- What is the timeline for the proposed consolidation?
In the first quarter of 2017, the consolidation committee expects to communicate with the Chartered Partner Representatives (CORs) and Council Members-at-Large of the Knox Trail Council and the Old Colony Council about moving forward with the consolidation. Any vote on this recommendation would take place only after a 60-day written notice and approval by the voting members of both councils is required for a combination of the two councils to take place.
- What is the proposal?
The primary purpose of Scouting is to serve youth and families. Knox Trail Council and Old Colony Council both believe that by pooling their resources and becoming one larger council we can better serve the youth and families we are all dedicated to. For this reason the boards of the two councils have been discussing the pros and cons of consolidation and have formed a joint consolidation committee to study all aspects of a proposed, conjoined council.
- What are some advantages of such a consolidation?
By combining efforts and resources, a consolidated council will have the ability to create more robust programs, invest more in facilities, and better reach youth who can benefit from Scouting’s life-changing programs. A single council will operate more efficiently, eliminating duplicate expenses, and overhead costs. Freed up resource will be redirected towards better serving youth and our volunteer leaders through increased financial assistance, more resources to reach hard-to-serve areas, and additional program activities. Both councils have well regarded programs that will be available to all communities served by the combined councils.
- Why now?
Today both councils are coming to the table from similar positions. Both councils are financially self-sustaining and conduct excellent scouting programs. Both councils also recognize that by working together they can provide stronger unit service in a more efficient and effective manner.
- What would the new council look like?
The new council would serve over 10,000 youth in 64 communities that curve around the southwestern corner of the Boston metro area. The ultimate goal for servicing units is to balance having a comprehensive, centrally located and user-friendly Council Service Center within a reasonable distance of all concerned. No change will take place immediately following the consolidation.
- Who is in charge of this consolidation?
There is a consolidation committee made up of board members from each council, with sub-committees designated to explore and research areas of:
- Governance & Finance
These groups are meeting regularly in order to design a consolidation process that goes as smoothly as possible.
How will this affect me and my unit?
- If I am a Unit Leader, how would this consolidation benefit our program for youth?
If you are a unit leader, you will notice an increase in the quality of unit service and available program opportunities. A consolidation means that the new council can increase its operating efficiency, and that means reallocating resources in order to provide for more field service professionals focused on serving youth. It also means that the number of properties and programs available will grow. For example, youth members will be able to take advantage of such program features as: Additional high-quality Boy Scout Resident Camps and Cub Scout Day Camps, Indoor Webelos Adventure Meets, STEM* Merit Badge Universities, Boy Scout STEM Sleepovers, Cub Scout STEM Summer Sleepovers, Museum of Science Overnights, older- Boy Scout and older boy and girl Venturer and Explorer annual treks to High Adventure Bases.
- If I am on a council committee, how would this consolidation affect me?
You will remain a member of your committee and will be joined by the corresponding members of the same committee from the other council. You will have the new and exciting task of helping us create more and better program-related activities, trainings, and offerings with greater resources and support than you’ve had before.
- If I am a Chartering Organization, how will this affect me?
Your primary point of contact will remain the same and you will still be a valued member of the Scouting organization. You will immediately be the beneficiary of greater support and resources from the council level. You will still be a most valued chartered partner of the Boy Scouts of America. In short, there will be more resources available for you and your unit(s).
- Will the new council be closing or selling any camps?
No. Generally camp properties are only sold when a council is in a bad financial position, a camp is too run down to maintain, or there is redundancy in the operation of camp properties within a council. In this case none of those factors apply. Councils are in a strong financial position, each camp (Squanto, Resolute, and Nobscot) is in good repair, and each is being used for a distinct and important purpose. Squanto is a strong Boy Scout resident camp in the southern part of the new council, Resolute is a strong Boy Scout Resident and Cub Scout Day Camp in the northern part of the new council and Nobscot is an excellent wilderness & training camp used by Scouts as well as non-Scouting groups.
- Will there be a new council name?
Yes. With the emergence of one new, larger council will come a new council name and a new OA Lodge name. We anticipate that the membership will play a part in choosing the council name and the Lodges will also work together to choose their new Lodge name. These new names will be selected during 2017.
How will this affect volunteers?
The new council will have a much larger volunteer resource pool to draw on. Volunteers with skill sets and talents that are new to each other council will both reduce the workload on current volunteers while growing the opportunities we can offer our youth. Again, this will happen gradually.
- What happens to each Council’s endowment?
Both Councils will bring their endowment programs together upon consolidation honoring each donor’s requests and organization’s commitments. The newly formed organization will have the opportunity to develop a strong endowment program and investment policy that can provide for maintained stability and sustainability of scouting for future generations.
- Will there be a re-districting?
Both councils have recently readjusted their district borders. The new council will continue to analyze whether there is a need to redistrict in any service area(s) of a combined council. Any changes, if warranted, would be in the best interest of optimizing unit service.