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Looking for some advice

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  • Looking for some advice

    I want to start up a local scouting group for girls that isn't affiliated with any current scouting group. Does anyone have any advice for how to begin?

    Thank you,
    Kona

  • #2
    Don't call it scouting.

    Get a lawyer.

    Create a program.

    Incorporate a 501(c)(3).

    Do some fundraising.

    Get youth members.

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    • #3
      I'd do the same, but flip it around and find youth members first.

      It's far easier to develop a program that appeals to a group than develop a program and then find a group it appeals to.

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      • #4
        What age group are you thinking about?
        Eamonn.

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        • #5
          Why shouldn't I call it scouting? What should I call it instead?

          I'm not sure about an age group yet, I cannot decide. I am leaning towards 8-12.

          I don't really know how to raise funds. To be entirely honest, that's my main problem. Do you have any ideas?

          Thank you all so much for responding,
          Kona

          Comment


          • #6
            You might get better feedback if you give a little bit of background. Why are you looking to start a local group? What's the target population? Are there other Scouting or youth groups in your community? How would yours be different from other youth groups? Why are you not looking at affiliating with an existing organization?

            Odds are that if you start a group and then look for members, it's going to fail - or you're at least going to have a very, very difficult time of it. Far better to ask yourself why you want do do this and figure out how you can best serve the youth in your area.

            Unless you're in a very rural area with very few programs, you have to look at competition. There are a lot of extracurricular options for kids these days. Unless you're well known, with a good reputation in your community - you're a teacher, perhaps, or a coach - parents are probably going to pick the better-known program that has widespread support, nationally-produced materials and other resources (such as camps). It would be like starting another youth baseball program to compete with Little League, but without having any baseball fields. Not going to get much traction.

            If you check out the fundraising section on this forum, you can find lots of past discussions about local fundraisers, from holiday wreaths to popcorn. Once you have your organization formed, that won't be much of a problem.

            But if you're going out in the community asking for funds with nary a girl in your group, and not even an idea of the age group you want to serve, my bet is that you'll get a very cold shoulder. You need to be able to communicate in 30 seconds - the "elevator pitch" - why local businesses and donors should fund your group over the other options out there.

            And really, you don't need a lot of money anyway to do scouting-like programs. There's a lot of gear and supplies that can be recycled, re-used or made from scratch.(This message has been edited by shortridge)

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            • #7
              "Why shouldn't I call it scouting? What should I call it instead? "
              I'm not a attorney, but I think the BSA has tied up the use of the word Scouting.
              Gets into all sorts of legal whatever: Trademarks, copyright and all that sorta good stuff.
              You might want to check it out with someone who really knows about this kinda stuff.

              As I see it one big thing you need to look at or into is insurance.
              Last thing you need is for you to start a youth group and find that you personally are the only person who is carrying all the liability.
              Again you need to talk to someone who knows about this stuff.

              Most youth groups are as a rule tied or partnered to something else.
              That is to say they are part of something: A recognized youth group, a church or some other organization.
              If you and a few of your neighbors want to together and take your kids camping? That is one thing, but trying to start a youth group all on your lonesome?
              That might be a big undertaking.
              My feeling is that if you want to serve the young people in your community? The thing to do would be find an organization that is a good fit for you and can offer opportunities that lets you.
              Eamonn.

              Comment


              • #8
                I agree with Eamonn don't call it scouting because those are already established programs with certain expectations and structure. The word scouting is not and can not be trademarked because of its many and varied meanings and applications, Boy Scout and Girl Scout however are trademarked names which can not be used by any other organization.

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