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  • Price Points

    This stems from having a bear of a time getting my crew to recharter ...

    $15.00 (registration fee) + $1.50 (unit accident insurance) + $40.00/crewsize (unit recharter fee).

    Keep in mind that I'm in a crew where kids pay their own way for most everything. Even if the check comes from parents, they are thinking of their investment, and the above fee structure merely puts them on the mailing list. They are very much aware that they are paying 50% - 100% of the cost of one activity just to "stay connected".

    Not always worth it for college kids who already shell out for student activities fees and the like on top of tuition. I'm sure nowadays, cub parents are feeling similar pressures.

    Question: is there a *lower* price point which would increase membership? Could we get twice as many youth registered if we charged half the fee? Thrice if it were $6 total?

  • #2
    Using your logic you could get all you wanted if you lowered it to zero. No, I don't believe that registration costs are keeping your youth away. It is other interests, opportunity costs, that are keeping them away.

    What good is having a name on a piece of paper if they never participate? Clutter is all.

    If you did one, two or three activities a year that they were able to participate in, they would find a way to cough up the registration fee. It's not a backbreaking amount. (I have 3 in college now. $20 bucks won't move the needle).

    Comment


    • #3
      Yah, I reckon $20 is a pizza and a couple of beers. College kids seem to be able to afford that.

      When I look at many youth activities around here - da travel soccer clubs and hockey teams and pay-to-play school sports or club sports, I think for da most part scouting sells itself too cheap. Perhaps if we charged more, families would treat us like we were more valuable (it's funny da way that works sometimes), and more of a commitment.

      Cubs I can see. Lots of packs are set up to nickle and dime parents on activities and uniform parts and other stuff.

      Comment


      • #4
        But reduced registration fees don't do anything for event or camping fees. In the grand scheme of things it is a small amount of money.

        So if you dropped it to $5 then you end up with a bunch of members how can't afford the outings

        Comment


        • #5
          Its not really the amount of the registration fee which really isn't an unaffordable number but rather that there is one at all. Anyone who goes through this process every year knows just getting any amount of money out of people is a challenge and in some units takes months.

          What I believe is that most people simply don't get any benefits from giving national this money. Their units certainly get no benefit, none of this money goes to unit camping/activity fees. For the occasional scout/leader who may attend one or 2 events a year they simply get to be subjected to fees they don't want and an onerous amount of paperwork.

          There certainly are alternatives to this flawed bsa system. Many of the meetup groups I attend have no fees, and zero paperwork. And some of the national outdoor organizations i belong to require a small payment similar to this mainly to afford the group mailings.

          Yes eliminating the annual recharter mess will allow in some who are less committed to attend program functions, but at least then there is no barrier to entry or exit.

          Comment


          • #6
            My Cub Pack has a wide variation in family incomes, from self employed house cleaners to a Boeing engineer and attorney employed by the Federal government.

            Our basic charge is $5/month. So families registering in the fall pay $20 for September-December and $60 for the next calendar year.

            Families that sell $200 in popcorn get a free membership for the next year. Those that sell over $200 get 30% of the additional amount in a Scout Account that can be used for activities, uniforms or other Scout related expenses.

            Families decide if they want to participate in the popcorn sale or not. Those that prefer to pay cash for membership and activities are welcome to do so and can skip the popcorn sale.

            Families that want to work at selling popcorn can have a ***free*** Cub Scout program that does not lean on the family budget.

            Most families sold enough popcorn to get the free membership. One family sold $2,000 in popcorn.

            The pack membership fee covers our regular den and pack meeting expenses and inexpensive outings like hikes and such.

            Our upcoming swim at a public pool (regular admission charge) or Cub Scout Bowling Tournament ($15) require a cash payment which will be refunded by those have Scout account funds.

            After a couple of years of experience, this program seems to be working out well for us.

            Comment


            • #7
              But reduced registration fees don't do anything for event or camping fees. In the grand scheme of things it is a small amount of money.

              So if you dropped it to $5 then you end up with a bunch of members how can't afford the outings

              Above food costs which the kids would be spending anyway (c.f. Beav's comment regarding pizza and beers), I bet I could get a couple of vehicles of kids to some pretty sweet trailheads twice a year on $12 per. Two more activities per year -- not pricey. Just enough to get that esprit-de-corps growing.

              On a cub level: second pinewood derby. Or, another two engines for those model rockets.

              Comment


              • #8
                it may just be me, but I thought the legal drinking age was 21, so no youth in the BSA should ever be buying beer. OK, it has been known that underage drinking does occur, but a bunch of scouters talking about registration cost for youth in terms of how much beer it would buy, is unsettling...

                Comment


                • #9
                  OGE, I was referring to root beer. Don't know what Beav was talking about.

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                  • #10
                    Q I don't think the money is the issue.

                    My local experience is that the young ladies and men love the IDEA of outdoors, camping, hiking and backpacking. But when the rubber hits the road, they go once and quit. they can't stand not showering or the isolation of not being connected, they don't enjoy making their own meals.

                    Even for my area, $15 for crew registration isn't the barrier.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I proposed to increase our dues to $600 per year made in two payments due December and May.
                      For this money a scout would get BSA registration, Boy's Life, Troop dues which covers all patches and handbooks, 11 weekend camping trips including all fees and food, and a week long summer camp. Not to mention well qualified adult leadership, a meeting hall and most of the necessary camping equipment.

                      If you think about it that's a pretty good deal but no one would go for it. Instead they pay $75 dues, extra for Boys Life, an average of $25 per weekend trip, $325 for summer camp. So now a boy going to all the trips actually pays more. My intent was to increase participation since trips would essentially be prepaid.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The up front fees I don't think deters people. As one parent put it at a roundup we held earlier this fall, baseball was costing her hundreds of dollars in fees/equipment/uniforms/trips and it only lasted a few months. Scouting is year round.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          qwazse
                          Most units have some sort of an annual budget.
                          A new member does get hit with having to pay the fees but after the first year the cost of these are built into the budget.
                          If we are looking at approx $60.00 a year?
                          That needs to be looked at and covered by events that raise funds or maybe it might be added on to the cost of activities?
                          Waiting till your faced with rechartering and trying to get the all the cash at one time from a group of teenagers? Really sounds like a no win situation.

                          Like it or not, these fees are the costs.
                          The Crew youth Committee needs to know what they are and needs to ensure that what they plan to do covers the cost of these.
                          Most teenagers like to feel that they are getting something for their money.
                          This is a hard sell when it comes to things like membership fees.
                          My feeling is that the sale has to be, that without these fees there just isn't a Crew and we end up not being BSA members and where does this leave us?
                          If the youth members don't want to make these fees a budget item?
                          Is five bucks a month that far out of line?
                          Ea.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            there just isn't a Crew and we end up not being BSA members and where does this leave us?

                            Pizza+Beer?
                            Camping with friends, paperwork free?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Passing a bottle around the camp fire with friends is nice.

                              Comment

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