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Stolen popcorn money

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Hello. This is my first foray into this form forgive me if I'm overlooking etiquette that I have not yet discovered, butI have come here looking for advice. One of the boys in our troop sold $250 worth of popcorn. His mother came in and turned in $10 in cash and a check for $10 and told us that the rest was missing. She also has a son in the local cub pack. That boy sold about $150 worth of product and when the time came for her to turn in the money. Mom reported that those funds were stolen from the home. Two units two different stories. (does she think we don't talk to each other?) Having never experienced this in our troop I'm at a loss as to how to proceed. I know that the scout in question is blameless in this... If you have experienced this problem in your troop could you please tell me how you proceeded. Thank you.

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Hello. This is my first foray into this form forgive me if I'm overlooking etiquette that I have not yet discovered' date=' butI have come here looking for advice. One of the boys in our troop sold $250 worth of popcorn. His mother came in and turned in $10 in cash and a check for $10 and told us that the rest was missing. She also has a son in the local cub pack. That boy sold about $150 worth of product and when the time came for her to turn in the money. Mom reported that those funds were stolen from the home. Two units two different stories. (does she think we don't talk to each other?) Having never experienced this in our troop I'm at a loss as to how to proceed. I know that the scout in question is blameless in this... If you have experienced this problem in your troop could you please tell me how you proceeded. Thank you.[/quote']

 

The way I see it, if a scout takes orders and money, they are responsible for making sure the money gets to the unit. I feel bad for the scout, but they are responsible. It's a hard lesson to learn, but money has to be kept secure.

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You obviously can't credit the Scout for sales if he doesn't turn in the money. I'd ask the mom for a copy of the police report - she's obviously reported it if someone stole $400 in cash (plus other items, no doubt) from her home. In any case, if the Troop/Pack paid for the popcorn, the mom's going to owe you for that cost.

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Ask small individual questions.

 

- Is the scout benefiting from the program otherwise ?

- Do we think we will realistically get the money back ?

- How far are we willing to take this ?

- Can the family afford to cover the loss ?

- Is something else going on ?

- What about future events ?

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You obviously can't credit the Scout for sales if he doesn't turn in the money. I'd ask the mom for a copy of the police report - she's obviously reported it if someone stole $400 in cash (plus other items' date=' no doubt) from her home. In any case, if the Troop/Pack paid for the popcorn, the mom's going to owe you for that cost.[/quote']

 

Agreed. But hypothetically, depending on circumstances, the boy's family may not be able, financially, to absorb a loss like that. And that money WILL have to be paid.

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We had a situation in my Troop where one of the long-time Scouts (a now Eagle off at college) failed to collect from the folks who "purchased" the popcorn. So our committee--in the socialist ways of my Troop--floated his family the money until he was able to pay it all back. This obligation was made known to him each time we had an activity because his outing wasn't paid for by the Troop until he paid back every cent he owed. Fortunately, we had enough cash to pay for his missing funds. The Scout in question had to get a job and figure out how things work in real life, too.

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Perhaps we are at the point where no product is delivered until there is cash in hand. If the scout "took orders" and customers gave him money up front, he (or mom) needs to deal with the customers, not the unit. If I were at the unit level, I would not issue out product to scouts without payment up front.

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We had a similar situation - money missing from sale of goods. It apparently(99% certain) went up the Mom's nose. And no, we did not conclude that it was the child's responsibility that an addict will steal from anyone. We covered the loss and got Family Services involved.

 

Legally, you want an adult to sign for the outgoing goods. A child cannot - cannot - enter into a binding contract, such as assumption of a debt.

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Definitely have had scenarios over the years where leaders have stolen money from popcorn sales and even from the bank account. Always a difficult situation.

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I'm definitely grateful for everyone's input here. If I did not make it very, very clear the odds that the money was actually stolen from this home are about one in one million. One of the parents used the money for something else... There will be no police report. Although I saw some great suggestions for what to do should this happen again, I'm still looking for answers about what to do now (and carefully weighing the suggestions given here). Thank you again and in advance for your help.

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Well, legally, I guess you could swear out a "warrant in debt" and get a judgment in small claims court. Collecting is another matter. Of course, since the unit AND the money are owned by your CO, they are probably the ones who would have to take legal action. Barring that, there's nothing else you can do that won't directly harm the scout. (revoke membership)? I see no other choice but to "suck it up" and pay the council what is owed out of unit funds. You may have to add a surcharge to next year's dues to cover theft. If the family is military, you have a few other options.

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Extra work for the treasurer(s). Put the scout on a payment plan: $30/month until the dept is cleared. No summer camp unless a substantial amount of that is cleared. Every meeting inform the boy on what's been payed vs. what is owed.

 

Your bigger problem is dealing with the boy's deeper issue. It really stinks to have kin steal your stuff. But the boy isn't helped by keeping him out of the loop. Keep talking to the boy as if this is his problem to solve. If you discover that this is happening with other activities he's trying to participate in, inform your SE. This may be a sign of neglect.

 

Meanwhile, the troop and pack may have to adjust their respective budgets to account for loss due to theft.

 

In the future, your committee might decide to not accept fundraising orders without payment in advance.

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In Girl Scouts, the Cookie Mom gets Cookie Trained by the Council and signs a form to be finanically respondsible. The parent/parents of the Girl Scout who want their GS to sell cookies also sign a form saying they are financially responsible for said cookies. There are NO GIVE BACKS either! All money is given directly to the GS Council and checks made out to GS and not the Unit. Hence, the GS Council will go after the parent for the money.

 

Maybe, there is a form that the Unit can produce that does the same thing.

 

If there was truly a theft, then the Mom should be way more forthcoming and a report to the police should be filed anyway.

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