- We completed a strategic planning process that produced a workable strategy with four areas of focus:
- Support Unit Level Excellence
- Foster a Diverse Recruiting Pipeline
- Optimize Fundraising Programs
- Bring Camp Properties to Net Neutral or Better
- Our plan also recognized that Bay-Lakes has two fundamental components that need regular and mindful attention:
- Financial Health
- Increased Scouting Impact
- Began the process of re-chartering Cub Scout Packs that had stalled during the pandemic to breathe life into the pipeline that feeds all our Troops.
- All our camps were inspected and re-certified by the BSA.
- Our Golden Eagle fundraising event was successful:
- We also recognized 50 Eagle Scouts from Bay-Lakes who have made significant contributions to their communities and the Council.
We are truly grateful and find it impossible to express our appreciation adequately for the unwavering dedication and hard work each of you has invested to ensure the success of Bay-Lakes Council in fulfilling our mission. It is a collective effort that requires all of us to dive in, roll up our sleeves, and propel the Council forward. Throughout the year, both Scouts and Scouters have demonstrated remarkable commitment, contributing significantly to the fulfillment of our mission. Your efforts have not gone unnoticed, and we commend each one of you for a job well done!
The Scouting movement has weathered significant challenges in recent years, including legal battles, bankruptcy, and a decline in membership. The intersection of these issues has placed our beloved Scouting movement in a precarious position. While we’ve successfully navigated the initial storms, the financial ramifications of the bankruptcy and membership decline will echo for years, impacting not just our Council but others as well.
Bay-Lakes Council faces several critical issues that demand our collective attention:
- Membership Decline: Over the past seven years, our membership has decreased by over 50%, exacerbated by the pandemic’s impact on Cub Scouts and Webelos numbers, foreshadowing a drop in overall Scouting numbers.
- Revenue Decline: Linked to the membership decline, revenue has dwindled, affected by Scout attendance at summer camps and popcorn sales, a significant revenue source for the Council.
- Over-Capacity in Camps: Like many councils, we grapple with overcapacity in our camps, coupled with escalating maintenance and operating costs. This contributes to a substantial structural deficit for Bay-Lakes.
Our Executive Board is confronting these challenges head-on, forming task forces and committees to explore and propose solutions. While it’s too early to outline specific strategies, it’s clear that tough decisions lie ahead to fix the structural deficit and create a sustainable path forward.
Throughout this process, we committed to transparent communication regarding our progress. We will communicate as much as we can, and as soon as we can, about our process and progress.
In closing, we express our heartfelt gratitude for the exceptional hard work and dedication that each of you has contributed on behalf of our Council. Through your actions, you have exemplified the principles of our Scout Oath and Law, showcasing to all the inherent value and impactful influence of our Scouting Movement. Your efforts are truly commendable and deeply appreciated.
We find hope in the dedication of our Board and Staff working on these critical issues. We find hope in the love for our Scouting Movement by every one of you. As Scouts and Scouters, we are resourceful and resilient, and we are confident that, together, we will implement workable solutions and emerge stronger.
If you have any questions about our process or progress, please feel free to reach out. Your support and engagement are vital as we navigate these challenges and continue our mission to shape the leaders of tomorrow.
Wishing you a joyous holiday season and looking forward to a brighter future for Bay-Lakes Council.
Warmest regards and Happy Holidays!