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Posts posted by boomerscout


    I dunno, when my daughter wanted to go to tech school, it was $75000 for three years....and no aid....not too cheap.

    I believe we're talking of two different types of tech school. On the one hand would be a tech program at local community college such as diesel mechanic or dental hygiene versus going to Virginia Tech or MIT

  2. I believe what makes the difference between something being labeled properly for individual sale is the nutrition information. By law, people have a right to that information. I think a copy machine could solve that problem.
    Yes, at least in most places. We had some canned corn come into the Food Bank -- most without labels. We stuck three labels together so the Xerox could print three-up. We cut the Xeroxed sheets into thirds, and enclosed a "label" with each bare can. Problem solved according to the big boys downtown.

    Hmmm, if you've the space, add an order blank to the label?

  3. My visiting friends and I stopped at a McDonalds while on the road. Inside were a small group of Scouts accompanied by two adults. It turns out they had done the opening flag ceremony at the Roundtable. Anyway, my friend was teasing them all because they had skipped the Klondike this year. Excuse was that it was too cold.

    I caught the tailend of this as I reappeared. I asked the adult facing me if he was the Scoutmaster. He shook his head, and pointed to the gentleman across from him. I gave that second man the most heartfelt, 'Thank you for volunteering' that I could. He seemed to start choking on his Big Mac. I was getting ready to do CPR, but he just sat there kind of stunned. When I also thanked the first Scouter, he also didn't know what to say.

    Didn't stop to chat as we were a bit behind schedule. I got to wondering. Maybe we aren't as involved with the outer world as much as we should be -- too much of a closed club?

  4. You will almost always have a core group that is truly interested in being outdoors. Have a well-skilled ASM invite them by invitation only (because he feels like it) on some outings that won't cost them much but are truly woodcraft. Hopefully, they will have such a great time that word will spread and a growing number will put away their computers and pick up their hike staves.

    In teaching knots, you also have to teach the useful applications. What's this knot good for? Why this knot and not that one? If I want to bundle these poles together what knot works best and prove it. Many will be interested in learning the Cliff Jacobson's Trucker's Knot because it sounds so macho.

    Lastly, stop providing subscriptions to Boy's Life. Get them all Backpacker Magazine instead


  5. Doubtful!. mbcounselors really don't have that much wiggle room. Bird feeders, birdbaths, trees & shrubs enhance bird observation; bird houses not as much. Besides, building a nesting box for a wood duck is one of the possibilities specifically mentioned for the fish & wildlife mb. The nature mb also allows building a birdhouse.

  6. We're doing gifts/prizes for camp cards on an individual scout basis. If the family hits a certain volume, they go to Cuboree for free. Next fall, we're going to do something similar with Camp Cards and registration fees for major camp outs. Our Pack Campouts are cheap, our District/Council events have registration fee and cost more, so we're going to try to use Popcorn to cover it.


    I think that allocating the money towards patrols should create zero issue with the IRS, it's NOT a private benefit, and the fundraiser is okay for the Troop, I don't see why they can't allocate budget towards patrols.


    The real issue is BSA policies, the IRS wording wasn't that stringent. You can't do things primarily for the individual.


    I'd LOVE the BSA to ask, via a Tax Lawyer,

    If the fundraising budget is allocated towards:

    49% to cover a Scout's individual costs of participation, and 51% to troop operations, patrol and troop), is that substantially for private benefit or substantially towards group benefit.


    Actually taking the money into virtual accounts is probably problematic. A prize of "free dues" or other things, credited toward the Scout's "customer account" shouldn't be the same issue. The problem is pretending the money belongs to the Scouts, it doesn't, it belongs to the Troop.


    Simply having benefits kick in at different dollar levels (instead of a percentage) is probably helpful.


    Free Re-chartering

    Free Dues

    Free Merit Badge College

    Free Camporee

    Free Week of Camp


    etc. are all prizes not dissimilar from Girl Scout Cookie prizes.


    If you do a flat "commission" you run into private benefit. Scouts re-chartering is a benefit to the Troop (JTE Retention Goals). Scouts attending Merit Badge College, Camporee, Summer Camp, etc., are all retention tools.


    Patrol Tents/Kitchens are Troop benefits.

    Personal book, uniform, backpack, etc., are all personal benefits.

    if uniforms and gear are going to be handed down to future Scouts, then why not just have the troop buy everything by keeping all the money?
  7. I agree with what has been said. Announce a two month leave of absence. Tell them you need to fit in with new job and to get new home squared away. Well, a month and a half anyway. Also inform as needed that you are not in charge of fund-raising. Whenever someone suggests a camping trip immediately respond with "Sounds good. When can you start the troop's fundraising program to make it happen?" Make this a constant & immediate response.

  8. Generally VigilEagle is right. The risk is extremely low. Odds are the IRS won't pursue it because the groups are too small.


    But that makes it an all the more interesting. It's a classic moral dilemma. An ethics challenge. Do you do follow the rules even though no one is looking? If you don't agree with the rules, do you work to change the rules while being compliant or do you just ignore and break the rules? Do you approach the decision with odds are no one will get hurt or that we do the right thing? Is it okay because we don't like the IRS rules. heck, no one likes the IRS to begin with.


    It's interesting because we claim to help scouts do the right thing and to be good citizens.


    I'm not perfect on this point either. I'd rather see it different. But it's what it is. So what do we do about it. How do we make our decisions?

    maybe by looking at Trustworthy, Loyal, Obedient, Brave, or don't we teach by example anymore?
  9. Why can't we simply continue with our program as it works and quit "looking" for problems. It unlikely this is really an issue with most units. It gets tiresome to see the continual bantering about what "might" be done wrong, or "might" go wrong, or "what" someone else is doing that someone thinks is wrong. Just run your program honestly and the best you can. If something unusual comes up, worry about it "then"!
    Probably because "head 'em off at the pass" gives better results than "try and pick up the pieces" afterwards. Also fewer ruined reputations of those caught out. Successful businesses do this; it's called scenario planning
  10. Right now, as I look out the window, Scouts should be making enough money shoveling out driveways to last them the entire year of Scouting
    Yeah, jblake, this is one reason we promote Rent-a-Scout over most of the typical fundraisers. The troop doesn't get involved except for the cachet of "yes, he is a Scout, and is trying to earn money to have his own Jet-Ski at summer camp (Ha-ha). Legally, each Scout is a self-employed businessperson. Each chips in about 10% of earnings to a disabled, homestay parent who is willing to act as dispatcher

    The troop's main involvement is to urge, strongly urge, merit badges in first-aid, personal management (hooray!), and all the home repair ones. We also urge taking the baby-sitting course at the Y when offered. Most work in pairs until the client is determined safe. Each rarely earns more than the individual tax exemption

  11. With the individual incentive removed, will units set stricter rules for member fundraiser participation, make do with a projected decrease in funds raised, use pay as you go, allow families to "opt-out" of fundraising?


    yeah, Fred, and one of the purposes of non-profit Scouting is to go camping -- with all that that implies. You can fundraise for camping fees, troop equipment, etc. I have this letter from the IRS:

    One of the purposes of the Scouting program is to instill

    self-reliance ixxxxxxxxxx. You indicate that one way of doing this is to allow the xxxxxx

    to earn their own way as opposed to depending on others, including their parents, to

    fund their individual scouting participation.


    To further this self-reliance, you are proposing to allow the xxxxxx in your Pack to raise

    monies through fundraising activities and to designate the use of some of these funds to

    pay for personal expenses. These expenses would include 1) Scouting fees such as

    organization dues and camp registration fees; 2) items used exclusively for Scouting

    such as uniforms and Scouting books; and 3) items used primarily for Scouting such as

    camping equipment.


    Using the money raised in various fundraising activities to further the Scouting program

    for all of the xxxxxx in your Pack is in accordance with your exempt purposes

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. In this regard, the Pack could use the funds (all or a

    percentage) it raises to reduce or eliminate dues and various registration fees, purchase

    uniforms and Scouting books and purchase camping equipment. The Pack could also

    use its funds to provide assistance to individual Scouts in cases of financial hardship.


    The distribution method you are proposing - the creation of a reserve fund within the

    Pack where a portion of the money that an individual Scout raises during a fundraising 2



    event is reserved for xxx use alone, is a troublesome one. Earmarked accounts may

    not be compatible with continued tax exemption. "

    So, no ISAs, no individual reserve accounts; you can earn camp fees & Scout stuff, but any extra money you bring in goes to the troop as a whole

  12. With the individual incentive removed, will units set stricter rules for member fundraiser participation, make do with a projected decrease in funds raised, use pay as you go, allow families to "opt-out" of fundraising?


    There can be so-called private benefits if the fundraiser is used to further the stated goals of the organization such as camping fees, dues, uniforms, handbook, workshop fees
  13. Even with ISA's, well managed general fund, etc ... Scouters in our troop have had to dig deep to float some special expense or underwrite some scout who fell on hard times.


    Making sure none of your buddies miss out on some super activity by reducing the fees/collecting enough gear for everyone is its own reward.


    It's just like putting a dollar in the toll for someone who came up short on the bus. It's not about them being deserving or not, it's about making the driver's day a little bit easier so he can concentrate on the road and serve us all better. Betcha BD's griping mom was the beneficiary of a few "bus bucks."

    I certainly appreciate putting in that extra dollar. Selfishly, it's sometimes about me feeling better by getting the show on the road rather than sitting at the station arguing about who should have done what
  14. Example: When the Troop goes to Philmont' date=' it is not the individual Scouts that pay, it is the Troop that pays for the trip. All the Scouts pay to the Troop. They pay either by working extra at the fundraising (?Scout account?), or with daddy's check book. When a Scout goes to Jamboree, it is not the Troop paying for that, that must be the Scout paying individually , that cannot come from the Scout account, which stays with the Troop.[/quote']

    Awesome, so they get the worst of both worlds. My troop operates with ISAs (thought I don't like it) and I can tell you if the idea is that Johnny busts his own butt selling so he gets his own money in his own ISA for his own scouting, but then the troop pulled a "just kidding actually its our money that you're holding until you give it to us for troop things" there would be serious problems.

    No serious problems; just tell them the law says no ISAs.

    However, it all depends how you pitch the plan. You can announce a funder specifically to reduce summer camp fees. You tell everyone how much camp will cost, tack on 15% for contingencies, explain how much each can realistically earn, and that they must make up the difference out of pocket. Most of all, promote the specific camp as a worthy goal rather than just something to do. If all goes well, some will bring in more than they need; their camp fees are fully earned along with some camp options. The kicker, and it's important, is that any extra money they've earned does not go into any ISA; it goes into the troop's general fund.

  15. The idea that scouts will participate or be motivated solely by personal gain is the antithesis of Scouting. If they aren't doing their best, as service to others with pure motives absent of personal gain then they aren't being true scouts, and we are failing them by not providing the opportunity for a program to instill that virtue.
    The problem is that Scouting has become monetized. You can no longer go camping with kit you find around the house; it now has to be top-rated name brands or you won't have any bragging rights and even risk being laughed at.

    I can picture it in my mind's eye even now: Daniel Boone is gliding swiftly along the forest path. His feet, cushioned in merino wool socks, point his Salomon boots straight ahead. His Arcteryx backpack carries enough freeze dried meals to last the journey. As the sun sets, he starts to think about how good his Big Agnes will feel...

  16. So the choices are: 1) Scouts (and parents?) do something so unit raises money (sells widgets, washes cars, spreads mulch, whatever). Money goes in unit treasury, and Committee decides how to spend it (charter expenses, room rental, new tents, travel expenses for trips, sign out front, badges and books and neckers, etc.). or 2) Scouts (and parents?) do something so unit raises money. Committee decides how money is spent AND who to spend it on (camperships? Backpack for deserving Scout? ) and the kicker is that some Scouts work better/harder and earn/sell more stuff than others, so why should that Scout get more goodies than my Scout?


    I know a Cub that sold $25,000. gross popcorn two years ago. His Council propered, his Pack prospered (they bought a new PWD track among other things), and he went to summer camp essentially free. I know of no one who claimed they were less benefitted by his efforts (the kid did easily 90% of the selling hisself, contacted many companies and sold internet, long story. ) . The Packs' "scout accounts are held in trust to pay for the Scout's dues, summercamp fees, and do not go to "private" use (ipods, boots, uniforms or other use) and it is well understood that the left overs do not go with the Scout when he leaves the Pack. I know one Scout who saved up his "Scout account" and bought the troop a new trailer with it. The unit benefits, the Scout who did the work benefits (because of his work for the unit). The Scout that did not do as much to help the fundraising must make up for that lack by paying his dues directly. If the Comittee judges that that Scout needs help, then they are within their rights (I think) to spend the general funds to help that Scout. Many I have spoken with agree that this is superior to awarding trinkets for "high numbers".



    I fully understand the IRS and BSA wanting to define things such that folks don't make a living by falsely letting others think that a non-profit entity is making the money when it is in reality going in a private pocket. But if the Scout unit defines and limits the Scout account correctly I think the Scouts that work for the Unit will benefit as well as the Scouts that can't or won't. It must go to a Scout activity and benefit the Scout, not the private person. I even have known some Scouts who use their Scout Accounts as a trust savings account to save up for summer camp and HA trips.



    Example: When the Troop goes to Philmont, it is not the individual Scouts that pay, it is the Troop that pays for the trip. All the Scouts pay to the Troop. They pay either by working extra at the fundraising (?Scout account?), or with daddy's check book. When a Scout goes to Jamboree, it is not the Troop paying for that, that must be the Scout paying individually , that cannot come from the Scout account, which stays with the Troop.

    While camperships are fine, giving a backpack to a deserving Scout may get you into trouble unless (1) every Scout gets a backpack as part of troop's camping/hiking program, (2) the backpack prize is announced ahead of time for showing most Scout spirit, winning Scoutcraft competition, organizing the orienteering segment at Camporee, etc.(3) the backpack is awarded to best speech on the importance of the Personal Mgmnt mb. Otherwise, since said backpack also has a non-Scouting use, is where you may get into trouble.

    It's been my experience that the Scout best at selling widgets is not the same one best at spreading mulch. A variety of fund-raisers helps even things out.

    We always inform the parents just before we launch a funder. We explain how much we hope to raise, what specifics the money is to go for (troop expenses is way too general) (if you cite registration - tell them how much to the penny).

    I hope this Committee of yours is the PLC

    By designing as full a program as possible, we have no problem with batching the top sellers, best mulch spreaders, etc for an extra canoe trip/extra backpacking trip sometime during the year. Everyone understands this ahead of time. We, too, have little use for trinkets.

  17. I think your backwards on that schiff. you will see more council contingents and fewer troop ones.


    many troops raise funds as a group for such a trip. The problem is they will no longer be able to do it.


    Council contingents will grow because those will means will need to band together to go.


    Bottom line here. I think it will kill troop or pack level fundraising. The current crop of parents are not selfless and when I mentioned this they all said they were done fundraising.


    One mom who happens to be CM said "I am not fundraising so Johnny scout who didn't sell any popcorn can go to camp or enjoy scouting free".


    As popcorn Kernel nothing would make me happier. I devote 2 months most of my living room to raising money for council. Pay as ya go. I am good with that.

    Nothing wrong with troop fund-raising to fund HA. Funds just have to be applied equally to each Scout that is qualified to go, although in these days and times, I suppose each and every Scout could justify a campership.

    These rules apply to unit fundraising, which means sub-units such as patrols and individuals have slightly different rules

  18. It's kinda annoying to have to revive this topic over and over again. If it happens again, I'll be the first to start posting on the system's forum to make sure it is monitored as to why it is disappearing.


    I'm thinking the topic is of high importance for all units to consider, one way or the other. But it should be carefully evaluated for each unit's situation.



    what's to evaluate? You either choose to follow the law, or you don't. ISAs are not allowed
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