History Highlights: A Discourse on Funding for Scouts ~ by Vaughn J. Featherstone

S.M.E.

(A Discourse on Funding for Scouts)

By Vaughn J. Featherstone

Boy Scouts of America National Executive Board

Shared at Philmont Scout Ranch

1989

*Note: S.M.E. stands for Sustaining Membership Enrollment. Today, BSA council fundraising is referred to as Friends of Scouting, or FOS.

Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone (back row, right) at Philmont Scout Ranch, 1990.


The trouble most find with Boy Scouts

Is the money required to pay.

They like the program and experience

Even the code of honor, they say.

But the funding issue is predominant

And the dollars obscure the good,

T’would be better if we had our own program

And some say “possibly it would.”

We can control our own self-being

And reach ne’er beyond the Church,

Or we can join this world’s great program

As we everlastingly search

For good and holy and upright things

That influence and help our youth.

We can accept the inspired Scout program

As we glean the world for truth.

But cost it does and cost it will

As we train and develop a boy.

For Scouting and outing and advancement

Contribute excitement and joy.

As a Church we have always supported the truth

That our members not be on a dole

We can let other organizations support us

But some how that endangers the soul.

We spend great sums to support missionaries

And are grateful for our small part.

Should we not spend money in training

The skills for the soul and the heart?

We must be frugal and honest

And get the best value we can.

That’s why Scouting is so important

In preparing the boy for the man.

So contribute to S.M.E. freely

And give what your portion may be.

You’re investing in the lives of our young men

Which every one must surely agree

Is a blessing that will reach past tomorrow

And as far as reason may grope

For to build spirit and faith in our best youth

Is the church and America’s hope.

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