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mdeckerz

Is this a good idea?

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I have also seen this tactic at a local concert venue. No one wears a scout uniform, but there is a sign posted behind the counter that says "Friends of Troop XXX". It gets the message across without using the words "Scout" or "BSA".

 

Come to think of it, there is a precedent for selling a product at 6 times it's fair value. ($6 for a beer!)(This message has been edited by scoutldr)

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I'm in the same camp as FScouter when it comes to the "Friends of Troop 123"

This fools no one and really sets a terrible example for the Scouts we serve.

Where the money comes from? And do we accept it?

I think we accept money from just about anyone.

Many of our CO's raise money by selling alcohol and from games of chance.

Back when I was a Cubmaster our parish held an annual Parish Fair. While it was never said out loud, we were expected to lend a hand. We helped put up the tents including the Beer Tent, and we ran a stall. I had mentioned that Scouts ought not be participating in gambling so they gave us a stall where everyone won a prize. Yes, we were doing this in uniform.

They /we had a band that played polka music and it was fun to watch everyone have a good time singing and dancing eating polish food washed down with an adult beverage.

The Council has many fund raising events where alcohol is served and games of chance are played. In most cases there are no youth members in attendance but there are Scouts there for the Flag ceremony and at times they go from table to table handing out "Thanks for your support" gifts. I have said that I think having the Scouts there is wrong.

So while I don't think that this is a good idea.

I do see that it would be hard to look a gift horse in the mouth.

If I was the CC I would talk to the CO and ask if it would be OK for the CO to participate in this fund raiser and then take it from there. If your CO is the local temperance society, I'll bet they will say no. In which case all is lost. Your CO might see this as a way of getting money into their budget and want to keep the money. Then you and the adults might want to do this as a service project?

I really don't like the idea of Scouts or young people serving alcohol. I don't know what the state law is where you are but in PA. You must be at least 18 years old to serve alcohol.

Not trying to hijack the thread but, I remember what a little rotter I was!! Even as an Alter Boy, I thought it was fun to sample the wine when no one was looking. If you have Scouts around and they are anything like I was you will need lots of adults to keep an eye on them.

Eamonn.

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Hunt's got it right. Can the beer. Stick with the soda.

 

Raise this issue with the Troop Committee, if their answer is we have nothing to do with it, then they have deluded themselves into finding justification for something they know is not right for the sake of money. I would suggest that the committee examine its motives and consider other avenues of fundraising, that are more in line with the values of scouting and don't require adult-only effort and financial intermediaries to try and launder the money.

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Good God people, are we that brain washed that we live every minute and every day by the BSA book? We don't don't even live by the good "Book", yet we have this debate....

 

Think about this, then you tell me what is right and what is wrong.

 

When companies and their employees donate to the United Way, the UW doesn't discriminate against those people and how they contributed or where they contributed it from. Now, where do you think the local BSA Council's get their funding from? Yep, you got it, the United Way.

 

So when the companies and employees of Miller, Anheiser-Busch, Coors etc donate to the UW, are the local BSA Councils crying foul about where some of those funds came from when the UW distributes the funds? Do the Councils return funds because they came from such companies/employees that the BSA is not in total "friendship" with?

 

Again I say, come on people, use common sense.

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Thanks for all the continued responses. When I take my son to his troop meeting tomorrow, I'm sure I'll run into the TC chair, SM and other leaders. I'll ask about whether council has approved this fundraiser.

 

Apparently, selling soda only may not be an an option. The people that run the fair offer the soda and beer as a package deal. I suppose we could team up with another organization and we could take the soda and give them the beer. Another issue is that much more of our money comes from the beer because that's where people give tips.

 

I've been talking about this with some other troop parents, and most think I am crazy for even raising these questions. The typical attitude is that they'd rather spend one weekend a year at a sunny fair than spend multiple weekends sitting outside a grocery store selling popcorn for much less money. Also, I think the amount of money the troop raises is more than some can bear to walk away from. The troop has a trailer loaded with high-quality camping and cooking gear, a fleet of kayaks and canoes, a portable climbing wall also mounted on a trailer and loads of other stuff paid for over the years with money from this fundraiser. Parents look at that and say "how can we walk away from this gold mine?"

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Boys 14 and older work in the soda booths, but not the beer booths. The fair operators and the state don't allow boys under 14 to work at all.

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This is a popular fund raiser in our area. Our troop has not done it, but I know several who have. This is the guidelines I was told by my DE.

 

- No one wears field uniform. Troop t-shirts or other activity uniforms are fine.

 

- Youth cannot be in the same area where alcohol is served. It's fine for them to be at the soda booth or the hotdog booth, just not the beer booth. To be in the agreement with the spirit of the rule, they should not even be in eye-sight of it. In the cases I'm aware of, no youth work at all, it's purely a parent-run fundraiser.

 

- No adult should partake in alcohol at the activity. Even if they are not working directly with the youth.

 

 

As for the comment saying the rule prohibits scouts from going to ball games or other activities, that is an example of taking the letter of the law too seriously. The spirit of the rule is that alcohol is not a part of the event the scouts are participating in. I believe the rule does prohibit parents/adults from partaking in alcohol at the game. But it has no impact on the guy sitting two rows in front of you.

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Our Catholic school/church has an annual fair with beer garden as well. Our pack and troop provide man-power, clean-up crews (not table busing, though), and run booths as requested. They are not in uniform, and the pack and troop earn a share of the profits. This has been approved by our Council- yet the boys are working in and around the beer booth (which is also the pop stand), and while the adult leaders do not partake whilst on the job, we have never had a guideline to control their behavior during other times at the fair when they are with friends and family but still in full view of the Cubs.

 

We have also used the 'friend of the troop' gag to deal with a huge fundraiser for Pinewood in which the friends run a raffle and donate the proceeds to the unit. The raffle is run entirely by adults- the vast majority of whom are not registered leaders at all. I am not real sure what would have happened if we tried to tell them they could not do this! I think I would have suddenly have had a much smaller unit.

 

I have to admit that I DO feel bad for you- you are obviously uncomfortable with the situation (and I think rightfully so), but if you suggest any changes that might result in the loss of income, they will quickly ask you for an alternative plan that works as well.

 

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re: scotiacat's last post. Each year, Anheuser-Busch rally's its employees for an entire month to donate to "Friends of Scouting". The money collected internally through this effort is surpassed only by their annual collections for...The United Way.

 

Using the words "beer" and "scouts" in the same sentance offers more negative connotations than positive. However, remember that the boys aren't selling the beer and aren't even in the same booth. And no promotion of Scouts takes place. There really is no problem with this. I would be more concerned with a few other things:

 

1. The leader/parent drinking a beer in front of the boys at 10a.m. Not a good image for the scouts.

 

2. $8000. That is A LOT of money for an annual program. You already answered my question about what the money was used for. Now, I ask this - don't you think that is a bit (a lot) excessive? Isn't there better use for much of that money than buying "a fleet of kayaks and canoes, a portable climbing wall also mounted on a trailer" and presumably other niceties that were bought but probably weren't needed only because of the extra money you had? It would also seem to me that those parents who are afraid of losing the "gold mine" might be a bit greedy.

 

3. Fundraising tactics. This may be a bit off topic but what difference does it make where the money comes from (as long as it is legal)? What should we expect the boys to get out of fundraising anyway, besides a better program? A sense of having to work to support something? Developing communication skills through the repeated use of a memorized sales pitch? Maybe they shouldn't even be aware of the need to raise funds at all.

 

When I first became CM, one of the first things I did was stop the practice of having 50/50 raffles at Pack meetings. Other than squeezing more money from parents, I felt that having a gambling related activity at a Pack Meeting was wrong. I think the defining issue should be whether activities of this nature are associated with scouts. This particular one that mdeckerz unit participates in does not seem to be.

 

Jerry

 

And, I too know of know one that is fooled by the "Friends of " label.(This message has been edited by Cubmaster Jerry)

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Great gobs of goose flesh, horror or horrors, that our boys may be funded by parents (not scouts), not in uniform, basically donating their TIME...selling a legal product at a legal venue...so the troop is well funded...Gad Zooks!

 

As long as the CO is on board I see no ethical issue here...the boys (not as scouts) are selling sodas, parents sell the beer and then 'donate' any remuneration to the troop...???!!!

 

The "friend of" dodge is kind of cheesy...but is it any different than the grocery store donating a bit of cash to your troop (around here they sell beer). Or a large theme park having "scout" days (they sell beer)...Or Scout days at the Ball Park (again with beer sales)...think its time for a reality check. Is beer bad? Is it immoral? It certainly isn't illegal! Maybe money is bad???What is it that is wrong?

Should I take a poke at the next Scout exectutive I see at a council big money raising function for having a martini? or a Bub lite?

 

Good gosh, if you have problems with how the troop is funded find a better source of funds and make it known...or maybe, better, find a nice quiet troop with a Southern Baptist church CO (like our troop has) Beer sales (a no-no with our church)...would then be no longer an issue...

 

Then you have only to "find" the money to operate (POPCORN!, let's see how many boxes equal $8,000?)...And then are not conflicted and you don't become a thorn in a well established programs back-side...

 

BTW...any openings?...I'd like a piece of that fund raising action...but then, I'd have to find a new CO...wouldn't I?

anarchist

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I guess it is the cheesiness of the way this is done more than the beer-selling part that bothers me. It sounds like everybody knows that Troop 123 sells the beer and soda at this fair, but that a polite fiction is used to disguise that fact. I think you should only do what you can do entirely above-board. And maybe you can do this, too, but I think you might have to form an actual non-profit intermediary.

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Haven't we talked about Council Fundraisers that were centered around wine tasting parties? No youth were present during the event and it appears no youth are "present" here either. Whats the difference?

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One difference is that a council wine-tasting event does not raise money for a troop. Boys have no involvement or connection at all to the council wine-tasting. They don't plan it, promote it, work at it, attend it, or receive any cash benefit from it.

 

On the other hand boys are directly involved in a troop money-earning event. The boys are the ones that should be planning, organizing, managing, promoting, and working their money-earning activity.

 

If the boys are doing these things as they should, they are directly involved in planning, organizing, and managing an event centered around selling beer, and selling beer is not an activity we should be encouraging boys to be involved in. If instead the adults are doing all the work, then the event is wrong for the reason that the boys are NOT involved in it.

 

There are really two purposes for a troop money-earning event. One is the obvious need for money to required to finance the boys troop program. The other purpose is to help achieve the aims of Scouting through the ideals found in the Scout Law. A Scout is Thrifty, and works to pay his own way. When we do the money-earning event for him, he is freed from earning his own way. He is cheated out of this opportunity to pay his own way, to practice the 9th point of the Scout Law, to grow in character, and to achieve ideals of Scouting. Weve robbed him of an opportunity to learn a life lesson.

 

Selling popcorn and washing cars is more work for less money. But in the long run the boys get so much more. Is top-quality equipment and a portable climbing wall really a better goal than developing boys character?

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I see you have 2 choices here. because it obvious that Troop is not going to stop doing this and the DE and district must know its going on.

 

1. Stay in Troop and help out or don't help out with this fundraiser.

 

2. Find a new troop if you disagree with this fundraiser.

 

CM Jerry

 

$8000 is not a lot of money for a well run, well traveled good sized troop. That really is not that much, not to put on a good and exiteing program.

 

 

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