Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Bad Idea, Boy Scouts

Yesterday my husband sent me an email that he knew would annoy me. It was a link to a news article about the aggressive donation-soliciting techniques of the Boy Scouts, and how the money from Friends of Scouting doesn't go to your local troop, but to pay the high salaries of administrators. I don't know how much of this article is just yellow journalism, but it is true that I've been annoyed by the Boy Scouts in the past.

 In our old church ward (very beloved, much missed) the Boy Scouts would shut us in the Relief Society room once a year and ask us all to write checks to them for overpriced popcorn; they would then recieve "over 70 percent!" of the proceeds. When everyone around you is feverishly writing checks to buy popcorn, it's hard not to whip out your checkbook too. Planned peer pressure, anyone? I always wondered why I couldn't just write a check to the troop, so they could recieve 100 percent of the money. I think the second counselor told me some sketch reason once, but I don't remember it. Can you say "popcorn conspiracy reaching to the highest levels?"

Pet peeve number two. How about the Scouts actually working for their money, like, say, the young women of the church? Are we not-so-subtly prioritizing one gender over another? Conversely, are we saying that the teenage girls are capable of earning money for their outdoor activities (car washes, garage sales, hosted dinners for camp) while the Young Men are not similarly hard-working and intelligent? Think about it, people. Think about it.

That being said, there is one fund-raiser done by the Scouts which I think is a great idea, and that's the one where you pay money for the Scouts to put a flag on your lawn for patriotic holidays, then take it down afterwards. It is something people want, and it involves actual effort on the part of the Scouts. Plus it actually has something to do with the mission and ideology of the Boy Scouts. Unlike popcorn.


Job and Rachael said...

Luckily we haven't been bombarded by boy scouts here yet ;)And amen to the flags. I have always thought that was a worthwhile fundraiser.

David Zincke said...

Agreed. I mowed lawns, sold fertilizers and Christmas materials by going door to door myself. Of course that was in t'he non LDS trrop I attended as a kid. You also had to EARN the Eagle rank and not have it practically given to you as I have seen many ward troops do. Ugh.

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