Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Scouting is ‘Spensive

There’s just no way around it, it takes a lot of dough to run a troop. Where does it come from? (Remember that this blog looks at Scouting in the LDS context, with all its attendant and sometimes seemingly bizarre policies.)

Well, let’s just bust a myth right here and now. Mormon Scouts (and other LDS youth groups) are allowed to raise funds for their annual Big Event, and separately for needed equipment. Too often we’re skittish about holding “fundraisers” for a Church group; I guess we’re afraid someone might get offended ( I’ll refer you to Elder Bednar’s 2006 talk about that being a choice), so we have fundraisers that aren’t really fundraisers, or “services” for which we “request a donation.” Let’s get one thing straight: a fundraiser by any other name is still a fundraiser.

If we understand the rules, there need not be any confusion.  So, what are the rules?

Quite simply, funding for LDS Scout activities (and all youth activities) should come from:
  1. The ward budget.
  2. IF that is insufficient, the participant and his family may be asked to pay for all or part (remember paper routes?);
  3. BUT it if that is still insufficient, One annual fundraiser may be authorized
Finally, a lack of funds should never prohibit someone from participating.

Again, that's (1) the ward budget, (2) the individual/family (3) then a fundraiser1.

1 and 3 above also apply to equipping a troop: a dedicated equipment fundraiser may be held if the ward budget is insufficient to procure adequate supplies. Those supplies are not to be used by individuals or families; they are for Church use.

By creatively renaming something which we need not worry about in the first place, or by not calling it what it is, what message are we sending the kids? That it’s ok to fudge a rule, if we call it something else? In reality, this creative renaming is a solution in search of a problem; we’ve created a situation that just doesn’t exist. But the impression is that we have to be sneaky to get things done.

Really, if done right, a fundraiser can be a huge learning opportunity about leadership, teamwork, goals, planning and execution, to name a few. It’s another opportunity to let the boys (and the girls) solve a problem with minimal adult involvement. The potential benefits and lessons learned far exceed just the monies obtained.

As for the disparity between funds allocated for boys' and girls' programs, I have two daughters. Don't get me started.

1. Handbook 2, sections 8.13.7, 13.2.8 and 13.6.8.

1 comment:

Fishgutts said...

Great post.

As for our daughters, my Stakes version of Girls Camp is pretty awesome. They get cabins, AC, meals cooked for them, etc. Hence my daughter has not passed of much of her Girls Camp camping requirements. But still the same, she earns every penny to go to camp.