Changes to Northern Illinois and Indiana Councils

Posted on August 1st, 2014 in BSA Info,Hobby News,Hobby Trends by ramore

Received this update from Central Region:

August 1, 2014
To:                          Central Region Executive Committee
                                Central Region Area 7 Committee
                                Chicago Area Council Key Three
                                Three Fires Council Key Three
                                Northeast Illinois Council Key Three
Des Plaines Council Key Three
Calumet Council Key Three
Blackhawk Area Council Key Three
Rainbow Council Key Three
Northwest Suburban Council Key Three
                                Central Region Area Directors
From:                    Brian Williams, Central Region President
                                Reid Christopherson, Central Region Commissioner
                                Al Lambert, Central Region Director
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
After much research, discussion, and deliberation, the Central Region Executive Committee has adopted a multi-phase approach to the realignment of councils in the Chicago/Northwest Indiana Metropolitan area.
As Phase One, the geographical territory currently being served by Northwest Suburban Council, Chicago Area Council, Calumet Council and Des Plaines Valley Council will be assigned to a new council that will be created within the boundaries of these four councils.
It is believed that this new council, operating within these approved boundaries, will successfully position Scouting in the Chicago/Northwest Indiana Metropolitan area for the future.  This new council will be constructed and fully operational by early in the first quarter of 2015.  Until that time, the four legacy councils will continue to operate and should continue to provide the services necessary to support their Scouts and families.
The Central Region Executive Board will provide interim governance and support for the newly created council.   National Executive Board member Ray Wood has been appointed to lead our support of the legacy councils during the transition.  Ray’s committee will include representatives of both the National Executive Board and our Regional Board.  Deputy Regional Director Fred Wallace has been appointed to lead the daily operations of the new council during the build out and will replace Matt Thornton as interim Scout Executive in our legacy councils.    You will hear from Ray and Fred shortly.
Phase Two of the project will begin later in 2015.  During this phase we will look at the councils and the territory surrounding the new council and will continue to explore the best alignment of communities aligned to provide strong Scouting programs to more youth.  Some of these could include:
·         A review of the territory served by the Rainbow Council including potential consolidation, collaboration and/or shared resources.
·         A review of the territory served by the Blackhawk Area Council, Three Fires Council and Northeast Illinois Council which could include discussions of consolidation, collaboration, shared resources, and boundary realignment.
·         A review of the Wisconsin and Iowa territory included in Area 7 and Area 3 to determine if those counties are being served in the best possible manner.
·         Other areas of review as determined.
While there will be much to discuss as the new council is built, we look forward to the Area 7 committee engaging with you to insure that every youth has an opportunity to join a strong program this fall.  This is surely the Main Thing…more youth across Area 7 experiencing the fun and adventure of Scouting.  Mike Duffee and Ernie Froemel continue to provide strong leadership to Area 7 – please count on them.
A sincere thank you is extended to the multitude of volunteers and professionals that have participated in the consolidation talks the past two years.  Your input was invaluable throughout this process.

One Response to 'Changes to Northern Illinois and Indiana Councils'

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  1. Roy said,

    on August 4th, 2014 at 10:19 am

    From Facebook on this:

    Mark Frazier agreed.
    22 hrs · Like

    Woolmer Shaun Before me know it every state will have one council!
    22 hrs · Like · 2

    Darrin Cranford ^^^^ agreed
    22 hrs · Like

    Roy More The problems are deeper here than is being let on in this communication.
    22 hrs · Like · 3

    Steve Narolski Thank you, Roy, for passing this information on to us…
    22 hrs · Like · 2

    Mike McAdams Soon, we are going to have to go back to the equivalent of Red & White Community strips so we know where we are from.
    21 hrs · Unlike · 4

    Michael Dennehy I would like to hear from Illinois and Indiana scouts and scouters as to what they think of this. Also, what do you lower Michigan dudes have to say as to how the big 2012 Michigan merger is going as far as membership and program?
    21 hrs · Like

    Roy More Actually Mike McAdams that is one of the suggestions we’ve made in Michigan. We need to get back to communities owning their Scouting program and if putting their community on their shoulder helps with that, then the better. CSPs came about as Councils wanted to cut the cost of unused RWS that they got stuck with for small communities when units went away. Possibly penny-wise and pound foolish.
    21 hrs · Like · 1

    Roy More Michael Dennehy From Michigan, where I’m on the Board, it is a work in process. We’ve hired roughly 50% more USE’s. Our camping took a big hit in council in 2013 with camp closures but this year its bounced back and is plus 20% or so. Membership is tracking national averages.
    21 hrs · Like

    Michael Dennehy Glad to see the camping rebound.
    21 hrs · Like

    Roy More There were some “bent noses” but then they started to hear from others the good experiences they had at the camps that were operating and “came back”. In 2012 (and before) we had camps running 2 and 3 weeks of summer camp. Does not allow to get the best staff or the funds to maintain and enhance facilities. We have easily 2 times the capacity of current camping. The camp liability for many councils, and part of the source of the merger in this announcement, is that we’re running at 40% utilization or less. That’s too much overhead (unless we were to blow out camp prices which is not part of our value system.)
    21 hrs · Like · 1

    Michael Dennehy Is it safe to assume the 40% utilization figure was before closing some under-performing properties? What does utilization look like now for the approx. dozen facilities you guys are still operating?
    20 hrs · Like

    Michael Dennehy I mean, if you have only 40% now, then you must have had some financial black holes before.
    20 hrs · Like

    Mike McAdams I’d like to see the return to community strips. When the council becomes region sized, it no longer represents the individual units. The “council” or region could stock common community names (those with more than a few units) and smaller communities c…See More
    19 hrs · Like

    Roy More Michael Dennehy the 40% was before changes. After we’re in the high 80s and might re-open another camp for Boy Scout summer camp. Still it is sub-optimal as three non-Michigan councils operate camps in Michigan.
    19 hrs · Like

    Roy More And yes there were black holes before.
    19 hrs · Like

    Roy More Woolmer Shaun My guess is about 30 -50 councils for the country. Council design was born 80 – 100 years ago – before the interstate, before the internet,…. Now within that though, we need more community Scouting organizations/councils. In Michigan, w…See More
    13 hrs · Like · 2

    Chuck Dellert I do not know what the finance model of this modern era should be, but I do agree that we need to get back to a model of community ownership of units, their organization, and their operation. For too long we have been operating on a numbers and money model which has proven to be unsustainable.
    13 hrs · Unlike · 1

    Roy More Chuck Dellert we are also carrying too much in legacy costs in property and certain personnel.
    12 hrs · Like · 1

    Chuck Dellert Maybe we should go back to a bunch of second class councils with camps and administration taken care of by areas or regions
    12 hrs · Like · 2

    Chuck Dellert Roy More In this modern era, do we need as much property as councils currently own?
    12 hrs · Like

    Chuck Dellert Numbers of campers are down and costs keep rising. How is this sustainable?
    12 hrs · Like

    Roy More Yes we have too many properties. And too many of them are in poor, aging condition. I remember talking with a Scouter who was involved in the purchase of one of our camps (since sold). He said a directive went out in the 1960s to acquire camp property with a wholly owned lake as the prediction was that such properties would be unavailable or unaffordable in the future. That is 50 years ago and five generations of Scouts ago. What was not factored in what happens if there is a membership decline or shift in membership mix.
    2 mins · Like

    Roy More It is somewhat analogous to what municipalities are facing with excess infrastructure and not “banking” the maintenance dollars for upkeep (and not evaluating whether upkeep is justified).
    Just now · Like

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