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  • Should units share the wealth?

    I read on bryan on scouting about units selling $35k in popcorn, several here have said $20k is easy. Really?

    We had a cub leader who is a city council women in the burb a crossed the beltway that introduced and got passed a city ordinance that blocks us from selling door to door or at store fronts without a city issued permit. Since our sponsoring organization is not within the city we will not be issued a permit. This has always been a problem with their unit adults yelling at us and telling us to get out of their neighborhoods and from in front of their stores. They have called council who has asked us to stay in our turf.

    That unit posted on their website that they have sold $23k in popcorn this year so far.

    Well going with the hand we were dealt, we sold door to door, 3 weekends, 6 days and 6 hours each day. We sold $1300. for the hours and time spent the boys will get about $10 each toward recharter. yes I know it is $300 more than we had. The boys will earn less than a $1 an hour for our effort. I have spent more on gas and lunches than we made.


    I am going to write this up and present it at roundtable and even to the city council.

    I know the units in the burb will never budge and share. But I would like to at least get some of them thinking and maybe the District volunteers might intervene or speak to them about it.

    Yes I am complaining, I know that most of you have zero empathy for me. But the looks on the guys faces when I told them how much we sold and they earned....didn't leave me with a good feeling.

    I just isn't right. We are not asking for a hand out. Simply some time in front of the stores and the ability to knock on some of doors.

  • #2
    Pure Socialism...that's what that is...

    Honestly, if you're making 23k, it's not going to be that hard to maintain even if you have competition. Let the little guy have some of the largesse...another case of adult scouters giving Scout Spirit a bad name...Good luck on your fight Base...

    Comment


    • duckfoot
      duckfoot commented
      Editing a comment
      It is SCOUTING. It also happens to be Socialism. Call it what it is.

    • berliner
      berliner commented
      Editing a comment
      I differeniate a lot between the 2. Acutally there is a lot more to it.

      If scouting was so socialist then the BSA wouldnt be doing it ;-)

    • duckfoot
      duckfoot commented
      Editing a comment
      You're right. Congratulations, you win the internet today.

  • #3
    Territory and turf, total BS. We have some McMansions in our "turf" but also a lot of apartment complexes. Popcorn does not sell there at all. Why are you selling popcorn at all ? Sell pizzas or something else people can actually use. Families are going to but frozen pizza anyway, why not pay a little more for some and help out a good cause. $20 for a small bag of Carmel popcorn is a luxury. Can you find a way to put that $4k BBQ to work ?

    Comment


    • NeverAnEagle
      NeverAnEagle commented
      Editing a comment
      BD: We don't charge for tree removal; its by donation. Some folks only give us $5 to haul away their tree, others have given $30. The average is about $10/tree. One apartment of young kids (18 to 20'ish) paid the boys with a bag of Hershey Kisses; I think that was their favorite house that year. LOL

      As I mentioned before, we do radio spots so people call in and schedule a day for pick-up, but as we are driving out if they boys spot any tree in a yard, ect. we stop and send a boy to the door to let them know we are removing trees for a donation. That's actually how we make the most money, just sending a kid to the door.

    • moosetracker
      moosetracker commented
      Editing a comment
      KDD is correct, with the do different things, but when he started with "Territory and turf, total BS." I thought he was headed down a different path.. Nothing says you can't take the kids and sell door to door in more affluent areas, the parts that can afford the overpriced stuff..

    • King Ding Dong
      King Ding Dong commented
      Editing a comment
      To be clear I did not mean Boy Scouts with BS.

  • #4
    BD, we don't always agree but vent on brother. My situation isn't inner city but rural town. Getting access to the big stores in the surrounding communities has been tough. That said, we did get access to a Wal-Mart and Jewel one year and the sales were terrible. We do better at the little gas station in our community than we ever did at the big store. Best part is we get some suburbanite tourist money when they head through town to spend the weekend in the country but need to stop for gas and beer.

    Comment


    • Basementdweller
      Basementdweller commented
      Editing a comment
      Simple genius....we have a huge travel center/ gas station not too far away on the correct side of the highway.
      It is about volume...8 out of 10 people will tell you no. But the other two are yes. So a gas station with 300 people thru the door an hour makes 6-10 sales an hour.


      Thx

    • Nike
      Nike commented
      Editing a comment
      BD, you'll also find that a lot of people will tell you they don't want popcorn, but they will give you a couple bucks. Best of luck. Your suburbanite "neighbors" are an embarrassment.

    • JoeBob
      JoeBob commented
      Editing a comment
      We used a Coffee can for donations. Label it "Pack 550 DONATIONS" so that 'Donations' is easily readable. Half our money came from folks who didn't want a $20 bag of popcorn but were very happy to give $5 to $10 to Cub Scouts.

      BTW: 100% of donations stay with your unit.

  • #5
    I would definitely complain, but leave the proletariat chip at home. If your letter has the same tone that most of your posting has, it's just going to get tossed in the trash.

    Comment


    • #6
      Certain rules you MUST follow or there are penalties. Speed limit. Seat belts. Others are guidelines.

      But this ordinance? I'm not sure I'd pay too much attention to it. Door to door? I'd like to see the the police officer who will write a ticket to a cub / boy scout for selling boy scout popcorn ? I'd even take that one to court and have my son represent himself. And I'd call the city attorney to confirm the process for how my 9 year old or 12 year old represents himself in court.

      OTHER IDEA - Do you have adults who live in that burb and belong to a church or non-profit? See if one of them will write a letter on non-profit leader-head that says "Our <insert non-profit name> is sponsoring Scout unit ### fall fundraiser." It doesn't really need to mean anything at all. It just means that that church is sponsoring the event.

      =========================

      But on the general philosophy of it? Units of government have a right to establish rules for inside their territory that benefit the citizens of their territory. The city streets and sidewalks are paid by city residents. Why shouldn't the city organizations be ones that benefit from their use? ... But I'd still ignore the rule.

      On the flip side ... The US Supreme Court has ruled other ways at times having to do with non-citizens still receiving benefits. 1982 Plyler vs Doe. And others. Very interesting topic.

      Comment


      • #7
        Life can be such a bummer sometimes. Can you fundraise anything besides popcorn, although I'm certain you could apply for a peddler's license which would allow door to door; it's different than a non-profit's permit? Now that housing may be improving (?), can you organize a monthly paper drive (ex. first Saturday of every month)? Do the store-front permits apply only to stores fronting the public sidewalks? I'd find it hard to accept the town council could hassle you if you're set up past the parking lot of a strip mall

        Politicians don't always do what is legal. Do you have access to a paralegal that would be willing to research the town council's actions on a pro bono basis? Maybe Legal Aid could refer you to someone.

        For next summer maybe some different fundraisers. Perhaps the wealthy parts of town would hire your newly formed semi-professional lawn crew.

        Comment


        • #8
          Please tell us a bit about your part of the inner city. What businesses exist in it?

          Comment


          • #9
            Stop and robs are about it. Habibs corner grocery.....a few united dairy Farmers....a walgreens with a CVS directly a crossed the street and a few pizza take out places and that it. A few Somali and Latino grocery and a number of dive bars

            Comment


            • Basementdweller
              Basementdweller commented
              Editing a comment
              We had a Krogers and Giant Eagle for a while. When they closed both of them there was a big news story, It was because of theft. Not from customers but from the employees. Every one they hired stole from them so they simply closed the stores. They showed video of employees loading boxes out the back of the store. employees ringing up family members with one can of soup and sending steaks and such down the line. Heck the fuel center caught a person selling fuel to her family and friends for .10 a gallon before the store opened.

              that was 15 years ago now.....The stores still sit empty.

            • boomerscout
              boomerscout commented
              Editing a comment
              the grocery stores are still empty? Maybe someone could start an indoor weekend flea market

            • Basementdweller
              Basementdweller commented
              Editing a comment
              The smaller grocery stores have been converted to ethnic stores.....

              The Kroger was a day care center for a little while, The Ames has sat empty for 10 years now, The Big Bear Harts has been empty for more than 10. No idea why.


              I forgot we do have a hand full of used furniture and appliance stores.

          • #10
            Well the travel center was a bust. Spoke with the manager and his first response was he didn't want a bunch of kids running around. My response was I could limit it to boys over 14. which he responded he didn't think that was a good idea. My response was we could have adults do it....Which he responded I don't want you peddling out in front of my station.

            Fair enough.

            Comment


            • #11
              The blog post that hasn't gotten any traction so far this month: http://scout-wire.org/2013/10/04/chi...he-inner-city/

              On the other hand, all those reckless untucked scouters are catching heat for their slovenly ways. #firstworldprobelms

              (Yes I know this site doesn't do hashtags, but if does in the future, I'll be ready!)

              Comment


              • King Ding Dong
                King Ding Dong commented
                Editing a comment
                Sounds like Cub Scouts to me.

                I don't know how far the typical scout ranch is from other major cities, but we have 2,200 acre property within about 30-40 minutes of most of the inner city. At least for Troops, it shouldn't be to difficult to set up bus transport at least a couple of times a year to a camporee field and some hikes.

                As a service project I have always thought troops should host more disadvantaged troops for weekend outings. However as BD describes his experiences with the parents the culture clash could just be to great an obstacle to overcome. That pesky GTSS makes leaving the parents behind difficult for cub ages.

                Hopefully they don't have any drive by shooting problems.

              • Basementdweller
                Basementdweller commented
                Editing a comment
                Heck with inner city

                How about all the boys who are country poor too....I am hearing more storys about that too.

                I would love for my council to fulfill it's promise of support for these boys.......I would love some shirts and books......and lets not forget those camperships.......

                The last shirt I received was thrown in my face at roundtable by the DE. That was three years ago. I have since requested more and the request are unfilled.

              • NeverAnEagle
                NeverAnEagle commented
                Editing a comment
                BD: Have your boys do radio spots before Scouting for Food and announce that you will also be collecting old BS uniforms to be given to boys who can't afford a uniform. We collect several uniforms that way every year, all of which go into the uniform closet. Sometimes we get really old stuff (a lot from the 1960's/1970's) and once got a uniform from the 1930's. We put the older uniforms in display cases in the Scout Room so the boys can see how the uniforms have changed over the decades. One of my boys scored a pair of Knee High socks that must have been from the 1980's that he insisted on wearing with his scout shorts all summer.

            • #12
              I hear enough complaining about the part of popcorn sales that goes back to council to support programs in "those areas". If you tried to push the issue more, they're liable to think they are already supporting you through the council share (which we know is bogus).

              Comment


              • #13
                It says I don't have at least 10 characters in this post!

                My pack is in West Phoenix. Not a bad part of town, per se, but students qualify for free and reduced lunches at about 85-95% at our schools.
                We've had to fight the packs from the more affluent parts of time from taking all of our sales times at our local Fry's grocery store. The council arranges with the grocery store corporate office to have the store fronts available to pack and troops on certain weekends. Then council has units sign up for all the time slots thru them. Which means every fall I'm waiting and watching until the store sign ups start so I hopefully can snag some store time for my cubs at the store that is RIGHT THERE by where we meet across the street. We got like friday night, saturday and sunday morning so like 9 hours total, and all the other time slots for the two weekends were snagged by units that are 10+miles away. They've learned that our store is good with donations, sales are not all that good, but used to be we'd get $600 a weekend in donations money just having a cubscout sitting there asking everyone to buy popcorn and a small donations can sitting on the table. Used to be also that you could reserve a store based on how close your pack meets to the store, and how many cubs you have--which at least guaranteed we'd have some time at "our" store. The packs from the wealthier areas have more scouts and they could use more places to sell at, but they also charge more, have more $ in the bank, and it hurts if they are taking away the money we need to actually provide scouting to our boys rather than money to send leaders to wood badge. know what I mean?

                Without those popcorn sales times at Fry's, we've really struggled. We have a couple of gas stations, a couple of churches, dentist office, pediatrician's office, no big stores except ones where corporate has decide that if they open it up to cubs they'll have to let every non-profit have time in front of their store so they don't let anyone do it. There just aren't any other types of businesses to sell at.

                Finding other fundraisers to do instead of popcorn is a good idea, but again, if you don't have a place to sell those things, your sales will suck. door to door sales you have to have a really kick butt product. Painting house numbers on the curb I've seen do well in new neighborhoods or very old neighborhoods. christmas tree hauling away would work if you have access to vehicles and a place to dispose of them.

                My boy's troop sells flag subscriptions to make a LOT of $. But again, it's in a nicer area, more people with disposable income to spend $50 a year to have a flag put up at the home or business 8 holidays a year. and you hve to have a place to store the flags and vehicles to deliver them.

                We are still looking for that perfect fundraiser. Right now we are trying to sell enough popcorn to get uniform shirts for 4 cubbies that need them(probably used on ebay but still parents can't afford it so you gotta do it). Then the next goal is enough to pay for $2 per boy for awards every month for the rest of the year. then we'll see if there is any to help offset the cost of daycamp. So far we haven't met goal #1 yet.

                Comment


                • Basementdweller
                  Basementdweller commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I returned my popcorn last Saturday.

                  One of the ladies from the wealthy side of town was all up in arms because she was waiting in line and she needed popcorn for her Packs 5 store front sales.

                  Why are you even bothering to sell popcorn you can pay for your program out of pocket.

                  I should have said something, but I couldn't think of something that wasn't gonna start a fight.


                  5 cubs sorry to hear your struggling as well, but it is good to know I am not alone.

                • Pack18Alex
                  Pack18Alex commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Even in affluent areas, we have over-extended families. Families with houses they can't afford, families that consider parochial school a REQUIREMENT and can't afford it, people with large families stressed for time and money... Also, people that had businesses/jobs that lost them and are sinking.

                  Look, I charge decent sized dues and cover our main costs from that, but we're fundraising for extras. Also, when you deal with suburban kids, giving them a chance to "earn" something (popcorn prizes) is a BIG deal and a big positive. There are families that would happily pay $500 in dues/year to never hear me annoy them about a fundraiser again. Most of my families would blink at that. Others spend that much a month on extra curricular activities.

                  There are reasons we are fundraising.

                  Also, affluent packs need to spend more money to keep the boys entertained. Our family campouts (cubs) need slightly more food options than yours do, and we need the gear to do it. We all have costs. The nearby suburb's city ordinance sucks, but they have a right to run their city as they see fit.

                  Good luck, hope you find something that works.

              • #14
                Kroger prides itself on being part of the community. Even though "your" Kroger is shuttered, they may let you use the commercial kitchen in the deli department

                Comment


                • dcsimmons
                  dcsimmons commented
                  Editing a comment
                  The sandwiches sound good and maybe even done as a drive-thru kind of thing. Our church youth group does Super Bowl pizzas. We get the ingredients and assemble the pizzas folks order, the folks then pick them up on SAturday afternoon or Sunday after church the day of the game. Not a huge fundraiser but we're not a big congregation either.

                • boomerscout
                  boomerscout commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Catering is not easy work; it just looks easy. Selling barbecue across the counter on weekends, combined with weekend lunch delivery to the local businesses sounds like a winner. It will still be hard at first until everything shaken down.
                  Many daycare were required to have kitchens. That old Kroger may still have its kitchen
                  I would probably skip pizza as there are already pizza shops in the area. To get your initial launch money, I would hit up the clientel of the dive bars and the beauty shops.
                  Several merit badges can come out of this. Not just cooking, but finance, salesmanship, art, business, public speaking
                  The simpler the menu the better.

                • King Ding Dong
                  King Ding Dong commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Just remembered years ago the radio station did free concert in the park and was going to serve free tube steaks and burgers. Health dept required us to serve "out a covered window". So local soda bottler loaned us trailer and donated a bunch of cornies of syrup. Food went from Webers in trailer wrapped in
                  kabnitwax and out window. Seemed totally stupid to me, but we were able to serve free fountain soda.

              • #15
                Forget popcorn, half of that is going to the folks that don't want to help you. We never reach our goal with popcorn. Cubbies are much cuter.

                Not sure where you live BD, but if the leaves fall off about this time of year, buy some rakes and some tarps and have kids offer to rake leaves. $10-$15/hour/scout is reasonable. People hate raking leaves. Could be a great team building activity for patrols. Big kids rake, little kids stuff bags.

                We do the Christmas tree pickup and ask for donations. One week we pass out a lot of addressed envelopes with a paper explaining what we're doing and the following week we drive by and pick up trees. People mail us checks. It is about $8/hr/scout for the whole thing. You'd have to do that in the nice areas as real trees seem to be a luxury anymore. BTW, 200 trees takes up a LOT of room.

                Too bad the Kroger store closed, they have a fund raiser that gives you 5% of all purchases. You put $100 on the card, buy $100 worth of groceries, and eventually $5 gets mailed to you. Reload the card, repeat. Actually, maybe you could go door to door in the nice part of town and see if people will adopt your troop and use cards with your troop as the beneficiary. Write a monthly letter of what your troop is doing and how the money is being spent and send it to the people that use the cards. People would feel good about helping you out and it wouldn't cost them much at all. Kroger gets steady customers. The problem is all of the other non-profits may be doing the same thing. That's what happens in our town. But for people without kids, there may be an opportunity.

                Comment

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