Blue & Gold & F.O.S.
Murphy Peter (MurphyP@RND3.INDY.TCE.COM)
Fri, 1 Mar 1996 08:59:00 PST
Vince Silvia had some VERY good questions about FOS that sound like they
came from me a couple of years ago.
>4 FOS should not be pitched to parents and Volunteers, we already donate
>time and money to the program willingly and don't need the council guilting
>us into giving more
>5 The FOS presentation should be well thought out and informative,(not the
>half baked and poorly presented job I saw at the B&G) and should be pitched
>to the business community
The first time or two that I listened to an FOS presentation I thought that
fair to try to balance the council budget on the backs of the volunteers and
families that already give so much. Besides, the name suggested that the
pitch should be made to the community and businesses.
Then I was asked to be the Family FOS district chairman. I did not agree
with the premise of FOS and I feel VERY uncomfortable asking people for
money. This was the last job in the district that I wanted. But that was
time before I learned that "No" is a complete sentence. So I took the job.
I learned many things that either I hadn't paid attention to in past FOS
presentations or wasn't explained well enough in the past. In our Council,
FOS makes up only 20% of the total Council revenue. FOS DOES include
solicitation from the community as a whole and to businesses. A few years
ago it was decided to let the families participate in FOS since we benefit
most directly from the program. In our Council, the Family portion of FOS
makes up only 20% of the total FOS campaign. In other words, the
donations from Scout families makes up only 4% of the total Council
The way I put it in my pitches was not to shame anyone into giving. I said
the $7 per year BSA registration fee doe not begin to pay for the cost of
providing Scouting to our youth. But we purposely keep the fee low so as
not to deny Scouting to any family due to financial reasons. IF you are in
financial position to pay the full cost of Scouting for your family it would
appreciated. Knowing there are families that cannot afford to pay the full
cost (which we tag at $75 per Scout) then if you are in a position to pay
than your share it would be appreciated.
I feel a LOT different about FOS today than I did when I first sat through
pitches. Maybe getting new blood on the presentation teams is needed.
After some of us give those same talks year after year we may forget
that not all of these parents have been in Scouting as long as we have
and may not know/understand everything that we do. Some of us old
timers forget what it is like to be new to the program and take some things
for granted. Well, I still hated my job as district Family FOS chair and
declined to do it a second year. But that didn't stop me from performing
the job with enthusiasm and dedication. By explaining where the family
donations fit into the big picture in our presentations, we were able to set
new pledge records all over our district.
So don't accept a bad situation. Complain to your DE and District Chair
and get in there and change it. FOS is good program and I support it
fully. It just required a better understanding.
Peter Murphy, SM, Troop 125
Del-Mi District, Crossroads of America Council
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City