Letter from the President's Desk
Dear Friends and Scouters,
Old Colony Council currently faces a serious financial and
managerial crisis. In early December, our Scout Executive, Marc
Posner received a letter from a certified public accountant hired
to review Council's books and financial status. The accountant
stated that, in his professional opinion, "The Old Colony
Council is currently insolvent, a form of bankruptcy. This
insolvency results in a growing concern issue. a belief that this
Council may not be able to continue as an operating entity
without making substantial changes in its operations, or selling
of (sic) some or all of its assets."
Clearly, Council is in dire financial straits and, although
Council has had a large debt for a number of years, it is equally
clear that Scout Executive Marc Posner, Council President Donald
Mangum and Council Vice-President, Robert Downey (hereinafter
referred to as the"Officers") have done nothing in the
past nine months but acerbate and accelerate this financial
crisis. In fact, they promised to balance the budget and decrease
the deficit, but have done just the opposite and placed the
Council in worse financial danger than it was merely one year
ago. No doubt the Officers will claim that the financial problems
existed long before the arrival of Marc Posner. They will also
claim that former staff members and other extremely concerned
volunteers, who warned that their short-sighted approach was a
serious mistake, are somehow responsible for this current crisis.
They will attempt to blame anyone other than those most
accountable for the current fiasco, themselves.
Do not be deceived by their claims because it is clear beyond
a shadow of a doubt that our current Officers are largely, if not
entirely, responsible for the crisis facing Council. They
believed that reducing camp budgets would solve the problem. They
were wrong. They believed that removing long-time employees and
alienating long-time Council volunteers would not hurt the
Council. They were wrong. They believed that they could ignore
the need for increased and intensified fundraising efforts to
help resolve the Council debt. They were wrong. They believed
that by operating in secret and surrounding themselves with like
minded individuals, they would not be held accountable for their
actions. They were wrong.
Very briefly, in the very short time he has held his position,
Mr. Posner has increased the Council debt, been responsible for a
decrease in Council fundraising, cut budgets, staff and programs
at summer camp, continued to focus on the sale of Camp Child as a
quick fix to Council problems, been personally responsible for
the resignation of some very dedicated camp personnel and staff
with invaluable knowledge about camp operations, and refused to
provide financial and other data requested by concerned members
of Council. There is no greater example of gross mismanagement
than the actions of our Scout Executive over the past nine
In order to cover his failings, the Scout Executive formed a
Special Asset Committee whose very name indicates its objective;
create a plan to sell a Council camp to cover the increasing
debt. Not surprisingly, the Committee created a plan which states
that Council will put Camp Child up for sale in its entirety on
February 1, 1995. The Special Assets Committee claimed that
Council would collapse unless they could borrow additional monies
from new lenders and that no institutions would lend money to
Council in its current state. Who could blame the lenders?
Unfortunately, Council really is in tough shape and members of
the Executive Board could not find any quick alternative to
implementing this plan. Therefore, at their meeting on the
morning of January 5, 1995, they voted in favor of implementing
the plan by a vote of twenty-four to one with one abstention. The
die has been cast.
While there may be limited options at this point, we must not
ignore that Marc Posner, Don Mangum and Bob Downey are
responsible for this sad state of affairs. Since they are
responsible for accelerating our problems, it is painfully clear
that they are not capable of guiding Council through its current
crisis. We need to enhance and protect the future of our Council
and we must act now.
The CSAA Board of Trustees, with input from many of its members
and other concerned volunteers, believes that three things must
happen immediately to protect our Council, provide for the
long-term survival of our camps and reestablish the ideals of the
Scout Oath and Scout Law into Council operations. We must:
1) Immediately demand the resignations or removal of Marc
Posner as Scout Executive, Don Mangum as President, and Bob
Downey as Vice President for Old Colony Council.
2) Immediately demand that Council cease and desist from any and
all asset sales particularly any involving Camp Squanto or Camp
3) Immediately demand that Council open its books and financial
records for the past five years for review and investigation by
an independent Certified Public Accountant and any concerned
member of Council.
More specific details of Marc Posner's gross mismanagement are
delineated in a letter from Mr. Hyman to Mr. Posner, parts of
which are included in this newsletter.
Since it is apparent that the current Officers will not take
these actions of their own accord, and that the Board of
Directors will more than likely stand by the Officers, we must
accomplish these three vital objectives by some other means.
Therefore, the CSAA, in conjunction with Camp Child Alumni and
other concerned members of Council, will be working toward our
goals via two methods.
First, as allowed for in the Bylaws for Old Colony Council we
are asking all Chartered Partner Representatives (previously
referred to and known in the Bylaws as Scouting Coordinators) to
request a special meeting to be held for the purpose of
implementing the three goals. Pursuant to Section 3, Clause 3 of
the Bylaws, if at least 1/5 of the Chartered Partner
Representatives request a meeting, council must call such a
meeting within sixty days. We will be sending a letter to every
CPR asking for their support in saving our camps and Council.
Second, we are distributing a petition calling for immediate
action on the three points of concern. A detachable copy of this
petition accompanies this newsletter and may be returned to the
CSAA at our mailing address.
The present leadership of Old Colony Council is leading this
Council to its demise and is about to sell one of the most
valuable assets of our Council to cover their failings and
mismanagement. We must not allow this to happen. The future is in
your hands and we hope that you will join those of us who believe
it is important to honor the traditions of our past as we plan
and work for the future.
In our spirit of honesty and openness, if you have any
questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact us. I
look forward to hearing from you and continuing our efforts to
affect change in this Council so that it will once again operate
under the principles of the Scout Oath and Law and be a humane
operation instead of one intent on diminishing the services
provided to our youth and crushing the spirit of our volunteers.
I am fearful of the future if we do not make the necessary
Very truly yours,
Thomas J O'Brien
During the difficult times ahead, it is more important than
ever to increase our membership. The more voices we have the
better our chances are for being heard. If there is anyone you
know of who wants to be involved with the CSAA please forward
their name and address to our mailing committee.
Its been a very busy Fall for the CSAA in more ways than one!
First, some congratulations to some of our members on a great
membership drive ... to the maternity ward that is.
Tom and Betsy OBrien
Daughter Sarah Elisabeth
Todd & Chun Ae May
Daughter Sonya A
Jim & Jeanette Kippenhan
Daughter Beverly Katherine
And the Wedding Bells are ringing for
Nat and Kathy Sides
A rather full itinerary for the past 3 months we think.
We welcome original submissions for articles. Articles should
pertain to Camp Squanto or the Camp Squanto Alumni Association in
general. Articles should be typed.
If you have questions or would like more information about the
newsletter, please call Mike Warner, Newsletter Editor.
Buisness Space Available
There is always advertising space available in the Alumni
News. All proceeds from advertising space will go towards the
printing and mailing expenses of this newsletter. Please support
those who advertise in the Alumni News, remember that these are
the businesses of fellow Association members.
If you are interested in advertising, please contact Mike
Warner as to available space and rates.
here have been several newspaper articles written recently
about the sale of Camp Child and the other issues with Council.
The Patriot Ledger, Boston Globe, Brockton Enterprise and others
have all run articles that have quotes and counter-quotes.
Several of the people quoted in these article are well known to
the members of the CSAA.
Arnold Briggs; "After 26 years of going to camp, all I
could see was my blood, sweat and tears, everything I worked for,
going down the drain."
Joe Piche; "It's like the kids paying for the
adults" when asked about the discrepancy of the
profitability of the camps and the salaries imposed at the
Bonnie Showstack; "If they (meaning the 'dissidents')
would take all that energy and put it into a program they
believed in, they would raise a lot of money."
Good idea, lets raise money to pay for the salaries of people
who raise no money to promote the program. How about we raise
money to burn, same result.
Among the many statements made there are an amazing number of
discrepancies. Some of the more obvious "data errors"
· The debt owed changes from $340,000 to $700,000
· They will sell, then will not sell parts of Camp Squanto
· There are only 14 "dissidents" who oppose the
actions of Council
Hmmm ... I personally know a lot more than 13 other people who
are more than a little upset with the prospects offered this
Council from its "leaders". The article that really
throws numbers around in an extraordinary way is from the
Enterprise. A Scouter who diligently raises funds for the FOS
fund claims she raised $100,000 last year. Hooray! That doesn't
even pay for Mr Posner's salary and benefits, quoted in the same
article as $80,000 plus $30,000 in benefits. That, by the way, is
a significant increase from last years salary, the Legislature
isn't alone in raising their own salaries.
The supporters of the Council's plans are quoted in each
article with deadly accuracy. Too bad they couldn't remember what
they said to the previous interviewer.
There was one statement made that rings true, "This is
not what scouting is all about." I was taught its about the
Oath and Law.
The following are excerpts from the resignation letter of Gary
Hyman. Gary has been on the Camp Staff for 13 years and was last
year's Activities Director.
I am writing this letter for a multitude of reasons. I have
seen first hand the type of program you wish to implement at Camp
Squanto. I wish no part in that type of program. My services and
experiences will not be available to you this season.
In nine months the current council administration has
accomplished what I thought could never be: the almost entire
annihilation of the spirit of the greatest camping operation in
the East. When you came to us early last March, many of the
leaders in this Council were hopeful that you could help us
reduce our debt as well as further advance our youth programs,
not only at summer camp, but our year round operations. Instead,
what has been accomplished under your stewardship has made
matters much worse:
I attended the first of many meetings between yourself,
members of the executive board, and camp administration. I
distinctly recall you promising Mr. Palladino that there would be
no cuts in camp program or staff. This, sir, turned out to be a
lie. Eleven senior staff positions were slotted for termination
and/or reassignment. I might also mention that you displaced the
cook in the guise of saving money with another gentleman whose
salary was at least twice that of the previous cook. How much did
we save there, Marc?
As far as no program cuts, this promise was kept worse than a
politician's after re-election. If you had no intention of
keeping things cost effective, instead of cutting food selection
and portions, you would have done better to say so. Twenty items
were cut off the previous menu and food portions were reduced
ludicrously. The previous year, we spent $2.65/person this past
season's $1.25/person turned out as sheer starvation.
Also under the guise of saving money, there has been gross
negligence of ongoing projects:
Stewardship Forest Program = loss of $10,000;
Youth Advocacy Division, = loss $70,000 - $120,000;
Environmental Education Center = loss of $20,000 - $25,000;
Modular Units originally we were to get $225,000 for these.
Why was the price brought down to $180,000? And where did the
The new latrine still awaits further work, neither camp has
its new winter lodges, a new training facility or even an
upgrade? What about retro-fitting all camp facilities for the
Ed Christopher's Staff Village, why has this project been put
on hold? The money from this one has come from a donator.
Perhaps, this money as well went to other uses.
The sale of Camp Child was a fiasco I am sure you would like
us to forget. Especially, after a comment from Mr. Mangum to the
effects of "we'll wait a year until things cool down and
then sell the camp anyways."
What about the Mass Patriots Award Dinner? Isn't this a
$25,000 budget item? What happened to it? Why has there not been
any new funds generated this year?
Budget cutting can only go so far. Probably your most famous
saying this summer must have been, "Change is pain."
Let's take a close look at this one, Marc. As Scout Executive,
you have the highest salary in the history of OCC: $85,000 + $25
- 30,000 in benefits. Under your original plan, you also want
additions to your professional staff for a total of 8
professionals and 4 secretaries? Obviously, this "change is
pain" adage is directed to all non-professionals in this
There is a message here for you, Marc, if you care to see it.
Camp Squanto has (or had) one of the highest staff return rate
probably in the country. Since this past season you have seen the
forced resignations of a Camp Director who had promised himself
for a ten year commitment; a Ranger of 23 years who together with
the Supervisor of Camps, was the backbone and spirit of Camp
Squanto; a Provisional Scoutmaster with over 20 years experience
in camp; the Leading Scout Director with several years
experience; a Senior Commissioner with over 20 years of service;
a veteran Camp Director with over 25 years of service, and a COPE
Director/ Ecology/ Conservation Director with 13 years of
devotion. On top of this is the eviction of the Alumni
Association Museum dedicated to the life of one of the charter
members of Camp Squanto.
Many of us feel that the only way out of this mess is the
resignation of yourself, Bob Downey, and Donald Mangum. Anyone
who could accomplish so much in the short time you have been here
has my vote of no confidence. I urge the members of the Executive
Board and Committee to listen to the volunteer leaders of this
council and relieve ineffective leaders of their duties.
Gary S. Hyman
Camp Squanto Staff Veteran
Assistant Scoutmaster T-23
Maintained by John Mileris.
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