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  • Financial Aid Applications

    So we're coming up on recharter time for many of us with summer camp fees due not long after.

    Does anyone have, or can the group come up with a get-to-the-point application for financial assistance? Personally, I don't want to see tax returns or balance sheets. I'm thinking something like this:

    Troop XX Financial Assistance

    It is the goal of Troop XX that all boys be able to fully participate in Scouting regardless of their or their family's financial situation and ability to pay. The troop is committed to helping deserving Scouts with financial aid to every extent possible.

    To better understand your situation and to help us appropriately allocate available funding, please provide the following information. This information will be kept in strict confidence by the troop and available only to the financial aid committee consisting of __________. This application will be maintained as a confidential record, howover all supporting documents will be destroyed after a grant has been made.

    Programs/Activities for which assistance is requested (ex. annual dues, uniforms, summer camp, jamboree, etc.):
    Total Cost of Programs/Activities:
    Amount Family is able to contribute:
    Amount Scout is personally able to earn:
    Amount of assistance provided by council or others (submission of finanacial aid application to council is REQUIRED to receive assistance from troop):
    Amount requested from troop:

    On a separate page and in your own words, please describe your family's financial situation which requires assistance by the troop.

    This last part is, I think, the guts of the issue and the part I have a hard time wrapping my head around. We have families in the troop who could be in bankruptcy but still have assets and income which would make the rest of us feel like we won Powerball. Frankly, what I'm looking for is some narrative which makes me feel good about giving these families the money which has been hard-earned by the rest of the troop. How do you ask that question?

  • #2
    A troop really has two sets of issues - how does one define the "needy" and second what level of confidentiality should be expected from those requesting assistance.

    Comment


    • #3
      we do not have an application. Though for summer camp we do have them go through the council first and then if they do not get enough from council we will then see what else is needed.

      We have one of our more expensive outtings coming up. It's at a climbing center where it's a lock-in rather than camping. Boys do this every 2 to 3 years as they enjoy it but know it's expensive. We have 2 boys that did need assistance - it was as simple as CC and me (SM) asking how much could they afford to pay and the paid that and troop covered the rest.

      We have a scout account that is "scout in need fund" when boys quit or age out and still have money in their scout accounts some of the money goes in there. My son ages out in september so basically just normal campouts and summer camp and he still has plenty in his account - so this last fundraiser I just told treasurer to my sons earnings into that account rather than his.

      I do not want to have to deal with paperwork. I do not want to have to deal with okay you make X and have Y kids you should be able to afford Z. I know a lot more goes into things than just that... one of our familys has some relatives that are not doing well health wise and se they have been traveling a lot to help with that so there's added gas and what not for that - can't put that on a form. Sure you may have those people that say that can't afford something and they turn around and go to disney whatever - I honestly don't care... I want the boys to be able to go camping, have fun, and learn... I do not want to keep a boy out just because parents don't value paying for scouting.

      Comment


      • #4
        We call it a scoutmaster's discretionary fund. The SM CC and Treasurer are required to approve its use. No need to bring up to the committee.

        No paperwork necessary.

        Comment


        • #5
          We never did this at the unit level. Camperships are available from Council that will pay up to half of the fee. Scouts are expected to earn the other half. In the few instances that we did have scouts in a bad situation, the adult leaders just chipped in and made it happen without an inquisition or financial audit. During my time as a unit leader, we had a few scouts who lost parents to cancer and we made sure they made it to camp to provide at least a week of diversion for them. Did they really "need" our help...I don't know. Didn't care.

          Comment


          • #6
            Yep, that's the question, Acco. What's the answer?

            And yes, I am the Scoutmaster and while I don't have a discretionary fund per se, most grants generally go through me. Of the three cases I've dealt with, I initiated two of them, not the family -- not unlike what PappaDaddy is saying.

            The third, I frankly don't feel particularly good about largely because I have no basis for thinking the family needs help. What I do know makes me uncomfortable -- the dad works for a large corporation and I know has to be pulling in a decent salary. The mom is a nurse and works full time. I also know the dad is as cheap as the day is long. He has no shame when it comes to sticking someone else with a check or racing to the front of the line when freebies are being given out. I've watched him do it many, many times. I also know the family takes some pretty sweet vacations. Frankly, if other folks in the troop knew we had helped this family, I think they'd be ticked and I'd have a difficult time justifying it.

            But that's all superficial, I know. There could be any number of legitimate reasons the family is in a financial bind I don't know about. We/I will do everything we can to help a kid out. In the past we've differed to the council. The family applies for a council "campership" and we will make a contribution for what the council doesn't cover. Frankly that's a cop-out. All the council's form asks is "how much do you need?" They essentially approve every application and dole out the campership money evenly. If there is enough money, they'll pay up to 50% of the cost of camp. If they're short, they give everyone less. As SM, I have to sign the campership form for this family and can't help but think I'm taking money away from more deserving Scouts.

            But as I said in the OP, I'd like some discrete and non-judgmental way of asking for enough information to make an informed decision and to feel comfortable that we are being good stewards of the other Scouts' money. That, ultimately, is the bottom line.(This message has been edited by Twocubdad)

            Comment


            • #7
              Since I am the reason this thread got spun.

              Now I pretty typically pay for scout camp for 3-5 boys a year....Could be day camp, could be webelos resident camp or Troop Camp. The boys I pay for have nothing....Generally shirts from the CO's uniform Closet, Live with grandma or foster care. I know the boy and honestly they don't have much of anything other than a bed and a warm place to call home.

              I have been burnt a number of times, the year the boys came back with disney pictures from the family vacation after I paid for camp for them.....They will never get another hand out.

              The mom that asked for me to come out to her expedition with an application so she could fill it out....Nails were done nice and fancy....she was babbling on her blackberry, at the time was the latest tech toy......

              The kid with the Iphone and the jambo financial aid app....

              If you have a lot of assets then you have cash.....Craigslist is a great thing,

              2cubs I would never consider financial add for the the folks you describe in the last paragraph. I can picture the folks, What kind of smart phone does the scout have???? Did he go to the halo, black ops or assasin creed release party???? How many of the before mentioned games does he own??? We could go on and on, I truly doubt they need or deserve help.....


              You guys all preach about not judging or knowing for sure......

              So the kid with the new Iphone.....how many of you would have signed the application and why?

              Or mom shows up with a brand new car and wants help from the troop for summer camp??????


              2cubs...I have paid directly for over 20 boys to attend summer camp over the years.....of those only a handful are still in scouting and of that handful I only have a warm and fuzzy feeling about 2...

              Our troop doesn't have a huge bank account or slush fund.....I have read about a SM's fund we don't have one of those either....

              We have enough to get by.....and that is all we need.

              Comment


              • #8
                Cross posted with your 2cubs....

                No way would I sign that application for the exact reason you mentioned.

                Multiple vacations a year, If mom works for a hospital she easily knocks down $80-100k a year and dads salary on top of that......I bet they take home $200k a year.

                I makes me sick that dad is that big jerk to even ask....

                So how much they asking for?????

                Comment


                • #9
                  Having been burned like BD. (At least the lame excuse was had to pay for next years high adventure. Hello? What about *my* next year's HA?)

                  Let offer this ... You have the right to judge.

                  The Good Lord doesn't want us thinking we'll get any better standing in heaven than the schlub who can't keep his house in order. We"re all in the same boat there. But some straights are worse than others, and you're expected to be generous to the poor, to seek the lost, if you will. Lost ain't "these camp fees are eating into our Disney dollars, can you help us out?"

                  Leverage your discernment, and you're folks will fess up about what's really going on if you've misinterpreted things. That or they'll drop cable and pay for camp.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My troop does not have a fund for this.

                    The first thing I do is look at how much they participated in the popcorn sale. We have this structured that they can pay their dues and 100% of camp fees by selling. Had 6 do that this year.

                    The times we've been approached with a "need" situation, adults in the troop paid for the scout. Once then found out later Pops had just bought an expensive race car.

                    I don't want to know the details. But I would like honesty. As with Qwazse, having Scouting cut into the Disney fund doesn't cut it.

                    It boils down to parental choices. Paying for them because they don't value scouting? What does that teach?

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