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Stolen popcorn money

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Based on the little I understand ... here's some rules I'd apply.

 

- $250 is little in the long run. Write it off. It's annoying to lose, but hopefully the troop can survive it. Volunteers don't want to volunteer time to chase recovery of $$ in these situations. For our pack, we'd be running a little lower on our financial safety net for a year or two until it's rebuilt. Our pack budget is around $7000 per year and we try to keep an extra $1500 in the bank at the end of the year. Our troop has little expenses except camp outs paid for by scouts. So, it would hit our troop harder. But we'd survive.

 

- Separate the scout from the situation. If you go after the money, work with the parent. Working with the scout to recover the $$ might teach a good lesson, but I suspect it's just adding more stress on an already stressful home situation. I'd rather not do that.

 

- Future fundraisers ... ask for the money first then hand over the product. Your trust is broken. I do the same with camps until we get burned. Trust until trust is broken.

 

- As for the scout's continued involvement and how he pays for camps, that's a judgement call. If the scout was benefiting, I'd find a way that scouting could be his safe haven from a bad situation. I'd keep the $$ between the scoutmaster, committee chair and the treasurer.

 

- In my experience, it's hard to help a scout overcome a bad family situation. Usually family problems eventually cause scouts to drop out of scouting whether by them triggering it or by his acting out.

 

 

But for as long as your troop can help, your troop can be his safe haven and still teach valuable lessons.

 

It's really hard judgement call and you are best placed to decide what to do. ... just don't punish the scout for the parent's actions.

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But for as long as your troop can help, your troop can be his safe haven and still teach valuable lessons.

 

It's really hard judgement call and you are best placed to decide what to do. ... just don't punish the scout for the parent's actions.

 

This right here. Love it. :D

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Yep --- we're vulnerable to that.

 

One thing I've thought about...

 

Our council provides deposit slips so that money can be deposited with a local bank that has lots of branches.

 

It might be worth giving out a few deposit slips along with the popcorn and encouraging families to deposit the cash and checks in the bank after money is collected each day.

 

Having money sit around is an invitation to a problem for some people.

 

"Lead me not into temptation, and deliver me from evil...."

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I'm not going to be as forgiving. Tell Mom she has ten days to show you a police report on the theft or pay the balance of the monies owed and that you will be filing a police report of your own if the popcorn or the money from the sales of the popcorn is not returned.. After ten days, go to the police and let them know what has happened - they may tell you it's a civil matter (in which case you take her to small claims court) but depending on the officer you talk to, they might pop by for a little chat. The Pack has to do this as well.

 

Both your Troop and the Pack need to suspend the boys from activities effective immediately until the matter is resolved. Sure, they may need Scouting more than others, and your treasury might be able to absorb the costs, but frankly you'll be sending a message to these boys, loud and clear, that it's ok to scam people because nothing will happen.

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As a fellow who has dealt with this before, write it off and institute the following policy.

 

No popcorn ever leaves the troop stores till it is paid for in full.

 

This leaves the burden on the parents.

 

 

I wouldn't kick the boy out. But not trust the family again.

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As a fellow who has dealt with this before, write it off and institute the following policy.

 

No popcorn ever leaves the troop stores till it is paid for in full.

 

This leaves the burden on the parents.

 

 

I wouldn't kick the boy out. But not trust the family again.

 

 

Basement, I think the resolution of payment before popcorn pick-up is an excellent idea, especially if you have been burned by it before.

 

However, I worry about the last part. While it's great that you wouldn't remove the Scout from your Troop, I am concerned that you would outright not trust the whole family. I realize that once trust is broken it is difficult to regain. However, shouldn't we confront the issue and then seek to forgive those who hurt us?

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<

 

No popcorn ever leaves the troop stores till it is paid for in full.

 

This leaves the burden on the parents.>>

 

 

 

Hey! You need to recognize that with the popcorn sale, you are running a business. A business is a way or coordinating a variety of services in order to deliver a product or service, hopefully at a profit.

 

With the popcorn sale, the families are your sales staff. Few businesses require their sales staff to pay up front for the products they sell, although some do.

 

But even if the Scout unit gets burned once in a while by people who fail to deliver on the promises they make, you have to keep in mind the bigger picture of making your sale attractive to those who participate in it.

 

Our council allows units to deposit checks received for popcorn sales, and they take responsibility for collecting on bad checks or eating the loss if they can't. As I understand it, if people call the council to complain that they paid for popcorn that was never delivered, the council will fill those order whether or not they can identify whether the sale was made or what unit might have made it.

 

It's not unusual for businesses to have bad debts of one kind or another. Businesses routinely extend credit in various ways because it pays to do so even though you have some risk of losses.

 

That's the way this situation should be viewed, in my opinion.

 

Nothing wrong with making reasonable efforts to collect on this debt --- even calling the cops to see what they might be able to do. But don;t maim your entire sales model by refusing to extend credit to families unless you are sure that that is a bad idea.

 

One defaulter probably doesn't justify that kind of action, I would suggest. If it's happening frequently, that's another story.

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However' date=' shouldn't we confront the issue and then seek to forgive those who hurt us? [/quote']

 

Forgiveness: considering your bother's debt to you to be zero. Not bringing it up on judgement day, etc ...(Thus, "Turn the other cheek", etc ...)

Enabling: letting your brother continue to treat you like a doormat and setting him up for serious trouble down the road. (Thus, "Let him that stole steal no more.", etc ...)

 

The Good Book says clearly that you gotta do the one while avoiding the other.

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I think one can forgive but that doesn't imply restoration of trust. Trust like respect is earned through repetitive successful encounters. Or, as we used to say in the Navy, One Aw S**t erases 10 Atta Boys.

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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' date=' 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.[/quote']

 

 

If mom has stolen the money, then she's certainly not going to deal with the customers whose money she took. If the customers were strangers to the family, then the customers are going to be left with a bad view of scouting when they don't receive the popcorn they paid for.

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I would not punish the Scout because of the sins of the Fathers (or Mothers). Yes, I would ask for a copy of the police report. Whether I received one or not is another matter.

I would give each angry customer the Mother's name and address and phone number, and tell them she lost the money. Since this is the troop's money, could not the troop file for a police report?. Hopefully, when the investigating office then shows up at her door, with the squad car in the driveway, some of the money may be found.

 

If the parents are totally hopeless (is this a single Mother?), then I would tell the Scout that while it's not his fault (???) the troop does depend on that money and he should work it off. This should not be presented as punishment. I'm sure he can mow Scouters' lawns, pull weeds, whatever at market rates.

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I think one can forgive but that doesn't imply restoration of trust. Trust like respect is earned through repetitive successful encounters. Or' date=' as we used to say in the Navy, One Aw S**t erases 10 Atta Boys.[/quote']

 

I heard or read somewhere "I can forgive, forgetting is God's job" ;)

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Dealing with this issue in small claims court will not involve the child. No police report, then small claims. One may not get the money in the settlement, but being on record does give a heads up on a background check.

 

Stosh

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Seattle, our council does not take any responsibility for bad checks or non-de,ivery. Responsibility lies 100% with the unit.

 

I agree with those who said to consult the charter org, final decision on any action is theirs. I also agree that the scout should not be punished and that unit policies around popcorn be changed. We ask for payment from customers at the time the order is placed. Popcorn money is turned in with the order forms, before the unit orders from council. We've lost a bit of product here and there from show and sells, but nothing at the $230 level.

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