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packsaddle

funding for low-income boys

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Help! I need help with ideas on how to discreetly fund low-income boys. I would like to do this without calling attention to them personally, to single them out, or to do anything that may humiliate them. I would like to know best how to assist them in order to allow access to costly programs and outings (SeaBase, travel to other countries, etc.). If anyone out there has experience with this I am ready to learn from it.

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Pack,

 

Good for you!!! This reminds me of a situation in my life some 20 odd years ago. Our Pastor told an outreach group I was in about a evangelistic mission trip to South America. It is the one time in my life that I can honestly say God spoke to me. Not verbally, but a distinct, powerful impression that I was supposed to go. Long story short, I had only been out of college about 2 years, married for 1 year and had just started a new job. None of those things were very conducive to taking the trip or paying for it. I had only confided in my wife my impression about going and we prayed about it. A week later, my Pastor approached me and said that there was a person in our church who said that if I wanted to go on this trip, they would pay for it lock, stock and barrel. My boss was a Christian who gave me the time off with no problem even though I had not accrued enough vacation time yet.

 

The moral to my story is this....you can approach the boy or his family and tell them that someone believes in them and their growth as a scout enough to want to make an investment in their future and make something special happen for them. No discussion of wealth or poverty or feeling humbled in front of their benefactor. Just an unexpected gift of grace that makes the impossible possible.

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Try talking to your COR & see if they have any means to help. We did this awhile ago & or charter partner started a fund for summer camp for those Scouts who couldn't afford it. Worked out great until the business manager absconded with our funds as well as other funds.

 

Our council offers camperships that pay up to 60% of the camp fee.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Our sponsor provides money annually for such purposes. The pack and troop handles it the same way; they handle the money discertly to boys who cannot afford the program. The boy and parents contact certian individuals in the unit who decide the matter. This not published to the unit or the sponsor, just a report at the end of the year on how the money was used, not who got it.

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Working with a urban emphasis troop in a low income area I would say give it to the troop to use as part of its program to help the boys. As a donor you can ask for a report on the money and how it was spent.

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Hello Packsaddle;

 

I am a Scoutmaster for an inner city Hispanic troop. We have several boys whose families can't afford many of the scouting activities. I have to be very creative in planning our program; most of the activities are between $5 and $10 per boy. I have worked a lot with the boys teaching them about money. How to save, earn and budget. I have work to motivate them to come up with their own money to buy equipment and pay for summer camp. I first encouraged them to wash the leaders cars, organize their own garage sales and pick up odd jobs. I also frequently go equipment hunting in yard sales and the classifieds. I have found a lot of good equipment that way. I then either give it to the boys or help them earn it.

 

When I started with the troop I saw this as a huge problem, now I see it as an opportunity to help the boys and grow closer to them.

 

In many other countries, especially in Latin America Scouting is strictly for the rich, and that is really unfortunate. I am glad to see you looking out for those that it is difficult to keep up with the costs of Scouting.

 

One last thing. I have given in private a gift of a sleeping bag, backpack or I have called a boy to tell them that I was going to take care of the costs for an upcoming event. I have found instead of feeling embarrassed they are very thankful and appreciative.

 

Good luck!

 

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When doing a troop fundraiser, allow the boys to share in the profits. My troop has a deal where the Scouts participating have a portion of the profits earmarked for them in the troop account. For example, if a Scout brings in $200 profit for the troop from the popcorn sales, then he gets $100 credited to his account. He can use it to pay for campouts, dues, etc. Also, if he goes out and buys a Scout-related item (flashlight, mess kit, etc.), he can take the receipt and get reimbursed for it.

 

My troop just did a can and bottle drive the weekend after New Years and six Scouts collected over $600 worth of bottles in a few hours. This money is going toward new tents, but another troop could tell the kids that they get a certain amount of the money for their events.

 

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Thanks to all for all these great responses. I see a lot of variety, maybe some of you are picking up new ideas as well. My troop has no problems with fund-raising. But there is a wide range of economic status between the families. The uniform is great at leveling the status and we can finesse many of the more modest outings. I want ALL the boys to have access to the big ones as well and that is my motivation. Keep the ideas coming and Thanks.

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