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Everything posted by boomerscout

  1. Boys Scouts know all there is to know about first-aid Boy Scouts can handle any emergency Boy Scouts never get lost
  2. Our unit is going to do popcorn next year because we have several new, younger Scouts. We are thinking of weaving it around the requirements for the salesmanship merit badge -- or vice-versa
  3. This should become a most popular merit badge as you will get to play with fire. Start collecting the old, broken ATVs and PWCs so your guys will have something to work on.
  4. After the top sellers explain their best methods, with the audience passively listening, you should do some role-playing. Have every Scout approach the "customer" with the new salespitch if only just for practice. When describing the need for sales to the parents, pictures are important -- meaningful, large pictures. What works best is pix of Jr. from last year, but at least some pictures of the camp, attraction, outing. If speaking to the parents en masse, spray some pine scent around about a half hour before. Have a CD of North Woods music (loons, rippling water) softly playing in
  5. consider a YMCA membership. They can practice swimming, learn judo or other personal self-defence, possibly learn first responder first-aid
  6. Without debating the rightness or wrongness of the troop's "traditions", could the lad in question not go to the PLC and ask for a variance? He could show them his school activities schedule -- thereby explaining why he could not make the window, but could offer to do some Saturday shifts or certain selected weeknights.
  7. If the Scout shows good character and a willing spirit, many service clubs will spring for a Christmas present of a sleeping bag, or a shirt, etc. Even if they can't, they may know of an individual who likes to play secret Santa. We have a Scout who pays some of his troop dues by coming in early to troop meetings to start the coffee and set up the chairs for the Geezer Patrol
  8. "I wonder whose scouting experience is richer???? " Either! It all depends on the program offered. I guess when we were returning from Philmont, we could have hitchhiked back. Two years of targeted fundraising allowed us to leave on a jetplane. Our troop does four funders a year with specific revenue goals. Any more than that takes away from other parts of Scouting. Friends of Troop ### frequently does their own fundraising. Some patrols do their own additional fundraising depending on what they need money for. Individual Scouts also fundraise for themselves Buses
  9. dense tropical rainforest? I'm not going hiking in the Everglades. Too many pythons and boa constrictors.
  10. a freshly charged GPS will track your movements - either purposeful or random, and when ready, will inform you of your reverse course to get back to start
  11. After reading the thread this was spun from, I'd probably like to add a couple of signal flares and some smoke cannisters. Oh, and a hand-crank recharger for the cellphone. (And here I thought a couple of credit cards would be enough.)
  12. The DE may have been in a hurry, and used the word "profit" when he shouldn't have, although non-profits can do fundraising. What he should have said is that when the final accounting was done, he was charged with being in the black and not in the red. If 400 boys say they are going to show, and 400 boys actually do attend, then the fee setting is simpler. If 400 say they are going to show, and 450 show up, that may lead to problems. So, err on the side of caution is usually done, and you budget for "extra". It seems this weekend was very poorly planned and run. That is what yo
  13. "adults who work hard to bring a quality program" may be part of the problem. It is the PLC that is supposed to design the program after each PL talks to his patrol on what they want. Each PL is also responsible for his patrol's advancement. Posting a tally stick or chart at each troop meeting of each Scouts's rank and time in that rank is sometimes helpful to light the fire. To gain more time, you might consider a weekly patrol meeting separate from the weekly troop meeting.
  14. Although well meant, the Girl Scout cookie dough thing is probably illegal. Something they could get away with in good times
  15. I was hoping usscouts.org would have a definitive answer on this Q.What is the official position on a troop contributing part of its fundraising dollars to each boy's Individual Scout Account? We are trying to discuss it at Scouter.com, but are starting to go in circles. Many say it's no big deal, a minority says such accounts are not allowed, several say OK if used just for camp fees, uniforms, and yearly registration. I first tried Scouting.org, but found that to be a tad difficult to navigate. A. As a Scouting volunteer myself, and a former Scoutmaster, I'd say the s
  16. Converting from conventional to ultralight camping takes time. You might start by reading Ray Jardine's "Trail Life". The previous edition was called "Beyond Backpacking". Your library should be able to get one of these. As hikes get longer in distance, you might start demonstrating lighter weight gear to the boys. In the early 50s Boy's Life had a series of articles on light weight gear the boys were to make. I believe it was called something like Lite-Pak Camping. What is effective is to bring two packs to the troop meeting - one a conventional pack filled with conventional gear,
  17. "a unit takes a poll of what youth would like to purchase, purchases gear in the desired proportions," Great idea if PLC does the polling and purchasing after reading equipment reviews. Would not be taxable to the Scout since he has to return it eventually. Your Quartermaster is probably already purchasing troop gear for various levels of camping expertise. Actually, maybe youth accounts are allowable if kept very small. I believe I read somewhere $100 per year. We do maintain youth accounts for summer camp fees (but not the personal equipment) based on participation in fundraisers and
  18. "Sorry, that line of reasoning makes no sense to me." Yeah, me neither. I think I know what I want to say, but am having trouble putting it into words. Another try: Trail's End pays the Scouts as independent contractors. The pay is a WalMart gift card rather than something from the ScoutShop so National can maintain an arm's length with this fundraiser. If National paid the Scouts, and not Trail's End, and the pay was in Scout Shop stuff, then maybe National would be required to treat the Scouts as employees Taxation General Tax Rules Federal and state taxing authorities will
  19. The Trail's End popcorn factory is not owned by the BSA. Trails' End is only one product of the Weaver Popcorn Company - a global marketeer. Weaver partnered (not in the legal sense of partnership) with the BSA to sell its popcorn on consignment. It can and does give motivational sales awards to the Scouts, as it can to any salesman. The award is not income. For instance, A Scout selling $250 gets a $10 giftcard. A Scout selling $300 still gets only $10. The giftcards are rewards for meeting certain sales goals, and, within reason, are more like gifts. Individual Scout Accounts be d
  20. For those that haven't bothered to go to the link Scoutmom posted: "The creation of individual youth accounts within the unit is not permitted under the BSA National Bylaws and Rules and Regulations. Where a portion of the money that an individual Scout raises during a fundraising event is reserved for his use alone, it may not be compatible with continued tax exemption of the local council. The creation of individual youth accounts within the unit is not an incidental private benefit to the BSAs primary activities. Qualitatively, the creation of individual youth accounts within
  21. Oops! Thank you for the link. It looks like maintaining individual Scout accounts risks the non-profit status of both the council and the sponsoring organization. The easy answer for them would be to just kick-out our unit altogether
  22. A good question. One that National should have addressed years ago.
  23. I believe scholarships are a tax-free award, and are not considered income. Not sure about the gift cards. I do know that when people win very large contest prizes, the IRS is happy to visit them. Maybe they look the other way because Scouting is perceived as a good thing. For now. Since we are selling a manufactured product, Trail's End, and not something we make ourselves, such as a bake sale, are we supposed to have been collecting sales tax?
  24. Paying your Scouts by putting money into their individual accounts seems to be income according to the few IRS pubs I looked at. While I doubt they will ever make enough to file, since it is income they are responsible for sending in their portion of social security & medicare. As long as they are independent contractors a 1099 should suffice. If they are required to be on duty at a specific time, and work to your methods instead of theirs, they might be considered employees where the unit needs to be paying unemployment insurance. On the other hand, motivational prizes do not
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