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Modern scouting a For-profit business


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#21 skeptic

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 11:02 AM

While it is highly unlikely beyond the local council level, COR's can vote for change within their council. Most COR's never participate, so the proxies are voted by the executive board as they see fit. On a rare occasion, the COR's have been known to mobilize against an exec board and change the direction of the council and the membership of the board. But few, if any councils "push" to have active COR's; likely because it could lead to turmoil at times.
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#22 Lurking...

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 12:08 PM

While both for-profit and non-profit corporations all have board of directors, it is the for-profit corporations that have shareholders for which they answer to and provide profitability accountability. That's pretty much the only difference. Of course the stockholders can over-ride the board of directors at any time during their required annual meeting and corporation officer elections. Notice the customers nor the employees vote, only the shareholders. One normally gets one vote for each share, so if one owns 51% of the shares they can dictate anything they want for the company, they have the majority vote. In a non-profit, the goal is to provide goods and services with a goal of income matching expense. A reserve may be held in a trust account for a specific goal of the corporation, but too much "profit", accrued income, or reserves will draw the attention of the IRS. Non-profits are generally controlled by the board of directors designated by the corporation by-laws, which can vary from one entity to another. A non-profit can have an endowment, but the income off that needs to go to the reason for the endowment, i.e. scholarships, camps, etc. Those endowments are closely restricted as to what they can be spent on. Stosh
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#23 TAHAWK

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 01:53 PM

It has often been observed that the actual, working purpose of an organization may be to maintain the officers in office. As with for-profits, non-profits are typically controlled in reality by their officers, who manage information-flow to the board. Boards typically only become active when disaster looms. This activity often follows discussions with personal counsel, who mention fiducuiary duty and potential for personal liability. Speaking only from experience.
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#24 Lurking...

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 02:45 PM

As with for-profits, non-profits are typically controlled in reality by their officers, who manage information-flow to the board. Boards typically only become active when disaster looms. This activity often follows discussions with personal counsel, who mention fiducuiary duty and potential for personal liability. ??? According to the annual reports to the government, the officers are members of the board of director. If the board is divided as to who gets information and who doesn't, then of course the board is basically non-functioning and there will be problems. Stosh
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#25 TAHAWK

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 11:56 PM

Sloppy langauge on my part. I was atttempting to distinguish between the paid people and the volunteers. Unless it's changed since I last looked, the CSE is not a voting member of the National Executive Board. But he is the Secretray to the Board, and his office responds to questions from voting Board members, prepares the briefing papers for the Board, and prepares the agendas for Board meetings. So yes, he controls the flow of information to the Board. Can Board members try on their own to gather facts? I guess so. Do they? If so, it would be a surprise. Even Presidents of the United States have been kept in the dark about critical facts by bureaucrats, as JFK found out - as other President(s) have repeatedly claimed. ("I didn't know about that.") To ask us to think that paid employees act with disregard to the significance of actions to their continued employment and pay is asking a lot. Maybe in the Salvation Army. Actually, likely in the Salvation Army. So perhaps not a business model. A typical non-profit model.
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#26 Lurking...

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 07:50 AM

:) Salvation Army is a religious organization just like the Baptists, Presbyterian, Lutherans and Catholics. It's just they put their money into charity/social ministry instead of buildings and programs. They like to fly under the radar so that most people don't realize they work very closely with government when it comes to helping the poor. They don't want the Church/State issue to get in the way of their ministry. They still follow all the principles and legal requirements of a non-profit organization. There is no legal or business model out there that can define BSA as anything other than a non-profit organization. The only support for a for-profit business is subjective personal opinion. Some of those opinions get rather altruistic/Pollyanna in their emphasis, but they still all remain just personal opinions. All organizations whether they be for-profit or non-profit have to pay their bills to survive. Payroll is one of those expenses and how that gets divided up has no bearing on their for-profit/non-profit status. And for all those that think BSA is a rip-off, consider ANY telephone fundraising solicitation effort: 90%+ of the money goes to the company making the phone calls, not the charity you think gets it. Of course that also includes such organizations as the United Way which fundraises for other non-profits. They have executives they pay as well. Think of it as the BSA taking a dip out of the contribution, but with the United Way, it's a double dip I just cut to the chase and donate directly to the units I like. I can't take a tax deduction for it, but then I don't give to get something out of it either. Stosh
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#27 Old_OX_Eagle83

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 10:35 AM

I love reading your posts Stosh, as many are informative, and a few entertaining, so this isn't personal. Once again I disagree with you. Cream can rise to the top, but so can turds. The assumption that the most talented and/or deserving are promoted in the BSA or anywhere else is naïve. Promotions are often a product of who likes a person, who their friends are, who the person is related to, who's child they are, what school they attended, who they sleep with, or just dumb luck (right place at the right time). Many fantastic people are never given a chance due to one of more of the factors above, and the mentality you put forward. In nearly every company I've had any association with I've encountered many talented, committed, employees who have the potential to run the companies at least as well as the current top execs, and they are often more loyal, and would to the job for much less. The cream rises to the top mentality is why American business is the mess it is today, in major decline. As fat as BSA, yes the whole pay structure is borked, and needs a complete revamp.
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#28 TAHAWK

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 10:50 PM

How is American business in a "mess"?
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#29 Lurking...

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 09:46 PM

I love reading your posts Stosh, as many are informative, and a few entertaining, so this isn't personal. Once again I disagree with you.

Cream can rise to the top, but so can turds. The assumption that the most talented and/or deserving are promoted in the BSA or anywhere else is naïve. Promotions are often a product of who likes a person, who their friends are, who the person is related to, who's child they are, what school they attended, who they sleep with, or just dumb luck (right place at the right time).

Many fantastic people are never given a chance due to one of more of the factors above, and the mentality you put forward. In nearly every company I've had any association with I've encountered many talented, committed, employees who have the potential to run the companies at least as well as the current top execs, and they are often more loyal, and would to the job for much less.

The cream rises to the top mentality is why American business is the mess it is today, in major decline.

As fat as BSA, yes the whole pay structure is borked, and needs a complete revamp.


Old Ox: You're not disagreeing with me, just read "THE PETER PRINCIPLE". It explains just what you are saying.

And the dialogue concerning labor cost in a business whether it be a non-profit or a for-profit, the quality of that leadership is all over the board. Those that end up with the better half of the talent pool spend big bucks to get it and even bigger bucks to keep it. Now that is a business fact from day one. It has nothing to do with the business situation we are now in. Why did GM crash and Chrysler falter while Ford and all the foreign car companies just keep on plugging away? It the market was truly a business mess, ALL would have had problems, but they didn't.

Not all for-profit or non-profit rise and fall at the same time. GSUSA has tasted the Koolaid and is struggling, BSA is still hanging in there in spite of the bad press, but it has nothing to do with how much impact anyone makes on the payroll expense ledger.

Like churches BSA income is dependent on donations. Churches cut back on staff and programs all the time when the money doesn't come in. Why would BSA be any different unless they were finding other way to maintain programs by charging more in fees and not relying so much on donations. But everyone cries foul and accuses them of profiteering when they do so. The donations one gives to the BSA SUBSIDIES program for the boys. If the donations don't come in, this ability to subsidize is reduced and the boys need to pay more, it is not an issue of profiteering. The money has to come from somewhere, if not subsidizing donations, then the users of the program will need to pay more or BSA will not be able to cover expenses and simply shut their doors just like business all around the country do every day when they can't pay the bills anymore. BSA is not exempt from that business reality.

Stosh
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#30 baggss

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 11:41 AM

And what is your prospective? Twenty years? Thirty years? Forty Years? More? Less? At least in the three councils where I Scout, no unit is required to buy uniforms, badges, etc, or to use council camp grounds - not even pressured. Encouraged? Sure. B.S.A. specifically orders that a unifform is not a requirement for boards of review, including for Eagle.

try showing up at a BOR or COH in civvies, also, whats this uniform inspection BS then?? and nylt mandates it.
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#31 Lurking...

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 06:51 AM

One can't attend a Jamboree without TWO uniforms, but they are not required and neither is Jamboree attendance, Don'tcha just love trying to explain other people's hypocrisy? Stosh
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#32 boomerscout

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 08:36 AM

I am not aware of any vast subsidies unless the inner city Scouting program is referred to. I feel that the gist of this thread is that National and some councils seem to be more focused on the money-raising than with program. It makes one wonder how Scouting survived the Great Depression when donations were down. I \'ve spoken with many of our elderly who were Scouts during the 1930s; they had a great time!
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#33 Old_OX_Eagle83

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 10:05 AM

Boomer, I think the Great Depression made everyone, including BSA, realize what's actually needed to function. Some of the best scouting I've ever experienced was done with minimal equipment and gear. I recently put on a Kodiak Trek at the BWCA, and my guides brought little more than a few key laminated syllabus pages. We used: sand and rocks for white boards and charred sticks for markers; made puzzles from birch back found at the site; cook kit parts for service project tools; eagle feathers, rocks, and bones in place of some of the other materials (all returned to where we found them after use). We went into the field with "the ten essentials" and no more personal gear (tent and bedding aside) then would fit in a bread bag. The low-impact Kodiak Trek was a great success; I saw those young men grow more there than in the series of gadget ridden, high-tech, bookish, training our unit, district, and council has offered them over the past four years (including ILST/C, NYLT, UoS youth Acadamy, and LLD). Less can be more, it forces: vision, planning, communication, team development, inclusion ... you get the picture :)
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#34 Lurking...

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 01:19 PM

Try kayaking over canoeing. My canoe has a load capacity of 750# That's a lot of gear. Yet my kayak has 2 small compartments one front one back and a limited amount of space for strap on the deck. It makes one think twice, if not 3 or 4 times before taking anything along. It's interesting that the Great Depression years were brought up. It was well into the 1950's before canvas and leather were replaced by more modern and light-weight materials. A nylon pack on an aluminum frame with padded straps and waist belt, is not the same thing as a wooden back board with a canvas bundle diamond hitched to it with canvas straps and no waist belt. They may have had a few parlor scouts around back then, but then the physical conditioning of these boys was far different than it is for today's youth. Stosh
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#35 DuctTape

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 03:09 PM

Scoutcraft and Woodcraft were the standard operating procedure for the trips. Scout skills weren't just demonstration activities to watch while camping next to the troop trailer with all the stuff from home, The scout skills which are delineated in the advancement requirements were actually used on a regular basis. Use lashings to make a useful camp gadget wasn't a one-and-done requirement. It was done on every trip because it was truly a useful gadget and the scout only needed to carry a small amount of twine/rope. Once the boys start camping away from the cars and carrying less stuff, they begin to see the need for the woodcraft skills. Another eg: no more two burner coleman stoves, now they learn to cook on an open fire. (Unfortunately some places this cannot be done due to regulations/fire bans.) The old timers didn't carry a lot of weight even with the canvas and wooden pack boards, they carried little else besides their basic gear. I think I carried more weight in the 70s and 80's with the lighter nylons because we thought we needed the full sized tents and too much other stuff.
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#36 Lurking...

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 03:58 PM

....which points to the elephant in the room.... Of what value is Scoutcraft and Woodcraft if the only place you are going to use it is in the scouting program? BSA needs to market itself a whole lot better than it has if it's going to survive. If large corporations send their executives to rustic retreats for team building, leadership development and a variety of different dynamics necessary for their operations, what do these people see that BSA isn't? Stosh
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#37 DuctTape

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 04:28 PM

The value scouting brings to the table hasn't changed. A boys sense of adventure, playing in the woods, exploring, building "forts", being with buddies, cooking hotdogs over an open fire they built, etc... The adults are getting in the way. I agree the BSA needs to market itself better. Not by trying to be something which it is not, but by going back to what it was. The BSA isn't leadership development, it is not character development, it isn't religious training, it is embracing the boys sense of adventure and letting the boys do those things boys like to do in the out of doors.
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#38 TAHAWK

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 12:43 AM

In the UK and the U.S., Scouting from the first was traditionally character and citizenship development, the second being inclusive of leadership development. Also, Scouting from the first has aimed at achieving the physical and mental development of boys: good people and good citizens who are sound in mind and body. We know this because the leaders of Scouting have consitently said so for 107 years. While emphasizing the importance of the spiritual, Scouting has never presented itself as religious training. On the contrary, religious training is expressly left to religions. The other aspects of the program that you mention, and very important aspects that you do not mention, were consciously selected to attract youth and to achieve Scouting's objectives. Adults have always been, and remain, critical to the program - and, at the same time, because of thier critical role, the greatest threat to the program - especially youth leadership. B.S.A needs to first address a quality "product," and only then address marketing that program.
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