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FireKat

BSA not allowing scouts to ring bells for Salvation Army

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Yah, the issue is havin' kids beg for dollars. No usin' kids for FOS presentations, eh? ;) Of course, I reckon we've all seen kids associated with FOS events. And I reckon Eagle candidates everywhere solicit funds and material donations for their Eagle projects to benefit another organization.

 

Too hard to write any rule that covers what we really mean, eh? Boils down to "don't give scoutin' a bad name, and don't commit fraud or misrepresentation."

 

Aside from that, help other people at all times!

 

Beavah

 

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A question for those who think Scouts should be allowed to wear their uniform while ringing the bell for the Salvation Army:

 

Johnny Scout is in his school band, and is selling cookie dough to raise money for a band trip. He isn't having much success. He decides to wear his Scout uniform while selling it, just telling the customers that he is raising money for a trip (he doesn't mention it is for band, not Scouts). He finds he is much more successful selling when in Scout uniform.

 

Question - do you have a problem with him wearing his Scout uniform while raising money for his band trip?

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Don't even go there! Having kids get money for a group that gets most of it's funding from taxpayers has been a major thorn. What taxes support the Salvation Army? Who benifits from the monies raised? Band trips are a major waste of money for the upper classes as now the poorer kids cannot even aford to be in the band (can't get/rent instruments for the high costs).Only silly people would compare a service org. with a school band - the goals are worlds apart!

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Only a silly person would read that and think I was comparing the Salvation Army to a school band. The policy is Scouts can't wear their Scout uniform while raising money for another organization.

 

(I don't know about in TX, but here in GA, band programs have been cut to the bone. Bands must raise money for instruments, equipment, trips, etc.)

 

So, now you see the problem - who gets to decide which causes are worthy, and which aren't? Some would argue band is very worthy. Watch Mr. Holland's Opus and you might change your mind about band. You can substitute any group here you want - the bottom line is the BSA has the right to set the policy. Instead of getting into which causes are worthy, they said you can't do it for any. The old slippery slope argument.

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Music is a noble vocation. Band trips to theme parks are not. They are not raising he money to by instuments but to go party vs someone who lost everything thru a disaster. Apples and oranges. Doing what is morally correct vs self gratification. Is that not what scouting tries to teach? A true scout would know the difference and the approprate times to wear the uniform - not to just increase sales but to show support to someone else that is helping people. If they do not know the difference, we adults have done a poor job of spreading the scouting sprit.

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Hmmm. Our band traveled down to Warm Springs to play for disabled persons. The school doesn't provide nearly enough funding to buy the instruments and equipment for the band at our public school. Money is raised through fund raisers and parent band boosters clubs.

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I think Brent has gotten to the heart of the issue. Who decides which causes are worthy of scout fund raising? Who decides what organizations deserve the endorsement of the BSA through the use of our trademarked symbols and/or uniforms? The answer is the National Council does and they are not delegating that authority to the units or the councils or to you or me... not event to Bob. This way they never have to worry about councils or units (or you or me or Bob) making choices that might prove to be embarrassing; they don't have to worry about the American Red Cross saying, well you let them do it for the Salvation Army and then the Sierra Club, the NRA and the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the ACLU. Far fetched to be sure but a sound legal position. I believe they picked the Salvation Army as the example because a) It is probably a question that comes up frequently and b) because the excellent reputation of the Salvation Army it makes it clear that they mean ALL organizations, NO exceptions, NOT EVEN the Salvation Army.

 

Another question that might be asked when scouts ring the bells in uniform: Are the Boy Scouts getting a cut of the pot? Of course the answer would be no but the perception might not benefit either organization.

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oh, well, I guess since we cannot trust the scouters to know when to wear uniforms we should just contnue to let the public continue beliving that the BSA no longer exists. If the uniform is only used on BSA functions the general public doesn't see them. They cannot wear them doing a good dead without the lawyers' months of debat for pre-approval, the good dead is gone. What happened to trusting the scouters to do what is right? Does everything need a lawyer's stamp of approval?

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Firekat??? Hasn't this thread proven that there are scouters who can't be trusted to wear the uniform correctly even when there are rules regarding it? You think they'll make better decisions when the rules are removed. What would make you think that?

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I have to go with Bob on this one. Look at almost any thread on this forum that deals with a BSA policy and you will see interpretations all over the board. Its not that Scouters can't be trusted to do what they think is right, its that by doing so there will be so many different policies that there will end up being no policy at all. To keep control of the "brand" national cannot let others decide what is appropriate use.

 

At least BSA has (for once) clearly stated a policy in a way everyone can understand. I don't think any of the posters on this thread have any doubt about what the policy says, we just disagree on whether the policy is right.

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I remember asking the District to change its Scouting for Food policy of delivering food bags to each house door with a message to leave the bag on the porch for a scout to pick up the following Saturday. The scout never got to meet or speak to the persons donating the food during this whole process.

 

I agree with firekat, we can't complain about a struggling program when the community doesn't know we exist.

 

Barry

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Fellow Scouters,

 

Seasons Greetings!

 

 

Hopefully without stirring more controversy.... Here are my thoughts.

 

I appreciate what the Salvation Army does in our communities and around the world.

 

I personally learned this during the National Prayer Breakfast about a decade ago. The Salvation Army is a church and religious denomination. It does have its charities (red kettle) which all proceeds benefit the community while sharing the Bible and the doctrine. It doesn't offend me, I was just surprised. I guess you can say I was naive and it never clicked until a few Salvationist explained it to me, the basic tenets of their religious denomination during the prayer breakfast. I'll still drop a few bucks in the red kettle, and every few years I may ring the bell for a few hours shift. But I will look at the Salvation Army Red Kettle just a little differently, as a church's mission and charity instead of just a charity.

 

Regarding council product sales and soliciting funds for the council. I think they are apples and oranges. I see popcorn sales (first aid kits, Christmas wreaths, or whatever items the council is providing) as providing a product in exchange for a cash sale exchange. It is even listed in the Centennial Unit Award checklist.

 

I look at soliciting as asking for donations in the name of a troop or the council, or a uniformed member falsely representing the entire scouting organization. I have told just a few neighbors and businesses, "No you have contributed to this pack or that troop. It did help some of the youth of your neighborhood, but not all the youth. Not the entire BSA." It really irks me, when fellow Scouters tell others, that they are "benefiting the entire BSA". Just not true, contributions are benefiting a pack, troop or crew, but not the entire BSA. I think it has been that abuse and misleading that is why we have the policies on the back of the Unit Money Earning Worksheet.

 

Further, I am torn. I really hate donations, and I don't solicit for them. But I actually see people that would rather give 10 dollars, than purchase a small 6 dollar box of popcorn. You can't get them to take the 6 dollar box with them. Dialoguing with them doesnt seem to help. If the youth cant explain it, I will attempt to explain; we are not a charity, we are selling a product. But in addition to happy popcorn customers, I have also seen many, many people that are happy to contribute to purchasing popcorn to give away to someone else. The Scouting units in my neighborhood have received enough donated money, that the units in the neighborhood provided a few cases of what we call "purchased by donation" popcorn to the Red Cross and USO. This has been a common agreement and discussion during our local Roundtables. I did not like the donations being handed to us at all; but I have finally given in, seeing that some others would prefer to donate and when units agreed to use donations to purchase popcorn for others. I still emphasis that when customers choose to donate rather than purchase, where their monies are going to (actually purchasing popcorn for other organizations) and that the troop (or crew) is not a charity.

 

Scouting Forever and Venture On!

Crew21 Adv

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Our troop has "class B" t-shirts and sweatshirts with the troop logo and unit number on them. Instead of wearing our uniform while doing our annula ringing of the bell next year, I'll suggest to the committee that the boys wear these. It won't give the BSA as a whole any exposure at a distance, but at least the public will know our unit is active in community service when they approach us.

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>> It really irks me, when fellow Scouters tell others, that they are "benefiting the entire BSA"....

I did not like the donations being handed to us at all; but I have finally given in,

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