After our presentation last week to the Area 7 leadership, the decision was made to accept our council's recommendation to remain a standalone council. That was the first step in a two step process of deciding how Scouting in our area was to proceed. The second step took place this week at the Regional Board Meeting where the same leaders we presented to last week, made their presentation and recommendation to the Southern Region Executive Board.
Today we received word that the Southern Region Executive Board decided to allow our council to remain a standalone council avoiding reassignment of territory. This is a significant step forward for our council and the Colonial Virginia Council Executive Board that worked tirelessly each week over the past two months led this effort on behalf of our Scouts. The feedback and responses from surveys, emails, and meetings was valuable and much appreciated as it guided discussions of how to move forward.
So now that the decision has been made, what now? We will continue to work hard to regain trust, rebuild district and council volunteer structure and provide the critical program support services that units and chartered organizations need to assist in delivering a quality Scouting program. Our council must remain financially stable meeting our obligations moving forward and we must meet our 2016 financial plan objectives. Together, with your help, we will do just that.
Over the past seven weeks, we have made significant progress on our plan to remain a standalone council. Our council’s Executive Board of volunteers has met weekly during this time to develop our plan using feedback received from surveys, emails, phone calls, and meetings including the town hall meeting. The feedback we received was very helpful in determining our course of action and demonstrated to us the passion our Scouters have toward the Scouting program.
On Thursday last week, five of our board members presented to representatives (three volunteer Scouters and one professional Scouter) from Area 7 of the Southern Region, our plan to move forward as a standalone council. The information we presented was open and forthright and was received well by those presented to. The area team agreed to accept our recommendation that Colonial Virginia Council be given the opportunity to remain a standalone council and will present soon to the Southern Region Executive Board for their final decision. The area team was especially happy to hear about the actions already taken to start the process of rebuilding trust and council / district structure for supporting units and chartered organizations. In addition, many have “stepped up” and given additional Friends of Scouting Campaign contributions to help the council in this time of need. These gifts along with an increase in sales in our Scout Shop have helped tremendously.
Here is where we stand at the end of last week:
Each week we exceed revenue projections or are below budget in expense projections, we as a council move closer to achieving the year end goal. Thank you for your help and continued support of our local Scouts.
I have also provided a link below to view our council’s August 2015 month end operating financial statement.
Executive Summary of the 8/31/2015 Statement of Budgeted Operations:
Direct Support (Friends of Scouting and other direct contributions) and Indirect Support (United Way) are under year to date budget. However, Revenue is above year to date budget. Revenue is income other than contributions, primarily:
The Total Support and Revenue Year to Date Actual (at the bottom of page 1) at $1,011,195 is under Year to Date Budget ($1,019,308) and is behind of Year to Date Last Year ($1,203,928).
Total Expenses Year to Date Actual (middle of page 2) at $916,792 is below Year to Date Budget ($927,259) and is also below Year to Date Last Year ($1,064,247).
The Year to Date bottom line is the council budget showing a $94,403 surplus, had budgeted at $92,050 surplus and last year had a $139,682 surplus.
As you look over this statement, it is important to note that there is a difference between the council operating budget and council annual cash flow. The financial year for Boy Scout councils is a calendar year. All non-profit organizations usually strive to have at the end of their financial year a balanced budget that shows revenues and expenses are balanced and surplus/deficit is $0. Sometimes a non-profit may have an objective to show a surplus in their annual budget. This could be done to grow the organizations cash reserves, pay down debt or ease a stressed cash flow environment. Each of these justifications places the organization in a stronger and more stable financial position.
Cash flow is a little different. Most non-profit organizations strive to have some cash left in the bank at the end of their financial year in order to carry them into the first part of the next year so they can meet invoices due at that time. If they ended their financial year with a balanced budget and NO cash in the bank, it could present challenges when making payments on invoices or meet payroll obligations at the very first part of the new financial year until enough money was raised to do so. For example, if XYZ non-profit ended their financial year on December 31 with a balanced operating budget showing no surplus, no deficit and had no cash in the bank, and had an invoice due on January 10th and payroll on the 15th, they might have a difficult time meeting those financial obligations so early in the year unless they had enough cash come in after December 31 to do so.
I would like to thank everyone for their kind words and help offered to the council as we move forward with our plan to remain a standalone council. This past week was again very positive related to revenue. Here is the breakdown:
We have received $163,930 of the budgeted revenue of $322,930
Additionally, we have received an additional $9,161 to cover the $59,351 revenue shortfall
For those, like me, who prefer to see the numbers, I have prepared a couple of graphs to help see the positive progress we are making. Each week we exceed revenue projections or are below budget in expense projections, we as a council move closer to achieving the year end goal. Thank you for your help and continued support of our local Scouts.
I have received a few questions this past week about popcorn sales and specifically the council’s net portion of the sale and how it may be affected. I would like to ensure all units selling popcorn, first and foremost, that the unit commission and Scout prize programs currently offered are in no way in jeopardy no matter what the outcome of the council is this year. Units will still receive the appropriate earned commission and Scouts will receive any prize incentive earned. The council’s portion of the sale will continue as always to support local Scouting. If the council remains Colonial Virginia Council, this will be much needed critical funding to carry us through the end of 2015 and kick off support in 2016. If the council territory is reassigned to nearby council(s), each council has committed to full support of local Scouting programs regardless of near term funding, programming to Scouts will not be negatively affected by this change. I hope this answers some of the uncertainty and wish you the best of luck with your popcorn sale as it provides much needed funding and program support at your unit level.
I do plan to give more updates on other council topics instead of just finances as I get information to share. I do want to be sure that our leaders are more aware of the council’s financial position. A sneak peek for this week: overall revenue is looking great this week and budgeted expenses are already down. Thank you for those that are coming in the scout shop and making purchases and for those that have been able to complete Friends of Scouting pledge payments; this is helping tremendously. Unit leadership Troop 84 in Hampton decided to do a second Family Friends of Scouting presentation and raised over $700 for local Scouting! These acts make such a difference and personally for me, are an indication that this council is worth the effort, work and fight to remain Colonial Virginia Council.
How can your unit help? Let’s make this popcorn sale the best ever; for the past few years the gross sale council wide has remained steady at about $500,000. Let’s make this the year that we grow the sale and provide more financial support to local Scouting. Thank you to all the units already selling, chocolate product orders are due by midnight this Friday, September 25. If your unit has not decided yet to sell popcorn this year, we need your help, and it’s not too late to jump on the train and sell, just call your District Executive and we’ll get your started. Second, Family Friends of Scouting is a great way to support local Scouting and I ask that consideration be given to conducting a presentation in your unit for this year. Again, please contact me directly or your District Executive to schedule a presentation.
Just a quick finance update for the week of September 7 – 13. We exceeded our budgeted revenue for the week by just a little over $1,000. Thank you to those that supported the council financially in any way last week, you made a difference.
The result of this is this: we have $10,011 of the total $382,281 needed in revenue between September 7 and December 6, and the deficit on top of the budgeted income is down to $58,340.
I would especially like to thank Dave Singletary for coming in the office with a check for $1,000 that is above and beyond his regular Friends of Scouting contribution. Dave’s check was not in last week’s deposits, so it counts towards this week’s revenue. Thanks again Dave for stepping up and helping out. Together We Can Rebuild Scouting. Your financial and other contributions to Scouting will ensure that our youth benefit from the character development program Scouting offers.
Thank you to those that attended the Council Town Hall Meeting on September 9th. I appreciate the feedback and thoughts shared with us and we will use this information to guide us through this time in our council. A suggestion was made during the meeting that the council post for viewing the annual council operating budget and monthly finance statements. Below you will find the July 31, 2015 Council Operating Statement.
As you look over this statement, it is important to note that there is a difference between the council operating budget and council annual cash flow. The financial year for Boy Scout councils is a calendar year. All non-profit organizations strive to have at the end of their financial year a balance budget that shows revenues and expenses are balanced and surplus/deficit is $0. Cash flow is a little different. Most non-profit organizations strive to have some cash left in the bank at the end of their financial year in order to carry them into the first part of the next year so they can meet invoices due at that time. If they ended their financial year with a balanced budget and NO cash in the bank, it might be difficult to make payments on invoices or meet payroll obligations until enough money was raised to do so. For example, if XYZ non-profit ended their financial year on December 31 with a balanced operating budget showing no surplus, no deficit and had no cash in the bank, and had an invoice due on January 10th and payroll on the 15th, they might have a difficult time meeting those financial obligations so early in the year unless they had enough cash come in after December 31 to do so.
Executive Summary of the 7/31/2015 Statement of Budgeted Operations:
All Support and Revenue items (Direct Support, Indirect Support & Total Revenue) are under budget. The Total Support and Revenue Year to Date Actual (at the bottom of page 1) at $442,016 is under Year to Date Budget ($525,083), but is ahead of Year to Date Last Year ($423,252).
Total Expenses Year to Date Actual (middle of page 2) $570,896 is also below Year to Date Budget ($803,398) and is below Year to Date Last Year ($690,493).
The Year to Date bottom line is the council budget is showing a $128,879 deficit, had budgeted at $278,315 deficit and last year had a $267,240 deficit. The council has a deficit but it is better than budgeted and last year.
While the council has a deficit, it still has cash in the bank. Once again demonstrating that operating budget and cash flow are different. If they were the same, a deficit budget might relate to an overdrawn bank account.
Another item asked for at the Town Hall Meeting was the amount needed in revenue for the remainder of 2015.
September 7 - December 6 Budgeted Expenses: $382,281
September 7 - December 6 Projected Revenue: $322,930
Projected Deficit to be Raised on top of Projected Revenue: $ 59,351
So, $59,351 is the amount needed in addition to the already projected $322,930 so the council can meet financial obligations between now and December 6th. After that, popcorn money is due December 2nd and those funds will be used to pay obligations through the end of 2015 including popcorn product invoices.
I hope this information is useful and informative. We will have updates and more information available weekly in the council newsletter, website/blog, facebook page etc. Please visit these sites regularly to stay informed.
Above all, thank you for all you do to deliver the Scouting program to the Scouts in your Scout unit. You make a difference every week in the lives of the young people you meet with and for them I say Thank You.
The Bayport Busy Beavers travel to camp most every Wednesday. Why? Of course, camp needs help being maintained. It's much more then that obvious reason.
About 10 Scouters (BBB), throughout the year have assisted doing many everyday activities such as grass mowing by Jeannette and Chet, maintenance of the warehouse by Tom Priesman. In addition, we have helped Ranger Joe w/repairs, some are emergencies, water pipes, electrical and fixing broken equipment.
In addition to our time spent at camp helping out, we also make or secure donations of materials and supplies to complete jobs - lumber for tent platforms, electrical parts, hinges, paint, pump parts, etc. We have driven thousands of miles and devoted thousands of hours.
The real reason is the value to a Scout. There is absolutely no substitute for a week in camp. This is where the patrol comes together learning the patrol method, fellowship and leadership. It's where the most important facets of Scouting surface, are implemented and developed - character, citizenship, and physical fitness. Skills learned in camp can be hinted at in other scout experiences, but can't be fully developed without a week in camp.
The camp is also the focus of many activities - Lumber Jack, Punkin Chunkin', klondikes, camporees, and OA campouts. It's the center of our annual events. I think of it as a home away from home. Arrowmen are now working on improvements to improve our campsites - fire rings, shelters and campsite markers. They/we care, because it's ours, not someone else's property.
However, we need to pay our bills/mortgage, like any home.
Therefore, I'm giving $1,000 now, and probably another $1,000 per year to camp, to keep it. This is in addition to whatever else I do for camp. I will economically feel this donation and will feel the crunch. However, it's because I care.
Please join me in showing that you care, enough to give more.
Yours in Scouting,
David Singletary, Volunteer
As 2014 draws to a close, I hope that each of you enjoy time with your family and friends this holiday season. For Scouts in the Colonial Virginia Council this has been an exciting year. Many enjoyed the opportunity to visit day camp, make their first Pinewood Derby car, earn their Arrow or Light, earn a new merit badge, join a Sea Scout ship, join Venturing, or complete their path to Eagle. It has been an exciting year. On behalf of the thousands of youth served by you – our dedicated volunteers – many thanks for making the Scouting program possible. As we move closer to beginning 2015 we have even more to look forward to, including an updated program at Bayport Scout Reservation. If you haven’t had a chance to see our new leader’s guide, be sure to visit www.bayportsr.org, where you can find the guide, which outlines our new program updates for this coming summer camp season. We hope you will find our new payment structure easy to navigate and find ways to encourage Scouts to participate in our full day or half day high adventure program. You will find many of the hallmark programs we have become known for, including our Nighthawk First Year Camper program and our Trail to Eagle. If you have any questions or need help be sure to contact Eric Smith at 757-595-3356 ex. 217 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for everything you do to make Scouting in the Colonial Virginia Council possible. From our Scouting family to yours…Happy Holidays.
This post is reprinted, without editing and with the author's permission. The post originally appeared on his Facebook page as a post to his friends, family, and fellow members of the Scouting community. The Colonial Virginia Council would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Mr. Wilkinson, and all of our other Scouting family members who have spread the word of our need and our determination to continue to provide the best program and camping experience possible. Thank you for helping Scouting.
Scouting Needs Your Help – Save our Camp Campaign
The Colonial Virginia Council (CVC) needs your help to save our Council Camp – Bayport Scout Reservation.
Everyone that is receiving this message can be the critical person so please do what you can. Bayport Scout Reservation http://www.bayportsr.org needs to raise one million dollars as quickly as possible and ultimately 6 million dollars. I am asking for your help by doing three things, 1) provide a donation, 2) repost this message in your social media circles and 3) copy this message and send it to your email contacts. http://www.cvcboyscouts.org
Why you ask – the reason is simple, the CVC needs our help.
Scouting gave me a purpose as a youth and some of my fondest memories were at scout camp. I would not be the person I am today if it was not for scouting and scout camp. I doubt that anyone who receives this message can say that they neither were, nor, know anybody who was not in some form of scouting. I am but one of over 2,000 volunteers and my youngest is but one of 7,000 youth in the CVC. The Scouting experience has impacts on every youth that participates no matter if they are in the program for years or just one; no matter if they earn the highest rank possible or just enjoy all that the program offers. The aim of Scouting, as I have experienced it – is to encourage the physical, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual development of young people so that they take a constructive place in society as responsible citizens, and as members of their local, national and international communities.
Bayport Scout Reservation is a critical component to this Scouting program – as all Scout camps are to all of Scouting. Camping is at the core of the Scouting experience, allowing Scouting units to take their youth out of their day-to-day environments and into the great outdoors where they experience nature in its fullest, and where they grow and learn more of life’s lessons. When in camp, they earn rank advancements and learn new skills. For many, these outdoor experiences are key stepping stones. In 2006, Bayport Scout Reservation became our new camp. We have developed it into a star destination offering three core programs, the Rappahannock Scout Camp which provides the core Scout camping programs, the Rivah Base which offers a more complex program for the older scouts including COPE, master aquatics programs and waterman programs as well as the base for high Adventure through the Chesapeake Bay High Adventure and Sailing Experience https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWz79mbeqRY (CHASE). Sadly, the CHASE program has already received a blow and will be placed on hold for the 2015 camp experience.
The financial situation – simply put:
The purchase cost of the camp, infrastructure, and buildings were approximately $16 million. Through the sale of the old camp and a capital campaign, we raised $10 million. Our plan has been to raise the remaining $6 million through the completion of the capital campaign. Unfortunately, when the financial collapse occurred in 2008, the Council suffered along with many other organizations. Our capital campaign essentially ground to a halt several years ago and we have not been successful in raising the remaining funds.
The CVC is at a critical decision point regarding the ability to retain the Bayport Scout Reservation and council service center. As important as our camp is to delivering an incredible Scouting experience to every one of our Scouts, and many more that visit from other Councils, they simply will be unable to resume payment on the note unless we are able to raise those funds in the next two months. The CVC’s options are simple: raise the money allowing us to retain the camp and council office and ultimately to pay off the debt, or divest themselves of the camp and determine how best to serve the Scouts in our Council without a camp. Our youth (my kid who worked as a camp counselor) would have to find other venues for their summer camp experiences and the many other things that Bayport offers. The CVC would have to consider how to serve our youth without the very large operational funds that are generated through the Bayport Scout Reservation.
Given their commitment to the banks, and our needs for the coming year, the CVC has set two goals: 1) Raise $1 million as quickly as possible - This amount will provide for payments during the coming year as they aggressively continue their capital campaign efforts and will provide short-term operational funding for the Council. 2) Over the next year, attract the necessary financial gifts to retire the debt on the camp, and eliminate the monthly payment that is so burdensome.
We earnestly need donors that will help us to not lose our camp. Ideally, we will need the following:
1. Receive pledges or donations that establish a clear way to pay off the camp debt.
2. Raise $1 million by November that will provide for interest payments for next year, as well as operations support.
3. Attract individual commitments to support our debt payment of $38,000 for each of the coming 12 months.
The goal remains firm, to serve a growing number of youth in our community with an incredible Scouting program and Scouting experience. This goal will be made extremely difficult if we do not have a Scout Camp to provide the crucial outdoor life-experiences our Scouts deserve and must have.
How you can help. I have learned through scouting never to under estimate the “Power of One”.
As mentioned at the beginning, help get the word out. Repost this message on your social media links and send it to the people on your email list. Even if you can’t donate yourself, spreading the word is a large help – you never know who it may reach and how they or their company can help.
Donate, whatever you can $1, $10, $100. Every dollar gets us “one” step closer to saving our camp. To donate, you can send a check to Colonial Virginia Council at 11721 Jefferson Ave, Newport News Va. 23606 (put in the memo line, Capital Campaign – Bayport Donation) or on line at, https://cvcboyscouts.doubleknot.com/event/1538149
On behalf of all the scouts that you are helping – I want THANK YOU. To make sure that this message is current I have included the date I originally posted this message and my contact information – if you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask. Remember the “Power of One”, one person, one action, one troop, one business, one action… it all starts with one. Please help by being part of the “One that Saves Bayport”. We all have seen the widespread attention the “Ice Bucket” challenge received and we all seem to have time to spread jokes around. Let’s see if we can generate the same buzz for our youth programs.
David “Tommy” Wilkinson
Original Message Posted: November 20, 2014
Watch the "Power of One" Video from the Council Banquet
I have had the privilege to give back to the Scouting program now for 27 years. Ever since earning the rank of Eagle Scout during the summer of 1988, I have worked each year since (nine years of summer camp staff and 18 years as a professional Scouter) giving back to the program that made such a difference in my life. I was fortunate to have a great Scoutmaster, Mr. Payne, who never raised his voice although we gave him many opportunities to, always gave unselfishly of his time and taught his Scouts so much, even when we didn’t think we were learning. Scouting taught me life lessons and skills that I still use to this day and now share with my son, a Webelos Scout working on his Arrow of Light award.
I believe in the Scouting program and the values it teaches young people today. Kids today need Scouting and the values taught by the Scouting program more than ever before. In a world of entitlement and everyone winning a trophy, where sports stars and other “role models” for kids are in the news for behavior not what we should expect from role models; kids need real adults to look up to and serve as mentors.
So, when I hear comments made about Scouting, or the council I work for, that damage what is so important to me, it concerns me. For the past couple weeks, I have had people comment to me that they have heard that our council is not going to have summer camp in 2015. Well, I have to say that is news to me! We are busy doing all the prep work getting ready for summer camp: preparing a budget, creating a long term plan to buy new tents, cots and mattresses, writing a completely new set of leader guidebooks, working on a Cub Scout Resident Camp program requested by many of our leaders, getting ready to interview staff, etc. If we were not planning to have camp, I am not sure why we would spend all this time getting ready.
I have been spending the past eight months getting out and talking with and listening to our leaders and donors. It has been a great experience to hear other’s feelings about our council. In the past few months, we have been working very hard to raise the additional money we need to resume camp payments for Bayport Scout Reservation in February.
While we have a lot still to do, I am very happy to say that we have secured enough in donations and pledges to make payments through July 2015 and into the end of 2015. WE ARE OPEN FOR SUMMER CAMP IN 2015!!! I am not sure where the rumor got started about camp not being open for summer camp, it is simply not true. So, now is the time to get a reservation made to come to Bayport Scout Reservation in the summer of 2015. Reservations can be made by calling Eric Smith at 757-595-3356.
We are and will continue to work hard to keep Bayport Scout Reservation open for our Scouts. We are fighting to keep the camp open and I hope your Scout unit will attend our great camp. I do have to say that it would be disappointing to secure the funds needed to make the monthly bank payment and keep the camp open, only to have no one attend summer camp this year because of misinformation being spread. So I am making two requests: 1) make a reservation for Bayport Scout Reservation for Summer Camp 2015 and 2) spread the word that Bayport is open and ready for camp in 2015. If you hear the closure rumor, please take a moment to provide to accurate and correct message that Bayport Scout Reservation is Open for Business during the Summer of 2015!!!
Many of you received or have heard about the letter that was sent a couple of weeks ago from our Council President, Jeff Wassmer. A copy of that letter is below. Since coming to the council, I have tried to be very transparent regarding our council's operations and financial outlook. Visiting leader's roundtables this past spring helped me get out and share with many of you the opportunities and challenges our council faces. We chose to send this letter to remain transparent with those that have given so much to our council and the Scouts in it.
I wanted to take a moment and provide some more information and give an update to our progress since the letter was sent. First, more information. As I have visited with Scout volunteers and donors, I have shared with them the fact that our council's operating budget is in good shape. With the help of many donors, operating revenue is up over the planned 2014 operating budget and expenses are below budget. Our 2014 summer resident camp and other events at Bayport Scout Reservation are financially sound and the overall facility operations at Bayport Scout Reservation are not supported by other sources of revenue other than those related to Bayport. This is great news. Our camp's daily operations are financially self-sufficient. Our camp is a great asset both in a program perspective and a financial operational perspective. However, as many of you know, we do still owe over $5,600,000 on the purchase and construction of the camp. We look forward to hosting the 2015 Section SR-7A Order of the Arrow Conclave and planning for 2015 Summer Resident Camp continues to progress.
Now for a quick update. Since the letter was sent, we have heard from many Scout leaders and parents with their thoughts and concerns. We appreciate your input and the manner in which you have communicated with us. We are working very hard to raise the necessary funds to resume monthly payments to our lenders in February 2015 and will do everything possible to keep Bayport Scout Reservation open for our Scouts to enjoy the outdoor adventure that Scouting thrives on. We have received several donations already, commitments to make donations now or after the first of the year or invitations to visit and discuss possible solutions. We appreciate each of these. Now is the time to help, if you are able. As mentioned in roundtables this past spring, I need the help of many to help the council through these trying times. It's as if we are rolling a giant stone ball up a hill and this is much easier done with many shoulders pushing in the same direction. I hope that those that may be bystanders are able to become involved in some positive way and help us out. I appreciate everything that each of you do as leaders to deliver the Scouting program to our Scouts, our communities need Scouting more than ever.
With the help of many, we will be successful. We will be able to roll this giant stone ball to the top of the hill and watch as it rolls down the other side. We have some great positive momentum on our side, we will keep working to be successful.
I thank each of you once again for everything you do for Scouting in our council, we cannot do it without your help. Visit frequently to this blog to get more updates on the council.
Yours in Scouting,