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James E. West Fellowship

LeCastor

This thread on the James E. West Fellowship was taking away from the OP about displaying awards earned in other countries' Scouting programs, so I chose to move this to Council Relations.  The James E. West Fellowship is an endowment given to a council, not advancement and therefore not equivalent to an Eagle Scout Award.

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I don't have the James E. West Fellowship Award, and wouldn't wear it if i did. I already do not wear every knot I have.

I know a number of West Fellows, the vast majority do not wear them. But I certainly do not begrudge anyone who does wear it.

Many of the knots/awards are not "earned." They are recognition for contribution, including the DESA, MOESA, DSA, Meany, Young, DAM, Silver Beaver, Antelope and Beaver.

Others are "earned" by doing the job you should be doing, like Den Leaders Award, Unit Leaders Award of Merit, Training Award and Scouters Key. The Boyce Award is often given to the person that did the least amount of work starting a new unit.

Knots are awards are given for various reasons. Financial contributions help keep Scouting afloat, they always have. We wouldn't have Philmont, Seabase, Northern Tier and most of our Summer camps if not for donations and grants. To think those who have helped create and maintain Scouting from a financial standpoint are somehow less important to the program than those of us who work the program is counter productive and frankly not very Scout-like IMHO.

There is way too much US and THEM in these conversations. Scouters, professionals and financial contributors all have a significant role in Scouting. I think it is appropriate to thank and recognize them, and frankly a tiny piece of cloth is not a big deal in light of their contribution.

 

 

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14 hours ago, WisconsinMomma said:

Oh baloney.  We are going to our library's wine tasting party next month and sponsoring a table.  (It's not very expensive to do so.)   A local liquor store and their vendors donate all the wine and spirits, and local restaurants donate all the food, and it's a wonderful event, and the names of the donors are on the tables.  It's a great way to do fundraising.  Some charitable giving is quiet, other giving is not quiet.  Neither is wrong.

First, no one is saying it is wrong. What I am saying is that true philanthropic giving does not come with the expectation of receiving anything in return.

Second, and several have pointed this out already, knots are for achievements. When you allow someone to buy a knot you really do water down what they are supposed to mean. Imagine a Scout being allowed to buy an Eagle palm or World Conservation Award through a charitable donation. If BSA wants to recognize folks for giving, then why not a pin or plaque or patch that is distinguishable from those earned through achievement? Their very own West program provides for this. Give a patch that says "1910 Society" or something which is worn in the temporary patch location; not a knot.

Lastly, let's not obfuscate the issue by comparing donations from commercial venues to charitable events. This is done by these businesses to promote their business in hopes of increasing profits while at the same time giving them a tax write off. This is the OPPOSITE of philanthropic giving. So if you truly want "baloney", that's where you'll find it.

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1 hour ago, oldisnewagain1 said:

With apologies to Will Rogers...

BSA has the best knot money can buy.

For  $25,000 you can get a Lapel Pin!  Cha-ching!

The Second Century Society
https://www.bsafoundation.org/donor-information/secondcentury/

And for $100,000+  to $1 million gifts, there are other goodies -- Rockwell prints, crystal, etc.  

And probably a lifetime of letters and emails asking for more donations. ;)  

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21 hours ago, HelpfulTracks said:

There is way too much US and THEM in these conversations. Scouters, professionals and financial contributors all have a significant role in Scouting. I think it is appropriate to thank and recognize them, and frankly a tiny piece of cloth is not a big deal in light of their contribution.

 

 

Yes, I agree with you about the "too much US and THEM" on this forum.  Very often when reading everyone's definitive answers I can't help but think of The Dude's quote from The Big Lebowski"Well, that's just, like, your opinion, man."

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On 2/6/2018 at 9:50 AM, David CO said:

The same message that is sent when scouters buy positions on the council. BSA is all about money.

*Cough* EXECUTIVE BOARD *Cough*

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On ‎2‎/‎7‎/‎2018 at 10:14 AM, HelpfulTracks said:

There is way too much US and THEM in these conversations. Scouters, professionals and financial contributors all have a significant role in Scouting.

Mosquitos play a significant role in scouting too. 

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I have two shirts in my closet with West knots. One for me and one for my wife. Are you all seriously going to troll a family that gives to Scouting? 
We decided to do it while we were in our 30's so we could see what the council does with the interest (the part they get to spend) for 30+ years.

We don't make bank at all. We made a choice to do a Payment plan for them and sacrifice a little to help grow the endowment fund to ensure a future of Scouting. Like the great leaders I had before me, and the people who donated before them.... 

Where in the Scout law is it to be turds to the people that support the program with money? It's important. Most people give time. Most people give treasure. Some give talent. Some give 2 of those, few give all 3. I don't crap on any giving of any kind. We need more of all 3 of those. 

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On ‎2‎/‎7‎/‎2018 at 9:02 AM, Hawkwin said:

 

“Give me enough medals and I’ll win you any war”

 

But those medals went to deserving soldiers for heroic acts of valor. We didn't give military honors to wealthy civilians who bought war bonds.

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@KevinPMajka, while I agree that there are different ways to donate, the words "being a turd" is not one of them.

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1 hour ago, KevinPMajka said:

I have two shirts in my closet with West knots. One for me and one for my wife. Are you all seriously going to troll a family that gives to Scouting? 
We decided to do it while we were in our 30's so we could see what the council does with the interest (the part they get to spend) for 30+ years.

We don't make bank at all. We made a choice to do a Payment plan for them and sacrifice a little to help grow the endowment fund to ensure a future of Scouting. Like the great leaders I had before me, and the people who donated before them.... 

Where in the Scout law is it to be turds to the people that support the program with money? It's important. Most people give time. Most people give treasure. Some give talent. Some give 2 of those, few give all 3. I don't crap on any giving of any kind. We need more of all 3 of those. 

The plain fact of the matter is that there are a number of people in this forum who are jaded and cynical about various Scouting-related topics.  And the top item on the jaded-and-cynical hit parade is the general subject of Scouting and money.  I might even possibly be in that group myself sometimes.  But you make a good point.  If the BSA makes a recognition available and you do whatever it is you have to do to wear the recognition, there is nothing wrong with wearing it.

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2 hours ago, David CO said:

But those medals went to deserving soldiers for heroic acts of valor. We didn't give military honors to wealthy civilians who bought war bonds.

Interesting opinion.  Are you aware that there were a number of medals and other special uniform awards for War Service during both World Wars?  What difference is it, really.  Someone, adult or scout, sold X dollars of stamps or bonds and got such and such award, the larger ones that could be worn.  There has never been a knot to recognize those, but they certainly were worn proudly.  There also were medals for waste collection, War gardens, Civil Service and locally, probably others.  

Also, in relation to the West Knot, it is often given to someone in honor of their service by others or in honor of someone in the family or group.  I was presented with two in honor of two past scouts that were killed as young adults, both for whom I was SM.  I received a third one from a retired Scouter friend for my seniority in our council and our work together.  He was recognizing many of his Scouter friends with them in his retirement, probably gave at least 8 to 12 before he passed away with his own 50 plus years.  I wear one knot, and I know what the honor is that is attached, two Eagle Scouts and a fine dedicated Scouter friend who gave to Scouting as his own family.  I admit though that initially when the first one was given to me, I did not wear it, as I had not been the one to give the dollars and I felt as if I was being a bit dishonest.  It was pointed out to me that I was not honoring the memorial of the Eagles by not wearing it, and so I do.  I suppose that since then I may have earned my own dollar version with donations to the local camp fund, but that does not matter.  

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16 hours ago, David CO said:

We didn't give military honors to wealthy civilians who bought war bonds.

Not comparable.

People who donate don't earn 3-6% return on their donations and then get their initial investment back as the people that invested in war bonds did. I would imagine if we asked people to actually donate money to finance a war, receiving a ribbon would likely be the least of the recognition we give such individuals.

I fail to see why we would look down on anyone that choses to support BSA in any fashion.

And why assume the person that donates is wealthy? I can only infer by the inclusion of that adjective you 1) think only the wealthy would ever donate $1000 and 2) that there is something inherently wrong with a person that would sacrifice to BSA in the same manner they might sacrifice to their church.

When I was in college, I was a very active member of my business fraternity. I was so committed to the ideals of the organization that I committed to donating $100 a year for the next 10 years as part of a fundraising campaign. $100 as a college student is significant. I was attending college on my own dime with no parental support and a GI Bill that paid for half of what it does today. For my commitment, my name was printed in the back of our magazine every year for the next 10 years. I felt a lot of pride in the fact that as a college student, my name was listed with a bunch of professionals.

Based on your comments, I infer that you would have me feel shame for seeing my name in print.

 

Next time I see someone wearing this knot, I am going to thank them for their donation. They help make BSA a success as much as I do for volunteering my time and money.

 

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14 hours ago, skeptic said:

Also, in relation to the West Knot, it is often given to someone in honor of their service by others or in honor of someone in the family or group.  I was presented with two in honor of two past scouts that were killed as young adults, both for whom I was SM.  I received a third one from a retired Scouter friend for my seniority in our council and our work together.  He was recognizing many of his Scouter friends with them in his retirement, probably gave at least 8 to 12 before he passed away with his own 50 plus years.  I wear one knot, and I know what the honor is that is attached, two Eagle Scouts and a fine dedicated Scouter friend who gave to Scouting as his own family.  I admit though that initially when the first one was given to me, I did not wear it, as I had not been the one to give the dollars and I felt as if I was being a bit dishonest.  It was pointed out to me that I was not honoring the memorial of the Eagles by not wearing it, and so I do.  I suppose that since then I may have earned my own dollar version with donations to the local camp fund, but that does not matter.  

The giving ones are my favorite ones. One of the reasons why I did mine was to foster a sense of giving. I could say, let's all chip in for this guy/gal since a few of those folks saw me receive mine. 

I've seen it given as recognition as a thank you to an outgoing lodge chief, scoutmaster... etc. 
I've seen it given in honor of someone who has passed away. 
I've seen it earned by a group - an OA lodge, a woodbadge staff, camp staff, etc. 
 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Hawkwin said:

And why assume the person that donates is wealthy? I can only infer by the inclusion of that adjective you 1) think only the wealthy would ever donate $1000 and 2) that there is something inherently wrong with a person that would sacrifice to BSA in the same manner they might sacrifice to their church.

I do think there is something inherently wrong with it.

My parish doesn't give any public recognition for donations. Tithing is private matter. 

 

Edited by David CO

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15 minutes ago, David CO said:

I do think there is something inherently wrong it.

My parish doesn't give any public recognition for donations. Tithing is private matter. 

I am not an expert in the practices of religious organizations, but I know something about non-religious non-profit organizations.  Most (if not the overwhelming majority) of organizations that seek donations from the public give public recognition for donations of a certain amount.  If I walk into my local hospital there are plaques in the lobby saying who gave at the Gold, Silver, Bronze, etc. (or whatever) levels in the last expansion drive.  I think the highest level is $100,000.  Give a few million and you can get the whole wing named after you (and some have.)  I just looked at the web site for the Red Cross, and if you give $1,000 to 10,000 in a year you are publicly recognized as a member of the Clara Barton Society, or you can give $1 million or more over your lifetime and become a member of the Chairman's Council, and several other levels in between.  If I go to a play at my local community theater and open up the program, I will see a listing of donors at various levels.  Some choose to be listed as "Anonymous."  Most don't.  If you donate more than $5,000 to FIRST Robotics (or at least that used to be the amount) you're a "V.I.P."  And so forth.  The BSA is no different, except that it is an organization that wears a uniform, and therefore they give you a recognition to put on your uniform if you want to.

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