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Jeff Rock, Director of Field Services-Announces his Retirement

     Jeff started his career with the Occoneechee Council in Raleigh, N. C., as a District Executive on Sept 22, 1986.  He later served as Field Director and Director of Field Service for that same Council.  He was promoted to Scout Executive in 2005 of the Shawnee Trails Council in Owensboro, Kentucky where he served for seven years until he joined the staff of the Gulf Ridge Council in 2012 as a Field Director.  In 2014, Jeff became the Director of Field Service for the Gulf Ridge Council and continued in the position after the merger with the West Central Florida Council created the Greater Tampa Bay Area Council.  His career has made an impact on countless volunteers and scouts. His commitment to the scout law and oath are unsurpassed. Jeff lives his daily life with each of these in mind. After 33 years of working with the Boy Scouts of America, he has decided to spend more time with his wife and family and possibly be a BSA volunteer.

     A search is underway for his replacement, until this person is identified, please contact Angelique Saffore at Angelique.saffore@scouting.org.

     The entire Greater Tampa Bay Area Council wishes Jeff and his family the best in retirement, we will greatly miss you.  Congratulations can be sent to Jeff at jeff.rock086@gmail.com.

Announcement from Office of the National Chair – November 4, 2019

 

Over the past year, leadership of the national organization has been working tirelessly to empower our volunteers and staff to focus on delivering the mission of Scouting to more than two million young people, while also addressing our organization’s financial challenges. The work that each of us puts into this movement is vital, but to do our best on behalf of the Boy Scouts of America, we each must also look out for our own personal health.

Today, I am reaching out to let you know that Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh is taking a medical leave of absence to focus on challenges that require his total attention. Although I know your support is immensely appreciated, I ask that you respect his privacy and remain focused on our mission of delivering a great Scouting program to youth and families in our communities. We wish him a full recovery.

Given that this comes at an important time for our organization, National Chair-Elect Dan Ownby and I will be personally supporting the national professional leadership team. Within the next several weeks, the National Executive Committee will identify an interim leader for the national organization.

Whether you come to the movement as an employee, a volunteer, a parent or a Scout, you quickly realize that we are all one Scouting family. As we look back on a year of exceptional milestones, from welcoming both boys and girls into Scouts BSA, to the once-in-a-lifetime experience of the World Scout Jamboree, this is a time for all of us to support each other, the organization and the movement. Scouting plays a vital role in our communities and in the lives of so many young people.

Thank you for your support and all you do for Scouting.

Yours in Scouting,

Jim Turley

Important Council Announcements From Scout Executive, Jim Rees

October 23, 2019

 

To:  Scouting Families of the Greater Tampa Bay Area Council

 

From:  Jim Rees, Scout Executive/CEO

 

This morning the Greater Tampa Bay Area Council was made aware of a registration fee increase by the National Council Boy Scouts of America.  The fee communication and FAQ document follow.  The Greater Tampa Bay Area Council is establishing a registration assistance fund to assist those that will need help with the fee increase.  Our Council will continue to charge $1.50 for accident & sickness insurance but we will not be raising or adding any additional fees to our members.  The Executive Board is also looking at ways to reduce local program costs to our Units and Scout Families going forward.

 

I recognize that this fee increase is substantial, but I believe what youth learn and experience in Scouting is invaluable.   Information on the assistance fund and program cost reductions will be forthcoming.

 

I am grateful to all our volunteers and families for their leadership and participation in Scouting.

 

Jim Rees

Scout Executive

The Greater Tampa Bay Area Council

Fee Increase Communication

 

For more than 100 years, Scouting has helped build future leaders by combining educational activities and lifelong values with fun and adventure in the outdoors. At Boy Scouts of America, we are dedicated to developing leaders of character by preparing young men and women for life by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law. The timeless ideals of the Scout Law, such as being trustworthy, helpful, kind and brave, make up the foundation young people need to address and overcome challenges in their lives and the issues facing their generation.

Now as we continue the Scouting mission, it is important that we keep pace with an ever-changing world. While costs to the organization have increased every year, the Boy Scouts of America has worked to keep the annual membership fee as low as possible by subsidizing core costs, including liability insurance we must carry to cover all official Scouting activities. Unfortunately, it is no longer possible to subsidize at the level we have in the past, especially as the cost of insurance has increased dramatically. We kept the cost low to make Scouting available to as many young people as possible but keeping the cost artificially low for many years now magnifies the impact of changes.

To ensure we have the resources to fulfill the promise of Scouting despite increasing operating costs, the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America has made the difficult but necessary decision to increase the annual membership fee effective January 1, 2020 to:

  • $60 for youth members in Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouts,
  • $36 for youth members in Exploring, and
  • $36 for adult members

 

Every dollar of the national membership fee will go toward the cost of essential services, including liability insurance for those participating in approved Scouting activities, program resources, safety standards, youth protection and personal safety training, and services to councils nationwide to sustain Scouting. The National organization will also continue to develop and improve resources that support our volunteers and youth members such as online registration, Member Care and Scoutbook, which now includes the Den Leader experience to ensure the safe and consistent delivery of Cub Scouting; as well as improvements aimed at simplifying the annual renewal process.

 

Across the country and in our own community, we know that Scouting remains one of the most valuable investments we can make to support young men and women today so they can become the leaders we will turn to tomorrow. From once-in-a-lifetime adventures to merit badges that spark interests and future careers; from campouts under the stars to service projects that leave a lasting impact on our communities; Scouting’s year-round program expands horizons and provides young people with a safe and welcoming place to learn, grow, and thrive.

 

That is why we are committed to ensuring that all youth can experience the character-building benefits of Scouting regardless of their financial situation. In addition to our existing council and unit membership assistance, we have established a national Growing Future Leaders Fund, which is funded entirely through donations, to provide additional financial support to those who need it.

FAQ

Q:         Why are the fees increasing now?

A:          While costs increase every year, the Boy Scouts of America has worked to keep the annual membership fee as low as possible to make Scouting available to as many young people as possible by subsidizing core costs, including liability insurance we must carry to cover all official Scouting activities. As the organization’s financial situation has shifted over the past several months, it is no longer possible to subsidize at the level we have in the past, especially as the cost of insurance has increased dramatically.

Q:         Does this apply to youth members and volunteers?

A:          Yes, the new fees apply for youth and adult members. Effective January 1, 2020, the new fees are:

  • $60 for youth members in Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouts,
  • $36 for youth members in Exploring, and
  • $36 for adult members (includes cost of background check and Scouting Magazine)
  • $60 for unit charter fees

Q:         Is Scouting still a good value?

A:          Absolutely! While most extracurricular activities are seasonal, Scouting is a year-round program that remains one of the most valuable investments we can make to support young men and women today so they can become the leaders we will turn to tomorrow.  For most of our youth members, the new registration fee amounts to $5 a month, which is an enormous value when you consider that many seasonal extracurricular activities often start at $100 for programs that last a few weeks.

Q:         What will the money be used for?

A:          Every dollar of membership fees will go to cover the cost of essential services, including liability insurance for members participating in approved Scouting activities, background checks for adult leaders, program development and training resources, continuously updated youth protection and youth safety training, improved IT/digital experiences and services to our councils nationwide.

Q:         Is this increase being implemented to cover the cost of the additional background checks?

A:          No, the cost of background checks is not the prompting the fee increase.

Q:         Why is this being announced now?

A:          We recognize the timing of this fee increase creates challenges as units have already begun collecting fees for their 2020 registration renewal process, and we would not make this difficult decision if it were not absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, the cost of liability insurance we must carry to cover all Scouting activities has increased dramatically over the past several months, and the organization is no longer able to offset the cost of insurance. We are committed to supporting you through this process and are making necessary adjustments to the online rechartering system to ensure units can carry out the recharter process.

Q:         Does this increase cover financial challenges the organization is facing?

A:          The increase was prompted because the cost of liability insurance we must carry to cover all Scouting activities has increased dramatically over the past several months, and the organization is no longer able to offset the cost of insurance. The national membership fee also enables us program development and training resources, continuously updated youth protection and youth safety training, improved IT/digital experiences and services to our councils nationwide.

Q:         When will this increase take effect?

A:          The new membership fees will take effect starting January 1, 2020 for the 2020-21 program year.

Q:         Is financial assistance available?

A:          We are committed to ensuring that all youth can experience the character-building benefits of Scouting regardless of their financial situation. In addition to the many existing council and unit membership assistance funds, we have established the donor-funded Growing Future Leaders Fund to provide financial support to those who need it.

For more information on individual registration assistance, click here.

Q:         What measures has the national organization taken to offset the financial challenges?

A:          In addition to ongoing efforts to streamline and simplify the organization, the national organization has taken a number of steps in addressing its financial challenges, including the recent elimination of more than 35 positions at the National Service Center and ongoing consolidation of departments for the most effective utilization of resources in support of Scouting.

Q:         Will the national membership fee continue to increase?

A:          Although no decision about future increases have been made, the cost of operating our organization and services increases every year. Should it be necessary to increase fees in the future, the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America has agreed to evaluate the needs and make such decisions, whenever possible, at the National Annual Meeting in May or early in the summer so that they can be announced with as much lead time as possible to allow for councils and units to be able to plan accordingly.

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