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Bankruptcy, everything but the legalese


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1 hour ago, gpurlee said:

The program ministry branch (United Methodist Men) is very focused on retaining a strong relationship. It has always been very community and socially minded - part of the denominational  "DNA".

The judiciary arm, on the other hand, is focused on protecting the conferences and local congregations. They definitely do not like the prospects of lawsuits whether they be past, present or future.

If UMC is sued into the ground, program will be the least of folks worries.

And I get it from a programmatic perspective, but as I noted the bishop I linked to above and other senior leaders I've seen are making LEGAL claims, namely, that BSA chose the adult leaders (as if some how the churches were bystanders and BSA just reached into their congregations). The signatures of the COs and IHs from days gone by are going to demonstrate that the churches were signing agreements that a) "vouched" for these adult leaders and b) included language about maintaining oversight and responsibility.

Decades of treating those charted agreements as just annual paperwork to let the unit have the fellowship hall once a week are about to come back to haunt them.

Moreover, the other questions is where is the money coming from? Past a certain point, BSA's tapped out and the LCs have already put up what they consider THEIR contribution. Where's the extra money coming from?

I suspect it will be a combination of a) the UMC b) the LCs will have to give more and c) BSA will have to give more as well.

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20 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

A large board is in the 20 range most of the time.  If BSA was successful, it wouldn't be an issue.  We have 70 board members with no info.  UK Scouting has 21 board members and I can read their discussion about growth and actions they are taking.  The BSA board structure is a joke and provides no real oversight, no transparency.  We are bankrupt and shedding scouts.  UK is worried about 0.3% growth in 2020.  They are posting their discussion points on the web.

I'm sorry, but there is no defense of our National Executive Board or whatever they are called.  They are hiding and have been hiding for as far back as I can see.  We are bankrupt and have been in decline.  We are taking on massive debt from this bankruptcy and NO ONE is really talking to us other than a few councils and most of them provide minimal info.  We find snippets of info and pass them on Scouter.com, Facebook and Reddit.    

Where is Mosby?  If I were leading an organization through bankruptcy, I would be doing weekly video updates.  I would be thanking my volunteers.  I would be encouraging them to stay the course and know that we will respond.  I would spotlight a great council, Troop, Pack.  Something.  I would invite a key National staff member on to discuss a critical topic.  Here is Richard B ... head of safety, lets talk safety in scouting.   Perhaps I just can't find his frequent updates.  I know it took him months to write anything to us when first selected.  Right now he is MIA! 

Where is the board asking him why he isn't reaching out to the volunteer corp?  No, instead they are saying he is our long term Chief Scout.  OK.  UK has Bear Grylls and we have Mosby.

Twitter influence has been mentioned several times.  Bear Grylls has 1.5M followers and tweets about scouts frequently (Aug 24 quick example).  Roger Mosby has 12 followers and last tweet was Dec 2, 2013 about a car accident.  Perhaps not apples to apples.  UK Chief Commissioner, Tim Kidd - 8,406 followers tweeted about scouting yesterday.  UK Chief Executive Matt Hyde - 9.7K followers, tweeted about scouts 5 hours ago.  Again, Mosby, 12 followers, ZERO tweets about scouts.  Kosnoff has more twitter followers and tweets about scouting than our CEO who is hauling in massive $$.

I want my Scout Executive to be able to hike Mount Baldy with a full pack while live streaming, and then hike down to camp, and have a call with a leadership team about membership grown, program changes and CO relationships.   I have a hard time seeing our key 3 doing this right now.

Our leadership is lost and has no idea how to operate in the 21st century. Whatever they (the board) are doing is not working and hasn't been working well for many years.  It is time for a change.

@Eagle1993 for CSE!

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I think the UMC is making a good point.  Even though BSA didn't directly select unit leaders, it did force Chartered Organizations to appoint many unit leaders it would not have normally chosen themselves.

My CO started out appointing the minimum number of unit leaders needed to charter.  Unregistered parents supplied whatever additional help was needed.  It worked out fine, as far as my CO was concerned.

BSA than started badgering units into registering everyone and anyone who was even peripherally involved in the unit.  They basically wanted units to register every parent, regardless of whether the CO knew them or not

Many units have doubled and tripled the number of registered leaders in their units.  In some units, the registered adults outnumber the scouts.  This wasn't the choice of the Chartered Organizations.  This was BSA's doing.  It's on them. 

I'm sure the UMC can document this fact.  It is a good argument, and they should pursue it.  

 

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38 minutes ago, David CO said:

BSA than started badgering units into registering everyone and anyone who was even peripherally involved in the unit.

The push to register came decades after most of the abuse occurred and was in fact a reaction to the abuse. BSA put the registration system in place in order to try and keep track of who had access to these children and to run those names against a) the IV files and b) the criminal background checks.

The ScoutParent program wasn't until the 1990s and that was to address the need that if these people are going to be camping out and involved in scouting, Scouting needs to be able to do a background check. Today that's unit scouter reserve and college scouter reserve.

If the CO's were not prepared to at least do their own cursory examination of these adults, then the blame's on them. It was their signatures on the applications. BSA didn't hold a gun to their head. Now, the COs abdicated their obligation to exercise due diligence? Too bad, that's on them. Maybe next time, don't let unregistered adults with no criminal background checks near kids for prolonged periods of time.

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47 minutes ago, David CO said:

I'm sure the UMC can document this fact.

And I am sure, BSA can show that each and every application and annual charter agreement included language that the CO was responsible for their adult leaders. Does this look familiar at all?
 

Quote

The Chartered Organization agrees to:

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.

 

Edited by CynicalScouter
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4 hours ago, Jameson76 said:

I continue to be underwhelmed by the BSA professional leadership at the National and Local levels.  Transparency is not in their vocabulary.  Neither is communication.

Noticed a random note on our district e-blast (which typically has "no new content") about cub recruiting and the Field Director who assisted.  Apparently our DE, which is number 5 (maybe 6??) in the last 8 years has left.  No notice from council on that occurrence.  Then they wonder why the turnover is so bad as they don't regard them very highly and we do not get attached to them.

My version of this site must be broken, as I tried to upvote in scientific notation, something on the order of X times 10 to the seventh, but it would not work.

I have not heard anything from my council nor from my many contacts about the bankruptcy and its effect on my council, and I maintain constant contact with many of them.

Finally, my council's last SE, had, I believe, 27 DE's leave during his term of office of 5 years.  We have 5 districts with one DE per district.

His departure was not mourned by volunteers or professionals alike.  No one I have met in our council had a good thing to say of him.

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1 hour ago, David CO said:

I think the UMC is making a good point.  Even though BSA didn't directly select unit leaders, it did force Chartered Organizations to appoint many unit leaders it would not have normally chosen themselves.

My CO started out appointing the minimum number of unit leaders needed to charter.  Unregistered parents supplied whatever additional help was needed.  It worked out fine, as far as my CO was concerned.

BSA than started badgering units into registering everyone and anyone who was even peripherally involved in the unit.  They basically wanted units to register every parent, regardless of whether the CO knew them or not

Many units have doubled and tripled the number of registered leaders in their units.  In some units, the registered adults outnumber the scouts.  This wasn't the choice of the Chartered Organizations.  This was BSA's doing.  It's on them. 

I'm sure the UMC can document this fact.  It is a good argument, and they should pursue it.  

 

Got to show a 2% growth to Congress. (I think 2% is National's Standard for annual growth).

Knowing not where else to mention this:

Does anyone here have experience observing a DE actually creating a bona fide "new unit?"

In my council, phantom units appeared on the books, but they never functioned at all.

I was told by a reporter that a group of kids who toured the newspaper's printing facility were all required to fill out a Scouting Application before the tour.  Behold:  "A NEW UNIT," and the miracles continue unabated.

Yet the ship still sank.

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4 minutes ago, SiouxRanger said:

In my council, phantom units appeared on the books, but they never functioned at all.

There was an infamous program scoutpower of 1976 I think it was called where hundreds of scouts and dozens of units were created on paper.

as long as the checks cleared to pay for the scouts registration people didn’t care. Inflated numbers worked just fine.

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My recollection is that there was huge BSA membership fraud. Way back to A. G. Barber's day.

The United States Postal Marshalls raided Circle Ten's offices seeking membership records, and the Atlanta Council, I believe, agreed to strike somewhere around 14,000 names from its membership role.  Mames aybe c. 2000±?

Whichever council it was, struck more names than registered in my council.

A huge scandal.

And BSA gets a "pass."

"Well, anyone can make a mistake."

The day of BSA getting a "pass" has passed.

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1 hour ago, CynicalScouter said:

If the CO's were not prepared to at least do their own cursory examination of these adults, then the blame's on them. It was their signatures on the applications. BSA didn't hold a gun to their head. Now, the COs abdicated their obligation to exercise due diligence? Too bad, that's on them. Maybe next time, don't let unregistered adults with no criminal background checks near kids for prolonged periods of time.

Can you clarify anything about who was/is responsible for criminal background checks in scouting? In everything I recall, it was BSA. No CO I have ever dealt with had the resources to do that until relatively recently as part of their own youth protection initiatives. 

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3 hours ago, SiouxRanger said:

Finally, my council's last SE, had, I believe, 27 DE's leave during his term of office of 5 years.  We have 5 districts with one DE per district.

His departure was not mourned by volunteers or professionals alike.  No one I have met in our council had a good thing to say of him.

Sounds like my SE, in the 18.5 months I was in, 12 DEs (including myself), a FD and a Finance Director quit. My successor left within 6 months of being hired. One group of volunteers got together outside of Scouting and celebrated with champagne the news he was leaving.

 

3 hours ago, SiouxRanger said:

Does anyone here have experience observing a DE actually creating a bona fide "new unit?"

Would a former DE actually creating 4 new units count for you?  Starting a new unit following all of the 10 or 12 steps ( sorry old age is getting to me) is a long,  stressful process. Most of the time if you follow the process step by step, your units are successful, but sometimes there is failure.

One pack lasted about 9 months before folding. Long story short, because they were chartered by a Catholic school, a lot of folks who wanted to start a new pack backed out of Scouting all together. . Heavy anti-Catholic bias where I live.  In fact the person who was supposed to be the CM of the new pack came to my apartment, and cursed me out stating he would never join an organization that allows Catholics in it. Another family stepped up to the plate and did they best to get it up and running. But when the family that was the driving force moved due to a job, the pack went under.

The other pack I started was extremely successful for about 10+ years. It was in an area not served by any other units, and served 2 communities. When the 5th graders were ready to become Boy Scouts, the parents started a new troop. The pack died when a DE decided to start a new pack in one of the communities served by the original pack. that split youth and adults and both packs folded with 2 years after the second pack was started. The troop I started died shortly there after. In all honesty the troop was easy to start since everything was in pretty much in place.

The second troop was near and dear to my heart. It was a SCOUTREACH troop. Those kids needed Scouting, and they were successful. I lucked out in that I had one gungho ASM, who eventually became SM of that troop. In later years, he ended up being the SM to 4 SCOUTREACH troops. But that burnt him out. And when he burnt out, nobody was willing to step up in any of the units. The unit I started, and 3 other SCOUTREACH troops died.

I also spent a lot of time "restarting" units. But that is a different story.

 

 

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2 hours ago, yknot said:

Can you clarify anything about who was/is responsible for criminal background checks in scouting? In everything I recall, it was BSA. No CO I have ever dealt with had the resources to do that until relatively recently as part of their own youth protection initiatives. 

COs were responsible for checking references. BSA got into the criminal background checks for YPY in the 90s or 2000s.

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2 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

COs were responsible for checking references. BSA got into the criminal background checks for YPY in the 90s or 2000s.

Yep. And how many COs actually did  so? I have the utmost sympathy for the mess this is making for today’s COs

But I also recognize that BSA pretended like COs were exercising any kind of oversight and COs were happy to perpetuate that myth.

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17 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

One pack lasted about 9 months before folding. Long story short, because they were chartered by a Catholic school, a lot of folks who wanted to start a new pack backed out of Scouting all together. . Heavy anti-Catholic bias where I live.  In fact the person who was supposed to be the CM of the new pack came to my apartment, and cursed me out stating he would never join an organization that allows Catholics in it.

 

 

Wow, where was this?  We're in North Carolina and our Pack is chartered to a Catholic church.  One of my concerns is that people will see that and not come to us.  Never witnessed any overt anti-Catholicism, but that's not saying it doesn't exist.  The husband of one of the ladies in the parish office was told to remove his high school jacket at a local college because it was from a Catholic school.  That was years ago though.

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3 hours ago, yknot said:

No CO I have ever dealt with had the resources to do that until relatively recently as part of their own youth protection initiatives. 

Except for the Catholic units, of course.  We had the vast Vatican international spy network to do some vetting for us.  ;)

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