Letter: Local Scouting on solid ground

You may have heard the news reports regarding the National Council, Boy Scouts of America’s financial position. It is exploring all options to ensure it can continue to support all local councils across the country.

As members and supporters of the Scouting movement, we all have an important duty, and an incredible opportunity, to focus as an organization on keeping children safe, supported, and protected, while preparing youth for their future through our nation’s foremost program of character development and values-based leadership training.

The strength of Scouting for the last 100-plus years has been its local domain. Each scouting unit is owned by its local charter partner which is typically a place of worship, service club or educational institution. Each local council is incorporated in the specific state where it operates.

The Black Swamp Area Council is a 501(c)(3) entity incorporated in Ohio. Camp Lakota, Camp Berry, Findlay Service Center, our bank funds and investments are owned and controlled by the Black Swamp Area Council with governance from our local council Executive Board leadership. (Note, the Lima Service Center building is leased from the Lima FOP by the Black Swamp Area Council.)

The nature of the relationship for a council with the National Council BSA, is that our council is the holder of a charter to conduct the Boy Scouts of America programs in our defined territory, throughout our 13 counties in Northwest and West Central Ohio.

The Black Swamp Area Council receives no funding from the National Council, BSA; in fact, we pay fees to National Council, BSA as a part of our charter agreement for specific services. We receive value back from the National Council, BSA, but we operate as a financially independent not-for-profit organization.

Areas where we partner with National Council, BSA, for business purposes, include several insurance programs, services for IT and expertise related to camping, Youth Protection, to name a few. Importantly, employee benefits, such as healthcare and retirement, are funded by each council but through programs offered by National Council, BSA.

Charitable support of the Black Swamp Area Council stays local. All assets of the Black Swamp Area Council, including past and future charitable contributions, unit accounts, endowment funds, and properties, are independently held and protected. Dollars given locally in support of Scouting stay right here in the Black Swamp Area Council.

Our focus has been delivering a quality program to boys and girls in our local community and we will maintain our focus on preparing youth for their futures.

Your efforts and support, make the difference in the youth that we serve!

Yours in Scouting,

Sherri Garner Brumbaugh

Council President

Marc D. Kogan

Scout Executive

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