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Bankruptcy, everything but the legalese


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1 minute ago, vol_scouter said:

Programs, policies, standards, etc are done by very involved volunteers

But unless you are prepared to write big checks or suck up to the right people, you will never be asked to be on any boards, committees, or anything.

That's what is frustrated me and others at every level above unit. I want to be involved, I've got ideas on how to improve things, but there is LITERALLY NO WAY to know who to send my idea to.

So, let's be clear her: programs, policies, and standards are set by those who are in-good with the professionals.

Like right now, today, this second, if I had an idea for how to improve the Arrow of Light year, WHO would I even send that too?

  1. Who is the Chair of the National Cub Scout program/lead volunteer? No answer. No way to know
  2. Who is the Director of Cub Scout programing? I found a 2017 Scoutingwire article, but who knows if that's still accurate? And there is NO contact information for that person (I can GUESS it is firstname.lastname@scouting.org, but that is a GUESS) https://scoutingwire.org/meet-bsas-new-program-directors-cub-scouts-boy-scouts-venturing/
  3. This website says they exist, but no names, no contact, nothing. https://www.scouting.org/programs/cub-scouts/den-meeting-resources/

In other words, sit down, shut up, mind your own business, don't ask questions, and if we want to hear from you, we'll ask you.

And that's just day to day operations. How about the Churchill project? What a disaster that was. Who was allowed to be on it? No answers. Who were the members? No answer.

And don't tell me it was about "girls, gays, and transgendered" when they were looking at things like territory structure. Give me a break. This was in-house people mouthing in-house things.

And as you may recall, that report NEVER came out officially; instead a leaked Powerpoint picture was the ONLY thing that ever came out thanks to a reddit leak that I found/saw.

So, when you say "very involved volunteers" I hear either "big check writers" or "people who are insiders".

 

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2 minutes ago, vol_scouter said:

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.

How often have the rejected decisions/recommendations submitted to them by the Chief Scout/professional leadership?  How often have they forced the firing or denied hiring an individual recommended by professional staff? 

They didn't even vote on the most important decision BSA has faced in 100 years (the RSA).

100% voted to allow in girls.  

100% voted to allow gay adults as leaders.

I think both of those votes were the correct direction for the organization, but I am VERY suspicious when boards vote 100% in favor of something when there are 70+ members.   It makes me think they are running into the exact issues large boards often face.

There are MANY studies & articles that argue for smaller boards.  

http://policylinkcontent.s3.amazonaws.com/What is the best size for your board.pdf

https://www.sumptionandwyland.com/resources/sumption-wyland-articles/what-is-the-right-size-for-your-nonprofits-board

Quote

The simple answer is that most authors agree that a typical nonprofit board of directors should comprise not less than 8-9 members and not more than 11-14 members. Some authors focusing on healthcare organizations indicate a board size up to 19 members is acceptable, though not optimal. [NOTE: the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) surveyed their members in 2001. In for-profit corporations, almost 60% of respondents said corporate boards should have 8-11 members. For larger companies, boards typically fall in the 9-12 member range (Biggs, The Governance Factor).]

WE HAVE >70!!! 

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6 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

And that's just day to day operations. How about the Churchill project? What a disaster that was. Who was allowed to be on it? No answers. Who were the members? No answer.

And don't tell me it was about "girls, gays, and transgendered" when they were looking at things like territory structure. Give me a break. This was in-house people mouthing in-house things.

The Churchill project was NEC directed with mainly NEB members and a few other volunteers.  The professional staff had very limited input and were often asked to leave the meeting.

It was about those things from intimate knowledge.

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28 minutes ago, vol_scouter said:

The NEB members and national committee members see their roles as important and take their responsibilities very seriously.  Volunteers run the national council. 

Here's what I would personally like to see and I proposed it for the paid professionals half-heartedly because it would likely be a violation of employment law (forced volunteerism) but I 100% believe it a good idea for any volunteer position.

Any volunteer member of a council or national board, or committee thereof, but have recorded service in a unit in the prior 3 years defined (per the Registration Guidebook of the Boy Scouts of America) as

  • Chartered Organization Rep (CR)
  • Committee Chair/Committee Member or its functional equivalent in Sea Scouts and Venture (CC, MC)
  • Unit Leader (SM, NL, CM, SK)
  • Assistant Unit Leader CA = Assistant Cub Master, SA = Assistant Scoutmaster,  or its functional equivalent in Sea Scouts and Venture
  • Den Leader OR Assistant Den Leader

"Volunteers" may run the council, but I bet if you asked the 72 members "when is the last time you performed unit service" most would indicated DECADES ago, if ever.

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14 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

But unless you are prepared to write big checks or suck up to the right people, you will never be asked to be on any boards, committees, or anything.

Not true at all.  I do not have the ability to write a large check even on the local council level let alone on the national level.  I served on a national committee that I eventually chaired and the later chairs were not wealthy either.

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10 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

They didn't even vote on the most important decision BSA has faced in 100 years (the RSA).

100% voted to allow in girls.  

100% voted to allow gay adults as leaders.

Rubber stamps. As you said: with 70 people, including as the judge noted an enormously LARGE number of lawyers, to have anything approved unanimously is just an indicator no one was paying much attention and deferring to the professional staff to tell them what to do.

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3 minutes ago, vol_scouter said:

I served on a national committee that I eventually chaired and the later chairs were not wealthy either.

Good for you. I've been told, point blank, no check, no council board seat and given the exact number (which I was expected to give each year of service on the board).

It is pay to play. And I get it, LCs need the cash. But let's not pretend that den leader/mom is getting invited to be on a national committee somewhere. It's who-you-know and pay-to-play.

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2 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

Rubber stamps. As you said: with 70 people, including as the judge noted an enormously LARGE number of lawyers, to have anything approved unanimously is just an indicator no one was paying much attention and deferring to the professional staff to tell them what to do.

The NEB voted to allow the volunteers to vote on gay Scouts - more than 60% voted in favor with an outside firm overseeing the vote.

The discussion at the NEC and NEB was vigorous but girls and gays were both highly supported.  It is my supposition that the NEC and NEB wanted unanimity on the official vote to show support for the direction.

 

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8 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

Good for you. I've been told, point blank, no check, no council board seat and given the exact number (which I was expected to give each year of service on the board).

It is pay to play.

It has never been an issue in my council where I have been a executive board member (some years executive committee too) without deep pockets since the mid-1990's.  It is not a requisite on the national level though there is a cost of going to committee meetings three or more times a year in Dallas and wherever NAM is held that one must be able to afford.

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4 minutes ago, vol_scouter said:

It has never been an issue in my council where I have been a executive board member (some years executive committee too) without deep pockets since the mid-1990's. 

The price tag I was quoted was that over the course of 3 years of local council service you had to contribute at LEAST the minimum $200 per year for Friends of Scouting AND sufficient funds to make West-Silver ($5000) in that 3 year time period. Basically, $150 a month for every month of board service.

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1 minute ago, CynicalScouter said:

The price tag I was quoted was that over the course of 3 years of local council service you had to contribute at LEAST the minimum $200 per year for Friends of Scouting AND sufficient funds to make West-Silver ($5000) in that 3 year time period. Basically, $150 a month for every month of board service.

This is not BSA policy so was enacted by volunteers in your council.  It has a chilling effect on volunteers.  I support all board members contribute something to the council - time, money, or both.  

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UK Board of Trustees ...

Similar BSA Executive Committtee Links ... could someone post them?  I did some searching on souting.org and other spots ... other than Wikipedia I can't find much.

 

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3 hours ago, mrjohns2 said:

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. 

Oh, I'm not arguing that the sale isn't worthwhile.  Clearly it is for many troops.  My primary hatred for it stems from the fact that (in violation of the BSA's own rules on fundraisers) the pricing is so radically out of line with the value of the product it is functionally just a mass beg for donations with a consolation prize for donating.  I feel dirty even asking someone to pay $20 for a $4 bag of White Cheddar Popcorn.  (There are few items that are only about double the retail cost, which is tolerable, but 5 times the cost!!)

 

51 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

While I'm not arguing that 70 isn't too many, you should note that further down the article mentions:

Quote

One significant exception to the board size assessments is arts and cultural organizations, which tend to have larger and more fund development-driven board sizes and structures.

While the BSA isn't really an arts or cultural organization, it is certainly a "fund development drive board".

 

30 minutes ago, vol_scouter said:

The NEB voted to allow the volunteers to vote on gay Scouts - more than 60% voted in favor with an outside firm overseeing the vote.

The discussion at the NEC and NEB was vigorous but girls and gays were both highly supported.  It is my supposition that the NEC and NEB wanted unanimity on the official vote to show support for the direction.

 

Yep, that was my read on it too.  There was likely discussion and argument and as soon as they figured out that the "No" votes weren't going to win, they went with the whole "We really need to show unanimous support for this for PR reasons".

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1 hour ago, CynicalScouter said:

Who is the Chair of the National Cub Scout program/lead volunteer? No answer. No way to know

Anthony Berger is very active in the Facebook Cub Scout volunteer group. That's a mixed bag to say the least, but he's accessible.

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