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krikkitbot

Can a Council take over a tree stand?

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If your troop is looking to fundraise through something like a tree stand, can the council come in and take it over?

 

Can they say something to the effect of: well Troop Z your tree stand is too successful and we think that it should be a council stand instead of your troop. Troop X has more people to staff it so they will be primary and share the revenue among all the troops in the council. 

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Nope!

 

They may try and set up a competing stand next door, but they can't do anything about yours and it will look a bit disingenuous on their part if they do.

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Did the troop submit a Unit Money Earning Application to council, and did the council approve it?

While in the process the district thinks it's best for the district.

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The council can deny a Unit Money Earning Application if it conflicts with a council/district fundraiser. So yes, the district can take your idea and deny your application.

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The council can deny a Unit Money Earning Application if it conflicts with a council/district fundraiser. So yes, the district can take your idea and deny your application.

I think that is correct, which is why I asked whether a Unit Money Earning Application had been approved.

 

In fact, the council can turn down an application simply because they think a fundraising idea would be more appropriate on a council level than on a unit level, even if there is no actual "conflict" at the time.

 

One the council approves the application, it's a different story, at least in the sense of "good governance". Whether it could "legally" be revoked is something I have never looked into.

Edited by NJCubScouter

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I can understand the conflict between different fund raising events, but to use the application to deny an opportunity with no other conflicts other than they want to do it is just plain mean.

 

The CO owns the unit, the CO's non-profit status is used for the fund raising opportunity, I would think as long as there are no direct conflicts, a little MYOB on the part of the council is in order.

 

A unit wants to sell Christmas wreaths in the neighborhood.  The CO is a church.  The boys sell wreaths for the CO and the CO makes a nice generous donation to the scout unit.  I don't see the need for any application.  Of course the boys won't be wearing any scout uniforms and BSA wouldn't be getting any neighborhood recognition, but it's a nice cooperative gesture between CO and unit.

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Krikkitbot did not ask whether it would be "mean". He asked whether the council could do it. I think they can. There have been threads in the past that have described things councils have done in the name of money that could be described as "mean". I have seen a thing or two myself that fall into that category.

 

As for your opinion about when an application is necessary, if there is a sign that identifies the seller as a Boy Scout troop, or if the Scouts tell customers they are selling for the "troop" or the "Boy Scouts" or anything similar, or any other indication that the sale involves Scouts or Scouting in any way, then an application is necessary. The CO does own the unit, and the CO signs an agreement with the BSA to abide by BSA rules and regulations, and that includes the fundraising rules. Does your troop raise funds without telling potential customers that they are dealing with Scouts or Scouting or a Scouting unit? I doubt it. We don't. I don't know anyone who does.

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We do.  Our unit is largely funded from the profits made by the concessions stands at our school athletic events.  We don't file a Unit Money Earning Application.  

 

I feel that there is enough of an "arms length distance" between the unit and the fund raising to make an honest and reasonable claim that it is not subject to council approval.

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We do.  Our unit is largely funded from the profits made by the concessions stands at our school athletic events.  We don't file a Unit Money Earning Application.  

 

I feel that there is enough of an "arms length distance" between the unit and the fund raising to make an honest and reasonable claim that it is not subject to council approval.

concessions at a school are like offering plates at church. I'm pretty sure BSA doesn't want to meddle in either. Revenue that isn't under the rightful eye of the CO is where the start to worry about their brand being protected.

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If your troop is looking to fundraise through something like a tree stand, can the council come in and take it over?

 

Can they say something to the effect of: well Troop Z your tree stand is too successful and we think that it should be a council stand instead of your troop. Troop X has more people to staff it so they will be primary and share the revenue among all the troops in the council. 

 

I think it is very smart of you to consider all aspects of a potential fund raiser, including the possibility that the council might try to take it over.  Well done.

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Questions:  How long has your Troop been selling Christmas Trees?  Do you have a base of people who buy from you every year because they are supporting your Troop?

 

How active are you in the District (attending events, supplying volunteers, etc.)?

 

How old and successful is your Troop?

 

I'm guessing that during the process of applying for the permit, someone in the District (Council) decided they should do it instead and that is the basis of your questions.

 

I'm asking the questions to make a point - a lot of the answer depends on how much perceived leverage you have.  If you're a Troop of 60 boys, with a history of holding successful tree sales that the people in the community support, that is active in the District and that has a history of producing Eagle Scouts, then a call from the Institutional Head to the Scout Executive can nip this in the bud in a minute - the Institutional Head simply tells the Scout Executive to back off, sign the application and don't even think of competing with the Troop's tree sales or the charter will be canceled, and there will be a front page news article telling the community exactly why the unit is no folding after so many years.

 

If you don't have that kind of perceived leverage, then either ignore the unit money earning application altogether, or have your sponsoring organization hold the sale as a fundraiser for their youth programs,

 

I'd also contact your tree vendor and let them know how disappointed you would be in them if they were to sell their trees to the district/council instead.

 

And if the District/Council succeeds in pulling your fundraiser in as their own, I would have as many boys and their parents that would volunteer for it, stand just outside the entrance to their lot (and on public property/public easements - and out of uniform) holding up signs telling people not to buy their trees from that lot because they stole your Troop's fundraiser.

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There's nothing in the OP to think this could be the situation here, but the other reason a Council might want to take over a troop project is if the troop has what looks like a good idea that is being done badly, especially if it is reflecting poorly on scouting rather than positively.

 

I do have to add that I can't imagine a Council doing something like this.  Councils need to think about raising funds at the tens of thousands of dollars level which is probably not what a Christmas tree stand is going to do.  Folks at the District level tend to actually be the more meddlesome bunch, and the answer to that is usually going over their heads to the Council where bigger picture viewing tends to take place.

Edited by T2Eagle

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