In December both Prairielands and Lincoln Trails agreed to explore the possibility of collaboration between the two councils in the form of a Shared Services Study Group. The objective is to analyze the challenges each council faces and determine if there is an opportunity to work together to address those challenges and better serve young people.
As many of you know, former Prairielands Scout Executive Tim Manard decided to retire after 35 years of service. As a result of Tim’s decision, both Prairielands and Lincoln Trails have agreed to accelerate the timeline of the Shared Services Study Group to determine the extent of our potential collaboration. It is important that we reach a conclusion regarding the Shared Services Study as quickly as possible before beginning a search for a new Scout Executive for Prairielands Council.
The Key Three from both councils along with Lincoln Trails Scout Executive Chris Long and interim Prairielands Scout Executive and Area 3 Director Mike McCarthy had a conference call on February 25th to outline the timeline and process for the Shared Services Study and finalize the composition of the five sub-groups made up of representatives from both councils that will conduct the study. The sub-groups include: Finance, Membership & Unit Service, Program & District Support, Communications & Marketing, and Administration & Legal. The sub-groups, composed of 2 to 4 members from each council will select a chairperson and will meet up to three times beginning in March to develop a formal recommendation by April 30, 2016.
The expected outcomes of the Shared Services Study will most likely fit into one of three categories:
- Status Quo – Nothing can be gained through the councils working together or consolidating.
- Shared Services – Scouting will best be served if the councils remain separate but find ways to share resources and deliver programs more efficiently.
- Consolidation – Scouting will be best served if the two councils become a single, larger council.
The formal recommendation from the Shared Services Study Group will be presented to the Executive Boards of both councils for a vote. If the recommendation would be to consolidate, final approval would be made by the voting members of each council including the Executive Board Members and the Charter Organization Representatives.
I can assure you that everyone participating in the Shared Services Study Group is committed to conducting an objective analysis and presenting a recommendation that is in the best interests of both councils, our volunteers and the more than 6,000 young people we collectively serve.
Thank you for your patience, support and continued commitment to Scouting as we work through the Shared Services Study.
Prairielands Council BSA