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It seems pretty clear, in the deafening lull of the Bankruptcy, that National's grip on governance will remain, though on a dramatically lessened organization both in finances and membership. The BSA model appears to be on track to continue, largely as before.  One would think that many Council mergers are on the horizon, with the concomitant reduction of senior Council staff.

But will any of the fundamental issues of the program be addressed-all so often mentioned in this forum?  Program neglected by professional staff, struggling units, finances committed to salaries and not program and camps, just so many things which deny to youth the level of program that parents and volunteers expect?

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I have worked in not-for-profit management my entire career and know the local market for human service CEO's very well (a metropolitan area of 1.5 million). A couple of comments related to Scouting e

I'm not commenting on the political aspects here, but on the face of it this seems to be an inspired choice for this particular nonprofit given the challenging issues they face: https://www.sierr

I've been in positions where I was technically in charge of the whole US region. My salary wasn't high six figures. It has nothing to do with size of territory and everything to do with performance an

I would not be so disheartened about things but for my 24 years of observing my Council, working at multiple levels in the Council to help out, pack and troop, district, camp, and Council levels, and seeing the bad management, neglect, misallocation of resources, failure of follow-through…. And my scouting active friends share my opinions.

And the volunteers' experience in other councils posted on this forum, sadly, mirrors my own. 

There is a curious thing about human nature.  Those who have come to a point where their future view turns toward the negative outlook earlier, and those who fully well understand things are bad, but continue to soldier-on, hoping-against-hope that things will turn around.  Maybe they do, mostly they don't.

Those that turn early are labeled "pessimists" and those that hold on are labeled, well, dreamers, ignorant, or prophets, depending on how things turn out.

I have observed that those whose view turns negative a bit earlier, have generally been paying more attention and tracking more closely than those late to the party. Both hope for success, but one group is more realistic in their assessment.

I am not optimistic that the course of National will change. What will do it? Historically, National has shown little self-insight. Bankruptcy does not seem to have the power to remove senior National leadership to institute a change of course.  A volunteer movement would need to be led by very senior and influential volunteers, but good luck persuading them to take up a position against the sacred cow of the BSA. The only other mechanism is that the BSA fades in membership and into obscurity. That seems to be the current course.  Maybe, National can perpetuate its current model, but if so, all the short-comings of program delivery mentioned on this forum will continue.

I get flashy emails from National touting all sorts of things, but none of which address the fundamental problems raised by knowledgeable long-term volunteers. If National does not listen to the loyal and experienced among its adherents, to whom is it listening?

The program could be so much more than it is (now).

 "For of all sad words of tongue or pen, The saddest are these: 'It might have been! "

--John Greenleaf Whittier

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14 hours ago, 1980Scouter said:

Maybe at this time the whole over compensation of SE's can be addressed. Not holding my breath though.

I think the under-compensation of some SE will more likely happen. That is those in small, less well funded councils will get merged into larger orgs and this have to pay more. Also, if I was a good SE, I think I’d want more money due the risk of solvency. 

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I'm not commenting on the political aspects here, but on the face of it this seems to be an inspired choice for this particular nonprofit given the challenging issues they face:


What seems relevant to me to our discussion is that here is someone who has a demonstrated record of significantly improving the nonprofits he has led on a nonprofit salary. He has a history of being effective in his role, something that we would wish for BSA. This choice also recognizes that the future of the environmental movement lies in the urban landscape. It's a very bold choice that has likely challenged some of the more traditionalist views in their organization, and yet they did it. The further parallel I see to scouting is that in many ways any future, sustainable success for scouting also has to involve the needs of the urban landscape -- although I can't really see BSA recruiting anyone comparable. 


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A really good SE is worth whatever it takes to keep him/her. You can find your council's tax returns online. Search for the council and 990. Most returns show what the SE is paid and the cost of the benefits package. Council executive boards are often headed by people that make well into the 6 figures and think nothing of giving the SE a significant package. I'm sure many SE's are overpaid and some underpaid. A council that raises less money each year, can't maintain staff and drops significant membership because of poor services may have an incompetent or mediocre SE. Unit CR's have a strong voice in council operations if they would get together and flex their muscle. 


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