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  • Individual Scout Accounts

    We want to implement individual scout accounts for our Pack this year. We have grown in the past three years since starting up from 3 boys, to 20. And we haven't even had Fall Join Night!

    Anyway, we were thinking that up to a certain amount earned in Popcorn Sales will cover Pack Dues (basic operating costs). Anything above that amount will go into a Scout's Individual Account.

    Any suggestions for making this somewhat easy? What ways does your unit keep track of individual accounts?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Nothing special, the treasurer would keep a log but, let me remind you that the money belongs to your charter if something bad was to happen, unless your opening seperate bank accounts with the scouts name on it

    Comment


    • #3
      Don't know your position in the pack but is your committee on board with this? You need to have a written committee approved policy on how this will be administered. Under no circumstances should any checks or cash be given if someone leaves scouting.(It should go to the pack/troop general fund.) Only scouting related expenses should these accounts be used for. You need someone (committee treasurer) who has an understanding on how the set this up otherwise it will be a giant headache. Be prepared for parent questions. Document on an individual scout page each plus and minus(short description of where it came from or where it went). Keep a good record of what is scout accounts and what is general operating money. Will your pack be prepared to write a check to a troop when a scout crosses over to Boy Scout troop?

      What has your committee decided to do if a scout does not sell enough popcorn? Is there going to be a cap of how much can be in any 1 account? What happens if the pack runs out of general funds?

      I am the treaserer for a Boy Scout troop with accounts. Please consider if you need individual accouts. You need someone who will stay on top of this and be at most meetings where the questioning parents will be. Trust me they will want to know where little Johnny's five bucks went.

      How I do it is: went to office supply store and got 3-column accounting pages. I use 1 page per scout. 1 column money -in 1 column money out- total column. If I get a check from a parent I write the check number in description space or wherever the money came from. If money is deducted I write a short description of what it was for. If there are any questions from parents I take the page out of my notebook and have them look it over and then ask any questions. Same with scouts with questions. Not every scout raises the same amount of funds so I do my best to keep accounts private between those who need to know and those who don't. Your treasurer should have an accounting at each committee meeting of what is what.

      Spell everything out to begin with in writing. Make sure each family understands what is going to happen. Your pack committee needs to be the one doing this. Good luck.

      Comment


      • #4
        4 way business cup of coffee here:

        - CM, as the Program Officer
        - CC
        - Treasurer
        - Chartered Organization Representative

        Questions to be asked:

        - Does the Treasurer have the resources to do this? You may need to buy him/her a license to Quicken or some other tool to do the record-keeping.

        - What are the events for which individual funds may be drawn? Remember, if it's not money from the Cubs parent, it really is Chartered Partner funds assigned to the unit.

        - Do we have all the program resources we need? If your Pack does a fair bit of Cub Family Camping, and you don't have stoves/lanterns/kitchen gear, then a better use might be obtaining unit equipment.

        - What happens at
        -- Transition, Cubs to Boy Scouting?
        -- Family relocation?
        -- Boy drops out of Scouting while a Cub?
        -- Boy does not continue to Boy Scouting?

        There are certainly more questions, and others will add to this list. Even so, Chartered Partner buy-in on this is essential.

        Remember, the adult side of Scouting works by consensus, not as a working democracy.

        Comment


        • #5
          Also recall this bit of doggerel:

          The Cub Scout helps the pack go.
          The pack helps the Cub Scout grow.

          Make sure your pack has what it needs, plus a little bit extra, before you even start talking about individual accounts.

          Comment


          • #6

            You don't need scout accounts for Cubs.

            It all goes into a pool for the badges, pack meeting, pinewood derby track repairs, flags, campout fees, a pizza dinner or the Blue & Gold Banquet.

            A pack going from 3-20 cubs needs stuff. Heck a trailer would nice, a community service project where the pack buys some flowers and mulch. A trip to a zoo or aquarium, an award for an adult who did something special. Tons of budget items that if you distribute all the money into scout account you will be nickle and dime-ing parents every week.

            Cub Scout, scout accounts is a bad idea.

            Comment


            • #7
              We just have one account, but do reward popcorn sales by reducing dues. If they fill up one sheet 1/2 their dues are paid by the pack. If they fill up two sheets their dues are completely paid by the pack.

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              • #8
                Our Pack has run Scout Accounts for many years now, very successfully. We have found that it increases participation in both popcorn sales and events. We allow the boys to use them for any Scouting activity that the Pack can pay for.

                The Accounts used to be tracked on an Excel spreadsheet, but we now track them in QuickBooks. It doesn't really take much more effort for us, since we track all transactions for each Scout anyway.

                Comment


                • #9
                  We used them.

                  We designated a portion of each sale to go to the Pack first. So, if popcorn was 30%, 1/3 might go to the Pack, 2/3 for the Scout.

                  It was used to pay registration, Boy's Life, Day and Resident Camps, field trips. Our 'registration' covered the cost of awards.

                  Boys who transfered to another Pack could have a check written to the Pack. Boys who bridged could have a check written to the Troop. Boys who quit 'donated' their balance for disadvantaged Scouts.

                  After I left, they started using them to buy uniforms and sleeping bags and it became a problem because the Pack said 'only from the Scout shop' and a parent wanted to buy a sleeping bag from Walmart. The kid couldn't camp because they couldn't afford a sleeping bag and if they bought a Scout one, he couldn't pay for camp. The pack said they didn't want them to shop at walmart because they could return it and get the money.

                  I don't know how they use it now.

                  As a troop, it just like it was described here. Notebook, money in and noted. Money out and noted. Balance available when a boy asks. Used for camp and trips.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks for the input...very helpful and it's good to see what has worked and where potential problems might occur.

                    Thanks everyone!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Our Cubs don't have individual scout accounts. However, the pack covers a certain amount of their summer camp fee for each popcorn item they sell.

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                      • #12
                        I just remembered another thing we did - we gave parents the option of having a 'family' account if they had 2 or more boys in the pack. I think at that point, if one bridged and another was still in the Pack, we would have given them the decision as to how much money was passed forward.

                        This allowed grandma to help both of her grandsons with one tin of popcorn. Very important when that was all she could afford.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          the pack my son was with had the individual accounts... it's just a paper account where all the money is still in the pack account and the boys money is tracked and kept on record.

                          things you need to determin:

                          how much $/ or % goes to the boys

                          what will happen when a boy quits scouts - some packs I know the money can be passed down to another sibling... but if there are no siblings and a boy quits scouts then the money stays with the pack

                          what will happen if there is still money when the cross over to boy scouts... I've heard of some that it stays with the pack... to me this isn't right and goes to the troop the boy joins as he's still in scouts.

                          what will the boys/parents be allowed to use this money on... I've seen some where they could only use it for summer camp... I've seen some that they could use it for any pack event or summer camp.

                          all this will need to be decided before you start doing individual accounts so boys and parents understand it all

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Our Pack has pretty definite guidelines. 25% of gross popcorn sales, and the full 45% of camp card sales goes into their accounts. They may use it to pay for any scouting functions of the Pack, District, or Council...or any item that the Pack has available...t-shirts, PWD cars, etc....also, dues and blue & gold tickets. Finally, if a Scout leaves Scouting, the money stays with the Pack. If they move to another unit, it goes with them if the family wishes. If they go to the Troop, it goes to the Troop with them. If there is another sibling in the Pack, it is their choice whether it all stays with the Pack or 50% goes with them.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I have not been involved with a pack for many years but was involved with implementing and overseeing Scout Accounts for my troop for many years. I would encourage you to keep your accounts "pure" with income only from fundraisers. If you allow parents to deposit funds into the account it presents an entirely different set of problems, i.e. - you must be set up to at least track and refund this portion of the account should the youth leave Scouting. By setting it up to share fund raising income only, you can basically set up any rules that you want for dispersal. My troop follows pretty much the same setup that others have mentioned. A percentage of the income (increasing percentage based on higher level of sales to encourage participation) goes into an account which can be used by the Scout to pay dues, trip fees, summer camp fees, or for high adventure trips. They can also be used to purchase uniforms, or to buy hiking boots, sleeping bags, tents, etc. by presenting a sales slip for reimbursement to the treasurer. If the boy chooses to leave Scouting, the balance in his account reverts back into the general troop account.

                              It is fairly simple to maintain these accounts in any spreadsheet or accounting system. The most important thing is to be sure that anyone running a fundraiser recognizes the need for accurate record keeping and that your files are updated promptly and kept up-to-date.

                              Scout accounts can be a very effective means to allow all of your Scouts to be able to participate on an equal footing. It allows the disadvantaged to participate in many activities that they would not otherwise be able to. Over the years, many of our boys have used these funds to pay for Philmont or other high adventure trips as well as to possibly help fund their Eagle projects.

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