New Unit Service Model
Twin Rivers Council Membership:
The Twin Rivers Council Board is responsible for providing high quality programs for our youth and the best service possible to the unit leaders who carry out those programs. A few years ago the Board asked a taskforce to look at the current District model, including District boundaries, and determine if we needed to update our model. This request was intended to address that the Twin Rivers Council is the result of the consolidation of a number of former councils, with a geographic footprint that extends from Columbia County, North to Clinton County and West to Hamilton County. As a result, counties have historically been the identifiers for our Districts, even when our Districts have actually split school districts, complicating our efforts in the communities we serve. At that time, the taskforce did not propose an alternative model and no further actions were taken.
However, the recent change in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which goes into effect on December 1, 2016, will require the Council to create a new staffing model that will result in a substantial increase in operating costs. General guidance was provided by the National Council; however, it was in the hands of each council to determine how this would be addressed. As with many councils in the BSA, the Twin Rivers Council has limited financial resources and has experienced recent membership declines, which when combined with the previous membership policy issue, has certainly impacted revenues and fundraising efforts that in turn directly impacts Council operations. We have been proactive as a Board in addressing our cost structure, while still maintaining quality program, camps and District support through our District Committees and Council professional staff. However, with FLSA being announced in mid-May with a short span to its effective date, we had to evaluate our response - with the ultimate objective of maintaining a quality Council for our Scouts, supporting our volunteer leaders, and doing what is in the best interest of Scouting in Twin Rivers Council for the long-term.
The Compensation & Benefits Committee of the Board met to review the alternatives and an outcome of that process was to ask a team of board members to re-evaluate District boundaries in an effort to balance our District resources to best serve our youth, leaders and units, and prepare an assessment that could be presented to the Board for consideration. The result was a proposal to reduce our 7 Districts to 5 Districts utilizing a number of factors such as school districts, as well as other considerations such as geographic size, number of chartered units, total available youth and total registered youth.
This was presented to the Board at our August meeting at Camp Wakpominee. Following a respectful debate and conversation, the resolution was adopted with the understanding that there would be further input from the District Key-3’s (District Chairman, District Commissioner and District Executive) and their committees regarding the boundaries of the new Districts. Since the Board meeting in August, the Re-Districting Taskforce has met again and all of the District Key-3’s met on September 17th to discuss the proposed new District boundaries and how to transition to the new 5 District model – a model that will provide our District volunteers and Council professional staff the best way possible, within the resources available, to service the Units of the Council. The official change to 5 Districts will occur on January 1, 2017, and more work remains to be done to implement and to further communicate how this re-districting initiative will be put into full operation, as well as the steps to ensuring a smooth transition during 2017. We know that this change will take some time to get used to and there are always refinements that can be made as we move forward.
Consistent with our past practice we are committed to open and transparent communications. If you have a comment or question, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org and one of the Council Officers will reply. We will also create a frequently asked questions page for the responses, as well as other relevant information to the initiative.
Thank you for believing in Scouting and helping us to provide the best quality program possible for the Scouts of Twin Rivers Council.
Yours in Scouting,
Mark R. Holtzman