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Over the top Blue and Gold

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  • Over the top Blue and Gold

    The Pack Blue and Gold banquet was over the weekend. The CC told anyone who would listen last year the outgoing W2 Den would be planning and fundraising for it. The event was to pay for itself in the form of advertising space in the program. These were the strict instructions he gave the volunteers who put it together last year. It was pot luck, everyone went away happy, with a full belly and leftovers. Since the Pack had a surplus he decided to spend it, and in addition charge $5 per anyone over the age of 16. Long story short he turned it into a five hour gala that cost the Pack over $1000 in hall rental, food, entertainment, etc... It was his last hurrah so to speak as he is stepping down in April now that his son bridged at the B&G. Half of the younger families didn't stick around to see the bridging due it running so late, the food was horrible, and some of the parents are grumbling because the fundraising done in the fall was swaundered in their eyes.

  • #2
    I'm sorry. That happened between Son#1's and Son#2's den and it wasn't until after the fact that I realized how the pack had to dig itself out of a hole as a result. It made for a some resentment.

    It's not entirely clear that how your accounts settled out. Was the surplus a result of specifically fundraising for the BnG. (E.g., were W2's the bulk of the popcorn sellers -- specifically so the pack could have a blowout party?) Did costs actually exceed fundraising?

    The best you can do is try not to breed resentment. Let the CC know in no uncertain, but courteous, terms that you think he should have left the pack in better financial shape by holding a more modest program.

    Let the incoming W2DL know you would prefer things done more modestly. As a committee, you should set a BnG budget. When you all have a surplus, you need to decide what budget items should be adjusted upward. It's really up to you all, but the vision needs to be laid out well in advance of any activities that actually happen. And in your case, maybe folks envisioned something that not everyone wound up liking. It happens. Evaluate -- Adjust -- Implement.


    • #3
      The irony of it is he complained his predocessors did the same thing when his son joined as a Tiger.

      The surplus was a result of successful popcorn, and pizza sales. The W2 Den accounted for less than 5% of the total fundraising, and they made up 25% of of the Pack membership.

      The current W1DL already has a plan in place, and the BnG will finance itself through donations with minimal Pack spending, if any at all. She will also accept help, and welcome input.

      The CC feels as if he saved the Pack when he took over, therefore he is entitled to do as he pleases because it all falls on him. To give credit where it is due, he works his tail off for the Pack. This is partly his own doing as nobody wants to step up and help because his micro-manages everything. The entertainment was a magician who is loosely related to the CC. His "volunteers" from the audiance consisted of the son, daughter, and wife of the CC. The groans from the rest of the audiance were less than sublte. Basically, the CC made the night about himself, his bridging son, and his family.


      • qwazse
        qwazse commented
        Editing a comment
        Like I said. Seen it before. It's a fine line between control and entitlement.

        The best you can do is be honest about your opinion and hope he'll take it to heart. This is for two reasons. First, you need to say your peace, and typing it to us is not gonna do that for you. Second, this fella is going to a troop, and for their sake, you want to try to win the guy's heart before he gets on the bad side of a bunch of ASMs.

      • gsdad
        gsdad commented
        Editing a comment
        I made my opinions and feelings known to him when he sprung the costs and agenda on us at the Pack Leaders meeting. If I wasn't the CM I would have boycotted the event. I was not about to spite the boys over it. Since he already booked and paid the "entertaiment" it was too late to cancel them. He was none to pleased when I changed the flow of the evening. Although he made tried to remind me I serve the committee, when I told him I serve the boys. That is when the COR stepped in and tried to make peace.

        The troop his son is going to knows how he is and already asked me how to deal with him. I told them he might be different in a less demanding position, so they should keep an open mind.

      • perdidochas
        perdidochas commented
        Editing a comment
        For his future troop, try to get him to have a scouter position NOT directly involving the boys. Definitely not an ASM.

    • #4
      We had a blue and gold issue a few years ago. We're an lds pack and the local grocery store allows church members to bill their congregation, rather than paying for what they purchase. These purchases are supposed to be pre-approved, but they sometimes aren't. We get a $1000 budget each year and don't get any more. Someone ran up a $600 bill at the grocery store!!! We think some of that was for personal groceries rather than blue and gold, but we don't know. We do know that one person required super high quality ground beef in the spaghetti sauce and bought it. Fortunately, the person, who spent the money is no longer in scouts and our store account has been closed. We have since gotten flack from our committee chair, who is afraid that the den leaders are going to go nuts, spending all the mony, so as a result we're allowed to spend none.

      Anyway, I'd just let the parents know that the person, who squandered the money is out and you'll be frugal in the future.


      • #5
        Oh my goodness. We just had ours last night. It was a very simple affair that lasted a little over two hours total (we also ate.) We spent around $400 for everything. Everyone attending had the option to give a donation at the door for the food cost so we broke even and then some with over 100 attendees by the end of it. I had no idea some packs went all out like that (I guess I'm still naive in a lot of areas of this!) So sorry that happened to you. The bright side is he'll be out of y'all's hair for now and you know one thing not to do in the future. Good luck with it!


        • #6
          I'm sorry to hear it. It is not easy because people are always going to be unhappy.

          We had ours this last weekend and it was awesome and cheap. We rented the school with costs us only $100 and we had a chili cookoff western theme. It was easy to put activities together without formal seating and the boys got to vote with tickets for their favorite chili. Total was around $400 for us. We charge $5 a person or $20 per family. profits go to Friends of Scouting.


          • #7
            Mashmaster - made me think, we have ours in March. We are going to have a pot luck like last year.. But, I don't want the pack falling into a rut.. Chili cookoff would be a slight twist, but I don't think our East coast cubbers are big on chili.. But, maybe some other cookoff.. A Dutch Oven cookoff would be great, but Feb - March in NH is very iffy if the weather will cooperate..

            Any ideas (low cost, not the OP high cost one).. To shake up the Blue and Gold and make it a little different then the same old same old??


            • #8
              Most planners tend to rely on the same-old, same-old because it worked in the past. There's nothing wrong with running a standard potluck with a theme, i.e. Spam, or bacon, or whatever. Then the boys can sample a bunch and vote on the best. It would also put a major variety on the plate for each boy as well. Creativity isn't a strong point with BG planners.

              And what about the magician? Again? How does one make a magician disappear?

              I got a last minute call from one of the packs in the area that got a magician cancellation at the last minute. I packed up my Civil War reenactment kit and hauled it down and did a wing-it presentation. I told the CM to signal me when I should wrap up. I can be as long winded as the next guy. He said he would signal me at about 30 minutes. I said great. An hour later he finally gave me the high five. Then amongst the groans of disappointment, the boys got back to the program. How much did it cost the pack for that program? Nothing, it just cost me my Good Turn for the day.

              Themed potluck, freebie program, free hall access from the Am Legion, admission charges, no cost to anyone and everyone had a great time. A Scout is Thrifty. The only cost incurred by the Pack was the cost of the awards, patches, pins, and nice arrow wall plaques.

              Yes, an inexpensive, nice and fun BG is possible.



              • #9
                I love the idea of a potluck. Going to see if we can do that next year, as our biggest expensive was food for our spaghetti dinner (which our pack has done for a few years now.)


                • Polaris
                  Polaris commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Our Pack provides meat and families bring potluck sides. We use an online invitation thru Evite or Punchbowl. Guests can RSVP and sign up for potluck via the electronic invitation.

              • #10
                We budgeted $200 for the event, spent about $250-$300 and collected $150 in donations... having some slight cash flow issues because Council STILL owes us from online popcorn, I've been harassing them, supposedly check being cut March 4th, not holding my breath, I'm withholding Camp Card money until they pay us.