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SMT376Richmond KY

Blackmail?

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Yes, the PC is overpriced. Yes, the effort to sell it may not be worth the return to the Unit. Yes, the original story sounds like unscoutlike coercion. But...

 

The Council and National and the District doesn't sell Christmas wreaths or wash cars or put up flags or direct traffic at the county fair (and that is one Troops fundraiser in our Council). So do they raise the Dues to a "realistic" level, or do we sell some popcorn? I've been of the opinion that if GSA can sell cookies at a price CLOSE to a regular retail price, why can't BSA sell the PC at a closer to regular retail price? We've set up a table on the sidewalk and I know we were selling PC not because its good PC but because it's Boy Scout PC. People also give us the dollars and say "keep the PC".

 

Our Council just announced that to earn "Quality Unit" this year, the unit MUST sell PC. So, we sell $8000 of wreaths and a few Scouts sell some PC. Coercion? Perhaps. But we will do it.

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Our Council just announced that to earn "Quality Unit" this year, the unit MUST sell PC.

 

Has National changed the QU form or is your council located in a communist country?

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Ed,

 

It's the Centennial Quality Unit award starting next year for 2007. There is a thread that, for some reason, didn't spark any discussion. See http://www.scouter.com/forums/viewThread.asp?threadID=140342

 

Near the bottom of the unit commitment form is:

In support of a quality program experience, we confirm:

We received ______ visits from our unit commissioner this past year.

We supported the council by participating in Friends of Scouting and the annual product sale.

____ Yes ____ No

 

My understanding was that those two items shouldn't really affect whether the award is earned or not.

 

SWScouter

 

 

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I just checked on BSA's website, it states:

 

8. On the unit commitment form, are the references to participation in product sales, conducting a unit FOS presentation and the number of unit commissioner visits required to qualify for the award?

NO. It is on the unit commitment form for informational and encouragement purposes. Each of these areas will help provide a better quality program experience for a unit. The unit's answer will not impact the earning of the award.

 

 

See: http://www.scouting.org/nav/enter.jsp?s=xx&c=cn

 

So SSScout, you should point this out to your council.

 

SWScouter

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Always try to check back on these entries...

 

Thank you SWS, my info was verbal at the RT, so I will go back and speak to our DE designate ( we are between DEs). I think we'll still sell a little PC, none the less...

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Wow, it takes me back to the '60s. Whatever happened to 'boy led'? Sounds to me like they are taking a true leadership role and exercising legal 'civil disobedience'. Think of this as a wonderful opportunity for them to learn a whole bunch of civics lessons first hand. AND they might just make their point...think of that! If the guys in this troop took action like that, I'd back them up for their courage and initiative.

 

Focusing on who gets the loot or whether the product is any good just puts everything in the hands of those who set this situation up in the first place. We raise plenty of funding by doing a little work and selling a product that:

1) is offered at a reasonable price

2) is better than anything else on the market by a long shot.

And because we do it on our own initiative, we don't have to worry about the council taking a cut (that bunch of percentage parasites!).;)

 

The popcorn thing is little more than a distraction to us. And thank goodness...I HATE popcorn. OK, I plead guilty to engaging in hate ...directed at a 'food' item. :)

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Our unit does the annual popcorn gig, but not because it raises a lot of money for us. We do it because we have pre-conditioned customers who WANT popcorn and EXPECT popcorn from our scouts. For some, it's an easy sell. We make the popcorn available to any scout who wants to sell but we don't push it as a fundraiser. And, we're happy to share proceeds with council. The popcorn is always a nice supplement to our big annual fundraiser which, as in packsaddles' unit, is offered at a reasonable price, is better than anything else on the market, and because we keep 100% of our fundraising.

 

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As the fundraising chairman for my Pack, I'm starting to see the "politics" concerning POPCORN. In our council, there is a quiet but strong message to units that says "you will sell popcorn or else."

 

The requirement to sell popcorn in order to receive "Quality Unit" is stupid and illogical. It runs counter to Scout Values. Will the QC patch say "100% Popcorn" along with the phrase "100% Boy's Life"? The QC award is over-rated to begin with and this just makes it worse.

 

 

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I agree that the price needs to come down. Perhaps it is time to make a change and only let those cute little cubs sell popcorn. The gangly, awkward Boy Scouts could sell a different product that doesn't require door to door sales. This would lessen the competition and allow for different approaches that could work for both programs.

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Neither the Quality Unit award nor the new Centennial award have any requirement that a unit sell popcorn or any other product.

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Last year, my son did over $2,200 in popcorn sales by himself., 3 others in his pack sold over $1,000. Sure, people may buy from a cub or webelos scout before an older kid, because they're "cute", but selling is selling.

 

If a unit is being threatened because they don't sell popcorn, sell some popcorn. Gather the unit for a day ong blitz in town and BAM, you've sold some popcorn. Maybe your unit won't sell the ost, but you sold some. Then, when your application to sell something else comes along, council will have no excuse.

 

 

 

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Yes there is lots of pressure brought to bear. The Councils need to cover their overhead expenses (salaries, rents, camp maintenance, etc) and the two major income producers are FOS and popcorn. If a unit sells wreaths or candy bars, that doesn't count, unless they turn over a similar percentage of the profit to Council. It's as simple as that. If the DE doesn't meet his goals for FOS and popcorn, he hasn't funded his own salary for the coming year. That won't happen too many years in a row before he's gone.

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