23 bizarre but true fundraising ideas from Scouting’s past

Popcorn’s all the rage these days, but Scout fundraisers haven’t always been so mainstream. Throughout history Scouts have sold a variety of less-conventional products in the name of fundraising for their pack and troop. I’m talking candles and fire extinguishers, road atlases and safety flares, candy and oranges — if you could slap a price tag on it, chances are Scouts sold it.

Not that wacky fundraising ideas are a bad thing, of course. Fundraisers are a necessary part of any Scout unit, always done in the name of filling a unit’s coffers so it can offer more and better Scouting outings. But some of the items I came across when searching through Scouting magazine’s digital archives made me do a double-take.

But hey, whatever works, right?

After the jump find 23 bizarre fundraising ideas from Scouting’s past, all presented as they appeared in Scouting magazine. And those of you who have been in Scouting a while, tell me: Did you sell any of these items? Or better yet: What was the craziest Scouting fundraiser you ever took part in?

1950s: Vanilla


1960s: Fire Extinguisher

1966-Fire Extinguisher

1970s: Fruitcake


1970s: Safety Flares

1970-Safety Flares

1970s: Sponges


1970s: Trash Bags

1970-Trash Bags

1970s: Animal Candles

1975-Animal Candles

1970s: Auto Trouble Lites

1975-Auto Trouble Lites

1970s: More Animal Candles

1975-More Animal Candles

1970s: Spill Stopper

1975-Spill Stopper

1970s: Spot Stain Remover

1975-Spot Stain Remover

1970s: Munchie Mix

1979-Munchie Mix

1970s: Road Atlas

1979-Road Atlas

1970s: Smoke Detector

1979-Smoke Detectors

1980s: Disney Candy

1980-Disney Candy

1980s: Oranges


1980s: Stuffed Animals

1980-Stuffed Animals

1980s: Superhero Pens

1980-Superhero Pens

1980s: Safety Cone

1982-Safety Cone

1980s: Daily Planners

1989-Daily Planners

1990s: Dishcloths


1990s: Light Bulbs

1992-Light Bulbs

1990s: Oreos


About Bryan Wendell 2780 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is senior editor of Boys’ Life, Scouting and Eagles’ Call magazines.