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Need Scout Stamps

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If any of you have any Scout stamps you are not using, we can sure use them.

I have a post in the Wanted section to see which stamps we need.  

See link below

Please if you aren't using them consider donating them to us.

Thanks,

 

Dale

 

 

 

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I have noticed your asking for stamps before then I noticed you were selling stamps and stating you were going in a different direction or something with the scout stamping so what exactly are you doing?  Getting stamps for scouts or selling stamps?

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You asked for it.  So here is my explanation. 

Although I talk about the different types of leather tools below, my main focus has been acquiring 2D/3D stamps.

For the last few years I have been working with the Las Vegas Area Council BSA.  I started by offering to inventory their leather tools.  I didn't realize what I was getting into.  At the time they had 4 sets of leather tools that I knew of.  These tools were loaned out for Council sponsored events like Cub Scout Day Camps and Leatherwork Merit Badge Classes.  Many of the stamps they had were damaged, even to the point that I couldn't recognize the image.  I had been buying leather stamps for years prior to this.  I had hundreds of extra stamps (because I hate selling on Ebay) so between the stamps they had, which weren't many, and what I had, I put together 4 sets of exactly the same 60 stamps (2D and 3D).  I tried to do the same with the handle stamps but I didn't have enough to give them 4 equal sets.  So I provided enough of those stamps to fill 2 of the plastic racks in each set.  I also donated alphabet and number stamps and filled in all the missing letters and numbers from their sets.  In all I donated over 400 stamps to these 4 tool sets.  These sets had enough mallets, large tool handles and poundo boards for 20 Scouts per class.

After I made these donations, I worked 4 or 5 of the Cub Scout Day Camps at the Leathercraft tables.  During the first class I realized that the leather tools didn't work well for the younger Cub Scouts.  They had a difficult time getting good impressions with the larger stamps.  Tandy had recently come out with the 72 smaller 2D stamps and I had a set.  So I put together a set of tools that I used whenever I worked the Day Camps.  I also used it when I taught the Leatherwork Merit Badge (LWMB) classes.  After the Day Camps finished for the season, I put together a list of additional tools and stamps that I thought they needed to add to the existing sets.  So I met with our Council Director and explained why they needed these tools for the 4 sets.  He said "5 Sets".  What.  Apparently they were building a park on some property next to the Council office for the exclusive use for the BSA.  They wanted to have a set of leather tools that was to be used at the Council and never loaned out.  And, they wanted enough tools to handle up to 40 Scouts per class.

So I started gathering more tools for this 5th set.  Around this time I found out that a year or two prior, they closed a Summer Camp in Utah.  I didn't even know it was part of out Council.  But I went with my son to that camp about 4 years earlier.  And guess what?  I attended the LWMB class and they had a huge leather tool set.  In fact I decided to become a LWMB Counselor because of that class.  At the time I had been buying tools on Ebay but had not done any leather projects so I wanted to learn.  I won't go into a lot of details but I will say that I'm not sure if the kid teaching the class  even earned the badge.  He must have, but you wouldn't know it.  I wanted better for the Scouts.  Anyways, the point is they had a huge set of tools. 

Because the Camp had all these tools I stopped gathering tools for the 5th set.  In the mean time I found out that there was 3 additional leather tool sets that were used for a program called Scout Reach and the person in charge of that program asked if I could do the same for their tools.  They had not used the tools for a couple of years and wanted to start using them again.  So I gathered all the tools they had and there were maybe a dozen stamps among all 3 sets, a bunch of mallets and poundo boards and a couple alphabet sets.  So I met with the guy again and explained what I found and he was shocked that so much was missing.  I found out that each set was designed for 40 Cub Scout aged kids per session, that 1, 2 or all 3 sets were used every single day at different schools for 3 weeks in September.  And that's it.  Until the next year.  So I went to the director and explained everything and suggested that since the Day Camps were over at the end of Summer, why not use them with the Scout Reach program in September?  Well if you understand how non-profit organizations work, you know that programs cannot share assets or supplies between them.  So, Scout Reach can't use the leather tools from the Day Camp/MB program and vice-versa.

I didn't have anywhere near enough tools for 3 additional sets so I put it on the back burner.  Now Summer, 2018 comes around and I decide to go help out with the LWBC classes a few days a week during the first 2 weeks of Summer Camp.  It was then that I found out that this Camp had it's own set of leather tools.  When I got there I was totally underwhelmed.  Same as the original 4 sets.  A lot of their alphabet and number sets were not complete.  The other tools were in pretty bad shape.  So I filled in the alphabet and number sets, brought a big selection of stamps (on loan from my own set) and even some supplies.  A few days in, they started bringing all the supplies from the closed camp to this camp.  Unfortunately, I was only there for 2 weeks and I left , for a trip to Alaska, before the leather tools came over.  

When I returned, I went to the Camp to get the tools I loaned them and found out the leather tools from the first camp were taken to the Council office.  I was excited.  I knew there was enough tools there to complete a nice set for the existing Camp and provide lots of stamps to divide up for the other 5 tool sets.  Guess what?  When I opened the crate, it was almost empty of tools.  None of the alphabet and number sets, none of the 3D stamps, very few handle stamps.  But there were mallets and poundo boards.  I immediately went to the Director and explained that the tools I saw several years earlier were missing.  I wanted to do some checking into what happened.  He did not share in my shock and seemed to not even care.  I explained that it was probably 5 to 10 thousand dollars worth of tools that were missing and he just kind of blew it off.  I asked if I could talk to the Camp Director the last year that camp was open and try to contact the person in charge of the Handicraft program for the Camp but was shut down.  Now, for all I know, there might have been someone like me that loaned them their set of leather stamps and that was all the the Camp actually owned.  But wasn't given the chance.  

It was at that point something clicked.  Why am I busting my behind and donating tools to an organization that doesn't hold anyone accountable for the assets they are given?

I'm going to stop right there and go back a bit.  Somewhere in the above time line I posted on this site asking for donations for Scouts. And I did several additional times over the years. I also posted in the forum at Scouter.com.  So far I have received less than a dozen donations.  Some with just a few stamps and a few sent a bunch of tools, stamps and some books, all from this site.  I have yet to receive anything from Scouter.com, but I never really expected anything since they are probably in worse shape than I'm in with regard to leather tools. I am very grateful for the donations regardless of size.  Some of the donations I got had some items I didn't own and I asked the donors if I could have them for my collection. which they approved.  The items were a black Craftool round maul, about 10 Midas 2D stamps and a set of 5 , non-branded, matching basketweave stamps in different sizes.  All the rest of the tools and supplies went to the Summer Camp set.

Now I want to summarize the basics of the tool sets.  My Council has or wants:

    4 sets of leather tools that are used for Day Camps and Merit Badge Classes (20 Scouts each)

    1 large set of leather tools for exclusive use at the Council office. (40 Scouts)

    3 totally incomplete leather tool sets for Scout Reach. (40 Kids each)

and

    1 Set of tools for Summer Camp (20 Scouts)

Since I wanted to make sure the leather tools available would be adequate for the specific programs, each program's tool sets would be very different. But besides giving them what they need, I wanted to give them as much variety as I could.  So I was saving as many stamps as I could get a hold of.   I decided that when I got a new stamp, it would go to the Park set.  Then when I got 4 more, they would go to the Day Cam/Merit Badge sets.  The Scout Reach was still on hold.  I had hundreds of stamps that I collected and hadn't yet donated because I didn't have any stamp boxes.

Now back to "Why am I busting my behind and donating tools to an organization that doesn't hold anyone accountable for the assets they are given?"

After that meeting, my goals changes.  I was hesitant to donate any more tools that I bought, but held onto everything until I decided what to do.  So this is what I decided.

    I have a set of tools that is my personal set.  It is way bigger than my skill level.  I posted some of this set in some photos in the Show Off" section a month or so ago.  My goal is to collect all the 2D/3D stamps from Midas, Craftool and The Leather Factory.  In addition there are some non-branded stamps that were sold at the Scout Trading Posts that have been discontinued.  There are around 750 unique stamps.  I only need 3 to complete my collection.  One is available on Ebay, but I refuse to spend $100.00 for it.

    1 Set of tools that I was putting together to donate to the Summer Camp.  But after that meeting, I decided that I would keep and maintain the tools so they don't "disappear".  I own the tools, but my intent is to donate them to the BSA when I am no longer able to do it.  

    1 Set of tools that I use when I teach a MB class or do a Day Camp.  I have the smaller tools and stamps so the kids are able to successfully stamp.  At this age I know that within a week the project is either going to be on the floor, in their closet or in the trash.  But I want them to have a positive experience.

I planned on spending the 3-4 weeks at the Summer Camp and only work with the LWMB.  Usually someone would be a counselor for several MBs at a time but I wanted to improve the experience that the Scouts had there.  I wanted to offer the area up to the whole camp during free time to come and make what they wanted.  I bought a dozen shoulders, 30 pounds of veg tanned leather pieces, 10 pounds of oil tanned pieces, patterns, templates and really focused on building up the Camp set I was putting together. I was very excited.  The kids could make projects from scratch and would only be charged a small fee for the leather pieces. My plan was to do this fantastic program the very next year, then do at least one intermediate level class the following year and advanced classes the year after that.  I wanted the camp to become "Known" for its Leatherwork Program.  A lofty goal.

About 6 months later in March 2019, I found out that they decided to sell this Camp also, and the Council would not have it's own Camp.  Not only was I disappointed I was ticked off.  I spent a lot of money getting ready for this camp.  Someone later contacted me to come down to southern California to run their LWMB program, but was unable to make it during that time.   I went to Alaska again for about 6 Weeks and decided to stop at they Council up there.  I was impressed with the Director and offered to send them some stamps and they were grateful.  They have 3 Summer Camp locations.  So I put together a couple hundred stamps and was going to send them in April of this year, then Covid19 came up.  So there was no rush to send them.  I am taking them up in September when I go for about a month this time.  

I have been the go to guy to teach the LWMB classes for the last year or so.  Like I said, I want the kids to have a great experience and make a really nice project that they can be proud of.  I got a really nice selection of tools and stamps in the Scout set.  But here is one problem.  No matter where I teach the MB class the tables provided are horrible.  We do not have granite slabs.  What we have is poundo board on mostly flimsy tables.  So when you have 6 kids stamping at the same time, the whole table bounces.  When I do the classes at an outside event, the kids head over to the nearest sidewalk and uses the concrete as the surface to stamp on.  That has to change.  

So I decided that I didn't need just a mobile leather tool kit, I need a mobile leatherwork classroom. No not a large trailer where I pop open the doors and windows and wa la, instant classroom.  But heavy duty shop tables, a heavy duty awning, shop stools and yes, granite slabs.  If I do an inside event, I roll in the tables, stools and all the tools and supplies then roll them back when done.  All in 7 -10 trips to the trailer.  Same with an outside class.  Set up an awning and set up the classroom.  Roll it back up when done.  For all the additional tools, equipment, supplies, awning and trailer I would need from 9k - 11k.

Now if you've read this far (and I doubt you have) you are probably thinking, "This is the stupidest thing I ever heard, this guy's a F%#*$^&  idiot".  Don't worry, that's what my wife thinks.  But this all makes sense in my head.  

So now we get to your question. "... so what exactly are you doing?  Getting stamps for scouts or selling stamps?"

The short answer is Yes to both questions.  

The Cub Scout, Boy Scout and OA stamps I am asking for donations of, will be going to the Council tool sets.  This include 2 extras of each stamp in case one gets "lost"  The Wood Badge stamps will not go to the tool sets.  One is going to the Las Vegas Wood Badge group/club and the same will be going to the one in Alaska.  The third I will take to intermediate classes that may include adult Scouters that have gone through the program.  The Girl Scouts will be going to the "Park" set, two to My Scout set and the forth to Alaska.  Because some Scouters are involved in both programs and I want to provide that variety I've talked about. So all those stamps will be going to or used for Scout events.  

As far as the rest of the stamps I've shown as wanting, I did a separate post for the stamps I need to buy for MY personal set, which is 3 stamps.  The rest would be used in the other 2 sets I currently own.  Of which one I intend to donate to the BSA.  The other I may take and teach leatherwork classes at a makerspace or similar venue.  Which is what my wife wants me to do.  So I'm hoping that I can get some donations for those specific stamps I would like to get because I'm anal retentive and want to complete the set.  For those 2 sets I need 30 stamps for one set and 202 stamps for the second.

As for selling stamps.  Since I need to raise all that money I decided to sell the extra stamps I have.  I have between 600 and 800 2D/3D stamps I can sell.  But how?  I can't tell you how much I hate selling.  Especially on Ebay.  I've sold some items on there in the past.  But I really, really hate to sell on Ebay.  That's why I have so many stamps.  Because I hate to sell on Ebay.  Are we clear on that point.  Ebay Sell Hate. So my wife suggested I try to sell them on Facebook.  Now I have made it a mission to not be on social media.  It would be a dream of mine that if someone searched my name on the internet, zero hits would be ideal.  I want to be a ghost. But I signed up a long time ago and decided to just do it.  I've had limited success,  Sometimes I post and get 1-6 sales.  But most of the time I get none.  I tried this site with no luck at all. 

As it turns out, I'm not the guy that buys a large lot of tools and sells them piece by piece to make a killing.  I'm not good at pricing.  I hate even asking for the amounts I ask, but in order to raise the money, I do.  And just so you know, all the stamps I'm selling were ones I paid for myself.  

So what am I doing with the money from the sales?  

    I am buying a trailer from my brother but we are still haggling on price.  I recently started paying him $250/month.

    I got a killer deal on 120 Midas 2D/3D stamps and paid less than $3.00 each for them.  I used 75 of them in my 2 Scout sets and the other 45 I can sell and recoup most of the money I spent on the whole set.

    I have purchased some leather tools from overseas to test out.  i.e. I bought the 43 piece Native American Symbol set that Tandy sells for less than half of what they charge.  

There is still a little money left but I am starting to save for some of the other stuff for the trailer.

I hope this answers your question.

Thanks,

Dale

PS - I also will take cash donations through Paypal.  Any money I receive will be used towards buying 5 sets of the 72 smaller 2D stamps from Tandy for the Councils tool sets.

 

    

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for your reply and explanation, best of luck with your endeavors but it sounds to me like you are fighting an uphill battle with the scouts unfortunately.  I do think you have tried to help them when it seems most of the leaders of the organization don’t care anything about that program.  Maybe your explaining what’s going on will help your efforts here on the forum, best of luck to you! Sincerely Rodney 

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