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How Much to Charge For Joining A Pack?Page Title Module
A few years ago when I was a CM it was $60 which included:
BSA registration with Boys Life
All uniform patches (WS, Council, Unit #, Den #)
Then when earned all rank, belt loops, special awards.
Materials and supplies for pack meetings
The uniform patches were a one time cost.
We figured we lost money on first year scouts.
We charge $90 to join and then $90 at each February except the Webelos Ii year.
They get fees, boys life, neckerchiefs and slides and handbooks, then whatever they earn. Pinewood derby and raingutter regatta kits and it pays for the leader fees and room rentals. We get little pushback because it's so cheap compared to sports. We have enough to scholarship the occasional boy who can't afford it.
All get a book and pack tshirt. Webelos also get their colors. Rank, belt loops/awards, pack meeting activities, PWD car and Christmas gifts. Also, we are able to take care of part of every campout (except our big May Event---that is full cost)...so a campout that can cost $25 a person is only costing them $10. Also, we purchase supplies that we need, such as a new coffee maker for campouts or a dining fly.
There are extra den shirts available to purchase at $10 each. We make a $3 profit after shirts and printing.
For returning boys, they pay the above fees plus a $10 advancement fee. This gets them the necker, slide and book.
Dens can have den dues to cover their costs or they can have parents supply the items needed. I found it easier to have the dues and get what you need all at once--then you know you have it and it's all the same.
I've tried to break down the pack fees based on using the national excel document. It's not as easy as it should be. Most of the time you just don't know, especially as a new pack, what things will cost.
For instance you can do a blue and gold for $1 per scout for a few paper plates and everything else it donated or pot luck. or you can do a blue and gold where the pack pays up to $5 per boy and the parents pick up the difference. Or you can run a derby and give everyone a patch and a paper printed certificate, or you can give out the fancy car medals or trophies and the cost will vary exponentially.
And new people really don't know what to put into their budget for awards. You assume every boy will get bobcat, a tiger totem, cub fob with beads or webelos colors, and all will earn rank, need a card and a parent pin. But how many boys will earn the summertime pack award, the Outdoor activity award, Leave no trace and world conservation? and then you hit belt loop costs, how much will that run you? will every boy earn every award? You'd like to have the money for that, but is it right to charge parents for everything?
We know from our history of the pack that one or two boys per den earn close to every award (sometimes it's the leader kid going nuts or the hover parent thinking the person with the most award wins) but most will earn the minimum. I have a chart where I've been collecting data for 7 years for our small-medium back to small sized pack so we can closely estimate awards. Tigers average $3 a month, Wolves $4 a month and Bears and Webelos $5 a month. Bears and Webelos come in at higher due to Bears getting a small scout knife when they earn whittling chip, and webelos get a webelos pin every month plus the average number of belt loops and bonus awards. So our pack budgets $5 a month for 10 months awards per scout (June, July, Aug are lower due to lower den activities those months). $5 a month covers a couple belt loops and something else every month, or rank award, etc.
the short answer is
we charge $40 in August for registration, insurance, boy's life for scout, registration and insurance for one parent, starting rank book, covers the cost of bobcat and first month of awards if they quit before they participate in popcorn.
Then we vote after popcorn sales adjusting the amount to charge based on how we do in sales. So for recharter this year the estimate due in November is $50 per scout. That covers registration, insurance and boy's life per scout, registration and insurance for 1/2 of a leader, derby car, rank award and it covers a little bonus for the pack to run.
If we do well on popcorn, the boys can get up to $25 of registration covered by the pack, so basically they pay their registration and most of boy's life and the popcorn funds cover the rest.
Each den can charge monthly den dues to cover the cost of their supplies for crafts or campouts, etc. We suggest $5 a month for tigers and wolves. sometime in the bear year we suggest they move to $10 and have that for webelos. They are suggested that if they don't use all the funds on supplies and crafts, to use the $ from the den to help offset the cost of a family campout or summer day camp. This works out well for webelos if they charge $10 a month and are able to get leather or woodworking stuff donated, then they have the $ to register for a webelos overnighter in the fall, winter and spring with the parents just covering some food and a little more.
SP: We charge $65 for the Webelos, as they are earning both belt loops/pins and badges (or whatever they are called at the Web level). Also pays for their AoL stuff. They attend Day, aquatics and Webs camps, so they can earn a lot of things.
We charge $45 for the Tigers, because their parents are coming in needing to buy uniforms for the first time--and every little bit helps. Most will not attend day camp (as the hours are not conducive for working parents) so their belt loops/pins will be lower.
We charge $55 for the Wolves/Bears because we figure they will be earning more belt loops/pin than the Tigers. This is where they start hitting their stride at day and aquatics camps.
BD: It's no harder to track than what level they are. We use PackLedger and can assign what is due at what level. Easy peasy.
The dens do not receive craft items from the pack. They must be purchased or given by the parents/den leaders. That's why most of our dens have dues. The Tigers do a craft a week, it seems. The Wolves do fewer, but the Bears start back up, with the more expensive things. My husband's Bears this year are doing: bird houses, tool boxes, electric motors, crystal radios (we hope), weather stations, plus carvings from soap and florist foam.
(This message has been edited by ccbytrickery)