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Questions and answers for parents and leaders new to Scouting.

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  • LATEST POSTS

    • Ok, I must be remembering what I was told at a University of Scouting then, rather than it being something I read because I know for sure that's what the instructor there was telling people. Well, that's good, I never liked the whole idea of "You should try not to, but can if you must", because it always made me feel like I was being an ass when I would tell a scout they should ask someone else. (Yes, our troop generally makes the scouts track adults down for a BOR)
    • During the discussions of bringing gays scouts into the BSA, many suggested that the membership would grow dramatically. Several posters pointed out that no scouting organization ever improved their numbers with the member policy change, and BSA followed the trend. However, the BSA has always received a lot of support from alumni donations, of which I know fell dramatically. But, I'm curious if the many corporate sponsors who stopped donating because of the gay issue ever started giving again. Or, was the no gay adults policy, then the no girl policy, then now family scouts,  and now the no atheist policy conveniently holding them back. Anyone know if National has talked to the Canadian Scouts to learn how they recovered after loosing almost 2/3 of their membership and donations.  Barry
    • I think its important to establish the notion of a quorum so that any decisions are representative of all of the patrols ( our vote only had 50% of PLs). Collegiality is also an important skill that is not easy for kids at this age.
    • What's most needed I think is a lot more transparency about finances from both councils and national.  There may have been a time when corporate and community donations funded a good part of the council costs, but I suspect that for many if not most councils those days are past.  Absent donations what other revenues does a council have?  There's whatever they charge for summer camp, which for most councils is probably going to be a break even operation at best, if they're lucky summer camp will fund the camp for the whole year.  After that there's maybe a meager profit from a scout shop plus some tack on fees for activities like camporees, training sessions, etc.  But all of that together would barely keep the lights on let alone par for staff to do recruiting, unit service, organizational work et al. If I understand the article correctly, the change that's being made in that council is that each unit has to come up with $125 per scout but will now keep all of their popcorn profits.  Since popcorn revenue is generally  1/3 to the company and 2/3 profit that would mean that if you want to fund this simply through popcorn each scout would need to sell about $187 in popcorn each year.  I suspect the SE is correct that this will be a problem for the 20% of units that don't currently participate in council fundraising, but most other units will be OK.   I don't know that this is the best way to handle this, but I've always thought that most councils not charging a per scout fee that stayed in house was probably short sighted, and it's the shock of this transition that is going to be the biggest problem.   There's no such thing as a free lunch, and the money has to come from somewhere. One thing not clear here is whether FOS funds raised in the units will also count towards the $125 fee.
    • That is great news and the right direction.  As we look at back-to-school nights, the worst question is how much will everything cost.  The sooner the better on this change.  Just another example, the wood badge woggle is cheaper than the boy scout metal and cub scout neckerchief slides...hhmmm?  The embroidered neckerchiefs online are the same price as silk screen printed ones.  You gotta wonder.       
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