July and August 2012
On May 16th, the MDSC Council Board voted to move forward with a Plan of Merger with the San Francisco Bay Area Council, as did the SFBAC. The next step is for our Chartering Organizational Representatives and our Council Members-at-Large (Board, Executive committee, etc) to vote on August 29th to either ratify or not the Plan of Merger with SFBAC.
There has been much debated (and still is) amongst those who favor and those who not favor this merger of the two Boy Scout Councils.
As Scout Executive of the Mt. Diablo Silverado Council, I feel that a merging the two councils is the best way to serve our youth with a Scouting program. A Boy Scout council is chartered to provide service to help chartered organizations be continuously successful in their use of the Scouting programs and extend an invitation to other community groups to use the program and to interpret how it will help them.
In my years as a Scouting professional, I have served in larger councils (even larger than the Golden Gate Area Council will be), in St. Paul (which is larger now, after a merger with Minneapolis) and Indianapolis, which is now at least five councils merger together over the years. The Twin Cities and Indianapolis have been and continue to be strong programmatically, some of the highest summer camping percentage in the country, creators of innovative programming- Twin Cities one first to have an annual International Scout exchange program and they were a test market for Kindergartener Scouting. Plus they are financially strong and sound. These and similar sized councils have the opportunity and resources to maintain very strong Scouting programs and reach out into new areas of serving youth, some who may never have had the opportunity to be a Scout. As Director of Program in St. Paul, I had a staff of four professionals and four support staff, which allowed us to be very creative in developing camping and training programs, which reached beyond basic Scouting programs. Indianapolis had its first Gathering of Eagles in 1994, over 15 years before most councils.
The opportunities for the Scouts in the new Golden Gate Area Council could be enormous. They would have three Boy Scout summer camps (at no extra out of council fees) to choose from and each individual camp could be geared to a special skills or program, i.e. hiking, or climbing or horses or sailing. They could choose a camp based on the program they wanted to do that summer. We would have multiple National Youth Leadership Training opportunities for our youth throughout the year at various locations, to choose from. We could have a Nor Cal Jamboree every four or five years, if we choose, with the increased number of volunteers to work with, highlighting Scouting for our youth and communities to see. We could have a full summer of Cub Scout and Webelos Summer camp opportunities at Camp Royaneh, Rancho Los Mochos and maybe even Camp Herms, with a greater number of potential Cubs and Webelos to serve. With a greater Scout population to serve, you can expand International Scouting and High Adventure opportunities to more Scouts.
The proposed merger will significantly impact the new Councils ability to increase corporate development in a positive fashion. For the longest time corporations in the Bay Area have been confused between the Bay Area Council and the Mt. Diablo Silverado Council, believing that resources provided to one of the Councils actually supported the programs in both. In fact the support provided went only to one of the other. More importantly since most of the larger Bay Area corporations have a San Francisco presence they more closely related to the Bay Area Council. As such we at the Mt. Diablo Silverado Council have seen our corporate donations diminish over the last 5 years. Of course people will point to the sagging economy as the main culprit for this reduction in corporate giving. While I would not disagree that this has impacted our corporate giving results I do know through conversation with multiple Bay Area CEOs and Foundations that they believe that the region we serve is included within the region served by the Bay Area Council. Additionally many of these Bay Area firms would be reluctant to give to a Council that did not include the urban centers of San Francisco and Oakland.
The new Golden Gate Area Council would cover these urban areas as well as many of the suburban areas where these executives live not to mention the more rural areas of our new Council. These corporations would jump at the chance to support the new Council which will support over 24,000 scouts!
As Scout Executive, I am excited at the greater number of volunteers and Scouts that the Golden Gate Area Council, would provide, because I have experienced that with the greater mass of people. You are able to stretch your wings and reach high Scouting program heights for our Scouts. It would be fantastic if we had full council committees, who could focus on how to improve every Scouting program that we support and then dream of new programs, for our youth. And that is why we should merge with SFBAC to reach the true Scouting potential for the youth in the Bay area.
Councils aren’t about names; they come and go. The Boy Scouts of America is our identity and that won’t change. The Scouting Spirit, which we learned in a summer camp song, is deep in our hearts to stay, should be nurtured and maintained by helping every youth achieve his goals in the Scouting program. The Main Thing as coined by our Past National President of the Boy Scouts, Rex Tillerson, is “to serve more youth with a quality Scouting program”. Our council and the new council should always have this phrase in mind as we support our Scouting programs.
If you have further questions or concerns visit the MDSC & SFBAC merger website by clicking HERE.
|Scout Exec. Minute, January, February 2012||149.1 KB|
|Scout Exec. Minute, March, April 2012||22.5 KB|
|Scout Exec. Minute, May, June 2012||31 KB|
Last updated on Tuesday July 10, 2012 10:42 AM
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