As part of the 2021 BSA National Annual Meeting, the organization held multiple Fireside Chat virtual meetings on a handful of key topics. These included Safety, Membership Growth, Female Board Leadership, and Governance. Governance was the topic for the fourth of these meetings.
The Fireside Chat focused on the ongoing evolution of the governance of the Boy Scouts of America – both at a national level and at the local council level.
The panel of speakers for this Fireside Chat included former BSA national chairs Jim Turley and Dr. Robert M. Gates, former BSA National Commissioner Ellie Morrison, and BSA General Counsel Steven McGowan. Each panelist offered thoughts on the governance model of the organization.
The panel began by referencing a previous Fireside Chat about increasing diversity on boards. They cited increasing board diversity as a means to gain greater perspective while bringing together people from different backgrounds with a shared focus on making the Boy Scouts of America the best organization it can be.
The panel offered thoughts on the evolution of governance in the BSA over the past decade, mentioning that it has been a journey that has seen a shift toward increased input and direction coming from volunteers, rather than BSA professionals. They also talked about the ongoing focus on a separation between operations and governance for the organization.
The panelists discussed the importance of the future emergence from bankruptcy as a driver in further progress being made on governance, and pointed toward increased engagement and input from local councils being sought.
Each panelist mentioned the importance of the ongoing journey and evolution of the governance model and that, though there may be differences of opinions and challenges, everyone is keenly focused on open dialogue, respect, and an unwavering commitment to the development of the youth in the program.
For more information on the Governance Fireside Chat, watch it below: