Buckskin Council Courier
The Buckskin Council Courier is our quarterly newsletter, and is full of information for upcoming events at both the Council and District levels.
You can read the latest edition here.
Merger of Buckskin and Tri-State Area Councils Proposed
At a May 8 special meeting the Buckskin Council’s voting members (134 Chartered Organization Representatives and 78 Members-at-large) will act on a proposal to merge the Buckskin and Tri-State Area Councils. The Tri-State Area Council’s voting members will act on May 29. The Buckskin Council has about 5000 youth members in 23 counties of West Virginia, Virginia, and Kentucky and has its service center in Charleston. The Tri-State Area Council has about 2000 youth members in 10counties of West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio and has its service center in Huntington. Both councils are not-for-profit organizations incorporated in West Virginia. If approved, the merger would occur on July 1.
A committee with members from both councils has been studying a possible merger since January. Its six subcommittees (legal, administration, finance, program and properties, membership and unit service, communications) gathered much information from Scouters, council records, and public sources and considered many aspects of the proposal. The committee drafted the Articles of Merger and on March 22 recommended that both councils approve the merger. Information sessions, called Fireside Chats, were held in both councils in April to inform the Scouts and Scouters about the proposed merger, answer questions, and address concerns.
The Scouting program is delivered through local units (packs, troops, crews, ships, and posts) and these are not directly affected by a merger of councils. Since a goal of the merger is to improve service to units, any effects should be positive.
Both councils have gone through mergers previously. The current Buckskin Council was at one time six councils and the current Tri-State Area Council was once two councils. Over the years improved transportation and communications have decreased the need to have service centers close to most units. Councils that can draw on a larger population and economy can also provide more infrastructure to support scouting.
The merger study committee found numerous similarities in the two councils. Population density, median household income, and percent of available youth being served are nearly the same. The decrease in the area’s youth population is a big chal- lenge. Since 1990 the youth population of the combined areas has declined 22% and is expected to decline another 7% by 2030.
The committee also found best practices within each council that can be extended to benefit a larger number of Scouts. Examples are: Cub World at Camp Arrowhead, Wilderness Rangers program, Boy Scout summer camp option for some high adventure activities at the new Summit camp of the Boy Scouts of America.
Some basic facts of the proposed merger:
The new council will use the Buckskin Council name for the near future
The service center will be in Charleston and a Scout shop will be in Huntington
All unit numbers will remain the same
The geographical areas of the five districts in the legacy Buckskin and three districts in the Tri-State Area councils will remain the same for the near future and all the district events will continue as present.
All current camp properties will continue to be utilized
Change is coming. Change is scary. If represent the unknown. It goes into unchartered waters. But consider this quote.
Change your opinions, keep to your principles; change your leaves, keep intact your roots.
Soon the Buckskin Council and the Tri State Area Council will have the opportunity to face a change together. Both councils are in the process of merging into one great council. There will be some shuffling of committees, some additions to district and council committees, some additional new faces, and new responsibilities. A blending of some programs, and new opportunities for new programs. But much of what will change will be, and should be, transparent to our Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Ventures. They should only notice the increased opportunity of more camping options, more program services, and perhaps bigger events like Council Camporees and Council Pinewood Derbies. Other than that, life as a Scout in the Buckskin Council or Tri State Area Council will continue on just like before.
Change is usually the hardest for us adults. The youth will probably not even notice.
I am committed to make sure our Scouts and leaders enjoy the inherent benefits of being a part of a larger council. I am also committed to work out the hiccups and glitches that will inevitably will come with change. Please join me as I work for the best future for our Scouts.
Good Scouting to you and yours,
Jeffrey L. Purdy
Volunteers are the heart of scouting, and in the Buckskin Council we have a group who quietly serve you by making sure the newsletters and other key communications are prepared, labeled and mailed. We always look forward to seeing these volunteers in the council office, and we think it is important to let our leaders know who these folks are so you can thank them when you see them!
The person who leads the charge is Bonnie Starling!
The Courier March helpers were, Art Altman, Phil Gaarenstrom, Jack Robertson, Carleton Starr and Grace Tolbert.
The Newsletter is folded on the last Tuesday of each
month, between August and May, starting around 8:30 and ending around noon.
If you would like to join this great group of people, call the Scout Service Center at 304-340-3663 and let us know. We would greatly appreciate your help.