What is friends of Scouting?
What does it mean to be a friend of Scouting?
Why should you consider becoming a friend of Scouting?


You can donate now here. Thanks for making a difference!

First, the basics: Friends of Scouting is the council’s annual giving campaign. Friends of Scouting (or FOS) represents the council’s largest source of income.

The Friends of Scouting campaign begins in the fall for some, and ends in June. During the campaign, you will be visited at your pack meeting or troop Court of Honor. An explanation of the campaign and an appeal for your support will be made. You’ll be asked to make a tax-deductible pledge to the local council.

The natural next question is: Why should I give money to my local council? Many councils answer this with what’s called “The Iceberg Analogy.”


The thinking here is that Scouts and volunteers see only 20 percent of what councils provide to members. There’s a whole lot more beneath the surface.

What do councils provide? In other words: What’s beneath the surface?

  • Volunteer and staff training

  • Insurance coverage to protect volunteers, chartered organizations, staff members and properties

  • Support staff for registration, publications and other program support

  • Camp promotion for Cub Scout day camps, Boy Scout summer camps, high-adventure bases and more

  • Camp ranger to keep the council camp up-to-date and ready for Scouts and families

  • Camp equipment, like tents, cooking equipment, camp vehicles, building repairs, canoes, equipment replacement and repair, and general upkeep of council camps

  • Recognition for leaders who complete training, volunteer for special projects and help in many Scouting roles

  • Professional staff to work with volunteers to organize new units, manage fundraising programs, conduct training, assist membership recruitment, provide counsel and direct support for district, camps and programs

  • Administrative needs, including postage, computers and links to the National BSA computer system, and copy machine along with other office equipment

  • A service center to provide additional support to volunteers

  • Audio-visual supplies used in training, at camps and in volunteer meetings

  • Postage to mail materials to leaders, parents and youth members

  • A council website to keep you informed

  • Reference publications and resources, including program planning kits and to camping cookbooks

  • Camp scholarships, uniforms and registration fees for disadvantaged young people

As you can see, there’s more happening at the council than the average volunteer sees. And it can’t happen without the support of volunteers like you.


Some companies, possibly including the one for which you work, will match their employees’ charitable contributions. Be sure to see whether your workplace has such a program. If so, you’ll double your impact.

You can check for an Employee Match Program here.