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Colonial Va Council troubles


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#1 scoutldr

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Posted 01 October 2015 - 08:34 AM

Copying this from a Facebook post.  CVC is my neighboring council and Bayport is a relatively new camp which replaced Camp Chickahominy which became surrounded by residential development.  Located on a river, Bayport had one of the finest aquatics programs in the region.

 

 

Last year we were informed that our council camp, Bayport Scout Reservation (http://www.bayportsr.org) was in in jeopardy of being closed due to its financial burden to the council. Since this time, the situation has only grown worse, now not only is the camp in serious peril but the council, our family, operations are also at an all-time low. Yes Bayport is the camp, the home, for CVC and that home is in danger – but more importantly the family is in danger. The family is the core, a home can be relocated – the family must be saved or a home is useless. The problem has become so dire that we had to turn the deed to the camp and council office building over to the lien holder. Furthermore the National leadership is considering dissolving our council, our family, and splitting us into other groups. 

The bank has not decided what they are going to do with the deed; they too do not want to see the family fall apart. So we still have a chance to save the family and also maybe, with enough support also save the house our camp. We earnestly need donors that will help us to not lose our scouting family and if possible our scouting family’s home. After a careful review of the books, our goals are;

1. Raise a minimum of $60,000 by the end of November 2015 for the operating costs of providing our scouting program – to keep the family strong.

2. Attempt to raise $380,000 by the end of November 2015 to go to the operating costs with the hope that National will recognize this effort and save the family.

3. Attempt to ultimately raise $6 million as quickly as possible to save not only the family but to pay off the capital loan, thus saving the camp – our home. 

All reading this can help in a couple of ways;
1) Donate, whatever you can $1, $10, $100 to the CVC Friends of Scouting (FOS) campaign. Every dollar gets us “one” step closer. To donate, you can send a check to Colonial Virginia Council at 11721 Jefferson Ave, Newport News Va. 23606 or on line at,https://cvcboyscouts...m/event/1538149. But more importantly,

2) Raise awareness of our situation. Use your social networks to get this word and request for assistance to as many as possible. Place a post on your social pages and reach out to those in your circles that would help if they knew the severity of the problem. 

But if you are a Scout/Scouter in the CVC I am asking for each of you to “Do a Good Turn” today and be that Scout/Scouter that “helps other people at all times”. There are some simple ways that we can solve this crisis from the grass roots level;

1) Support and actively engage in youth recruitment – the youth is what this is about.

2) Support the Popcorn Sale; it is to us what cookies are to Girls Scouts.

3) Individual Scout Units, BE CREATIVE, it is what we as Scouts/Scouters do best, heck have your unit do a carwash with the proceeds going to FOS or talk to charter organization about sponsoring a fund raising event such as a spaghetti dinner, oyster roast, barbeque, etc. with them furnishing the fixings and you furnishing the labor.

4) Family Friends of Scouting is a great way to support local Scouting; consideration should be given to conducting a presentation in your unit for this year. Contact your District Executive or our Acting Scout Executive to schedule a presentation.

Remember that all DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE by using our id number of 54-0505994 which is in good standing with the IRS. The goal remains firm, to serve a growing number of youth in our community with an incredible Scouting program and Scouting experience. 

On behalf of the 7,000+ scouts just in our Colonial Virginia Council family that you are helping – I want THANK YOU. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask. Remember the “Power of One”, one person, one church, one business, one group, one action… it all starts with one. Please help by being part of the “One that Saves the CVC and Bayport Scout Reservation”.

With my deepest gratitude,

Tommy
Volunteer Scouter – Venturing Crew #595 


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#2 Krampus

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Posted 01 October 2015 - 09:41 AM

This doesn't happen overnight. What is national doing to proactively assess and help councils? Anyone know? I'd be interested what programs national has in place to monitor and help councils...also to see how effective these programs have been.


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#3 T2Eagle

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Posted 01 October 2015 - 09:58 AM

I have some friends and relatives there, I haven't had a chance to see what their take on all this is.  Cruising the Council website there is a blog from the SE with some mare details http://www.cvcboyscouts.org/blog


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#4 Scouter Matt

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Posted 01 October 2015 - 11:46 AM

Unless something has changed, national isn't very up to speed on the health of its councils.

Why?

Well, it is at least in part because failing council's always want to paint a rosy picture in the hopes they can turn thing around without being merged.

 

In one case I am very familiar with, a council had gotten itself into very serious financial trouble, and region was blissfully unaware until the IRS informed the council that immediate payment on back due taxes (the council's finances had been so dire it had been taking out social security and payroll taxes and then not sending them to the goverment for a period of years) was required or the council's assets would be seized publicly in 24 hours. Under threat of IRS agents with TV crews in tow seizing assets of a council, region, once informed, dipped into its own emergency fund to hold off the IRS for a little longer. Shortly after that the council's charter was revoked and Scouting operations in the impacted area were the direct responsibility of the region director for a period of months (no other council was willing to take on the territory in question), though eventually the council got its charter back once it came up with a viable looking plan for paying its many debts. (That plan proved unsound after a few more years and a merger was forced, the council receiving the territory was nearly as unhappy with the arrangement as the one dissolved.)

 

I will say that while being chopped up into pieces and given to multiple councils is frequently talked about in merger situations, it very rarely happens. Usually the entire territory is absorbed by one other council, even if being broken up would have made more sense. I think the being carved up thing is something a scare tactic.


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#5 JoeBob

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Posted 02 October 2015 - 12:52 PM

All those big salaries will really eat up the program dollars....


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#6 Krampus

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Posted 02 October 2015 - 01:37 PM

Unless something has changed, national isn't very up to speed on the health of its councils.

Why?

Well, it is at least in part because failing council's always want to paint a rosy picture in the hopes they can turn thing around without being merged.

 

Interesting. I think I agree. We had a district event the other night. I was a chance for the Cub Scouts to meet the troops and talk to them. Think convention table top displays. It reminded me of rushing a fraternity when I was in college. The troops were out in force trying to reel Webelos in to talk. Most were talking AT kids/parents rather than asking them what questions they had. My guys just answered questions. I could hear parents complaining that they were overwhelmed.

 

How does hit relate to council? The district and council people present took the opportunity to chat up the troop leaders there trying to get them to bump up their JTE numbers, sign up for WB, volunteer for a committee, etc. Both them and the troop leaders were more concerned with the whole "business of scouting" rather than the people that make up scouting: the kids and the parents.

 

As I was leaving this nice lady came by and said that my guys were the nicest to their kids and we were the only troop that "seemed to care about the parents and the kids". While I was happy to hear that I was saddened that 25+ troops and a dozen district/council folks were cast in such a bad light in front of 150+ Cubs and their parents. If this is representative of what is happening in other councils/districts it is no small wonder things like this happen in councils eventually.


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#7 RememberSchiff

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 06:09 AM

http://www.dailypres...1008-story.html

 

This quote does not sound encouraging,

 

"Camps are just one way among many that we work toward our mission by providing character-building opportunities, a respect and appreciation for the outdoors, physical fitness and leadership development. From camping to jamborees, the adventures of Scouting develop young people's knowledge, skills and character so they understand the importance of service to others and good citizenship," Amanda Wroten, spokeswoman for the council, said.


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#8 scoutldr

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 06:37 AM

Sounds like donors didn't make good on their pledges.


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#9 Stosh

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 07:12 AM

I wonder how many nights of camping Amanda put in last year?


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#10 RememberSchiff

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 07:44 AM

I wonder how many nights of camping Amanda put in last year?

Hah. Imagine if full-time Council employees were required to camp a weekend every month.  :D 


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#11 Stosh

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 08:04 AM

It"s all part of the disconnect process required of every professional scouter.  These people would never say what they say without it.


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#12 gumbymaster

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 08:39 AM

Why Don't we do that?

 

Our professional Scouters work for us, not for themselves.

 

I think it would be a great idea if we made it part of the job requirments that each month the council executive / ceo go on an outdoor activity with one of the troops from the council.  See how it is really done.  What boys are really like.  What resources our leaders really have available.  How well (or not) is our Boy led program going.  Mix it up with different troop sizes, locations served, types of activities.

 

Who really selects Council executives anyway?  Is it the membership, or the corporate sponsors board of directors?  How can we get this to be a part of the program?

 

In the nine years I worked on Summer Camp Staff, the CE would only come to camp for one day - the day of the national inspections, to walk along with the inspectors - they were usually out of camp before dinner (Although in case they weren't the quality of food that day was much better).


Edited by gumbymaster, 09 October 2015 - 08:42 AM.

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#13 Stosh

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 08:46 AM

The reality is, scouting is a program that is sold by marketers and sales people who work for a paycheck.  The rest of us volunteer to implement the program


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#14 gumbymaster

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 09:09 AM

I'd kind of like to think of it as like that undercover boss show.

 

Where the guy at the top gets into the trenches to see how things really go.


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#15 blw2

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 09:54 AM

It"s all part of the disconnect process required of every professional scouter.  These people would never say what they say without it.

 

reminds me of my initial thoughts when i first really getting into a scouter position a few years ago, looking for training.

 

I kept thinking why don't they offer these courses I need like say in the summer, when as a cub scouter things are slow for me.  I don't have time to sit through a day of balloo or whatever in the fall or early winter.... when I'm up to my elbows in pack program!  Don't they know what we're doing?!!!

 

Then I started noticing these events, as well as the cuborees and such are all totally ran my volunteers, who like me don't really have the time available to do justice to the work.

I get the argument that I wouldn't want these professionals to do the training because they don't know the stuff....

but I argue that they should

and if they don't they could help by facilitating a volunteer so the volunteer doesn't have to spend the hours of time planning, scheduling, etc...

 

I understand these DE's and other pros are underpaid and overworked.... but the work really seems to be misplaced from my perspective.

 

Make a better program and they will come, I say!


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#16 pargolf44067

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 10:25 AM

Interesting. I think I agree. We had a district event the other night. I was a chance for the Cub Scouts to meet the troops and talk to them. Think convention table top displays. It reminded me of rushing a fraternity when I was in college. The troops were out in force trying to reel Webelos in to talk. Most were talking AT kids/parents rather than asking them what questions they had. My guys just answered questions. I could hear parents complaining that they were overwhelmed.

 

How does hit relate to council? The district and council people present took the opportunity to chat up the troop leaders there trying to get them to bump up their JTE numbers, sign up for WB, volunteer for a committee, etc. Both them and the troop leaders were more concerned with the whole "business of scouting" rather than the people that make up scouting: the kids and the parents.

 

As I was leaving this nice lady came by and said that my guys were the nicest to their kids and we were the only troop that "seemed to care about the parents and the kids". While I was happy to hear that I was saddened that 25+ troops and a dozen district/council folks were cast in such a bad light in front of 150+ Cubs and their parents. If this is representative of what is happening in other councils/districts it is no small wonder things like this happen in councils eventually.

 

Actually, @Krampus, we used to do this in our district and we got a lot of Webelos this way.  Most of the troops would actually have an activity for the boys to do rather than just talking at them and then the adult leaders could answer any questions about the troop the parents had.  It was a very well done program.  We hadn't done it for awhile and I suggested to our Unit Commissioner how useful that was.  She mentioned something to the district/council powers that be and they decided to try something again this year.  However, we just got notice of it and it is in 3 weeks.  Not sure how much attendance from either Webelos or troops we will get.

 

I guess my point on this was that something like this can be very good if done the right way.


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#17 ProScouter06

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 07:11 PM

Why Don't we do that?

Our professional Scouters work for us, not for themselves.

I think it would be a great idea if we made it part of the job requirments that each month the council executive / ceo go on an outdoor activity with one of the troops from the council. See how it is really done. What boys are really like. What resources our leaders really have available. How well (or not) is our Boy led program going. Mix it up with different troop sizes, locations served, types of activities.

Who really selects Council executives anyway? Is it the membership, or the corporate sponsors board of directors? How can we get this to be a part of the program?

In the nine years I worked on Summer Camp Staff, the CE would only come to camp for one day - the day of the national inspections, to walk along with the inspectors - they were usually out of camp before dinner (Although in case they weren't the quality of food that day was much better).

The reality is, scouting is a program that is sold by marketers and sales people who work for a paycheck. The rest of us volunteer to implement the program


That's not exactly true. Professionals do not work for volunteers. No volunteers name was ever on my paycheck... Professionals are employed by a council, national service center or supply division.

In regards to making it mandatory to go camping I can't say I agree with this. I do agree professionals at all levels should be aware of all aspects of the program but that does not mean the scout executive or a development director need to sit by a camp fire or attend a den leader. They are paid to do specific jobs and need to spend their time doing those jobs. It's good to think of it this way. When I worked for the BSA I lived and breathed scouting. Every day at work and some weeks every night and then the weekend. When I did have a free weekend it was spent on me, my family, my friends. The last thing on earth I would want to do on a free weekend would be scouting related. Imagine your own job. If you had to spend your free time at work that might not be very enjoyable. That does not mean you hate your work, it just means there needs to be some time for you.

That said I can remember back to being a new District executive and I contacted a troop about an FOS date. It's was my job do do so. The SM had never had a positive experience with the council and I was just a "professional desk jockey" in his opinion. He did not know I was an Eagle Scout, loved the program and chose to make my living supporting the program. Anyway long story short he invited me camping with his troop over a holiday weekend knowing I would say no just to prove his point of disdain. So I showed up at the campsite that weekend, they were in a cabin. I set up my tent and spent the weekend. It was fun. I got hell from my girlfriend about missing the holiday. For the rest of my time in that council that SM began supporting our efforts, not just troop, or town efforts but scouting a efforts in the county. It was great but also sad that I had to do that in order for him to change his attitude toward my colleagues.

My job was ny go camping but that did not mean I did not understand the program. I can't speak for folks that work in positions above a district director where I left from. Maybe the top people do become disconnected but from the people I know at the national service center, many know why they do the job they do and value scouting and its members. Customer service is another way of saying a scout is kind. I don't think it's fake when employees show interest in volunteers and scouts. Unfortunately professionals have to ask those annoying questions volunteers do not like, when's is for foS date, can you help with an event etc. it's their job to foster greater volunteerism.


Scoutings strength is that it is a volunteer implemented program. It's the job of the professionals to encourage that, grow it, cultivate it, steward it. I believe if professionals were not there those things would not happen or a larger scale. Sure scouting could exist locally but it would be smaller. The reasons scouting is successful or events like camporees and jamborees are successful is the partnership between all levels of scouting employee and volunteer alike.

Edited by ProScouter06, 14 October 2015 - 07:15 PM.

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#18 David CO

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 08:29 PM

I could not disagree more.  Scouting would be far better off if we were an all volunteer organization.


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#19 gumbymaster

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 09:52 PM

@ProScouter06,

 

I don't sign the President's paycheck either, but the common conception is that the President (is supposed to) work for the citizenry.

 

Similarly, the Professional Scouting staff is supposed to serve at the will of the membership; although in practice, I don't think a membership mechanism exists to remove them.

 

Now, don't get me wrong; almost all of the Professional Scouters I have worked with have, at the very least, had their hearts in the right place; the only exceptions being when I was a Program/Camp director and directly interacted with the Council Exec and Assistant in a Council that no longer exists - they seemed to be looking for every possible angle to sell a camp and pocket a bonus.

 

I do not doubt that the Professionals have a lot to do.  I do not propose "overtime" weekend camping,at least not as such.  When my staff has to work a weekend, they get other time off.  But I cannot believe that the overall scouting program and experience would be better if the higher levels of the professional staff, by design and contract, needed to have more direct contacts with the units, volunteers, and Scouts that they were hired to serve.

 

How much more time would the professionals have if they weren't always chasing donations?  It seems, as an outsider to professional service, that most of the professional's time is spent trying to get their own payroll covered.  I have yet to see an actual true breakdown of the "administration costs" for running the council, and how much of the various donations get lost in that bucket.


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#20 desertrat77

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 10:17 PM

I can't speak for the council in question, but having been in several different councils, I would never use the word "family" to describe the relationship between council and units.  

 

Some councils were good to the units, some so-so, some outright disdainful.   But never family.  

 

Perhaps the hour is late and I'm tired, but when I read the pitch for donations to keep the "family" in business, I thought of a distant relative calling me at midnight asking for money.  

 

The kind of relative that has nothing to do with you.   Until he needs money.


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