Friends of Scouting is a good thing. Yes, it is. I know that a lot of us RUN FAR AND FAST when the District Exec shows up with envelops saying “A Scout is Thrifty”.
For most all of us who are currently reading this blog, WE GET FOS! I do not need to sell you FOS and why it is a good thing. Granted we give of our time as Scouters in many many ways. Driving boys to camp, getting supplies, advancement for unit, Tiger Den Leader, Popcorn Chair…the list goes on and on and on.
I have been asked to be on the FOS Team for our District. I am doing it for several reasons.
1) Help deliver the message better. I do not like people just coming up and asking for money and leaving.
2)I want to get to know more about how the District works. (I suspect at some point in my Scouting career that I will work at that level.)
3)Need to explain what resources are used within the Council. Our camp fees and FOS within our Council is very low compared to California.
So, why do I give to Friends of Scouting?
I do not have to. I have historically NOT given to charities and other organizations who ask for money.
My wife and I do participate in our children’s school auction and give old clothes to charities. I have given in the past to my school that I went to in Minnesota.
I give to the local Council’s FOS because it directly supports Scouting. I know that that money is used for Camp upkeep, Staff within the Council, supplies and other items. I have used Council resources such as the Tiger Truck, printing flyers for the pack and renting posters to use in recruitment.
So, why do people get all wierded out about FOS?
It’s money. It’s the giving of it. We are easier texting $10 to cute fuzzy animals, flood victims and other causes faster than things or people we see RIGHT IN FRONT OF US! Out of sight and out of mind and easy to give. I like to see something done with my money…in general. Scouting gives you chance to see what can happen almost in front of you. It’s tangible.
The hurdle of FOS within Cubscout Units is that if they do not get out and Camp as a Pack, a lot of the gift is lost on them. In our Council, FOS allows them to camp at council sites for free. That takes a lot of coordination of sites down. It also allows for all the families to be in an area that is protected from other campers who party all night. Within the Troop Units, it allows the same function, but in a lot more sites. It’s easier for a Troop to ramp up for a weekend than a Cubscout pack since Troops CAMP!
One thing that I ran across on the Internet via Twitter is the Last Frontier Council’s FOS Youtube Update. I wish that my Council would do this. It helps gets the message out to not only to their Scouts, but to others.
Overall, FOS is a good thing. If you enjoy Scouts, support them. You do not have to give the Council’s “Suggested Gift of X”, but give what you can.