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Webelos participating in Boy Scout fundraisers

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Is it common for Boy Scout troops to require Webelos II scouts to participate in fundraising for the troop? My son, as you may have guessed, is a Webelos II and was told this by the SM. He put in hours selling Christmas trees which is the primary fund raiser for the troop. Then he was told that he had to participate in selling mulch this spring, an additional fundraiser for the specific purpose of paying for a trip to the National Jamboree in two years. If he didn't participate, he would not be allowed to benefit from any more troop fundraising efforts.

He also sold popcorn for the pack. The reason cited by the SM was that he would benefit from this year's fundraising so he should participate with the troop. All the Webelos II were told the same thing.


Honestly, it doesn't seem right to me. He isn't a Boy Scout yet (until cross over next week). The fact that he will be benefiting from this year's fundraising is irrelevant especially since he will be fundraising his last year as a Boy Scout? It really felt like the SM was looking for more bodies to work than anything else.


I hope to gain perspective on how other packs/troops handle fundraising. We went along with it this year, but if appropriate my husband and I can work for a change before our next son becomes a Webelos II.

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Yah, kari, welcome to da forums!


I think if yeh don't want to participate in a fundraiser, you just say no, eh? That's why you're the parent. There's nothin' wrong with the SM inviting your son to participate, nothin' wrong with you declining, and nothin' wrong with the SM saying that if you don't participate your son can't expect to benefit from the work of others.


Just a fine and dandy understandin' all around! :)


All that having been said, I think a fair number of troops invite Webelos II's to participate in winter & spring fundraisers, especially if there's a "feeder" pack type of relationship. That's to help those boys raise money for summer camp their first summer, which is somethin' that really makes a big difference for a new Boy Scout. Boys who go to camp their first summer really "bond" with the troop and get into Boy Scouting, eh? They're more likely to stay in the program, and have a leg up on advancement. But camp ain't cheap for a lot of families, so it's a really great idea to invite Webelos II's to start fundraisin' for camp in the winter with the troop. Your SM is lookin' out for the lads and deserves an "attaboy."


But if your family doesn't need the financial help and just wants to shell out da bucks for camp, that's OK.


As for jambo, your son probably won't be eligible this go-round. Still, it's a nice thing for him to do to help raise money for the boys who are goin'. Sometimes in our Scoutin' family, we do stuff for others without expectin' anything for ourselves. :) But yeh never know. Could be when he's 15 or 16 and achin' to go to Philmont, some young Webelos II will sell enough spring mulch to put him over the top!




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Kari......most older boy scouts have figured out what fund raising they need to do. While some will choose to help the troop out by participating in fund raising their final year, many will not.


Fund raising is a sore spot in scouting. If your complaining about it now your next 6 years or so are going to be very long.


Beavah is spot on........If your son is going to participate with the Troop then fund raising is in order and not out of line. If he is not joining the troop then don't participate. Pretty simple concept.


Questions to ask about fund raising

1. What is the money for?

2. What is the Total $$$ goal?

3. Is Participation being tracked?

4. Is the money for Individual or Troop Usage?

5. Is there a buy out amount? If you elect to not participate can you donate a specific $$



I think the Christmas Tree sale maybe a bit early for the weebs to participate and may be counter productive in that it would case away perspective scouts.



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I asked if it was usual for Webelos to fundraise for Boy Scouts. Is that really complaining, or is it rather looking for input to understand how things work in a new venture? This is the first organization with which I've been involved that asked potential members to fundraise with them. More commonly, new members are initially carried by the current and previous members, and by the time the new member is a former member, he/she has also contributed to keep the funds flowing for the new crop of new members.


Yes, we could decline the opportunity to do fundraising. We were told if we did so for this last round our son would be excluded from the jamboree trip. That seems rather punitive considering that he isn't even a Boy Scout yet. We had little notice of the fundraiser and it was difficult for us to participate at all. We were told about the Christmas Tree sale in good time and helping out was not a problem.


My husband and I are very active with our Pack and intend to be active with the Troop as well. We effect change the way I think more people should. We don't just 'complain' about it, we volunteer to take positions of leadership and help to make the changes that we think would improve the organization. Part of the process is to collect information, for example, on how other troops handle the same issue. There is a lot of experience on this board and I thought I would take advantage of the opportunity.

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Hi Kari,


I don't think it is that common for troops to tell webelos that they should/must participate in troop fundraisers, before the boys even join. However, there are always exceptions. I know that the year my son crossed over, his troop had a very expensive trip to Yellowstone planned for that summer. They *invited* webelos to participate in fundraising prior to joining, and they *expected* new scouts to participate immediately after joining, even if they new scouts would not be attending the trip. The idea was that this was a group effort and the profits would be evenly divided among all who wished to attend, including brand new scouts. Although I understood where they were coming from, I will say there are sometimes communication and perception issues. Maybe that's the case in your situation too. In our case, many new parents were put off by the heavy fund raising pressure from a group that they didn't yet feel part of, and it scared some folks away.


This jambo business sounds really odd though. Participation in the national jamboree is limited and many councils no longer even have openings available. Whole troops do not typically attend together - instead, each council sends one or more "temporary" jambo troops comprised of 36 boys each, typically drawn from across the council. Boys must be at least 12 AND at least 1st class rank AND active members of their home troop for at least 6 months prior to July 2010, to be eligible at all. (And then there's the additional cost, which is about $2000 for boys in my home council for 2010 - more/less from other councils, depending on where you are located)


If the SM is telling you that your boy will be excluded from jambo unless he fundraises for the troop, something is fishy there. Not only is the SM not the one who makes that decision, but chances are high that your boy wouldn't be eligible for jambo in 2010 anyway if he is a webelos scout now.


I think if I were in your shoes, I would politely seek clarification. It might be that something isn't making it through the channels of communication here.





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I am the Scoutmaster for the local troop and we invited the Webelos II to participate in our spaghetti dinner so they could also raise money for their summer camp. I agree that if they were invited then ou should choose yes or no. I also agree you should check into this JAmbo business, my son is going but the Jambo troop is doing their own fund raising.



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Your son will not miss jambo because he didn't fund raise this time - he will miss it because he is simply not old enough.


As for fundraising I think Beavah makes a good point and it is each family's personal decision on how and when to participate. The Scoutmaster likely made all of the troop's requirements known prior to asking you about Spring mulch. Christmas trees - yeah I think you're right probably was too early to have it a requirement but it was your choice to allow your son to participate.


Spring mulch - sounds like if he crosses over in a week it's not necessarily a requirement ut what I would term an obligation if your son is now a member of that troop. It's just part of scouting.


Complaining - maybe you should have someone else read your post that is objective - because I too took as a complaint. Sometimes it's hard for us to realize and objective judge ourselves. Also, same thing applies to forums as email - there is no tone involved so to be fair to you it is also hard to judge one's true intent.


Thanks for your support of scouting - my family is also very involved in our Pack, district, and council at all levels - in fact we have had only 4 weekends this entire year thus far where we have not been at scout functions. That to is our choice becaus eof what our son gets in return. However, when our son crosses over the troop will be entirely different as you will aslo see. Cubs are for families and led by parents. Troops are for the boys and led by boys. I'm sure the troop will certainly need and accept your help - all units need help.


Like I've told my wife and mother's of our boy's as W2's we will start decreasing as much parental involvement to start the transition from WEBELOS to Scout with boys and the mothers. Keep this new parental role in mind as you make this transition. Of course support andf love your Scout as always but remember your new role will be in the background and it's time for him to gain from new experiences and new leaders.


I'm sure this will all work out for you as long as everyone keeps a scout-like approach. Bottom line - if you're concerned talk to the SM and express your concerns face to face and maybe each of you will walk away with a better understanding and foster a great new relationship to benfit all the boys.

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We allow our Webelos II to participate in our November Pancake Breakfast on a voluntary basis. One half of the ticket price goes to the individual scout for Summer/Weekend camping fees when they cross over and join us. Some choose to do so, some do not. It's their choice. If they do it helps the troop and it helps themselves too.

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Yah, jambo really isn't likely to be an option for your son in any event, and I think you've suffered some communication/understanding failure there. National jamboree arrangements and requirements are complimicated, so odds are either you or da Scoutmaster or both of you are gettin' confused.


To go back to your question(s):


No, it is not uncommon for a troop to invite Webelos 2 boys to participate in troop fundraisers, especially for summer camp.


Generally, Boy Scouting believes in teachin' Thriftiness, including the notion that "boys pay their own way" (or at least work toward that goal). So unlike those "other organizations" you mention, it's less likely that a troop is going to "carry" new members for a bit. We want boys to learn the value of work right from da start.


Personally, I think fundraisin' should be an invitation for potential members like webelos IIs. Just comes across funny when folks make things all "required" before a boy even joins. At the same time, yeh just don't know what the SM is dealin' with or tryin' to teach yet, eh?


Now forgive me, but let me point out an important thing yeh should be aware of. New folks to any organization always see the imperfections first, eh? And sometimes they're wrong about those, because they haven't seen the why yet. Troops are different than packs, and have to do some things very differently. That's goin' to feel funny / inefficient /etc. to someone coming out of a pack.


A good rule for your first year in a troop is to sit on your hands, or offer da service of your hands without da benefit of your mouth. :) Don't push an agenda or push for any changes to things you think are bad/wrong/could be better/etc. durin' the first year. But you can keep notes if yeh like ;).


Yeh shouldn't criticize (or worse, offer to take a leadership role because "you can do better") any organization until after you've been there long enough to really know all of the things the organization does well. Only after you've figured out all of da great things about the troop can you offer some ideas to brush up the bad stuff without risking accidentally harming something that's really beneficial. And without hurtin' the feelings of those good folks already volunteering who do those things well.


So be active, but be quietly active your first year. Part of "collecting information" is goin' to be really getting to know and respect all of the people who make your new troop go.



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To be fair, these are the Jamboree Qualifications taken from the BSAJamboree web site:


Boy Scouts and Varsity Scouts must be at least First Class Scouts. They must have completed the sixth grade or be at least 12 years of age by July 1, 2010, but not have reached their 18th birthday by August 4, 2010


If you son will be 12 by the first of July 2010 or out of sixth grade he will be old enough to go to the Jamboree. Of course that means he will also have to earn First Class in a year, which is possible, but it does add pressure if you have money and/or effort down on a trip that you may not get back if he doesnt make the rank.


The Troop I serve does not invite Webelos to fundraising events, then again we don't have many of them either.(This message has been edited by OldGreyEagle)

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From the look of the original post, maybe what is happening is the troop is taking its own trip to the Jambo. There are no rules to visit and many troops make the journey to look and see what is going on.

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