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Moxie

This feels... not quite right

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Am I off base here??

 

We have a local diy art place where you pay money, do a craft. They host parties and fundraisers (give back a certain percentage of the sales).

 

On FB, our scout leader posts "night at diy art place to raise funds for my dd's dance education" (I would never go to this kind of thing as a fundraiser).

We then get an email that the troop is having an art night to get a patch. Same place, time, cost.

So, leader is having the troop at her dd's fundraiser.

I won't say anything and we'll go because my DD loves this kind of thing but it isn't right, right??

Edited by Moxie
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I try not to be this way, but I'll just come right out and say it....

 

I'm VERY tired of parents who want their kids to have wonderful experiences, but who want other people to pay for it.

 

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Uh, you are NOT off base. That is just...smarmy. I know you already said you're going, but, if it were me, I wouldn't. And I'd probably politely say that I don't think it sets a good precedent for the troop to fundraise off itself to enrich individual members in that way especially when earning a patch is tied to it.

 

 

ETA: If there aren't rules about this kind of thing in the organization, there should be.

Edited by Reluctant Homeschooler
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It is not right. I'd go too, if it were something my kid would enjoy, but I'd be rolling my eyes.

 

Wait . . . is the cost the usual rate for the venue, or I should it more because it's a fundraiser? I would check that and talk to the scout leader about it if it's more. Actually, I think I'd talk to her anyway. If the venue is giving a group rate but the leader is charging the normal rate and pocketing the difference that's stealing from the participants.

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Hmmm

 

It's weird, cause she has to know that the GS parents are going to be seeing the FB post.  Maybe she meant for the fundraiser to be anyone who ISN'T part of scouts, but might want to stop by since the troop won't fill the place up?  I dunno, just trying to see a side that doesn't make her out to be using the GS troop to fund her kid's extracurriculars.  Cause that would be very un-GS like.

 

ETA: I might try to clarify it if I knew the troop leader well.  But honestly, if my kid's troop leader was actually using the troop to fund something personal, I would ultimately find another troop. 

Edited by happysmileylady
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Hmmm

 

It's weird, cause she has to know that the GS parents are going to be seeing the FB post. Maybe she meant for the fundraiser to be anyone who ISN'T part of scouts, but might want to stop by since the troop won't fill the place up? I dunno, just trying to see a side that doesn't make her out to be using the GS troop to fund her kid's extracurriculars. Cause that would be very un-GS like.

Maybe. She is a really nice, hardworking woman. It is possible that she doesn't realize this is a conflict?

And, yes, I'm tired of the constant "fund my kids activity" and I never participate.

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Maybe. She is a really nice, hardworking woman. It is possible that she doesn't realize this is a conflict?

And, yes, I'm tired of the constant "fund my kids activity" and I never participate.

 

If she doesn't see a conflict here, hopefully someone will point it out to her because, whatever her intentions, it flat-out looks like she's using the kids and her position for her own benefit.

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I don't think it is right for the mother to expect others to fund her daughter's dance education.  I don't think it is right for her to use her position as GS leader to fund her daughter's dance education.

 

I guess it is really the DIY art business that is funding the dance education.  If it isn't any more that you are paying to go at that time than another time, it is really the art business that is giving up part of its profits to the woman.  I hope the business doesn't think that this is a GS fundraiser and that the money is going to the troop.

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Maybe she meant for the fundraiser to be anyone who ISN'T part of scouts, but might want to stop by since the troop won't fill the place up?

That is a possibility so I would ask. Another possibility is that her child's dance class is raising funds at that time slot and since she is going to be there, she booked the same time slot for the Girl Scouts activity. Basically to save herself time.

 

We have a Color Me Mine franchise stores here and some have a big area so they had host birthday party with another party and still have room for drop ins.

 

Is the dance education fundraiser for her daughter's class or for her daughter only?

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It is unethical and inappropriate to use her position as scout leader to fundraise for a private activity. If the diy art place donates a certain portion of the proceeds, it should go to the scout troop.

I would not hesitate to speak up and ask her to clarify.

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That is a possibility so I would ask. Another possibility is that her child's dance class is raising funds at that time slot and since she is going to be there, she booked the same time slot for the Girl Scouts activity. Basically to save herself time.

 

Oh, that's another possibility.  Yes, I think clarification is in order. 

 

It is unethical and inappropriate to use her position as scout leader to fundraise for a private activity. If the diy art place donates a certain portion of the proceeds, it should go to the scout troop.

I would not hesitate to speak up and ask her to clarify.

But yes, if it is the case, the fundraising money is supposed to go to the troop.  Because if it's not, then it's more like she is stealing from the troop to pay for a personal expense. 

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Wow, that is unethical, for sure. At a minimum, I wouldn't take my child and really, I would want to speak up, though I'm not sure I would.

Edited by AngieC

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Yeah, I'd clarify whether there are two separate fundraisers happening. That is not cool if the troop is funding her daughter's other activities. If the troop were raising money for a fellow member's medical expenses and it was very clear, that would be different!

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If it isn't any of the ides brought up , than that is bad.

 

I don't find it wrong for people to ask for money for their stuff.  Whatever.  Feels the same to me as everyone coming to my door selling me expensive cookies, popcorn, and all that jazz.  I am way more bothered by than, than people doing the online beg.  Easy to ignore.  

 

People coming up to my door ringing my bell waking up kids makes me so mad. 

 

 

 

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I would definitely be ask for clarification.  I would not be okay with the Girl Scout activity having anything to do with the dance fundraiser and I would want to ensure that the place understood that the fundraiser was for her kid's dance and not for the Girl Scouts (I have never heard of anywhere allowing personal fundraisers unless it is in response to a tragedy (such as for the family of a kid with cancer).

 

If it really is a case of the girls scout activity helping to raise funds for her kid's dance I wouldn't hesitate to complain to the Girl Scout Council.

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Sooo... she's bribing kids to attend a fundraiser for her own kid by offering up a GS patch of they come?

 

No. Tacky. Yuck.

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Is there a way to ask the art business what fundraiser is being supported by the activity?

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Stay away from her.  You are correct. What she is doing is wrong. If your DD enjoys it, go, and bite your tongue while you are there.

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I don't find it wrong for people to ask for money for their stuff.  Whatever.  Feels the same to me as everyone coming to my door selling me expensive cookies, popcorn, and all that jazz.  I am way more bothered by than, than people doing the online beg.  Easy to ignore.  

 

It is wrong when a person in a position of authority (scout leader) uses the group over which they have authority to make money for a private purpose.

It is not the same as some random person begging for donations.

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I am a GS leader and I know many other GS leaders. Giving, not taking, is the norm. Ditto with parents, who will often lend equipment, donate supplies, give time.

 

I find what your leader is doing is wrong. Frankly, I would call my local GS Council and ask if there are guidelines for that sort of thing. It's more polite than an outright complaint, but gets the job done.

 

ETA

I just remembered about trip permission forms. I think all Councils are similar, but these have to be completed a set number of days before the trip. In our Council, the place being visited has to have an insurance form (proof of $1 million) liability) on file with the Council, or you, the leader, have to get proof of such a form. The person you speak to at Council will probably be able to check if trip permission has been filed. It's a multi-step process -- you can probably find info on your Council's website. Ime, both Boy and Girl Scout councils go more or less ballistic on potential liability issues.

Edited by Alessandra
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I would call her out on it because if it works, she'll do it again.

 

"Hey, just double checking that you're using this as a troop fundraiser. The wording on your other message was a little confusing and made it sound like you're planning on keeping the troop money to fund your daughter's dance, but I feel like I must be reading it wrong."

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I would call her out on it because if it works, she'll do it again.

 

"Hey, just double checking that you're using this as a troop fundraiser. The wording on your other message was a little confusing and made it sound like you're planning on keeping the troop money to fund your daughter's dance, but I feel like I must be reading it wrong."

This is good, and I would take the step to clarify because this space may have rooms to host two events at the same time, and she's marketing to separate target groups, kwim? So find out.

 

But if she's really double-dipping? Blech. Wrong.

 

I see stuff like this more and more these days. It's like the people are clueless that there's even an ethical tone to such things. I think it pairs with the death of etiquette. But that's just me waving my cane, I guess.

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Okay, I'm going to offer a slightly different perspective.

 

She has two issues. One, dance studio needs a fundraiser. (Let's leave off discussing whether that's reasonable or not. Dance studio has decided to do a fundraiser, and this is one they've chosen to do.). Two, she needs an art project for the scout troop to earn a badge.

 

She's attending the fundraiser on behalf of the dance studio. Okay. So she realizes that it sounds like a fun activity for kids, and she thinks, "Well, since I'll be there anyway, I might as well invite the scout troop too." Assuming the cost for attending the fundraiser isn't more than supplies would cost for her troop to do art on their own to earn a badge (which it could be -- I don't know what badges entail), then she's solved several issues. She saves herself (and her daughter, if her daughter is in the scout troop) time, plus the time and energy of preparing and cleaning up a separate art night for the scouts. Or maybe she thought that the venue would make a good art night anyway, and why not support a dance studio at the same time? That doesn't sound too horrible to me.

 

However, it should have said on the invitation to the scout art night, "This is a fundraiser for Happy Dancer Ballet Studio" or "Join us for a fun evening while we earn our art badge and support Happy Dancer Ballet Studio!" Should have been clear what was being supported. Then it makes the troop look community-minded too, which is a nice bonus. (Not quite the same as "proceeds benefit Happy Town Homeless Shelter" but not horrible.)

 

I mean, if the dance studio was having a bake sale, and the scout troop decided to bake cupcakes to donate to the bake sale while also earning their cooking badge, that doesn't seem terrible either, as long as it's made clear what they're benefiting and as long as the troopers have other opportunities to earn their art badge.

 

Oh, and ETA that I'm assuming the troop wouldn't be keeping proceeds from an art night at that venue even if they booked it on their own. If they would, that's a totally different kettle of fish, and I'd find that very icky. But if the money would be spent anyway and not given back to the troop at all, I see no reason why it couldn't go to the dance studio.

Edited by happypamama
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I mean, if the dance studio was having a bake sale, and the scout troop decided to bake cupcakes to donate to the bake sale while also earning their cooking badge, that doesn't seem terrible either, as long as it's made clear what they're benefiting and as long as the troopers have other opportunities to earn their art badge.

 

 

I would find the bake sale example distasteful, also.  First, I think there is a difference in "the scout troop decided" and the leader announced.  Second, I think this teaches an odd notion of "donate."  Unless the dance studio is a charitable, 501c3, organization why should the girl scouts be donating to it any more than the local store that sells leotards?   I think it is too easy to encourage children to get behind "supporting" something that makes them feel like they are volunteering when what they really are doing is supporting someone's business.

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I think this is supremely tacky. Personally, I would call her out on it. But that is the kind of person I am. And I would not go. All our local art places like this are very expensive. I can't imagine even having a scout meeting there (or any sort of homeschool kids event unless it was a birthday party funded by birthday parents).

 

But I see it all the time here. Oh, Mrs. Perfect Parent's daughter is *SO* talented, she needs to take this XYZ class, but we can't afford it, so why don't all you lesser mortals give us money so Perfect Princess can go do this. The implication I see, maybe I'm paranoid, in every one of these pleas - is everyone else has loser children except for lady asking for money. Get a second or third job, honey. Fund your own children's interests. 

 

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I would find the bake sale example distasteful, also. First, I think there is a difference in "the scout troop decided" and the leader announced. Second, I think this teaches an odd notion of "donate." Unless the dance studio is a charitable, 501c3, organization why should the girl scouts be donating to it any more than the local store that sells leotards? I think it is too easy to encourage children to get behind "supporting" something that makes them feel like they are volunteering when what they really are doing is supporting someone's business.

Agree. Scouts support nonprofit civic efforts through their time and service.

 

Also, if you are a scout parent, you know you don't give away your own fundraising opportunities, there's that much push to earn funds for valid troop use! The bake sale analogy totally falls through there!

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I would find the bake sale example distasteful, also. First, I think there is a difference in "the scout troop decided" and the leader announced. Second, I think this teaches an odd notion of "donate." Unless the dance studio is a charitable, 501c3, organization why should the girl scouts be donating to it any more than the local store that sells leotards? I think it is too easy to encourage children to get behind "supporting" something that makes them feel like they are volunteering when what they really are doing is supporting someone's business.

Agreed. But I don't really have a problem with it if everyone's made aware of what they're doing and as long as it is optional.

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Agreed. But I don't really have a problem with it if everyone's made aware of what they're doing and as long as it is optional.

I think "optional" questionable activities become difficult when children are being encouraged by a scout leader to participate.  Parents can say, "no, we won't support this."  Then, what do the parents say to their own child, "We think Scout Leader is out of line here; Scout Leader has a conflict of interest; this is in the best interest of her and her daughter not of the troop."  Then what does that child see when friends say, "We are going to have so much fun at the paint party...."?  Then, the child questions the integrity of the scout leader, which defeats some of the purpose of the scouting experience.

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Best case - Clueless conflict of interest and even if it's innocent it isn't right.

 

Worst case - She knows exactly what she's doing, and it's blatantly unethical.

 

Either way it isn't right and should be brought up. I know that's easier said than done. I'm not sure how I'd handle it.

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I think "optional" questionable activities become difficult when children are being encouraged by a scout leader to participate.  Parents can say, "no, we won't support this."  Then, what do the parents say to their own child, "We think Scout Leader is out of line here; Scout Leader has a conflict of interest; this is in the best interest of her and her daughter not of the troop."  Then what does that child see when friends say, "We are going to have so much fun at the paint party...."?  Then, the child questions the integrity of the scout leader, which defeats some of the purpose of the scouting experience.

Well, that's fair.  But that happens in all sorts of ways to kids; it's lousy, but it's part of life that sometimes your friends get to do things that your parents don't think is a good idea or is too expensive or whatever.  (I see it when they talk about the very optional nerf night at our martial arts studio; it's too expensive for me to send my eligible kids and still leaves me with the littles.  Such is life.)  But I do see why it would be especially disappointing to a kid to be left out of the scout troop event since they're specifically part of the troop.  It might depend on how optional events are with the troop.  If they have several events, then it's simply, "Hey, kiddo, this one doesn't fit our family philosophy, but we're definitely attending the picnic next month and the clean up day at the park the month after that with your troop."  But that's also based on my experience with my homeschool group, not a scout troop; with our group, everyone attends as much or as little as they want/can/feel comfortable, and it's all good.  A scout troop might put heavier pressure on everyone to participate in everything, and that would make things like this harder for families.

 

I actually don't know how I would feel about this particular situation.  It might depend on my mood, and the wording of the invitation.  I'm just trying to offer a slightly different perspective that might have been in the troop leader's head.  She might be a little clueless about etiquette, but she might not have sinister motives.

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What badge? What GS level? Is this badge required for a Journey? Many badges can be earned on one's own.

 

OP -- If you put Girl Scouts in the thread title, you might get more responses from experienced GS leaders and parents. There are quite a few on the board.

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It is wrong when a person in a position of authority (scout leader) uses the group over which they have authority to make money for a private purpose.

It is not the same as some random person begging for donations.

 

YES.  I agree with you on that 100% 

 

I said if it wasn't one of the ideas that was brought up it is wrong. 

Edited by mommyoffive

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You should send her a message that says, "Hey, this is a great idea. We can use it as a TROOP fundraiser!" :laugh:

 

In our council, that isn't allowed. We have rules to follow for additional fundraisers outside of cookies and nuts. And to even be eligible for those you have to participate in those first. We aren't allowed to use businesses that offer % back to fundraise, nor are we allowed to sell products from other fundraising companies.

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In our council, that isn't allowed. We have rules to follow for additional fundraisers outside of cookies and nuts. And to even be eligible for those you have to participate in those first. We aren't allowed to use businesses that offer % back to fundraise, nor are we allowed to sell products from other fundraising companies.

 

I am curious if you know the reason(s) why this was prohibited? 

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I am curious if you know the reason(s) why this was prohibited? 

No, I mean I could guess at several reasons though. I do know that girl scouts is meant to be girl led so the girls should be designing their own fundraisers. Our troop has done a few in the past. Several years ago they made crafts and sold them at a farmers market and used the proceeds to donate to leopard conservation.

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I'd be inclined to just let it go if the leader is putting a lot of unpaid time into running the troop.  

 

No, no, no. I have experience being a paid fundraiser for non-profits, and I have experience with volunteering and fundraising. If she is combining badge night with fundraising for her dd, that is shady as hell, and reflects badly on the organization. There are generally accepted rules in any type of fundraising, and I'm sure the GS has their own as well which may be more specific. This is just all kinds of nope. 

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Icky.

 

If the badge is a regular earned badge and not a fun badge, I would also hesitate to call it optional.  It would be rough on the kid left out while the whole troop works on a badge together.

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I wonder how the business is accounting for this.  It collects $100 and then hands the mom $20 for her dance classes?  (Or whatever the numbers are).  Is the $20 a tax deductible marketing expense for the company?  If so, is the $20 taxable income for the mom?

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I would document it with FB screen shots and run it by the Council.

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Okay, I'm going to offer a slightly different perspective.

 

She has two issues. One, dance studio needs a fundraiser. (Let's leave off discussing whether that's reasonable or not. Dance studio has decided to do a fundraiser, and this is one they've chosen to do.). Two, she needs an art project for the scout troop to earn a badge.

 

She's attending the fundraiser on behalf of the dance studio. Okay. So she realizes that it sounds like a fun activity for kids, and she thinks, "Well, since I'll be there anyway, I might as well invite the scout troop too." Assuming the cost for attending the fundraiser isn't more than supplies would cost for her troop to do art on their own to earn a badge (which it could be -- I don't know what badges entail), then she's solved several issues. She saves herself (and her daughter, if her daughter is in the scout troop) time, plus the time and energy of preparing and cleaning up a separate art night for the scouts. Or maybe she thought that the venue would make a good art night anyway, and why not support a dance studio at the same time? That doesn't sound too horrible to me.

I read the OP differently. I read that the troupe leader was raising money to pay for her daughter to dance, not for the dance studio itself. I think either scenario is inappropriate for the leader to turn into a GS event (esp with a badge attached), but I have a way stronger "ick" reaction to basically paying for someone else's extra curricular activity.

 

But again, either way, inappropriate.

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It sounds wrong, though it is a little unclear who is benefiting from the fundraiser.  If I didn't see the prior fb post, I would assume the troop would get the funds, or it would go to a charity that the troop agreed to support.

 

Maybe I would ask what charity is benefiting from the event.

 

I probably would not participate.

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No, I mean I could guess at several reasons though. I do know that girl scouts is meant to be girl led so the girls should be designing their own fundraisers. Our troop has done a few in the past. Several years ago they made crafts and sold them at a farmers market and used the proceeds to donate to leopard conservation.

That is lovely!

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