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  • #16
    In addition to whatever records they hand you, specifically ask for a copy of the pack budgets for the last few years - not just what's gone in/out, but the fiscal plans. If they can't produce them, that'll tell you volumes about how things have been run.

    Dividing $3,000 among 22 boys is about $136 per Cub. So even if you split everything up equally, even if your pack committee made this decision and everything is above-board, those three rising Boy Scouts are going to get more than double what they "deserve." That doesn't make sense.

    Looking forward, your DE can steer you to resources, including your unit commissioner, and training that will help you get the pack off the ground again. Sounds like he did a bit of a con job with the CC, though, so be prepared to go it alone.

    But even if you decide not to pick a battle over the $1,000 for three Scouts (which is ridiculous, IMHO), you still have $2,000 left, which is a solid base to work from. Count yourself lucky in that respect.

    Comment


    • #17
      The DE says "all the DL needs to do is bring punch and cookies"??? What a piece of work. As I said before, get or borrow a Cub Scout Leader Book and start reading...the DE is obviously not a reliable source of information. You might also call council and ask for the contact information for your "Unit Commissioner". This is a volunteer scouter whose job it is to assist units like yours. If they say there's none listed, ask for the District Commissioner. I feel for you and appreciate you trying to learn and do a good job...but there's no reason they should leave you floundering like this.

      Comment


      • #18
        Con job or not the finances/ assets of a pack are the pervue of the unit committee and the charter organization,and any decision or argument over their distribution is their decision not the pack leaders. Those are the rules of the BSA, and this also takes the burden off of you and places it squarely on their shoulders.

        Comment


        • #19
          First off, good luck - reading this and your other thread you will have your hands full. Glad you stepped up to the plate though, it can be a great opportunity for you, your son, and all of those boys who otherwise may not have it.

          I agree with the others that it is unusual for the crossing Webelos to be taking their money with them, even if there were individual scout accounts. Your pack should have some bylaws. I would look to see if this is mentioned there. Unless it is, I would be resistant. Alternatively if there were any committee meeting minutes (as a previous policy decision, not just last month when they were dealing with their own personal situation) where this was a documented decision that might carry some weight. If they were running a fly-by-night program and neither of these exist then they don't have much of an argument. Many thanks to them and the boys for leaving a solvent pack through their efforts. A good turn well done! We use individual accounts, I know my son will have a four-figure balance when he crosses over, and I have full knowledge that will go to the pack's general fund when we leave. I make sure he knows it too and feels good about the fact that he is pulling his own weight and then some.

          Others have pointed out that finances shouldn't be your responsibility, which is true, but absent a functioning CC and committee sometimes you need to take matters into your own hands. The advice to seek out a unit commissioner or district commissioner is sound - given the experience you've related with your DE I'd be wary of interactions with him. The chartered org could also help and should in theory, but if they have been hands-off they may not be of much use. Best for you is if you can work to get a committee up and running ASAP so that if you do need to take on some of the administrative role in the short term at least you can hand it over quickly. That's good not just for you but the pack as well, so you can focus on your job of executing the program as CM and the proper checks and balances are in place.

          Regarding your original question as to a reasonable balance, a couple thousand dollars may sound like a lot, but when you have to put deposits down on facilities or campsites that you have not collected for yet, when you haven't done a fundraiser yet, when you want to print up some pack t-shirts that you haven't sold yet, when you need to buy advancements before you've collected all your dues, and so on, it helps to have some working capital. You're fortunate to have what you do - I would try to be a good steward and preserve that while budgeting to be cash-flow neutral going forward. If you're fortunate enough to get through a couple of stable years you will have the experience to know what you need for your specific situation - size, growth rate, program, calendar, etc. as well as whether you need any equipment.

          Comment


          • #20
            Well, here's the progress so far. I completed all of my online training, getting scheduled for the rest. I found out the guy at our meeting was "A DE", not "Our DE". He was just filling in. I was happy to learn that my next door neighbor is actually our DE. I spoke to him briefly today. He said that the money thing is not normal. That was really all he said. He just kept stressing what my role as CM is. He told me to organize a meeting with all of the parents and tell them we need a committee. He said he will attend that meeting. He told me he will help me any way he can, starting with the meeting and making sure we get a UC. He also gave me a bunch of literature that I was not given the other day. I am going to try not to bombard him with too many questions as we have a great neighbor relationship, and he tries to keep work and home life seperate. Oh, and he also told me not to tell any one in the pack where he lives, doesn't want the whole pack showing up when there is a problem. I can totally understand that.

            Comment


            • #21
              My 2 cents worth.

              Remember, the money belongs to your chartering organization ("CO"), NOT to the Pack. Unless you have a "parents of Pack ###" type CO (which would likely be impotent), I would contact your chartering organization representative and have them help step in. I do think pulling out $333 per graduating Webelos is going to cause the Pack stress, especially when next years graduates ask for their cut. Unless there was a widely publicized incentive program in advance of the last fund raiser which created these Scout accounts, there is something very seriously wrong here.

              Ask to see last year's and next years budget. If the treasurer did in fact keep good records, you might be surprised how much it costs to run a Pack. Even if you pare your costs down to BSA registration, Boys Life, and awards, youre almost certainly looking at $45 - $50 a boy. Throw in pinewood derby kits, handbooks, the summer BBQ, it goes up fast. My base budget is $95 a Scout. That doesn't count the occasional uniform you need to buy for the new Scout whose parents are out of work, or the Scout who cant pay their dues. If they are leaving you with only $2,000 and 19 boys, you will likely be out of money in one year, and will be relying entire only your next fundraiser for next years funds. Budgeting isnt the most exciting part of Cub Scouts, but its a necessary evil, so I wish you the best.


              By the way, I personally believe you should have, at a minimum, a six month reserve when you are done fund raising to cover unexpected growth, a poor fund raising program or a delay in recieving fund raising payments. So keep that in mind when evaluating how far the $2k will take you.

              Comment


              • #22
                As a former DE, I thank you for trying to respect his private life. Not fun getting phone calls at 1AM or 5:30AM, having a prospective CM come to your door cursing you out saying " [Heck] no I aint being a CM at the [expletive deleted] Catholic Church, etc.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Our CO is a local church. I am going to get the contact info for the COR on Monday when I get everything else. Then I am going to set up a meeting with them, the CC and myself. Hopefully we will have a treasurer by then too. I think once I can talk to all of the other parents and we can all get on the same page, we will be on the right track. I know way more than I did about cub scouts a few days ago. I am sort of a research fanatic, so once I can explain it to them better, I think they will all be on board.

                  My neighbor is a really great guy. I have seen the dedication he has for his job. He has even offered to do my training himself if I am not able to make the 1 1/2 hour drive to the district training. I am feeling more confident each day. My excitement seems to build with every new piece of knowledge. There is nothing that makes me happier than to see a child smile. To see that on the faces of 22 boys and know that I played some role in that, is all the motivation I need.

                  I think we are starting out a little rocky, but once everyone gets on board, we are going to have a good program.

                  You can bet I will be asking for the budgets and everything else mentioned here if they are not offered to me. If nothing else, I think it will really help us newcomers get a handle on how things have been done, and where exactly we stand.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    MamaCM - Some packs do have individual Scouts accounts for their boys, normally giving them some portion of any fund-raising dollars that the boys have raised. It is not unusual for the monies in these accounts to be transferred over to the troop that these Webelos join. This is based on there being a formal plan in place though, not just being done on a whim for a particular group of boys.

                    Before these three boys leave with $1000, you should be shown evidence that a formal plan was in place and that there are, in fact, individual Scout accounts established. This is important information for you to have because a portion of the $2000 left could be committed to those accounts, thus leaving you with a lot less than you thought that you were going to have access to for the operation of the pack.

                    I know that it is easy for all of us strangers out here to be saying what you ought to be doing but you've got a problem. The treasurer is probably going to be writing that check before the records are turned over to you. That probability makes it imperative that you contact your COR right away. Hopefully the troop that they are going to is sponsored by the same church as the pack. At least than the pack stands a chance of getting the money back if it shouldn't have gone with these three boys.

                    Good luck with your new endeavor! Hopefully this episode is only a bump in the road for you and that you get lots of enjoyment out of your association with the Scouting movement.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      I agree with the majority here. That money belongs to the Pack (read, the CO). Pack funds do not follow the boys to the Troop, just like funds do not magically appear with the influx of Tigers. Our boys crossover with a neckerchief, handbook, and epaulets. These, by the way, are provided by the Troop. The cubs leave a legacy and some funds that helped to raise. The cycle continues year after year and should not be interrupted.

                      Overall I see two things.

                      1. You have an outgoing CM that has a vested interest in "taking money" with him. That is a dangerous situation.

                      2. You have a lot of folks who need to attend, or re-attend training. The roles of the CC, COR, CO, and CM are very clear in the guides available from BSA. These issues are discussed in training.

                      Good for you to bring this up in the forum. There is a lot of collective wisdom in this group that I am always amazed by...

                      good luck

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        I agree that we all need training. I have done all the online training. I registered for the leader basic training for Sept 28. I am going to encourage all of our leaders to do the same. This forum has been really great. I have been pointed in some great directions that will surely benefit our whole pack.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          $3000 in the Pack account. That is absolutely insane.

                          It is an unusual gift from the Pack for sure.

                          Some food for thought. The Weeblos crossing over did contribute to it over the maximum of 5 years as a cub scout. NONE of the new cub's have done anything to earn it. Let him take his $1000 and end the issue.

                          As pointed out that leaves you with 2 grand. Out Pack account has never seen $1,000 let alone $3,000.

                          IMHO there is no reason to have that much $$$$$$ in a Pack account. If your account build to that point you need to reduce dues or increase your spending per scout.

                          The committee needs to decide how the program should be run and funds spent. Whether outings and everything is included in the fee and dues or they are extras to be paid for on an as need basis.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            MamaCM,

                            Where to begin?

                            First, I'm concerned there is not a budget for your Pack for the coming program year. I strongly recommend you and your CC, working with the DLs, get your needs together and see if what you have supports what you need.

                            Think about in building your budget:
                            - Den supplies (crafts and such).
                            - Admission fees for activities for Dens.
                            (I do not believe a DL should pay for stuff out of his/her pocket)

                            - Recharter for 2010: $15 per kid and Scouter, and $12 per kid Boys Life: $330 +$150 (I SWAG 10 adults) + $264 = $644 + $40 charter fee... you'll need about $700.

                            - Awards: I'm probaly low siding at $1000.

                            - Camp Fees: Day Camp typically runs $50 a head for the week. Cub Scout Council Sponsored Family Overnight typically runs $50 a head (boy and adult partner) for the session. Webelos runs around $120 a head.

                            Can you see the budget is running up pretty fast? You need to know how your unit chooses to pay for items. Some pay for everything on a popcorn fundraiser cycle; others pay for certain items and insist the family have some skin in the game, still others keep a small treasury and the parents/kids pay activity by activity.

                            GUESS WHAT? I am really thinking that before you or the CC accept the books, you want your Chartered Partner (meaning the COR) to call for a full-scale audit, to include justifying the decision of the prior administration to send $330 per boy to the Troop. Cover yourselves. Help the outgoing people get either an unconditional release of responsibility for the $$$. Insist on an audit.

                            One of the most important Committee positions is the Treasurer. Cub Scouting is not inexpensive, but it is high value.

                            Many of us here will do all we can to have your back. You and your CC, take position specific training together, then work very hard to have each others back!!!

                            Good walking on the trail.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              UPDATE:
                              Well, met with the pack and outgoing leadership tonight. Apparently the outgoing CM is not leaving yet, exactly. The second year webelos, which it turns out there are 5, will be doing their own thing. That is why he no longer wants to be CM. That leaves us with 2 first year webelos. I overheard a conversation the treasurer was having, and she told another parent that there is about $800 in the account for the tiger and cub scouts. The rest of the money is for the webelos. I also learned that this group of parents has gotten together and decided to start their own troop after the boys cross over in Feb. They are using the rest of the money in said account as their seed money.

                              My CC was a no show, I am not surprised. I can't really blame her. I am going to call her in the morning and find out if she wants to quietly resign, and I will find her a replacement.

                              The outgoing CC gave me all the records she had, including minutes from committee meetings. Apparently, they have not met since March.

                              I am still going over everything, but so far I have read nothing about this money they are planning to take. They say they will also be taking the pack's camping equipment when they form a troop, but that we are welcome to borrow it.

                              My priority tomorrow is to get us a unit commissioner. I was told I will be meeting the COR next week. Apparently he is active with the pack in the sense that we get free reign over the church as long as we leave it as we found it. The church also donates $100 a quarter to the pack.

                              I will say that tonight was eye opening at the very least. I spent most of my time observing and listening. This group that has chosen to seperate from the pack gives me the willies. Something is not right. They looked uncomfortable when I started asking too many questions. They also seemed surprised at how much I have learned about scouting and they way a pack is run. The icing on the cake was when I told them I know our DE personally.

                              We shall see how this turns out. At least if they are doing something wrong, I have until Febuary before they leave with the cash.

                              On a good note, the parents all seemed to respond well to me. Everyone is embracing their leadership roles. Some of the other dads even started talking about helping out. Our resident fire fighter is even going to help organize an outing for the tiger cubs. I think we are going to have a great year.

                              Oh, I also found out that this pack was just started in 2006. So the pack itself is still a baby.

                              Thanks for al the feedback, it helps more than you know.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                >>"there is about $800 in the account for the tiger and cub scouts. The rest of the money is for the webelos. I also learned that this group of parents has gotten together and decided to start their own troop after the boys cross over in Feb. They are using the rest of the money in said account as their seed money.">"They say they will also be taking the pack's camping equipment when they form a troop, but that we are welcome to borrow it. "

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