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LeCastor

Fundraising for the Good of the Whole Troop?

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When our Troop visited an out-of-council summer camp this year, our adults had a lot of time to schmooze with adults from other Troops and the topic of fundraising came up almost every day.

 

My Troop has traditionally sold popcorn and wreathes in the fall followed by an annual chili supper in February. However, I have heard of some Troops who do a full-court press on popcorn for six straight weeks. At the end of that period they have enough funding for the entire year's worth of adventures. This idea was recently echoed in the Scouting magazine (pgs 12-13):

 

http://digital.scouting.org/scoutingmagazine/novdec2014/resources/index.htm

 

With the recent backlash against individual Scout accounts, I like the idea of everyone pitching in to help fund the Troop as a whole. If no one has to worry about not being able to pay for a trip, lock-in, or other activity I think we'd be able to avoid most embarrassing incidents.

 

Thoughts?

 

 

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"All politics is local." The culture in the community makes a big difference. If parents are brought up with every-man-for-himself attitudes, they are going to pick troops who, as far as they can tell, give each boy maximum control over his fundraising dollar. If they are brought up with one-for-all-and-all-for-one attitudes they will look for a troop who makes sure no scout is left behind. Of course there's all manner of in-between and mixes of different proportions thereof. And part of our job as scouters is to get everyone to respect where the other is coming from, yet still nudge them along a certain trajectory that works best for the boys.

 

Especially harmful is a parent who seeds a none-for-all-yet-all-for-me attitude (a.k.a., an entitlement mentality). That'll undermine every possible benefit that could come from scouts working together to solve a problem.

 

My general impression is that communal fundraising might get you to offset registrations and everyone's summer camp fees. But it wont underwrite trips to the BSA HA bases or Jambo. Bless the troop where every boy is all-in with fundraising to the point that large fees like that can be paid ... but, sometimes it helps an SM sort out a boy's interest and commitment to a particular adventure if he has to make payments of $100 out of his own earnings every month.

 

Finally, what's better for your boys? Them learning to find odd jobs that make it worth folks paying them ~$25/week, then deciding if the income is to be spent on scouts, sports, or girlfriends? Or, them learning to team up for a collective financial goal?

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Capitalists versus communists. It's an old story. Selfish people versus altruists. We tried it both ways. There were a few who excelled as 'Daddy Warbucks' but the little sisters dressed in rags standing at intersections in the rain were the best at begging for the collective. They outdid 'Daddy' every time. Of course, being part of the collective, 'Daddy' got his share too.

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As with any enterprise, free resources are exploited until they are exhausted. If the 20% doing the 80% aren't seeing sufficient value for their investment they'll take that investment elsewhere.

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Personal gain and aspirations are contra-indicative of appropriate leadership activity. It is also counter-productive for any team building initiatives. Once that culture is ingrained in a troop, one's leadership efforts will be severely restricted. One cannot be a leader if the only person they are worried about is themselves. Unfortunately a lot of troops make room and often encourage such myopic efforts.

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Unfortunately a lot of troops make room and often encourage such myopic efforts.

 

Stosh! Long time no see, buddy.

 

Could you clarify this statement? What myopic efforts are you referring to?

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Anything that does not fit "A Scout is Thrifty - he pays his own way" is a violation of the Scout Law. If you have a Troop where each Scout is not pulling his own weight, you do not have a Boy Scout Troop. It is up to the Committee to ensure that each Scout who needs it has opportunities to fundraise or otherwise "pay his own way."

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Anything that does not fit "A Scout is Thrifty - he pays his own way" is a violation of the Scout Law. If you have a Troop where each Scout is not pulling his own weight' date=' you do not have a Boy Scout Troop. It is up to the Committee to ensure that each Scout who needs it has opportunities to fundraise or otherwise "pay his own way."[/quote']

 

 

Here's the whole explanation from my trusty 9th Edition. The italics is mine:

 

A Scout is Thrifty. A Scout works to pay his own way and to help others. He saves for unforeseen needs. He protects and conserves natural resources. He carefully uses time and property.

 

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Can't you see he's obviously the bolshevik Stosh as opposed to the bourgeoisie dcsimmons?!

 

LeCastor: As you can see how this works as referenced in our PM..... It's not an apples/oranges thing, it's a goose and gander thing.

 

Because you asked for clarification I will respond. The myopic view has to do with how troops help the boys focus on their own little world of self gain in the troop. They promote ISA's, advancement, and a certain sense of "looking out for oneself." These kinds of efforts of worrying about oneself, their finances, their advancement, their issues, one finds that there's not much room to worry about "helping other people at all times" part of the program. That would take a wider vision to see such things in the Scouting program. Because they use this approach, it makes leadership development that much more difficult if not impossible.

 

It has nothing to do with any Marxist attitudes as evidenced by myopic responses, it has to do with "taking care of someone besides yourself" kind of servant leadership ("Help other people at all times"). So if I were to assume a Marxist stance on this issue, the only leadership I would need to promote a form of dictatorial tyranny, and I have seen plenty of that from both adult and youth in the BSA program. Because I don't do this I totally avoid about 95% of the problems brought up on this forum caused by such an approach.

 

Then there's the issue of team-work in the troop. This, too, is not "bolshevik" in nature as has been suggested. Team-work is the process of two leaders working together each keeping watch over the other person's back. How can I as a leader take care of everyone else's back when no one is watching over mine??? The SPL has the SM backing him up, but the SM is not part of a boy-led program. It's Tenderfoot requirement #9 that is often taught incorrectly in the troops. The buddy system of leadership is nothing more than the first step in real team-work. The boys in my troop were discussing the need for an APL for the patrol/troop. The APL is assigned by the PL. Well he was having difficulty selecting someone. He asked me for help and so I asked what an APL did each boy gave their "definition". The boy that got the job answered with: "It's his job to take care of the PL." Who takes care of the PL while the PL is taking care of the patrol? Too often APL's just sit around waiting for the PL to not show up so he can "take over and run the show". Yep, there's the kind of boy I want running my patrol.

 

What's Marxist/bolshevik about any of this? Nothing! It's just a conclusion drawn by people who approach this whole issue with a rather myopic Communist/Marxist/socialist view of the situation.

 

Parents teach it when they say, "My boy raises money for his benefit only. Why should he pay for someone else?" Here's a parent that is into sabotaging their kid's leadership potential. Teaching that as leadership just isn't going to work in a servant leadership world and it is contrary to the empty words, their son repeats every meeting when he says, "Help other people at all times."

 

SM's pick up on this when they drive home the point of ISA and self achievement of advancement over the welfare of the troop. Oh, a SM would never do that. Well not 100% of the time, but what percentage is acceptable? 1%? It's okay to "help other people 99% of the time."

 

Anyone who can't see any of this suffers from varying degrees of myopia when it comes to working with youth.

 

If "Helping other people at all times" is what communism/Marxism/socialism is all about, I guess I have to plead guilty. If that statement doesn't seem to make sense, then it's time to refocus one's view of the world or get some glasses.

 

Stosh

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Stosh, that's what I thought you meant. The article from Scouting magazine really resonated with me and I appreciated the South Carolina Troop's efforts to fund-raise for the entire group rather than focus on the individual. My view on this is quite similar to yours in that the Scouts should be helping each other to succeed rather than focus on their own "accounts". Thanks for your clarification.

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Hey' date=' lighten up a little....we're just having some fun...not making a movie about you or anything....[/quote']

 

This is often the the justification reaction of a cyberbully. "We're just having some fun...." and it's usually at someone else's expense. LeCastor asked for clarification and I addressed it in the context of the comments made. Nothing more, nothing less.

 

LeCastor posted this thread as a serious thread. Had he wanted it open to a free-for-all discussion he would have put it under the Issues & Politics section. I happen to agree with him, it's a serious problem for a lot of troops and needs a serious discussion to address it.

 

The SC troop made Scouting magazine with their efforts. I happen to run a troop exactly the same way. Why would this policy, so reflective of the Scout Oath be lifted up in the publication as something special when it should be in fact the normal for BSA troops?

 

Stosh

 

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