Thursday, September 9, 2010

What the Hell Happened to Scouts Canada ???

When I was a kid my folks placed me in Cubs and then Scouts. I loved it. All my friends were in it, and I made new friends too. We did fun stuff, went camping, learned cool skills, etc. So I figured that since my son is now 6 and a half years old, he can join the junior ranks of Scouts Canada, called Beavers. I could picture him in the cute little Beavers outfit. So Tammy and I took him to a nearby Beavers group to check it out and sign him up. What a major disappointment. Shame on you Scouts Canada. You suck.

It is very expensive. I realize that my days as a Scout were long, long ago, and that as times change, financing has changed as well. I expected a cost in getting my son involved, but not $230. Seriously, $230 !! I couldn't believe it. The total divides as follows; $160 just to join Scouts Canada (I assume the $160 is a combination of provincial and federal costs) and another $70 just for the local group. They quickly explained that we can volunteer to help with future costs. Heck if we volunteered enough we wouldn't have to pay as much next year. So what? 

Just what does $230 get my 6 year old? Not a uniform. Yup, the uniform will be an extra cost on top of the $230. Holy crap. How can they justify $230 to simply have a little kid in a Beavers group?

Then we found out that the last half hour of the meeting was devoted to sitting a small group of 6 and 7 years old boys in front of some sales posters while they were instructed how they and their parents were expected to sell merchandise to further support the organization. I am not kidding. They actually want us to push the sales of popcorn, trail mixes, and other crap to further provide funds to Scouts Canada. They explained how selling X number of dollars of products got the kids gift cards and other rewards. Big deal! Seriously, they are encouraging us to sell $600 worth of crap to get our kid a cheap plastic gun that shoots marshmallows. They discussed the rewards for selling $1200 and even $2500. I felt like I was trapped in an Amway meeting.

I suppose there are some costs in sending a kid to camp (if they go), and perhaps there is some overhead, like insurance, but requiring $230 to put a 6 year old kid in a Beavers group is crazy? Give me a break. They actually tried to encourage little kids to peddle merchandise. Just how bad does Scouts Canada need the money? Shame on you Scouts Canada.

My kid will do something else instead. He will join other organizations (which are far cheaper) where he will have fun and not have to sellout. I was hoping to protect my kid from capitalistic scumbags for at least a few more years. Thanks Scouts.

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