Re: SME = FOS???
(no name) ((no email))
Mon, 4 Nov 1991 00:24:00 EDT
Frank et all.....
SME was the old name because there were many people whom did not want to become
registered members but chose instead to "sustain" the program financially.
Hence, the silly (legit) name.
I wanted to reply to Chris's statement about making the finance activities
of a local council limited to two a year. In most Councils, those two evnts
a year (United Way and SME/FOS) are just enough. In many others, however,
those two activities don't even crease the surface!! By "not participating",
you are sending a message to your Council by way of your DE: "fire the bum".
As I stated before, SME/FOS is one of the seventeen major ways that a DE/EE
is "considered to be of quality to the movement". Failure of a District not
to meet its financial goals...which are agreed to by the District Chairman
and committee *before* DE goes to Council with the Chairman and announces it..
is grounds for "leaving the profession" unless tenured (tenure in the BSA
vocab, is any executive that completes basic training (NEI 1, 2 and 3), have
three years or more of service and have agreed to continue past the three
year point...they can "leave" but "come back" anytime.....) with no chance
If you want to help your DE but don't want to raise money for him or her,
choose instead to do a quality program. Part of the way that successful DEs
get their money quota is by showing off "quality programs" to John Q. Moneybags
CEO of Moneybags Inc. If the District has only one or two "quality units"
then chances are, Moneybags will "invest" his money elsewhere. As a Parapro, I
always had a listing of all of what I called "class A" units...these were the
ones that I could send a new leader, Moneybags, or my Field Director (the
Area Director) to see with me. Those are the ones that, while having no
or few uniforms, one or two leaders and maybe a little camping gear,
that they *always* have something going on and try to make Scouting fun. You
can see it in the faces of the kids that come and go....and the parents that
stand around in amazement at that unruly 12 year old take charge and sits
still uninterrupted for 20 minutes.
As a former part-time professional, I can sympathaze with all of the units
out there that are TIRED of "raising money for the Council". But that is how
we can afford to have the best looking Council camp in our state (well...
it WAS the best looking until a few years back, right Adrian???); we can
afford to bring Scouting to every community that wants it (or needs it!!);
and those great training aids and tapes to help make (us) volunteers look
and think smart!
Yes, SME/FOS is a pain in the backside, the frontside, the head and the back.
Yes, its something that ALL Councils do (even we found that the ones located
in the heavily upper-upper middle class and upper class areas of our nation
have a SME campaign!) and most do successfully.
No, SME/FOS is something that needs to be added to membership fees because not
only would that vary from Council to Council, but also from District to
District. (We have enough problems with asking for $7 from each adult and $25
for each unit!!!) No, its something that we need to insure that it don't get
out of control and the "corporations" end up "running" Scouting through their
"generous contributions and donations". (That's why we have the family
and community campaigns, Dr. Steve and Mark!)
And we all, even if its only $1 per kid per month, can give so that Scouting
will be the "great equalizer" for years to come.
"Over the past week, I have been a party to a computerized discussion about
the role of the Sustaining Membership Campaign, or SME, in Scouting's scheme
of things........(stuff deleted).....SME is important for that business to
contribute, because it assists us in providing a quality program to all units
in our districts and Councilwide. Your Explorer Presidents' Association, the
Eagle Scout Association, and your Order of the Arrow groups all benefit from
this influx of funding that we volunteers candiditly express to each other
its to "save the employment" of you, the career staff.
"But I think that we miss the real big picture here. We talk about how SME
will help us to provide needed services to all of the units--but nobody ever
talks about the units' role in all of this. Our units are NOT fundraisers.
That's why we have professional staffs and volunteer finance committees at
the Council and District basis. Our units are in the "business", if you will
of executing the Scouting programs....they ARE the reason why we are raising
monies, not the source. Yes, it is very important that we allow the families
and friends of those members of Scouting's family to help us to help Scouts and
Cubs that are unable to go to Day Camp or Summer Camp.
"However, ladies and gentlemen, we need to insure that ALL of our units are
having a good Scouting experience before we ask them to help us promote and
provide for Scouting for others. We need to make sure that Scouts are going
camping, that Cubs are having fun learning and growing with their families,
and that Explorers are doing just that...exploring a career, a vocation, a
hobby. We need to make sure that they are not holed up in some church or
school, with kids waiting for the bell just like they do at the last period
"That is how you will meet your finance goals. That is how you will meet
your critical achievement in this area...and more importantly, this is how
you will gain the respect of your volunteers in your District...and how in
turn, they *will* "save your employment".
"Be with them....assist them...and provide for them. In return, their
quality program will allow you to raise the funding and expand the program
(Mike Walton, "Save My Employment", 1982 (used in June, 1991))
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City