scouts-l Mail Archive for June of 2000: Re: Curious - Money Earning APp
Jason Cruse (jcruse@SOCKET.NET
Tue Jun 06 2000 - 13:53:21 CDT
>>I am curious (and a little concerned). Recently, I have hard that our
>>District (and maybe Council) is going to try to enforce a policy that
>>Units who refuse to participate in the annual Popcorn sale will have
>>essentially, pay their "fair share" from whatever other fundraising
>>ventures they undertake.
>And why does that concern you? Don't you think that your unit should
>contribute to the running of the council, just like those that
>participate in the popcorn sale?
There are a couple of things here that send alarms to me.
First, popcorn can be an "official" fundraiser for councils, but it is NOT
tied to BSA in general. Indeed, DEs are taught in their first training
course the popcorn is NOT BSA's version of Girl Scout cookies. In fact
(unofficially, of course), there are some professionals in Irving who would
like to see ties with Trail's End loosened in some councils.
For the record, BSA National does NOT encourage strict ties like the one
mentioned in the original post to popcorn.
Now, that said, I have another concern about councils and finances in this
regard. It appears to me that the council in question has forgotten who
"owns" the troop, as well as who runs the program. Units "belong" to the
chartered partner, not the council. So, if, for instance, a chartered
partner stated that it will not sell popcorn (as many LDS units have done,
for example), that should be their prerogative. And, while the argument may
still be retorted, "then troops should have to pay some back to the
council", I am waiting to hear a viable argument as to "why", other than
"every one else does." This is a large stick the council is wielding, and
is little more than a bully toward the troops.
Now, that being said, why shouldn't troops return some funds to the council?
I know of many that earmark a certain percentage *on their own* as a unit
FOS contribution. However, what of those troops/chartered partners who
disagree with how popcorn is managed? My troop is a case in point: we
disagree with how popcorn is administered in our district and council. As
such, we do not sell popcorn. We do not participate in ANY fundraising
efforts by our council because of how they are administered. We have voiced
our concerns; our scout executive has yet to bother with a reply. Is it
fair to troops like ours to mandate that we must participate in an activity
that we believe is unfair from the outset?
Most troops do not have such problems; indeed, in general, I think most
troops should probably give some money back to the council, if they do not
do popcorn. I think it is presumptive of the council to say how much
money--that is asking for troop's to lie about their fundraisers. We all
know that many will, and give $200, claim that is 30%, when the fundraiser
actually made $2000. However, I don't believe that "hard and fast" rule is
appropriate in this instance. Funds do not belong to the council, nor are
they owed to the council. Popcorn is handy for councils because of how
Trail's End does the finances, but it is not mandated. It sounds to me like
the council in question is frustrated because many units are choosing not to
participate in popcorn, and rather than find out WHY, they simply want to be
the 500 lb gorilla that sits on the corner.