate Officers and Directors?

Isn't is sad and pathetic that there is absolutely no way to see a list of any of this in scouting.org?

I can pull the 2020 board from the IRS 990s and the top/senior officers.

https://www.scouting.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/2019BSA_Form990_publicdisclosure-1.pdf

But right now, on scouting.org, there is no way for me as a unit level leader to see a list of ANYONE other than the National Key-3.

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29 minutes ago, Gilwell_1919 said:

But, units generally get small percentage of the "profits" their LCs makes on popcorn and camp card sales. But, what ever small amount goes back to the units... it generally gets placed in the "unit account", which is nothing more than a credit at council, which can only be used to pay for council and district programs, activities, and events. Units cannot use it to buy things like tents, sleeping bags, unit campouts, or anything else the unit may do. It is essentially like the “company stores” that used to make their employees rent tools, pay for housing, and other fees to be able to “work at the company” and then most of the workers ended up in debt to the “company” and working for free. I am glad this was outlawed years ago, but it is rampant in BSA – who do it under the guise of a “youth program”. 

Don't get me wrong here, I agree with the general sentiment that you are conveying, but it's important to keep the feelings from overwhelming the truth.

I HATE the popcorn sale with every fiber of my being, but the Troop/pack portion of popcorn sales isn't "Small", it's either 30% or 35% of sales depending on if you opt for prizes.  And I don't know what LC you are in, but mine sends a check to the unit.  I think leaving it as a "troop credit" is an option with the council, but all you have to do is ask for the check and you get it.

29 minutes ago, Gilwell_1919 said:

 and they have to pay their LCs 30% of any fundraising for the right to use the "BSA Logo"; if a unit conducts a fundraiser without paying this "use fee", councils have their legal teams go after that unit - as a DC, I had to get involved a dozen or so time when this was happening because the LC wanted their 30% cut in little cub scouts were selling drinks at community events to raise money for their pack. Really? In addition to every other fee collected, BSA still wants more money from little kids trying to raise funds to buy themselves camping equipment? There is nothing anyone can say to justify that type of behavior. 

As someone else mentioned, I know the councils "suggests" a 30% donation back to the council would be a good idea, but I've never heard of them insisting on it.  And even if they did, all you do is say "this is a CO fundraiser and they contribute the funds to our program".  For fundraisers that don't require insurance coverage, (kids selling to friends and family) I don't even think this flirts with "dishonest".

4 minutes ago, malraux said:

Some councils and units conflict on this when the unit participates in none of the official fundraisers but only do events where the unit makes a big haul. I think one specific unit in my district had this as a threat over their spaghetti dinner fundraiser.

Yeah, my Cub pack had the council getting more and more demanding for a few years because we skipped popcorn entirely and funded our entire program off of a Wreath Sale.  There were a couple visits where they suggested "a 2500-3000 check would be appropriate" out of our 9k profit.  We didn't have much problem simply responding with "No.".  Though eventually we did end up building up enough of a "safety net" that we had extra funds and started sending a small check to the council.  Personally, I wanted to get a hold of the local camp director and let them know we needed a shopping list with $2000 worth of camp equipment they wanted and we'd drop it off in May.

 

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9 minutes ago, elitts said:

I HATE the popcorn sale with every fiber of my being, but the Troop/pack portion of popcorn sales isn't "Small", it's either 30% or 35% of sales depending on if you opt for prizes. 

Our troop is still relatively small and new. If we hit a 25% increase in sales, we get a lot of benefits. For us, that is $2000. When we hit $2000, all of the sales will be at 41% share AND we get 3 adults free for camp. With the value of adults, we will be getting 65% share. So, it is very worthwhile foe our troop. I can see where hitting a 25% increase would be hard for some, so they will be at the 35% level. 

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33 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

I’ve been in three councils and never had this happen.

I've been in five councils over 35 years, associated with a dozen or so others, and this was status quo. In our current LC, we are told the 30% is to pay for the use of the BSA logo and to cover standard "OH / G&A costs".  Sounds like you have been in three great councils, unfortunately... I have never heard of a council not charging a fee for fundraising. Maybe I keep finding the councils with bad SE's?

In fact, when I was told, as a district commissioner, to shut down one cub scout pack's drink fundraiser because they wouldn't pay the 30% fee, I told the SE to push it over to his legal folks and they should take the pack to small claims court. It never went anywhere. In another scenario, I had to sit down with the SM, UC, and DE to come to an agreement about the fee because the troop had been doing a particular fundraiser for decades, and it was well known and supported by the entire community. The SM told the DE he refused to have his scouts break their backs in the hot sun while a 1/3 of what they raised went into the coffers of the folks at council sitting in their air conditioning offices. My DE had a sidebar with me afterwards and said we needed to setup a meeting with the COR/IH and get them involved. I told him I didn't feel comfortable doing that, so he went around my back instead. Luckily, the SM and COR were both members of the same CO, and let me tell you... they both took a bite out of the DE's hide during that meeting. Luckily, the district chair was also the mayor and told the LC to stand down or it would be brought up during the next city council meeting. The council decided it wasn't worth the PR nightmare and let it go. 

I definitely think you and I have had way different scouting experiences... but I am happy you've never had to deal with crummy situations like this. It's not fun... and it makes you lose a lot of respect for certain professionals that wear the same uniforms as the volunteers. 

 

39 minutes ago, MikeS72 said:

Not in my council.  When the council program fee was instituted a couple of years ago, it meant an end to fees for district events such as Cub Family Camp, District Shooting Sports days, District Camporee, BALOO/IOLS training, etc.  Council also lowered the costs for much of the Council level adult training. 

Holy cow!! That is fantastic! Not us. Our fee doubled national's fee and some of our LC event fees even went up. As someone who sits in a volunteer council position... I am always pretty vocal about the costs vs. the low quality.

But. let me say, there are two professionals at our council who are two of the best human beings I have ever met. They do more than any person should be expected to do... but that is because they think of the scouts as their own kids. Salt of the earth kind of folks - it's truly humbling.

Man!! Seriously, what council are you in...? I'd love to be in a council like that! 😁

 

 

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This raises a point: how transparent is BSA? Try this.

1) We know, based on IRS 990s and the latest filing with the court, that the 72 member NEB includes three relatively unique names: Chookaszian and Dittrick and Desai. Using that data, surely I should be able to find a current roster (or even a 1 year old one, I'm not picky) of the BSA board on scouting.org, right?

Well, nope. https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Ascouting.org+Chookaszian+Dittrick+Desai

All I get is IRS 990s.

2) Well then maybe it is on scouting wire? Nope. Nothing

https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Ascoutingwire.org+Chookaszian+Dittrick+Desai

3) Well, let's see if Google is having trouble with the sites, it has been known to happen. I'll search for Chookaszian and Dittrick and Desai using the native search feature at both sites.

Scouting.org: 1 single page listed - Thank you! Regional Outdoor Chairs Have Offered Resources and Guidance to Local Councils

https://www.scouting.org/?s=Chookaszian+and+Dittrick+and+Desai

Scoutingwire: 1 single page listed - BSA’s Commitment to Act Against Racial Injustice

https://scoutingwire.org/?s=Chookaszian+and+Dittrick+and+Desai

4) Well then maybe I'm a moron. Why not just do a mass search via google for these three names and see what comes up.

https://www.google.com/search?q=Chookaszian+Dittrick+Desai

Yeah, some IRS tax data and that's it.

5) But @CynicalScouter, why are you so focused on the out of touch NEB? Focus on those BSA employees! I know by pure happenstance that, for example, Garfield Murden is a National Director, Scouts BSA. Surely, if I run the above searches, I'll find Mr. Murden's name in a staff listing showing, for example, the other National Directors or something? Right?

Yeah, no.

In short and in sum, it is literally impossible to determine who senior leadership is in BSA at either the employee/managerial level OR at the board level (outside of the Key-3: Mosby, Ownby, Sorrells)

But @CynicalScouter, you'll say, why so cynical? This is probably STANDARD for similarly situated groups?

Yeah, no.

Let's pick on GSUSA a second. Same drill. Based on their IRS 990s I am going to find 2-3 board members and employees/officers with unique enough names and search for them on their GSUSA website.

Here's the IRS 990 I'll be using https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/131624016/202131319349302813/full

1) For BOARD names I'll take: Noorain Khan (Secretary) Jeanmarie C Grisi (Treasurer) and Kathy Hopinkah Hannan (National President)

For OFFICER names: Bernice Johnson (VP Procurement), Maureen McNerney (Chief People Officer), and
Sapreet Kaur Saluja  (Chief Strategic Partnerships & New Ventures Officer)

Google search for board members

https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Agirlscouts.org+Khan+Grisi+Hannan

And would you look at that, an entire PAGE dedicated to the board! (NOTE: Grisi and Hannan appear to have cycled off in 2020).

https://www.girlscouts.org/en/about-girl-scouts/our-leadership/national-board.html

Google search for top executives

https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Agirlscouts.org+Johnson+McNerney+Saluj

Will wonders never cease, there's an entire PAGE dedicated to them, with photos and bios and everything!

https://www.girlscouts.org/en/about-girl-scouts/our-leadership/executive-team.htm

Let me repeat this back

It is literally impossible to determine who senior leadership is in BSA at either the employee/managerial level OR at the board level

Now you'll excuse me, I have a sudden hankering for cookies. Don't know why.

 

Edited by CynicalScouter
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7 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

This raises a point: how transparent is BSA? Try this.

1) We know, based on IRS 990s and the latest filing with the court, that the 72 member NEB includes three relatively unique names: Chookaszian and Dittrick and Desai. Using that data, surely I should be able to find a current roster (or even a 1 year old one, I'm not picky) of the BSA board on scouting.org, right?

Well, nope. https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Ascouting.org+Chookaszian+Dittrick+Desai

All I get is IRS 990s.

2) Well then maybe it is on scouting wire? Nope. Nothing

https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Ascoutingwire.org+Chookaszian+Dittrick+Desai

3) Well, let's see if Google is having trouble with the sites, it has been known to happen. I'll search for Chookaszian and Dittrick and Desai using the native search feature at both sites.

Scouting.org: 1 single page listed - Thank you! Regional Outdoor Chairs Have Offered Resources and Guidance to Local Councils

https://www.scouting.org/?s=Chookaszian+and+Dittrick+and+Desai

Scoutingwire: 1 single page listed - BSA’s Commitment to Act Against Racial Injustice

https://scoutingwire.org/?s=Chookaszian+and+Dittrick+and+Desai

4) Well then maybe I'm a moron. Why not just do a mass search via google for these three names and see what comes up.

https://www.google.com/search?q=Chookaszian+Dittrick+Desai

Yeah, some IRS tax data and that's it.

5) But @CynicalScouter, why are you so focused on the out of touch NEB? Focus on those BSA employees! I know by pure happenstance that, for example, Garfield Murden is a National Director, Scouts BSA. Surely, if I run the above searches, I'll find Mr. Murden's name in a staff listing showing, for example, the other National Directors or something? Right?

Yeah, no.

In short and in sum, it is literally impossible to determine who senior leadership is in BSA at either the employee/managerial level OR at the officer level (outside of the Key-3: Mosby, Ownby, Sorrells)

But @CynicalScouter, you'll say, why so cynical? This is probably STANDARD for similarly situated groups?

Yeah, no.

Let's pick on GSUSA a second. Same drill. Based on their IRS 990s I am going to find 2-3 board members and employees/officers with unique enough names and search for them on their GSUSA website.

Here's the IRS 990 I'll be using https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/131624016/202131319349302813/full

1) For BOARD names I'll take: Noorain Khan (Secretary) Jeanmarie C Grisi (Treasurer) and Kathy Hopinkah Hannan (National President)

For OFFICER names: Bernice Johnson (VP Procurement), Maureen McNerney (Chief People Officer), and
Sapreet Kaur Saluja  (Chief Strategic Partnerships & New Ventures Officer)

Google search for board members

https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Agirlscouts.org+Khan+Grisi+Hannan

And would you look at that, an entire PAGE dedicated to the board! (NOTE: Grisi and Hannan appear to have cycled off in 2020).

https://www.girlscouts.org/en/about-girl-scouts/our-leadership/national-board.html

Google search for top executives

https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Agirlscouts.org+Johnson+McNerney+Saluj

Will wonders never cease, there's an entire PAGE dedicated to them, with photos and bios and everything!

https://www.girlscouts.org/en/about-girl-scouts/our-leadership/executive-team.htm

Let me repeat this back

It is literally impossible to determine who senior leadership is in BSA at either the employee/managerial level OR at the officer level.

Now you'll excuse me, I have a sudden hankering for cookies. Don't know why.

 

@CynicalScouter  I agree with you that the BSA needs more transparency.  It should be possible to find some sort of organizational chart and committee structure along with a method to contact the committee/board/professional etc.  Perhaps there could be email addresses that are for those committees, etc but are not the main email for those.

I imagine that this insular setup may have originated after Ben Love announced a policy on gays in the 1980's that resulted in death threats.  The national office has a few characteristics to harden it for a violent attack.  Professionals who have responsibility for program, health and safety, advancement, awards, and others receive emails that are abusive and often threatening including some death threats.  Topics such as gays, transgenders,  and girls have resulted in much abuse and threats.  It sickens and disgusts me that it is so but facts are facts.

So there are valid reasons to protect volunteers and professionals from abuse and threats.  All of that said, it seems to me that protection can be made while being more transparent.

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13 minutes ago, vol_scouter said:

Topics such as gays, transgenders,  and girls have resulted in much abuse and threats.  It sickens and disgusts me that it is so but facts are facts.  So there are valid reasons to protect volunteers and professionals from abuse and threats.

Right now, today, I can find the names and contact information for the leadership of Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America, the National Abortion Federation, the National Organization for Women, and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Past a point, safety is an excuse/cop out.

I know of NO other organization that has taken a position on "gays, transgenders,  and girls" that has 100% shut down any access to information about Board Members and/or senior employees/officials in the way BSA has.

NONE.

EDIT: Can you name a SINGLE other organization of ANY sort that goes out of its way to NOT list its board members (outside of mandated IRS 990s) or its senior employees?

Name ONE.

Edited by CynicalScouter
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1 minute ago, CynicalScouter said:

I know of NO other organization that has taken a position on "gays, transgenders,  and girls" that has 100% shut down any access to information about Board Members and/or senior employees/officials in the way BSA has.

NONE.

That is why I explained the likely reason for the policy but did not defend it. 

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24 minutes ago, vol_scouter said:

That is why I explained the likely reason for the policy but did not defend it. 

My guess is that we have so many board members that the individual typing out their contact information got carpal tunnel and filed for workman's comp.  

Kidding aside, I wonder if the real reason they don't list their email addresses is because they don't take the role that seriously and/or they don't have any real power.  They remind me of the GE board.  One new board member once asked “What is the role of a GE board member?” An older director volunteered: “Applause.”

I think a much smaller board is needed so they feel the responsibility of the position.  Being 1 of 72 makes it easy to point to others or feel almost no ownership of the outcome.  Being 1 of 8 or 12 would make that each board member role 6 to 9 times more powerful.  That is actually good as it would also mean they would also feel the responsibility of their decisions and perhaps we can get a board with real ownership of the BSA.  Perhaps then, we could see their names & contact info.

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4 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

Kidding aside, I wonder if the real reason they don't list their email addresses is because they don't take the role that seriously and/or they don't have any real power. 

It is 100% clear that some board members, whether it is National or Council, are there to write big checks. I remember once, years ago, talking with the dean of my undergrad college about the Board of Trustees and how a famous alumni/actor had been named to the board and what committees he had been assigned to. Curriculum? Budget/finance? He laughed: some board members, he said are more BORED members.

I would hazard a guess that many of these folks barely blip/register. Until the bankruptcy I would be they maybe met 2-3 times a year (if that), or conference called in, rubber stamped whatever the Key-3 and professional staff handed them, etc.

And the idea isn't necessarily that all 72 need scouting.org emails and need to be checking them. But the notion is that they are 100% UNKNOWABLE aside from some major IRS 990 form sleuthing. That speaks volumes in and of itself.

The reason I suspect it will never drop to 1, 8, or 12 is because of that cash-cow aspect. If you're handing out board seats for checks, then reducing board seats means reducing that ability. There's no way that happens. As the judge and lawyers in the case mentioned: 72 directors in the private sector sounds insane, but in not-for-profit world? You board seats are where you get your money, or your money gets you a board seat.

 

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9 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

My guess is that we have so many board members that the individual typing out their contact information got carpal tunnel and filed for workman's comp.  

Kidding aside, I wonder if the real reason they don't list their email addresses is because they don't take the role that seriously and/or they don't have any real power.  They remind me of the GE board.  One new board member once asked “What is the role of a GE board member?” An older director volunteered: “Applause.”

I think a much smaller board is needed so they feel the responsibility of the position.  Being 1 of 72 makes it easy to point to others or feel almost no ownership of the outcome.  Being 1 of 8 or 12 would make that each board member role 6 to 9 times more powerful.  That is actually good as it would also mean they would also feel the responsibility of their decisions and perhaps we can get a board with real ownership of the BSA.  Perhaps then, we could see their names & contact info.

It is exactly the opposite.  The NEB members and national committee members see their roles as important and take their responsibilities very seriously.  Volunteers run the national council.  Programs, policies, standards, etc are done by very involved volunteers - not professionals.  They all feel very responsible for the youth members and the program.

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