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Posts posted by boomerscout

  1. Rent-a-scout cannot be part of a troop fundraiser because then you may run afoul of child labor laws with kids under 14, as well as liability  insurance problems.  In my neck of the woods, each Rent-a-scout is a self-employed business man (good for several merit badges: American business, home repairs, painting, personal management, salesmanship, etc).  They are all active Scouts, and are supposed to use some of the money to fund their Scout activities.  They do go through an informal training session with two of our Scouters who happen to be businessmen.  In this workshop they discuss pricing the jobs, customer satisfaction, over promising & under delivering, job scheduling versus school work, and so on.

      We do require near First Class.

      The advantage here is that a disabled (Scout) parent acts as the clearing house (commercial phone line needed -- paid by the Rent-a-Scouts as a whole).  When a call comes in he checks his master list of which boys want to do that kind of work, what geographic areas they wish to cover, and what their hourly rate is, and are they currently available. 

      It is important to have the customer understand that this is not an official Scout activity.  It is a private money earning venture by a group of boys that happens to be Scouts to earn money for High Adventure and Scout  popcorn eating.  For initial customer contact the Scouts must be a minimum of two.

     Neither the troop nor the chartering sponsor can take an active role in this.  It is strictly a voluntary association of self-employed young businessmen.

  2. Hooray!  No more overpriced popcorn!  Now, we get to sell candy, although the amount of candy pictured will be more than $2.


    Seriously, the first eight fundraising tips have appeared in Scouting at least twice before and as general info articles.  They work, and should be used all the time.


    I disagree with tip #9 on giving samples.  Cut the candies in half; you want to whet their appetite -- not satisfy it.  If an entire family is before you -- just give out one sample (probably to the Mom).  The kids will then become your sales "helpers" nagging Dad to open the wallet so they can have candy too.  Otherwise your return on investment will go way down.


    Microwave popcorn may still have transfats as an ingredient -- just bad, bad, bad -- although it has been a while since I read a T E ingredients list.


    Let's not kill the messenger if the message makes sense.

  3. It has been shown several times in the past that if you ask six different practicing IRS agents for an opinion, you will get six different answers -- none of which may help you if you are hauled in to tax court (where you are NOT innocent until proven guilty).


    The main problem, as I perceive it, is that if Billy sells more than Rusty, then Billy gets more money than Rusty added to his ISA.  That would be a private benefit, and is illegal.


    Other problems are some units having funders quarterly or even monthly.  They are starting to cross the line from their avowed non-profit purpose into that of commerce.


    You can still offer motivational incentive awards if they are announced ahead of time.  For instance, the high seller could win a pair of boots in the larger fundraising activities.

  4. "I wonder how many kids' parents are claiming those popcorn prizes -- especially those gift cards -- given by council as untaxed income"


    If the gift card is awarded and given to the Scout, then it is doubtful there is any income tax liability.  Most Scouts' income is rarely even as large as the standard deduction.


    "But money earned from fundraisers must primarily be used in a way that benefits the entire unit, McGowan says. The nonprofit status of the BSA and of the unit’s chartered organization is at stake." -- from the article mentioned


    Comparing money raised by the troop with the total amount of money raised by a chartering organization seems to be an effort to game the system rather than embracing the spirit of the law and of BSA rules & regs -- which say no to ISAs

  5. When we clean out garages (Rent-A-Scout for our older Scouts) we frequently pick up a lot of scrap metal to sell.


    As for collection points for beer & soda pop cans: the personal touch works: at least say Hi, show them some pix of the last campout, etc.  Some of our collection bins are next to the bins of others.  Because we are PERCEIVED as being more active in the community, due to our frequent mention in the local paper (we send in the copy and accompaning pix) it is still very worthwhile for us.  Going door to door in the neighborhood -- if done frequently -- also works.  People see the Scouts pulling their wagon and they drag out the cans.


    In the Spring, the local FFA sells mulch as their funder.  We come right behind them offering to spread it for a donation

    • Upvote 1
  6. Yet, if we go to the other extreme, we have helicopter parenting.  Should it be a rule of Scouting that either events are closer to home or that the troop provides the transportation?.


    As I think back to learning the various ranks -- many times we were taught the basics in a group, but learning and getting signed off were individual activities.  No-one else could learn it for you, pass it for you, or do it for you in a camporee competition. 


    There are other fund-raising activities besides selling stuff

  7. Is recycling sustainable?  Well, it can be!  Prices for scrap are cyclical; you need a place to store the stuff until buying season.  Get aluminum cans at the source -- meaning there is a collection barrel placed in every large store or office complex for you to draw from.  Paint something like "Support Boy Scout Troop ### by donating your empty can.  Conserve Earth's resources"


    Once or twice a week have each patrol or den take their little red wagons up and down the neighborhood picking up the empties people will save for them if collections are without fail 

  8. My boyhood Scout troop always did DIY summer camp because they felt they couldn't afford council camp. The younger Scouts always felt a bit cheated because they couldn't horseback ride every day, use the "war canoes", or work on lots of requirements.  Council camps just have more stuff, and more stuff to do

  9. That life is unfair is too much an ego-centric, self-centered view of the world.  Character building proceeds when the Scout begins to understand that not every action of his will earn a reward -- even if the action is deemed necessary.


    So, how do you build rewards?  Goal-setting and creating plans to reach those goals.  Making progress a small bite at a time.  The rest of the time, life is just what happens.

  10. I would not punish the Scout because of the sins of the Fathers (or Mothers). Yes, I would ask for a copy of the police report. Whether I received one or not is another matter.

    I would give each angry customer the Mother's name and address and phone number, and tell them she lost the money. Since this is the troop's money, could not the troop file for a police report?. Hopefully, when the investigating office then shows up at her door, with the squad car in the driveway, some of the money may be found.


    If the parents are totally hopeless (is this a single Mother?), then I would tell the Scout that while it's not his fault (???) the troop does depend on that money and he should work it off. This should not be presented as punishment. I'm sure he can mow Scouters' lawns, pull weeds, whatever at market rates.

  11. For those of you operating too far from Council HQ. After you've tried camp cards for a couple of years - to gain experience on the selling end - create your own locally based card with your own local merchants. You can put the excess merchants on flyers you enclose with the card. Try hard to get the printing donated in return for a mention on the card and profuse thanks with photo in the local paper. Keep 90%. Send Council 5% as thanks for their good works

  12. It isn't always a question of emotional maturity. It's more a question of familiarity with the new environment. Most of these young city dudes don't know anything about firebuilding, using a compass, tying proper knots, cooking, pitching a tent and so on. If you overload anyone with tasks they can't do, they will run and hide, go catatonic or leave Scouting all together.


    Our NSP is adult led by some very patient Scouters (with a few guides as helpers). A Scout stays in the NSP until he earns Tenderfoot; he then joins a "real" patrol. Our patrols are frequently in flux - some by same grade in school (common ground), some by same geographic area, some by what ever is mystifying. Since they are required to buy their own patrol emblems every time they change it's not that much of a problem. We generally run five patrols plus the NSPs

  13. Are there any newspapers where you live? Publicity involving children is freely available if you take the pix and write the captions and then email it to the paper. Here's troop ###, sponsored by xxx, enjoying the war canoes at Scout Camp Whatsit. Here's the Scouts of Troop ###, sponsored by xxx, helping little old ladies across the street - well, I hope you get the idea. Show Scouts camping, troop community service projects, and so on. Get your name out to the community at large rather than trying the closed shop approach.


    When potential applicants inquire give them your logical and well thought printed handout on what boylead means, why it is necessary, and why it's almost always been a part of Scouting. Close the article with the admonition not to buy any camping equipment at this time, or a uniform either. Encourage the no obligation trial for the first couple of weeks

  14. We sell approx 400 trees. The lot needs to be rent free. Signs advertising the tree lot need to start a quarter mile in each direction. Always let the customer tie the tree onto the car - never you guys. Lot needs to be occupied 24/7 even if not open (travel trailer with large propane tank), else some trees will walk off. Cash box needs to be very secure - as in bolted to the table - or it may also walk off

  15. Three season tents? Those are fairly heavy, so I guess the troop in question just does car camping? No ultralight?


    When I was younger, my old troop had these wall tents; five to a tent was common. The problem with single occupancy tents is that the total of all the footprints may be larger than the campsite. Thus, hardly leave no trace. When canoeing with three to a canoe if you just allow two man then one Scout is always going to feel like the odd man out.

    Waterproof tents are generally not a good idea. You want the fabric breathable. The fly over the tent is generally the waterproof part. As for retaining heat in cold weather, I have never seen an insulated tent except for an Indian teepee packed with leaves between the wall and its liner.


    Sounds like the 7 x 7 requirement is his interpretation of state or Federal rules for summer camps.

    Some areas - such as Philmont - prefer you not sleep under the stars

  16. [quote=qwazse;n414915

    I would encourage everybody interested in this award to contact their local historical societies and ask them about good walking paths that would help their youth touch upon some great American experience. Community libraries are often rife with such references. The majority of you will probably find that the best hike for your youth will not be listed or "certified" on some national site.



    Totally agree. There is a form somewhere in Scouting where a local trail can get on the "approved" list. Why would they want to do this? To get all that free labor on conservation projects. The things we are willing to do for a patch or ribbon



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