Suwannee River Area Council
Boy Scouts of America
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The mission of the Suwannee River Area Council (the “Council”) is to prepare youth to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetime by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.
The Council will be the premier youth serving organization serving communities in its South Georgia / North Florida area of service. The Council will be recognized for its service to youth in all areas of those communities and for its leadership in providing programs and opportunities for youth to develop confidence, character, integrity, leadership, and citizenship.
Scout Oath: On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my Country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.
Scout Law: A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent.
This strategic plan sets forth general objectives and specific goals within each of the following core functions of the Council, together with strategies and priorities for achieving those objectives and goals: Programs; Membership; Marketing and Communications; Fund Development; Properties; and Operations and Governance.
An analysis of the Council’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats is included at the end of this strategic plan. The objectives, goals, and strategies outlined in this plan are intended to facilitate the achievement of the Council’s mission and vision by utilizing the Council’s strengths and taking advantage of its opportunities while overcoming its weaknesses and threats.
Adopted: April 18, 2017 Reviewed and updated: _____________
Deliver high-quality programs that attract and retain members and provide training for youth and volunteers.
- Ensure programs encompass all levels and members of Scouting and increase participation by youth in council programs by 5% annually;
- Increase volunteer attendance in training and supplemental training by 5% annually;
- Achieve 100% of leaders trained in their registered position and 100% of volunteers in Youth Protection;
- Improve advancement in all programs by 2% annually;
- Increase overall service hours by 5% annually with each unit sponsoring at least one project per year.
JTE Performance Items: 7,8, 9, 10, 18 ( Appendix A)
Action Member: VP-Programs
- Improve quality and consistency of programs and activities to ensure they are fun, interesting and engaging by conducting an assessment of current programs and activities and updating/creating offerings as necessary and resources permit.
- Develop programs that focus on Webelos and Venture age groups.
- Ensure that programs include activities needed for advancement and/or merit badges.
- Develop and use succession plans for all programs and activities.
- Offer regular basic leader training opportunities for leaders and publicize on line training resources that are available.
- Include Youth Protection Training as part of the training at all opportunities in conjunction with on-line training.
- Offer supplemental and advanced training for youth and adults such as Roundtables, Pow Wow, University of Scouting , Wood Badge and NYLT.
- Provide resources, material and support to unit leaders in presenting unit level youth leader training.
- Promote BSA High Adventure programs for youth and training opportunities for adults and encourage attendance.
Expand programs offered in conjunction with federal, state and local organizations and agencies.
Increase membership in all programs by recruiting and retaining members and units and expanding awareness of Scouting in the community.
- Achieve annual growth in membership of 3% overall
- Show net gains in units annually and have at least 50 Packs within 3 years
- Establish and maintain at least one (1) traditional unit in each county within five (5) years.
- Attain minimum overall retention of 80% and 90% retention of Webelos cross-overs.
- Increase market share by 1% annually.
- Increase Venture Crews and members and Explorer Posts and members.
JTE Performance Items: 5, 6, 13 (Appendix A)
Action Member: VP-Membership
- Appoint a committee to develop a Council Recruiting and Retention plan
- Utilize volunteers to support recruiting efforts
- Conduct recruiting activities in high traffic areas during peak recruiting periods
- Develop and distribute information for Webelos and families to assist in transition to Boy Scouts and increase percentage of youth moving into Boy Scout program
- Establish annual contact with Charter Partners to identify and assist with membership growth
- With the Marketing Committee, conduct activities designed to attract new members.
- Utilize volunteers and para-professionals to identify potential partners and sponsors for units in targeted areas
- Undertake actions to recruit youth as result of expanded programs and membership eligibility
- Coordinate with current sponsors on expanding membership in existing Explorer Posts and identify additional areas of interest for Posts and sponsors.
MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS
Increase awareness of Scouting within the community by publicizing and promoting programs and ensuring that adequate and timely information on Council programs and activities is provided to the membership.
- Ensure that Scouts and families and members of the community are aware of Scouting opportunities in the communities and of the contributions Scouts make to the community.
- Improve communications with members about current Council events and activities.
- Increase awareness of Council support functions and requirements among membership.
JTE Performance Items: 4, 11 (Appendix A)
Action Member: VP-Marketing
- Recruit and utilize marketing committee and develop a marketing/communications plan
- Publish a monthly newsletter and periodic articles using appropriate media to inform members and community of achievements and upcoming activities.
- Prepare or coordinate information to membership on scheduled council activities.
- Update and maintain council website to provide users with timely, detailed information to users.
- Ensure contact list for members is accurate and current.
Develop a comprehensive funding process that enables the Council to be financially sound with balanced budgets, expanded support and increased in endowment.
- Increase revenue from fundraising activities with annual increase in FOS contributions of 2% in revenue.
- Conduct FOS presentations to 100% of registered units.
- Increase donors by 1% annually.
- Increase product sales by 5% annually and 80% participation by units.
- Attain an Endowment fund of $2,500,000.00 within 5 years.
- Increase endowment contributions by 5% annually or 5 new donors from prior year.
- Expand attendance and donations from special events.
JTE Performance Items: 1, 2, 3 (Appendix A)
Action Member: VP-Finance
- Appoint a Fund Development Committee
- Develop a standard FOS presentation to use to groups.
- Recruit and train district volunteers to make unit presentations to units.
- Increase annual product sales and expand units and individuals participating in product sales.
- Increase size of and support of endowment fund by identifying endowment supporters and distributing information on endowment opportunities.
- Expand Golden Eagle Society membership by 10%
- Increase corporate sponsorships for events by $10,000.00
- Increase participants in Super Clays Tournament and initiate planning for additional tournaments/events
- Publish an annual financial/giving report
Develop, finance, utilize and maintain council properties and facilities to best benefit council programs and operations.
Repair and restore Council property damaged by Hurricane Michael and prepare a Property Restoral plan based on experience with restoration efforts
- Provide adequate facilities for programs by improving, expanding and maintaining existing camp and council properties and assets
- Ensure that council and camp facilities meet established standards
- Identify and prioritize additions/upgrades to properties
- Increase utilization of Council properties by third party organizations and groups
- Have camp properties become self-funded
JTE Performance Items: 3, 9, 10 (Appendix A)
Action Member: VP-Properties
- Update the Properties Master Plan, including identifying maintenance needs, additions, and revenue producing sources.
- Develop and use an annual facilities and equipment maintenance and repair program and publish a schedule of activities.
- Implement a unit adoption plan and prepare and utilize a list of repair/maintenance projects for use by volunteers and groups.
- Identify and prioritize major maintenance and capital improvements and sources of funding.
- Acquire funding through donations, sponsorships, grants or other sources for major repairs, upgrades and additions.
- Develop and implement income generating activities to produce funds to support property needs.
- Expand the use of camp properties by outside groups.
- Appoint a museum committee and revise/adopt policies and procedures for museum operations and memorabilia
OPERATIONS and GOVERNANCE
Maintain organizational structure with volunteer and professional staffing which enable the Council to provide and support programs.
- Ensure Executive Board is comprised of active members.
- Conduct training/orientation for new and current board members.
- Recruit at least 3 new board members annually.
- Improve attendance at board and committee meetings.
- Ensure Council reorganization is efficiently implemented
- Improve board diversity.
- Assist units with use of JTE in unit programs.
- Maintain 3:1 ratio of units to trained unit commissioners.
JTE Performance Items: 12, 14, 15, 16, 17 (Appendix A)
- Council President
- Council Commissioner
- Scout Executive
- Other officers as necessary
- Provide professional staff to support council, districts and programs by recruiting, developing and retaining qualified professionals and ensure they have support and resources necessary.
- Expand the Executive Board using the Nominating Committee to identify and recruit Board members.
- Establish functioning Board committees and require active participation.
- Ensure members receive appropriate board orientation and schedule periodic continuing education programs and records of board and committee meetings timely.
- Conduct an annual planning/strategic plan update conference.
- Ensure all board members receive board packets and board and committee meeting records timely
- Contact board members prior to board meetings.
- Develop and implement means to assist units in recruiting volunteers and ensure all volunteers receive training and support.
- Recruit, train and utilize Commissioners to provide unit support and increase use of and attendance at Roundtables and facilitate communications between Council and members.
- Recruit replacements for vacant officer and/or board positions created by resignation within 30-45 days of resignation
- Identify and take actions necessary to implement the plan to eliminate existing districts of the Council
ANALYSIS OF STRENGTHS, WEAKNESSES, THREATS, AND OPPORTUNITIES
· Experienced professional staff
· Experienced group of volunteers
· Office ownership
· Rental income covers office debt
· Camp property and location
· Geographic diversity of council area offers variety of outdoor experiences
· Retention rate overall is among highest in Area 4
· Boy Scout long-term camping
· Shooting sports program support
· Summer usage of camp property by non-Scout groups
· Marketing/community awareness
· Overall training percentages
· Cash flow
· Endowment support
· Ability to unite support council-wide
· Wallwood BSR does not support itself financially.
· Staff turnover
· Number of leaders/volunteers
· Board involvement
· Underserved areas
· Slow to change
· BS camp usage and attendance
· Low Cub Scout camp/program attendance
· Program variety/change
· District organization
· Camp facilities in need of repair or replacement
· Concentration of youth and volunteers in one county
· Use of volunteer resources
· Low attendance at supplemental training and roundtables
· Cub Scout recruiting
· Market share
· Use of camp property by groups and educational opportunities.
· Endowment donations
· Staff recruitment
· Expansion in underserved areas
· Eagle Scout alumni
· Board expansion and involvement
· District and council committee organization
· BSA National policies and ongoing negative press
· Perception of BSA programs
· Federal and state regulations
· Willingness/ability of parents to be leaders/volunteers
· Volunteer time and burn-out
· Reaction to changes in youth interests
· Changes in societal views/values and ability to adapt
· Outside influence on merger
· Static TAY
· Small number of major employers
· Increasing outside demands
Updated: March, 2017
Status as of:
Develop and implement a strategy to ensure that 100% of adult leaders having direct contact with youth members are current in Basic Youth Protection Training as of January 1, 2019. Actively involve unit commissioners as part of the strategy.
Building upon the success of Longleaf Challenge in February, 2017, plan and carry out a weekend camping event at Wallwood, in conjunction with the Nature Conservancy, focusing on conservation, with an opportunity to earn one or more merit badges in the nature and conservation fields.
Event to occur in Feb. 2019
*These are in addition to 2019 program priorities that have already been established, including annual camping and training programs as well as National Jamboree and Woodbadge.
Status as of:
Restore youth membership to 2015 levels, with emphasis on Cub Scouts.
Restore effectiveness of unit commissioners in supporting recruiting.
Stabilize units that have declined in membership during the past two years.
Organize at least two new Cub Scout packs in areas that currently are underserved, with input from VP Diversity.
Expand recruitment to take advantage of additional programs and membership eligibility
Strengthen law enforcement Explorer posts via greater involvement by law enforcement agencies.
Marketing and Communications
Status as of:
Create a task force, including one or more IT experts, to develop and implement a strategy for improving the effectiveness of the Council’s communication (to members, supporters, and the general public) via email and social media. Appoint a chair; define goals.
Publish at least two articles or editorials in newspapers serving the Council’s area regarding Scouting events and successes, highlighting examples of character building, leadership, and community service.
Prepare and circulate in an appropriate manner) a summary of programs and services offered by the Council and the role Scouts, units, families and volunteers have
Arrange for remote participation (via conference call) in committee and Executive Board meetings.
Status as of:
Conduct a successful 2019 Golden Eagle Dinner, raising at least $150,000.
Secure at least 90 contributors at the Golden Eagle Society level in 2019.
By July, 2019
Develop and publicize a Junior Golden Eagle Society initiative for contributors who are under age 30.
Use Commissioner resources to facilitate unit and group FOS presentations.
Plan 2019 shooting sports events (e.g., sporting clays, quail hunt),
Events in Oct.- Dec. 2019
Work with National representatives to identify potential donors and conduct a campaign to increase contributions to Council
Identify and apply for one additional grant.
Status as of:
Adopt museum operations policies and inventory items in museum
Update the Properties Master Plan, including identifying maintenance needs, additions, and revenue producing sources.
Develop a facilities and equipment maintenance and repair program and publish a schedule of activities for one year.
ASAP after app’t of VP Properties
Operations and Governance
Status as of:
Fill vacant officer and Board positions created by resignations
Appoint 2018-19 Nominating Committee and Chair.
Use a written Board Commitment that explains participation and support responsibilities of Executive Board members, to be used in recruitment process and to confirm Board member acceptance of commitments.
Ensure the Nominating Committee has a comprehensive list of potential new board members and the ability to confirm their qualifications and willingness to serve.
Update and use diversity plan to serve as a strategy for reaching and serving underserved communities and in achieving broader representation of the communities served by the Council on the Executive Board.
Contact Executive Board members prior to each meeting to encourage attendance.
Provide draft minutes of Executive Committee meetings to Executive Board one week after each Executive Committee meeting; provide information packet to Executive Board one week prior to each Board meeting.
Updated: January 2019