Council 251 Becomes Mayflower Council
Pending approval by the voting members of
Council 251 on August 30, 2017
Council 251 will be the Mayflower Council
Council 251’s new name was chosen through an extensive and inclusive process approved by the board that included:
- An online naming contest
- A naming workshop with scouts from across the council to develop a “short list”
- Final selection by a sub-committee appointed by the board
The scouts, scouters, and friends of scouting from 50 towns and cities that submitted 144 entries to the contest deserve a very big “Thank You.” Reading and evaluating the online entries was a humbling experience as there were so many carefully chosen and thoughtful submissions. Getting to the new name was neither an easy nor a simple exercise; it took much deliberation and commitment from all involved.
In finding the right new name for the new council we wanted a name that would support the past, present, and future of Council 251. It also had to be compatible with and support the Boy Scouts of America brand and brand position. To help guide the selection process we focused on six key criteria: distinctiveness, brevity, appropriateness, easy spelling and pronunciations, likeability, and extendibility.
The word Mayflower has high recognition and is instantly know nation-wide as the ship that transported the Pilgrims to the New World in 1620 and landed in Plymouth Massachusetts.
The Mayflower is also the name of the Massachusetts State Flower. Chosen in 1918 by the state’s school children, the Mayflower is an evergreen ground shrub that prefers to grow in rocky terrain as well as along trail edges and forest clearings. Scouts are often found in these areas.
Mayflower is easy to spell, easy to say, and easy to pronounce. It also passes the appropriateness criteria quite well; the word does not have negative connotations and misspelling the word doesn’t lead to negative inferences. Online searches show positive or neutral usage and show that the council will be easily found in web searches.
A last area of concern was geography. The scouts and scouters involved in the final selection process liked the name but some were concerned about geography; was the name too specific to the former Old Colony Council and not equitable to members of the former Knox Trail Council? The scouts and scouters involved in the process discussed the issue and concluded that the name belonged to all of Massachusetts and not just to the Plymouth area. For those interested there were more scouts and scouters from the former Knox Trail Council involved in the process than from the former Old Colony Council.
This fall the council will launch a new website with a new internet address at www.mayflowerbsa.org. Social media will also be moved over time to new address on: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest, using @MayflowerBSA
Shortly the council will be announcing a design contest to submit concepts and ideas for the new council patch. Stay tuned to the council newsletter and website for more information.
During the merger process, the two former Councils understood that it would be very important to promptly choose a new Council name. At the first meeting of the new Executive Board, the Council adopted a process successfully used by the Mayflower Council in choosing names for its districts. Headed by our Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Ed Hastings, the naming process was designed to have three phases.
- In July, the Council conducted a “Name My Council” contest, soliciting proposed names from Scouts and volunteers. The contest was announced at both Camp Resolute and Camp Squanto, was posted on our websites and on social media and sent by individual units to their members. By July 31st, the contest yielded over 140 suggested names, each with an explanation or story. Generally, the submitted names demonstrated a lot of serious thought for an appropriate permanent name for our Council.
- In early August, the list of names was submitted to a panel of Scouts from both former Councils. Ed Hastings provided that group with criteria to consider when choosing an effective name – the same criteria described on the enclosed announcement. The Scouts were asked to narrow the list from 140+ and they recommended seven names for further consideration. Again, the process was thoughtful and thorough.
- Last week, the committee appointed by the Board to make the final suggestion met, along with two youth leaders and the Scout Executive. After further discussion, that Committee decided, unanimously, to recommend the name “Mayflower Council” to the membership.
MEETING OF THE MEMBERS
Several members have asked why the Council is calling for a further, in-person meeting for a vote by the members. Initially, the plan was to have the Executive Board vote on the proposed name, but the Council was advised that Massachusetts state law requires a vote of the members of a nonprofit corporation to approve certain actions, including a merger (done) and a name change (what we are doing now). This vote has to take place at a meeting because the national rules of the BSA and the Council’s by-laws do not permit voting by proxy.
In short, the Council realizes that asking you to turn out to cast another vote is asking a lot, but Massachusetts state law and the BSA rules require that we do so.
WHAT ARE WE VOTING ON?
The sole question before the meeting is whether or not to accept the name “Mayflower Council” as the new name for our merged Council.
If the vote is favorable, the Council will submit the vote to the Secretary of the Commonwealth for approval, and, when received, the new name will become official. If the vote is unfavorable, the Council will continue to be known as “Council 251” and the Naming Committee will reconvene and bring forward another name for the membership to vote upon.
The ballot on which you will be asked to vote is anticipated to read as follows: “Resolved, that the name of the Mayflower Council, Inc., Boy Scouts of America shall be changed to Mayflower Council, Inc., Boy Scouts of America and that the Scout Executive and Officers of the corporation are hereby authorized to execute any and all documents and instruments, and amendments thereto, required in connection with the change of name as the Scout Executive and Officers may deem advisable or necessary, all of which documents and instruments executed and delivered as aforesaid shall be and constitute the acts of the Corporation, and (b) to do all other things on behalf of the Corporation necessary or convenient to carry out the change of name.”
WHY “MAYFLOWER COUNCIL”?
The name “Mayflower Council” was contained in five separate suggestions submitted during the contest. The group of scouts that narrowed the list put this name in their top two selections, and ultimately their overall top selection. The Scouts stated that “Mayflower” met the key criteria for a strong name – it is distinctive, brief, appropriate for a Boy Scout Council, easy to pronounce and spell and has a very strong association with our area. It is also available as a Council name.
ISN’T THE “MAYFLOWER” HEAVILY ASSOCIATED WITH PLYMOUTH
The adults on the committees identified one potential objection to the name “Mayflower” – that it is a name that could be associated more with one area of the new Council than the Council as a whole. This question was put to the Scouts on the Name Selection Committee – consisting of both legacy KTC and OCC Scouts – who agreed, unanimously, that they saw “Mayflower” as applying to Massachusetts generally and drew a distinction from other names that were submitted.
That same issue was carefully considered by the committee that made the final recommendation to the membership. That committee, made up of volunteers from the two legacy Councils, saw the name Mayflower as being generally associated with Massachusetts and its heritage. As a name, “Mayflower” has instant national and international recognition.
WHAT IF I HAVE QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS?
As with the merger, we want to be available to respond to questions or comments that the voting members have about the proposed name. While the vote will be limited to Yes or No on the adoption of the name “Mayflower”, Council leadership feels strongly that you should be fully informed prior to the vote. If you have questions, please feel free to email them to firstname.lastname@example.org or, if you prefer, call the office at (508) 872-6551 and a member of the Naming Committee will call you to discuss.