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OldGreyEagle

What Would make you Increasse Your FOS?

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So, what level of service would it take for you to increase your FOS or perhaps even start to contribute to FOS? What level of service do you expect from the Council and what could they do to make you want to give them more money? For this purpose, think of the District and Council as one entity

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1. Elimination of certain people at the council office ('nuf said without going into local scout politics).

2. Straight answers about our local scout camp property, positive or negative, rather than the same old run-around/dodge the questions we get. If I want to get a dodge-the-question answer, I'll ask a politician.

 

That's just the initial starting point before I'd consider starting to give again. I haven't given in 8 years.

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I'm pretty generous when it comes to FOS, but if I wasn't in tune to what it was actually used for I'd say...

 

I would be impressed with something tangible and something I could get my dollars and sense around. I'd want to see some improvements at our summer camp property. I know FOS $ are not for that purpose, they are meant for general operating cash flow, but by and large the rank n file member of the council want to see something, touch something that they can correlate value with, and camp property works well for that.

 

 

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This will sound crazy, but if I could afford to give more to FOS, I would in a heartbeat. Unfortunately I will be downgrading b/c #1 the economy is hurting the finances and #2 with Oldest son joining June 1, I will need to budget both of us at CS events.

 

My council is in a unique position. We got a new SE who is not only a "program freak," he is also a local, having grown up in a pack and troop in the council, going to summer camp at one council camp, and staffing the second council camp when it took over summer camp duties. So this is a homecoming for him, and his goal is to revitalize the council. Much needed and he is in the process of implementing his ideas.

 

The #1 reason is purely selfish: he is trying to get improvements made at the original council camp, which is in my district and has been neglected for at least 15 years, if not longer. the cmap is beautiful, perfect for small unit camping, and I had the pleasure of taking my oldest there this weekend with the pack he's joining in June.

 

#2 is that he is putting an emphasis on quality program. he share my philosophy in that if you have an awesome program, they will come.

 

#3 he is trying to get funds to provide more camperships. As one who has received a campership once, I knwo how important that is, and I want another scout to have the same opportunity.

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I guess I am not sure what District/Council does for my unit or boys other than attempt to keep records of training and advancement. They issue tour permits of which the unit does all the work, the district/council just stamps and files.

 

High Adventure contingencies can be scheduled through district/council but our unit does it directly.

 

Training is scheduled and performed by voluneers with costs being paid by participants.

 

The scout store is a seperate entity and is self supporting.

 

District/Council maintains several camps. This is the first year in 7 or 8 that our unit has used the council camp. We tend to try different camps at higher alltitudes (cooler in the summer) so the boys get a different experience each summer. If FOS does not go to camp maintenance and camps are not self supporting, than where does the money come from to pay for camps?

 

I have not been given any reason to give to FOS other than to help pay saleries to exec's that spend all their time raising money to pay their own saleries. Seems kinda pointless to have execs.

 

I haven't found any use for district or council. I might give money if someone could provide an explanation of how district/council did something for the unit or boys.

 

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1) Something tanglible that you can see / touch / use.... (i.e. improvements at a council camp, added equipment, a new fire ring, something) that has a plague that states, your contributions to FOS made this possible for all scouts to use and enjoy.

 

2) Actual SERVICE from the council / district office.

 

This year, there was a 4 month delay in recharter processing, my son just now got 3 months back-issues of BL and I got 2 editions of Scouting because they finally processed the unit. The money and records were sent to council in Januarary! In business, I bill the federal government for MediCare reimbursement and we don't float that long before we receive payment. Sheeesh. If there was a problem, let us know... no announcements at RT about it, no e-mail to CC's to let them know there will be a delay. Only after ASKING were we told that there was some processing issues... and that was after multiple calls to council.

 

Service in the records keeping. BSA is worse than being in the Army. This first lesson is ALWAYS make a copy and never turn in the orginal, b/c council will loose whatever you send them at least once. Doesn't matter if its a scout's rank, or adult's training cert... the gremlins always seem to eat the first copy. They can sure process those camp payments online with your credit card, but can't seem to keep track of a scout's rank advancement worth a chit. I had a boy getting Bear this year that council tried to tell us hadn't yet earned his Bobcat. That's funny, b/c he was awarded his Tiger and Wolf the two previous years? Go figure.

 

Service from the pros- two beef's here. One- I have never been able to get ahold of my DE on the first try and in most instances it has required multiple e-mails and phone calls before I get a call back. More often than not, I get ahold of him b/c I keep on trying, not because he ever calls back. Then when you do ask for information, half the time you get directed to someone else (OK fine, I'll talk to someone at the council office), but many times the person I am directed to is not the correct person to speak with !!

 

Two- roundtables and most training is a joke. Most are 90% BS and an ever growing laundry list of things you can't do, can't say, can't sing, or can't play because either G2SS has decided its too dangerous, or the possible implied meaning of the skit, lyrics, etc... might offend someone. 10% is actually stuff that I haven't heard before and is above common sense leadership and that can actually be used to enhance or improve the program at the unit level. The only reason I even go to RT is so I can check the block to be eligible for the adult leader's knot for my given position after 2 years in service. Otherwise, I probably would save my time.

 

Fix those things, plus give me assurances that a portion of my donation is NOT going into the never ending coffer that feeds the lawyers (no offense Beavah) who have to continually defend BSA ad nauseum against claims by the gays and the atheists and I'd give more - even in a down economy.

 

I'm just not sure I get much bang for the buck back to the local scouts with my FOS dollars.

 

I give anyways, because I figure if I'm part of the organization- one should support it and try to fix the things one doesn't agree with internally. Kind of like the GWOT, you don't have to like everything that our country does with it, but at the same time you do not fail to support those who are charged with running it, just because you disagree with some of the decissions and policies that have been made.

 

At the end of the day - the good to come out of scouting will always outweigh the negatives, so I choose to support it. However, if BSA would be willing to fix some of those negatives, I'd be much more willing to part with a larger chunk of my hard earned cash.

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When they return to the previous policy of actually giving units something out of FOS. It used to be if you just had a presentation the unit got free camping and reduced fees for venues at the local scout reservation. That could not have cost them that much but they discontinued it. They have reduced the Gold card unit perks as well. Now rather than write check to FOS I give the money right to my unit.

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Most years I give a little. Last year I gave enough to get the special CSP. The two things that made that year different? 1) It was a good economic year and 2) The presenter did a good job of not boring us to death. She talked a little about what scouting had done for her sons and for boys in their troop. She talked about an on-going capital improvement project that was revitalizing one of our long under-utilized camps, and what that would mean for troops and for the district and council. It was a fairly soft sell, and (for me anyway) it worked.

 

I appreciate a well-organized presentation and knowing what the money is going toward, in a realistic sense. Some presenters ramble on and seem to be pulling half-baked statistics out of thin air or meander off into an angry rant about "society these days" or "goll darn lib'rals want to kill scouting!" or other such nonsense. They have little credibility. That definitely turns me off.

 

 

I'm generally not motivated by the "goodies" that the unit (or individual) gets from reaching certain donation levels. To me, this dilutes the power of the donations and requires MORE fundraising to cover those costs. I'd be happier to see the costs of fundraising reduced by removing most or all of these sorts of incentives.

 

 

(This message has been edited by lisabob)

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I too liked to get the special CSP and coffee mug. But that hasn't worked for me the last few years. Either they "forgot" or "oh, we gave it to X to give to you", but bottom line is I didn't get it. As a fully involved Scouter, I give a LOT in time and money to my unit, so I expect the parents who do NOTHING to pick up the slack. My kids are gone...it's their little darlings who are benefiting now. During my stint on District Committee, we got the lecture from the DE that we are the "pacesetters" and expected to donate first and the most...and encourage others to follow our lead. It irked me that my unit didn't get credit for any of that.

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1. Better programming: My local district/council has dropped most programs that I found valuable: Council newspaper, University of Scouting, Scout-o-rama, spring cub overnighter at the cub scout camp, ... Events that are planned have very little programming. There are no feedback forms at any event.

 

My scouts' parents ask why they offer so little compared to the local GS district.

 

2. Better communication: Their answer to every communication concern is "attend the round tables". I have -- they are a waste of my time. Update your website. Return my emails and calls. Don't make me have my husband call you and ask why you haven't returned his wife's calls.

 

3. Better service: if I walk into the service center they can not tell me when the next leader training is scheduled, who to talk to about what, or why they lost my adults' paperwork twice. (They don't apologize for errors.) They majorly messed up camp registration this year. (Also, why are you all always standing around chatting?) Why was the baby faced DE rude to my recently recruited Pack Chairman (very senior in the community BTW)?

 

4. Transparency: Given the above, I haven't seen that you make good use to the money I give you. Prove it to me that donations sent to you are of better utilized than donations to the food bank, woman's shelter, or Scottish Rite. Your FOS literature did not prove it to me.

 

That all said, I love what my unit has provided to my boys in the way of scouting.

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What would make me increase my FOS donation?

Being asked. I had lunch with our new Scout Executive and during our conversation, he asked me about my donation. I said I would give the same as last year and he asked if I could raise it by half. I did, and since he has been here, he has engaged volunteers 150%.

David Harrison

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