1.19.17 Council Consolidation Question Of The Week: Why Merge Now?

Why merge now?

Any proposed consolidation of “peer” Councils should be evaluated by whether the resulting entity will better perform the functions of a Council to the youth within the resulting area.  Since the beginning of Scouting in the United States, the BSA has provided the scouting program to units through local, nonprofit Councils having three basic functions – establishing and supporting units, providing a professional staff and service center, and providing and maintaining camps.  Scouts experience the Scouting programs through their units – Packs and Troops, Crews and Posts – and the purpose of Councils is to support those units

Both the Knox Trail and Old Colony Councils have determined that they will be able to better support the Scouting units they serve as a combined Council.  Through careful analysis of the current Councils and the proposed, consolidated Council, we believe that the combined strength of our volunteers and professional staffs can do more for units in terms of direct support through staff, District and Council programs and engagement in national BSA activities than either of our Councils are able to do today.  The larger platform of a 10,000 scout Council permits a pooling of both volunteer talent and professional staff.  For a scout, that will mean more programs, because the larger Council can provide dedicated program staff.  For a leader, that will mean more access to District Executives for unit support because there will be more staff who are exclusively responsible for serving the units in their districts.  For a youth not yet involved in scouting, it will mean better information, organization and communication through a merged set of volunteers and professionals working on recruiting and membership support.

The scale of a combined Council will improve and expand Scouting within the area we cover. Spreading the overhead over 10,000 scouts allows us be at a better fighting weight and deliver a stronger program, without having to work in a sub-optimal way.  The doubling of size actually works well in other locations and our working groups have dug deep and think it will work very well here for us.

Also, this consolidation is consistent with a national trend in forming larger Councils with these results in mind.  A voluntary merger of two Councils with very similar approaches to Scouting and complementary assets, particularly camps, permits our two Councils to dictate the terms of our own growth.