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Questions and Answers: Yankee Clipper Council - Key Foundation Relationship

On March 20, 2014 the council executive board voted to sever all relationships, including financial, with the Key Foundation, citing differences. There has been significant misinformation promulgated concerning this decision.  This document attempts to answer at least some questions that have arisen following the decision and correct misinformation.

Q.  Does the decision preclude individual Scouts, Scouters, Scouting Units, or Chartering Organizations from accepting cash donations from the Key Foundation intended as scholarships/camperships to attend camps, high adventure bases, jamborees or other events such as the National Order of the Arrow Conference?

A.   No.  Individuals, units, and chartering organizations are free to accept support for these types of activities.  Such support should be provided directly to the individual or the unit, who then submits payment for the activity to the council or other organization conducting the activity.

Q.  Does the decision preclude individual Scouts, Scouters, Scouting Units, or Chartering Organizations from borrowing equipment from the Key Foundation for use at unit or Charter Partner activities?

A.  No.  Individuals, Units, and Chartering Organizations may borrow equipment for use at their activities.  However, if the intent is to use the equipment as part of a council or district activity (including Summer Camp and the Order of the Arrow), this must be reviewed by council leadership and professional staff as it may violate the intent of the severance decision.

Q.  Does the decision impact the Key Foundation’s recently announced (April)  “Welcome Home Fund” initiative, offering financial support to units who have not participated in summer camp at Camp Wah-Tut-Ca for 10 or more years in 2014 and 2015?

A.  No.  As in the answer to #1 above, units may apply for and accept this support, and then use it in making payment for Summer Camp fees.

Q.  Does the decision preclude Key Foundation members from serving as volunteer leaders in the council?

A.  No.  The severance pertains to the organizations, not to the individuals.  However, in the case of executive board and key decision making positions, individuals serving in these roles must fully comply with Council conflict of interest policies.

Q.  Have Camp Staff and Order of the Arrow members been told that they will be fired if they speak out?

A.  No.  There is significant miscommunication in this regard.  Some youth members have been advised that they may not ignore or subvert the decision, but respectfully voicing concerns is not a problem.

Q.  Was the action to sever the relationship with the Key Foundation taken on the recommendation of lawyers?

A.  No.  This decision was a council executive board decision.  A separate action, occurring on the same date, concerning suspending some individuals from decision influencing roles associated with environmental investigations and remediation at Camp Wah-Tut-Ca was based on legal advice, but this suspension matter and the decision concerning severance with the Key Foundation are separate issues.

Q.  Is the decision to sever relationships with the Key Foundation associated with the proposed collaboration effort between Yankee Clipper Council and Boston Minuteman Council?

A.  No.  These are separate and unrelated issues.  The collaboration effort, funded by the Catalyst Fund, will provide a feasibility study to define how to improve programs and services provided to the youth of both councils through collaborative effort.  Some such efforts have already started, for example, the combined University of Scouting/Commissioner College to be held on November 15, 2014, and discussions for a possible combined council camporee.  Rumors abound that the “secret” purpose of the study is to force a merger of the councils and to begin selling properties.  This is not true.  The consultant providing technical assistance will review programs, services, costs, etc. in both councils, and will make recommendations for improvement.  It will then be up to the executive boards of each council to determine which of these recommendations make sense for implementation.

Q.  Is equipment that the Key Foundation has loaned to the council being returned to the Key Foundation.

A.  Yes, the council has requested that the Key Foundation provide a list of such equipment in the council’s possession, and will arrange to return it.  As of this writing, a complete list of this equipment has not been received.

Q.  Is equipment owned by the Council in the possession of the Key Foundation being returned to the Council.

A.  Yes, the council has requested that the Key Foundation provide a list of such equipment in its possession, and to return it.  As of this writing, this equipment has not been received.

Q.  Is the council considering action to establish a new relationship with the Key Foundation?

A.  Yes.  At the May 29 executive board meeting, the board approved action to appoint a task force to meet with representatives of the Key Foundation to explore ways in which a new relationship, satisfactory to both parties, could be established.

Q.  What is the duty of volunteers pertaining to information they have regarding council properties, activities and programs?

A.   A volunteer has an ethical responsibility and an obligation to do the right thing by providing any information that could potentially impact the wellbeing of the children in Scouting as soon as they come in possession of such information.  We should always be guided by the Scout Oath and Law.  In addition, Council officers, executive board members (directors) and elected members at large have a legal obligation to immediately disclose such information to the Board and other officers.

Q.  What is the obligation of volunteers and third parties with respect to the intellectual property of the Council, including trademarks?

A.  Volunteers and third parties are obligated to respect the intellectual property of the Council and refrain from using such intellectual property when requested to not use it by the council.

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