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Do (or should) scouts really pay their own way?

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Of course there are always some who truly opt not to help themselves. I see that with fundraisers too, sometimes, and it annoys me as well when the folks involved certainly seem like they have the time or social network to spare. But that's not a good excuse for failing to think more carefully about the impact of fees/costs and style of fundraisers on those boys who *would* pitch in if they had the chance.


On the other hand...when I see this...


"I sent out a single email to 30 or 40 people I deal with at work and sold $900 worth with only a few keystrokes"


It bugs me.


Tell that to the mom or dad who works as a cashier at Wal Mart, or who used to work in the auto industry, or whose circle of friends, family, and "colleagues" really cannot afford to drop $20 on unneeded stuff (even tasty and popular stuff) because maybe they're working low-wage jobs or are out of work, too.


Or, tell that to the parent whose work place has strict rules or an unwelcoming culture against this sort of soliciting (mine does).


This is why I am a much bigger fan of fundraisers that involve doing, rather than simply selling to one's network or door-to-door in the neighborhood. But those fundraisers are also more difficult to come by, especially for a contingent troop, because many of the standard options (like cleaning the street after the town parade/festival) already are covered by existing troops.


Failing that, fund raisers that target a more general public audience and split the profits among all who show up to work, are also better than those that target the immediate family social network. Car washes are an example.


ETA: Besides, while I'm ok with parents who can and do fundraise for their kids, we shouldn't pretend that mom or dad selling $900 of merchandise with the click of an email is anything like a kid learning to pay his own way. Chances are good most kids in that scenario never really even know who bought what from mom or dad. This is not meant as a value judgment, Beaver, but simply an observation.


(This message has been edited by lisabob)

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" I think we do want to teach generosity and gratitude. It's OK to accept a campership, or a scholarship, and a lad who accepts such things to further his scouting or his education shouldn't be saddled with negative attitudes about "taking handouts" or "not paying his own way."


I agree again!


And you know.....later on down the road when "that lad" is all grown up, has kids and enrolls his own boys in scouts.....2 things could happen:

1) Dad remembers alot of great stuff that happened in scouting and sends his own son...

2) Dad contributes extra money towards other scouts in the form of camperships or sponsoring a child who's family could not afford it.


Maybe dad owns a big company that donates by way of FOS or maybe donates 10,600 acres of land like the Bechtel Family did in W.Va


Then the "hand out" come around full circle does it not? Is it really taking charity if you give the same or way more back?



"I think the meaning of A Scout earns his own way is clear to all."


WEll, I'd say no, apparently not! How much is actually the scout and how much is his own way when we buy popcorn that we don't want or useless junk at a yard sale? Imean, we can call it what we want, but plain and simple, we bought it to help out! We buy junk we don't want fron a troop or pack to whom the junk was given for free, not bought, and the kids have no vested labor or interest in the junk.


Call it what you want, but you just gave a handout. Wink and nod all you want, it's charity.


But it's not the end right there is it? It's to supporet an organazation who's purpose is to mentor and encourage personal growth amongst our youth.

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"Da Christian notion is that each should give according to his ability and take according to his need, eh?"


Sorry, that's the Marxist notion, not the Christian notion.


"If they can't afford it and they don't have the time to work towards it, why would they sign up for it in the first place?"


Exactly what our troop did -- or rather, didn't do. We had plans and aspirations to visit the Jamboree and tour the historical sites in DC and Philadelphia but the Troop Committee decided to go to standard summer camp instead due to the economic crunch and problems many parents had. Did we miss a historic and memorable occasion? I'm sure we did but the TC and parents chose to face economic realities.

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Sorry, that's the Marxist notion not the Christian notion


Yah, sometimes I wonder whether anybody reads the Good Book anymore.


And the multitude of believers had but one heart and one soul: neither did any one say that aught of the things which he possessed, was his own; but all things were common unto them. And with great power did the apostles give testimony of the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord; and great grace was in them all. For neither was there any one needy among them. For as many as were owners of lands or houses, sold them, and brought the price of the things they sold, And laid it down before the feet of the apostles. And distribution was made to every one, according as he had need. - Acts of the Apostles, chapter 4, vs. 32-35.


Marx stole and then misinterpreted da notion. Much the way many folks use the Bible, eh? Sure doesn't seem like the apostles were the "everyone must pay their own way" crowd ;).


I'm sure we did but the TC and parents chose to face economic realities.


Yah, HICO, I'm wonderin' why the TC and parents made that decision, eh? Why not da PLC? That, more than the decision itself, seems unfortunate.


B(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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Oh, we DO read the Good Book. The passage you cite talks about how the believers lived and supported the apostles, a history of their life together just as Acts also records how Saul approved of Stephen's death, began to destroy the church and threw men and women in prison. On the other hand, Jesus' own parable of the Ten Virgins tells us to make ready ourselves rather than depend on others and of course the parable of the Talents is frequently cited as an injunction to be productive with what you have (Matthew 25). 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 says

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

and 2 Thessalonians 3:6-10 says

In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone's food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow. For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "If a man will not work, he shall not eat."

As I said before, I don't think "a Scout pays his own way" needs to mean a Scout doesn't receive or accept help. To me it means the Scout does what he can to take care of himself. Similarly, Christian love and generousity do not equate to Marxist redistribution or dependency.


As far as the Jamboree trip went, there were a number of factors why it was a TC decision rather than PLC, primarily because the Scouts had not raised the funds they needed to make it their decision. About half worked hard and earned the funds to go to summer camp (and then some -- but not enough to do the Jamboree), the others didn't or decided to put their money toward tuition (we graduated 4 Eagles this spring). It was hardly unfortunate, it was a lesson in responsibility.

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Acts 2:44 All who believed were together and had all things in common;

45 they would sell their property and possessions and divide them among all according to each one's need.


Being generous with Scouts who through no fault of their own can't pay for everything is very Christian in nature.

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Points well taken and mostly agreed with. I've always made my son do his own fundraising for sports or scouting. Heck, I'm one of those evil parents who expects him to continue making A's in school, stay involved in the troop at 17.5 and work a job to pay for his own vehicle and all it's expenses. He gets no free ride from me selling sausage at work. I may have sent the email to my coworkers, but he had to pick up and deliver as well as do his own selling. The great thing about this fundraising company is that they really do have a superior product at a reasonable price and people seek it out. It is a seasonal fundraiser as the company only produces their products during certain times of the year. People actaully get upset with you when they find out you were selling and didn't contact them. I don't know what they put in it.....but it really is THAT good! :)


I don't want to appear cold hearted as I am a charitable person as I said before. I understand the single parent, low income, small network scenario. Most fundraisers are put in place specifically for those people to supplement their lacking funds. I make a decent living, but I'm just as pressed for time as the next guy. It all depends on how badly you want something and how hard you're willing to work for it. A lot of people will whine and complain about the cost of an event. For the 2005 Jamboree, I personally ran a council wide fundraiser all by myself for our three contingent troops. About 30% were all that could be bothered with it. Out of that, we had some over achievers and we had others that raised $10 to $15. Everyone ended up paying and getting to go. It is a shame that there is a means to supplement paying for a high cost item and so few people are unwilling to take advantage of it.

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Yah, SR540, nice job with da fundraiser. I thought a 30% participation rate was awesome, actually. Yeh have to remember, fundraisers aren't free, they cost the participants in time. Often a decision not to participate in a fundraiser is a thrifty one for a scout or a family. If a parent is working long hours, it's more efficient to get da overtime (or just to keep the job) and to preserve some family time than it is to set that time aside for a fundraiser. Yeh can't get down on people for that.


Doin' right by the 30% that you were able to help was a grand thing.



(who agrees to stop hijackin' his own thread :))

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I'm not getting down on anyone. Let me tack a different tack here. I'll use Jamboree as an example again. Two kids sign up for Jamboree at the same time. One seeks help and receives it. Both know up front that monthly payments of $150 are supposed to be made thru a certain date where the total amount is paid. Few if any councils have money to front for making payments to National, the travel company or the vendors supplying gear. The money for that comes from the monthly payments made and put in the bank. After a year of making payments, Scout Timmy is up to date on payments with $1800 paid. Scout Billy has only made his initial payment which was actually the campership he received, meaning he hasn't paid anything. The payments being made over time to vendors and travel agencies is on Timmy's dime. At some point, Billy has to make up the difference or lose his spot as there are kids on a waiting list wanting to go who can pay. If Billy and his family really want him to go, won't they make the sacrifices needed and avail themselves of the opportunities available to raise the money they can't afford to pay out of their pocket? Are they being fair to Timmy who has been working to pay his way by piggybacking off of his funds?


I can assure you that this was a scenario repeated several times over and discussed on a regular basis by the Jamboree committee. We'll do what we can to help, but at some point you are going to have to make up the difference or lose your spot. It's tough to say that to a family, but they can't go for free.


Now, that is Jamboree. For a regular old average campout at a council property in our troop, the cost is $15 to cover food and gas. Popcorn aside, we have a couple of other fundraisers per year where that amount of money can easily be earned if desired.

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Ok what's the tally? I need things in absolutes.


The evil boy scout parents are the ones paying for their son's trips


the ones not paying for their trips?


Since scriptures were brought up can I assume that one of these choices will damn me and the other won't?


Also is Beavah a real preacher or does he just play one on the forums?






(This message has been edited by Thomas54)

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Interesting discussion.


I do want to separate points though: I see a great deal of difference between a scout who wants to attend Jambo or a high adventure camp (for $1000s), versus one who want to go along on the monthly $40 troop trip. For the former, our Troop expects the scout to either pay in full or fundraise in full, as we believe those camps are a bonus for the scouts, not a requirement of scouting. For the monthly trips (and our council summer camp), our Troop is always willing to help out scouts in need (up to the full amount) to allow them to go along with the Troop. We also offer a scholarship to ALL troop scouts to attend one BSA camp per year (council or high adventure or Jambo) to encourage attendance. Since we started that, our Summer camp attendance went from about 50% to 80%, which was the goal in the first place. We also have the advantage of living in a wealthy area with good fundraising opportunities.

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