I've Got Those F.O.S. Blues!
Anthony J. Mako (ajmako@APK.NET)
Sat, 31 Jan 1998 23:51:36 -0500
My dear friends in Scouting,
This is the time of year I dread the most! You see, it's F.O.S. time in our
council (and many others), and T.O.W. time for me personally. So, here's a
little story meant to cheer everyone up, and give them a fresh new look at
Three messages today when I got home. First one's from my DE asking me to
give him a call to set up a time for him to come talk to all of our parents
about Friends of Scouting. Mumbled something incoherent to myself in
response and promised to call him on the morrow. Immediately forgot. Next
message was from the phone company trying to sell me another phone line so I
wouldn't miss any important telemarketing calls while surfing the 'net. Last
message was from Bob, my CC who was calling to let me know that he had
talked to several CM's, the CR, and the IH, as well as some of our MRs and
MRSs about FOS and he felt that the SM should call the DE and tell him we
had our own FPs and could they just go somewhere else to SME. Took two
aspirins and went to bed early.
The DE called me at work and I tried to tell him about the message from the
CC and the CMs, but he was intent on giving his FOS presentation to the MRs
and MRSs at our next TCM. I tried to distract him by asking about dates for
the next Scoutmaster Fundamentals course, but he just kept asking for fifty
bucks. As soon as I hung up I was accosted by my boss who had several
questions about the recent increase in paper consumption in our office. He
was also concerned about a corresponding decrease in paper output. Like a
great Spanish Matador I evaded the question. Later, Phil from Shipping stole
a package of paper clips from my desk.
I was relieved to learn the my DE hadn't called today. Arrived at the troop
meeting five minutes earlier than usual. The SPL handed me a list of
equipment the PLC had decided they wanted. I asked if they had thought of
any fundraisers to pay for it all. He looked at me blankly. As the meeting
progressed, I was accosted by several parents complaining about the recent
increase in weekly dues from 25 cents to 50 cents a week. I was saved by my
UC who wanted to talk to me about a complaint he got from my DE about
returning phone calls.
Roundtable! Jim finally called to tell me he wouldn't be able to make it to
Roundtable, and could I go in his place just this once. I added a tick mark
to the wall and grabbed my uniform. Spent the evening being tossed around by
the DE, DCC, DC, UC, RC, FOSC, and several other disinterested individuals.
The room suddenly got very quiet when I informed them that we wouldn't be
participating in FOS. Later in the evening I got a phone call from the FD
explaining that fees for summer camp and several other council and district
activities would be going up considerably due to a lack of participation in
Held emergency meeting of PLC. Asked them what they thought about paying
$200 to go to summer camp. Most said they didn't mind because their parents
paid for it anyway. Held emergency meeting of Troop Committee. Asked them
what they thought about our Scouts having to pay $200 to go to summer camp.
Most were shocked. Half insisted that we not even go to summer camp as a
protest. The other half suggested we take them to a different camp. Room was
very quiet when I explained that most of the other camps in the area were
Called the DC and the UC to set up a date to have an FOS presentation. Asked
about the council goal and how well the campaign was going. Later I got a
call from my DE thanking me for helping out the FOS campaign and OBTW, could
I give this guy a call, he's not planning on participating in FOS.
The preceeding story is fictional, Any semblence to any story either real or
imagined, is purely coincidental.
So, here's the dig: There's a reason it's called Friends of Scouting. The
money raised during the F.O.S. campaign has some very real and direct
effects on your Scouts, Cubs, and Explorers. Yes, certain people tend to go
into telemarketer mode during F.O.S. campaigns, and it can get very
tiresome. As with several other things we have to put up with as Scouters we
must grin and bear it, do what we can, and wait for the next phone call.
A. J. Mako, Scoutmaster
Troop 381, Great Trail Council
District Member-at-Large, Old Portage
"I used to be an Eagle (C-7-97), but I'll always be an Eagle (1981)"
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City