This troop has fundraising in the bag (Update: Project not BSA-approved)

RETRACTION, Jan. 30: Fundraisers like this one are not permitted by the Boy Scouts of America. Please read the official explanation here.

The original post is below.

Would you like paper or plastic?

Or maybe you’d prefer some cold, hard cash.

One troop says bagging groceries for tips at the local supermarket is “the best fundraiser our troop does by far.” Would it work for your unit?

“We generally work two to four lanes at a time depending on how busy it is,” Scouter Jeff commented on a recent post. “We have ice cream buckets labeled with where we are going, and the money goes into a general fund for the trip and for gas.”

That brings up a larger point about fundraisers: You might find more success if you tell the potential giver exactly how you’ll use their donation. People are more likely to donate if you say “Help send us on a backpacking trip to Philmont” than if you use the vague “Help support our troop” line.

As for the grocery-bagging fundraiser, Jeff says his boys “raised $2,000 bagging groceries in an 8,000-population community on only four separate dates.” He adds that the troop was there from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day and “Scouts worked two-hour shifts in uniform.”

The money earned reduced the cost of an upcoming trip to about $30 per boy, he writes.

Of course, this won’t work with every unit. And larger chain supermarkets may be less open to the idea than independently owned grocers. But the worst they can do is say no. If you do try it, Jeff adds a reminder to fill out the appropriate council forms and to choose your dates wisely.

“If you choose the days before Easter and Thanksgiving and Christmas people tip generously,” he says.

Has this worked for your pack, troop, team or crew? Have a better idea? Leave it in the comments.

Jan. 30 update: This post has been retracted. Please read the official explanation here.

Photo from Flickr: Some rights reserved by I-5 Design & Manufacture

About Bryan Wendell 3281 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.