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The Scouts Used Book Store

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The Scouts Used Book Store is a fund-raising venture operated by Yellowknife Scouts for the benefit and enhancement of the Scouting Program throughout the NWT and Nunavut.

The Scouts Used Book Store had it's roots during a CJ '97 fund-raising drive that was started in 1996.

The 7th Yellowknife Scouts were an LDS (Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints, the Mormons) sponsored group. As such, their fund-raising options were limited. None of the lucrative options were available, or even desireable, to them; (bingos, bottle drives, raffles).

When a suggestion was made that they advertise for donations of good, used books and set up tables to sell them, the idea was met with scepticism on the part of many of the Group Committee. Despite their misgivings about how succesful it would be, the green light was given on the effort.

Since it was my suggestion (my dream had always been to run a Used Book Store), I was put in charge of the process. Advertisement were placed on the local radio station and in the Yard Sale section of the newspaper, and book donations starting coming in.

After a couple of months, the volume of books received seemed to be enough to attempt our first book sale. Work parties were mustered for sorting the books and pricing them. Trestle tables were set up in the unused basement of the Church building and ads were placed for the first sale in October of 1996.

After the sale, when the accounting was complete, the Group Committee was astounded to find that sales had amounted to approximately $1500! Considering the books were priced from 25¢ to a maximum of $2.00, this amounted to a huge movement of books. No further conversions of the doubtful were required.

Two additional book sales, held approximately every three months, once in a central location downtown and the last one back in the church basement, resulted in a total addition to our CJ '97 fund-raising coffers of $4500, which accounted for almost half of the funds required.

After CJ. It was my turn to be sceptical, when the Church Branch President suggested setting up on a more permanent basis in the basement of the Church and to have sales more often. I knew how much work had been involved in those sales every three months. Most of the bull work would be eliminated with a permanent setup, and it was decided to set the first Saturday of every month as the only time the store would be open to the public.

On the first Saturday in November of 1997, the Scouts Used Book Store opened, and it has been met with enthusiastic response, not only in the donations from the public of good books, but in the patronage of Yellowknifers who are in search of a wide selection of good, reasonably priced reading material. Over the months, the store improved the basement lighting, added shelves along the walls and built rolling shelves so that the open basement was still available for Church and group activities for the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts.

Proceeds from the Scouts Used Book Store paid for the total costs to send a contingent of 6 Scouts and 2 Leaders of the 7th Yellowknife Scouts to the 8th BC-Yukon Jamboree, PJ '99, held at Camp Byng on the Sunshine Coast near Gibsons, BC.

During the summer of 2000, the Scouts Used Book Store was closed at the request of the Church and it looked like the end of a worthwhile fund-raising effort that was beneficial for both the public as well as for the Scouts in learning to deal with customers and aiding their fund-raising endeavours.

Personnal friends Garth and Linda Wood, owners of a local downtown business, Polar Parkas, came to the Scout's rescue. They offered half of their basement at the store (which was absolutely crammed with stuff in storage) to the Scouts for the new facilities of the Scouts Used Book Store, at no charge.

On the first Saturday in September 2000, the Scouts Used Book Store opened in it's new location, right in the heart of downtown Yellowknife, in the basement of Polar Parkas and if they ever get a website, I will include a link to it . The Scouts Used Book Store continues it's operations to the present, bringing good, reasonably priced reading material to the public.

Cubs and Scouts from the 1st Yellowknife (although it is also available for other Yellowknife Scout groups and youth-oriented organizations for fund-raising opportunities) price the books and man the Scouts Used Book Store on the first Saturday of every month. Any Scout who works at the store has an account with a portion of the proceeds in proportion to their hours spent in service to the Scouts Used Book Store. The monies in this account are then available for their use to pay for Jamboree registration and travel costs.

Proceeds from the Scouts Used Book Store sent 10 members of the NWT and Nunavut contingent to the 10th Canadian Jamboree held at Cabot Park in PEI in 2001 and 3 of the 6 members of the 1st Yellowknife Contingent to the BC-Yukon Jamboree held at Camp Byng in July 2003.

Recently the Woods family has decided to sell the Polar Parkas building. We have not as yet received a firm date on when we need to move our shop once again, but we hope to be able to continue this fund-raising / service project if we can find an available space.