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Scouting for a few dollars more.

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  • #46
    My council just buried the news in an email today. gsdad, that would have been worthy of a cell phone photo and a demand to know if National paid for it. What was the persons position ?

    Comment


    • #47
      I personally don't see it as an issue. I have to pay US Swimming $100+ a year for my son to swim on a team that I have to pay $70 a month for. BSA is cheap in comparison.

      Comment


      • #48
        mashmaster ... Ya know ... I just do not buy into these comparisons. They are simplistic and do not recognize the big differences. Scouting has many many volunteers donating a lot of time and money to make each scouting unit work. Much much more than any other activity. Plus we don't have paid coaches. Plus when we want scouting books and papers and uniforms we have to pay for them and the cost is not trivial. Scouting is volunteer heavy and volunteers PAY to volunteer. It's a sick relationship, but it works. In addition, our scouts pay for summer camp, monthly camps, outings etc. That comes to about $500 per kid per year. More if the scout needs to buy new equipment or uniforms or .... Combine that with volunteer costs and it is not cheap.

        BSA membership was $10 in 2009. Then $15 in 2010. Now as we start the year, we get zero notice that it is now $24. It is the size of the change and the timing of the change. I'm not sure who the BSA accounting wizard is but they screwed up big time. How about the people running the business? Every project I've been on runs the numbers and takes status weekly and definitely monthly. Running the numbers is part of running a business. Finally, who was the wizard who planned the announcing of this? The way it has been communicated and explained reflects arrogance and the discounting of those affected.

        ********

        IMHO, every aspect of this price increase has been bungled. I have great patience with volunteers. You get what you pay for and you need to make the volunteer mix work. But the BSA CEO salary has been almost $1,000,000 a year plus standard CEO perks and etc. If he's making that much, his executives and top leaders are making good wages for their positions too. At those wages, you demand top notch professionalism. This has been amateurish at best. Definitely NOT professional and definitely not worth the prices we pay.

        Comment


        • Basementdweller
          Basementdweller commented
          Editing a comment
          So the Chief scout makes a million bucks a year???

          I am still only paying $24 for it.


          But we have to ask what are we receiving for our $24?

          For me it is online training.

          For the boys, Not really all that sure as to what they receive for their dollars.....

        • Eagle732
          Eagle732 commented
          Editing a comment
          In 2011 CSE Mazzuca made over $980,000 in salary and compensation. ACSE / COO Brock made $668,000. ACSE / CFO Terry made $797,000. Who knows what they're making today.
          IRS 990 online here for more info: http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/2011Form990.pdf
          Last edited by Eagle732; 09-16-2013, 12:26 PM.

      • #49
        There is also a trend to be recognized. The average family is being priced out of scouting.

        - No more used uniforms in thrift stores to buy cheap. Gotta buy new ones.

        - Merit badge books jumped $3 per book with the re-designed color printing.

        - Centennial uniform. Price was more for less quality.

        - Dues going from $10 in 2009 to $24 now. That is a 240% increase.

        - The biggest one for me is $2000 for the national jamboree. Sure it's the pinnacle but it's simple camping and the volunteers are PAYING to volunteer there.


        Sure the dues in crease is just a $9 increase. But there is a trend to price the the "average" family out of scouting. Scouting was created to be cheap for the scouts so that they could pay their own way. Baden Powell wanted it help give city kids outdoor experiences. From everything I've read, it was not supposed to be expensive. What I'm seeing is a loss of focus on scouting being affordable. Heck, killing the used uniform market itself was a kick in the pants of many families ... and more importantly ... reflects that BSA is working to earn money any way they can and at the expense of those they serve.

        I earn well, but even my wife and I talk about if scouting is worth the cost. We discuss it and our family could probably take a major vacation each year if we just quit scouting and save half of what we spend on scouting. That is hard to think about. But it is the family hobby and we stay. But for how long?

        Comment


        • Scouter99
          Scouter99 commented
          Editing a comment
          A brand new uniform today costs the same as it did in 1960 or 1910. Uniform costs track exactly to inflation. You can find the cost of a uniform from any year in the past 100 years via the Boys' Life archive (http://boyslife.org/wayback/), and you can compare its cost with an inflation calculator (http://www.westegg.com/inflation/).

          The fabric for shirts has been 65/35 polyester/cotton since the 1960s; some of the shirts in my collection are silk-thin, some are right thick, but the fabric in a poly blend Centennial shirt is thicker than any of them. The pants are more prone to issues in craftsmanship because they're vastly more technical than past pants.
          You are actually getting more for your dollar today than you did with the ODLR uniform or the uniforms prior to it.

          As for uniforms in thrift stores, are you putting forward a claim that the National boogeyman is keeping them out? Why isn't your troop keeping its own uniform exchange? I send out a call for outgrown uniforms twice a year, and I periodically email families whose kids quit and are never coming back. Consequently, we have four large plastic bins full of uniforms. I'm not a wizard, anyone can do it. $3 at the thrift shop might be cheap, it's still more than $0 in your quartermaster store.

      • #50
        Yep, Scouting is becoming an endeavor for the wealth....

        The Jamboree is way out of line with one council charging $6,000 per.....I know that is way out of my budget.


        But I think it is just a reflection of our disappearing middle class......the typical economic pyramid is now a column.....with an ever shrinking middle class. I don't eat out a lot or go to the movies a bunch, drive old vehicles and live in a modest home in the hood....My wife and I both work decent jobs and we still struggle.....So much I am considering getting a second job in the evening.

        Comment


        • Basementdweller
          Basementdweller commented
          Editing a comment
          So in complete honesty Barry, Could your scout raise $6k to attend the national jamboree.

          My units annual program including summer camp isn't $500 a year.

          While my guys are insulated from it......I see groups heading off to High Adventure bases......Last one spent $2k for philmont....Our council has a contigent going for $3.5k inclusive.....Those are huge numbers. Especially when you consider most of my families live on less than $2k per month.

          You mentioned fundraising......How do you fund raise when you receive a letter from your DE telling you to stay out of Troop 263's fundraising turf. How do you fund raise when your community's average family income is $20k.....

          Most of the suburbs now require permits for door to door sales, so if your not from the area don't expect to get one of the permits.

          I would like to know how ya fund raise under those conditions.......

          The boys could mow yards, we the neighborhoods don't have yards and the ones that do have men that mow.....Paper routes......Again adults do that job.
          Bag boys at the grocery....you have to be 16 now.....

          My dislike of the wealthy comes from the way they have treated me in scouting........Being screamed at in front of a store a couple of years ago by a committee chairman......The phone calls from the DE and Council telling be to get back on my side of the belt way........ They have giant trailers brand new tenting and take big expensive trips multiple times a year, including trips to every high adventure base on a rotating basis.......In my opinion more than their share of the fundraising dollar.

          This weekend saw a wealth troop at a camporee.....Had REI 6 man tents.....They had 20 of them and the retail on those guys was $469...... $10,000 worth of tenting.

          All I would like is for my guys to be able to fund raise to pay for their registration, and summer camp.....a whooping $250 per.
          Last edited by Basementdweller; 09-11-2013, 11:42 AM.

        • Eagledad
          Eagledad commented
          Editing a comment
          My family has never been to a national jamboree because that was a lower priority than summer camp. However, I had a few scouts that did want to go and they worked all year to pay the cost, which was $2500 at that time. But it has always been that way Base. National Jamboree has always been priced very high, I could never afford it. Bit if it is important for you, you will find way. We are a back packing troop and we always have used packs for sell for scouts who can't afford new ones. The problem I have with some adults that I've worked with is that they use the troop program for their own personal adventure and drive up the cost of the program for the scouts. THat is a different problem. But that is not what you are talking about. I don't think the BSA can price a troop out of scouting because they can find a way to run qualtiy program with in any kind of budget. I will agree that summer camp is expensive, but I've seen the cost of running a camp and it's expensive. However, at least around here, we always have folks willing to sponser a scout or two. Barry

        • DuctTape
          DuctTape commented
          Editing a comment
          One of the reasons the cost of running a camp is so high is the maintenance of all the facilities associated therewith. If the camps instead reduced the amount of infrastructure which requires the maintenance, the cost would be lower. Scouts would also be able to spend more time in the woods and not some Holiday Inn surrounded by trees.

      • #51
        How was jamboree $6000, Base? The jambo fee was, I believe, $850. So how do you spend over $5k on transportation. You're, what, 350-400 miles away? A side trip to Maui?

        Comment


        • Builder
          Builder commented
          Editing a comment
          HAH! BMI is a joke to begin with. There's a lot of NFL running backs, cornerbacks and safeties who couldn't pass that test. Secondly, according to one of our Committee Members who was on staff, BSA didn't really pay all that much attention to it when it came to numbers. Numbers of participants and staff...

        • Basementdweller
          Basementdweller commented
          Editing a comment
          I am pretty sure they are Flying into Charlotte North Carolina, Not someplace in WVA.

          I read somewhere that the location is with a days drive of 2/3's the population of the US.

        • qwazse
          qwazse commented
          Editing a comment
          Colorado Front was never in contention. For years, more West-Coast scouts wanted to see the nation's capital than did East-Coast scouts want to see any single sight out west. Can't remember how many proposals were in serious contention, but they were all within 1/2 days drive of Washington D.C.

          Of course, adding that day of monument-seeing dramatically adds to the cost of Jambo. (Which probably increases the cost variability for west-coast troops.)

          On the flip side, it spares a family from arranging two separate trips. When I was a kid, we passed on several school D.C. trips because of cost burden to my family -- and that was only 1/2 day bus ride + hotel. If it a stop in DC were part of our council's itinerary, my folks might have been willing to pay the extra the cost. As the cost for a school trip increases, I bet an add-on to an existing Jambo trip has increasing appeal.

      • #52
        To be fair, the few really expensive west coast trips were options for those willing and desirous of the extra touring involved. Those councils also had less expensive units go with fewer extras. I know in 2010 one council, not sure which one now, had four troops; and each had its own itinerary, mode of transport, and time frame. One was almost a month long, with major tours before and after.

        And, while it can be more challenging, raising money for these kind of opportunities can be done if the individuals really want to do them. When we went to Philmont for a trek in 1979, the cost was the thing that had kept them from doing it, as nobody had really discussed ways of doing it. I had just taken the unit over, and I told them they could do it if the "wanted" to do it. Was not really as difficult as they thought, and all five that went then still treasure that trip. In 1960, as I have noted a long while back, I wanted to go to the Colorado jamboree. Our council charge was $400 plus uniforms and incidental spending money. Uniforming was estimated to be $50. My parents sad, "We will buy your uniforms and duffle; if you want to go, you will need to earn the rest". So I did. For me the highlight of my scouting youth, and a huge growth experience in my life.

        My mother used to tell me a lot that "Can't never could do anything". We seem to live in a society that does not understand this, so has excuses and "poor me's" as reasons for their not actually doing things. Earning our way is still the best lesson we can learn in life; the younger we do it, the better off we will are.

        Comment


        • Basementdweller
          Basementdweller commented
          Editing a comment
          Ya skeptic, My boys and I are bunch of lazy entitled slackers. Poor us.....

          Not, I know where I live, I know that I cannot send them to sell door to door without an armed escort. There is no money to be had.....Spending an entire afternoon knocking on doors for $10 in change......Heck the drinks I bought at the stop and rob cost more than that.

          If I could raise $250 per boy I would be in hog heaven.....That would pay for summer camp and recharter..... Starting this weekend we will be hocking popcorn....to meet that goal I would need to sell $24,000 an impossible goal.

      • #53
        I read this thread twice now and agree with most of what was posted:
        after the uniform change and fee increase with both BSA and NZS in the past years …
        My first SM as ASM told me the average BSA SM spends about 2,500$ a year ...

        The kids should not spend their time only fundraising, yet sometimes you need larger sums for different things.
        There is grants for nearly anything; some exclude membership fees but if you looked hard enough; I heard of troop that got grants for uniforms…

        I did a lot of reading and tought myself a lot about grants and am working on piecing together a "tutorial" I want to put on youtube or something to pass on the knowledge
        (so any additions, comments, hints, ideas welcome :-) I already added a couple things from this thread).

        Fundraising 101
        -Bake Sale
        -Cookies/Choclate/Candy Bars/Popcorn/Lemonade/Wine
        -Pens with troop details
        -Giftwrap
        -Mulch
        -Emergency/Rescue/Space Blankets
        -Meal event: Pancake Breakfast, Spaghetti Dinner, BBQ, Sausage Sizzle,
        Invite Rotary, Masons, Lions, local sports team …
        -Scout Shop (at events, online on troop page, FB etc)
        -Uniform Exchange
        -Auction
        -Scout Disco
        -Game/Quiz night, Pub Crawl/Party, ...

        Grants 202
        Transportation/Fuel Grants (Overseas?!)
        Membership fee Grants
        Grants for repairs of existing structures
        Special note: if you need money for anything having to do with water or hygiene there is a Foundation from Eagle Scout Bill Gates & his wife that specializes in just that.

        There is heaps of places to apply for grants, but sometimes you have to look at national or even international level.

        Grants seem more complicated and complex than they actually are:
        don't fear the paperwork or having to apply for more than 1 grant.
        You need to turn in 20 or 30 pages?
        95% is going to be photocopies of registration, tax number etc.
        Not much you have to write yourself except fill out the forms,
        a letter from your committee. Simple really.

        When I arrived the Scout Group in New Zealand was "scared" of the "large sum" of 12,000$
        for a roof, but also needed walls and replace water damage in the floors and redo the bathrooms...
        There had been big ideas and great plans to add the scout hut
        to civil resilience as an emergency community center with water tanks and …

        I picked up the ball and started pushing the locals a bit LOL
        After a couple of builders quotes I estimated the Group needed 50-55,000$.
        They thought I was nuts.

        I was "active" Grant Admin for about 6 months, and about a year after I started
        had raised or helped raise about 16,000$ and repairs have started.
        Depending on how you see it I was bringing in over 1,000$ to 2,000$ every month.
        My teachers always told me I don't work up to my abilities LOL.
        The Group Leader has now asked me for a 18,000$ transportation grant for jamboree …
        16k of 70k … Still working on it ;-)

        Comment


        • King Ding Dong
          King Ding Dong commented
          Editing a comment
          Wow, Scouting in New Zealand sounds like a lot of fun. In the US Scouts selling wine or going on a pub crawl is going to get some people in a lot of trouble.

      • #54
        NZ is fun indeed :-D but the kids dont get wine - my troop set up this distribution deal and the kids take the orders and the parents pick up or the committee does a delievery. Pretty sweet thing my CC cam up with. First year it paid for the uniform change for each scout selling a box of bottles. Not bad.
        NZS is more relaxed about alcohol too - nearly every camp when the scouts are in bed the adults have a nightcap - an absolute no-no in the BSA. But stories from adult TAC outings are classified I believe LOL.
        Did you know that as it is legal in some countries, french and german rovers will drink beer or wine at camp? ...
        Different countries ...

        Comment


        • #55
          I am totally not bothered by a $9 price hike.

          I can actually see where our money goes in our council because we are very involved at the district level.

          What DOES annoy me is the timing of the announcement, during fall recruitment instead of before. We already had 2 join nights before this policy was announced, so we couldn't relay that to the parents. Instead we were using the $15 number in our presentation to the parents about yearly fees for next year.

          That is not our council's fault though, its national.

          Comment


          • #56
            Originally posted by fred johnson View Post
            mashmaster ... Ya know ... I just do not buy into these comparisons. They are simplistic and do not recognize the big differences. Scouting has many many volunteers donating a lot of time and money to make each scouting unit work. Much much more than any other activity. Plus we don't have paid coaches. Plus when we want scouting books and papers and uniforms we have to pay for them and the cost is not trivial. Scouting is volunteer heavy and volunteers PAY to volunteer. It's a sick relationship, but it works. In addition, our scouts pay for summer camp, monthly camps, outings etc. That comes to about $500 per kid per year. More if the scout needs to buy new equipment or uniforms or .... Combine that with volunteer costs and it is not cheap.

            BSA membership was $10 in 2009. Then $15 in 2010. Now as we start the year, we get zero notice that it is now $24. It is the size of the change and the timing of the change. I'm not sure who the BSA accounting wizard is but they screwed up big time. How about the people running the business? Every project I've been on runs the numbers and takes status weekly and definitely monthly. Running the numbers is part of running a business. Finally, who was the wizard who planned the announcing of this? The way it has been communicated and explained reflects arrogance and the discounting of those affected.

            ********

            IMHO, every aspect of this price increase has been bungled. I have great patience with volunteers. You get what you pay for and you need to make the volunteer mix work. But the BSA CEO salary has been almost $1,000,000 a year plus standard CEO perks and etc. If he's making that much, his executives and top leaders are making good wages for their positions too. At those wages, you demand top notch professionalism. This has been amateurish at best. Definitely NOT professional and definitely not worth the prices we pay.

            There is only one person on the swim team that is paid, the rest are volunteers. I didn't even compare it to my daughter's high school marching bad which other that the school paid teachers are all volunteers costs us a ton of money. I take offense that you think the comparison is simplistic, because they are very similiar in the amount of volunteer time other than it is a team requirement ti volunteer a certain number of hours as compared to the amount that a few of us volunteer for scouts. All of the points you bring up for volunteering also are the same for me for band.

            Comment


            • #57
              Not at all bothered for the Scout. $ 9 is a drop in the bucket in the cost of raising a kid. As an adult volunteer, however, I can see where less involved adults would eventually choose not to register. Still can camp, carpool, MBC, etc... without the fee.

              Comment


              • #58
                Update:
                At this weeks committee meeting we decided to register only two adults, SM and CC, out of the troop's budget. Additionally, two very active ASMs opted to pay for their own $24 to insure their insurance. Last year we registered 40 adults.

                40 x $15 = $600 : 2013 adult registrations paid.
                4 x $24 = $96 : 2014 adult registrations paid.
                So Irving lost $504 on our adults by raising their rates.

                60 x $15 = $900 : 2013 scouts registered.
                50 x $24 = $1200 : 2014 scouts registered (we're not fronting dues for any questionable boys this year).
                But Irving made up $300 from charging the boys more.

                Overall, our re-charter check is going to be $204 less.
                I hope those boys in Irving haven't already spent the money from those higher dues...
                Last edited by JoeBob; 11-18-2013, 09:16 AM.

                Comment


                • Basementdweller
                  Basementdweller commented
                  Editing a comment
                  That is a ton of adults.....

                  I could never imagine a troop with 40 adults.

                • qwazse
                  qwazse commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I could never imagine you getting all their dues from them this early in the year (unless your 50 boys is a projection)!

                  Do you all pay a per-member unit accident insurance? Ours went up to $2.50 from $1.50 this year. So our council is seeing a net increase of $10 per Boy Scout/Venturer.

                • JoeBob
                  JoeBob commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Basement:
                  About 10 ASMs - 6 of whom are at almost every troop meeting. 6 or 7 parents of recently aged out scouts who still hold important positions. (I'm gonna miss our treasurer whose son will age out soon!) A batch of good old boys, who sometimes get in the way, but also make a valuable contributions (Lake house, mountain farm, legal advice.)
                  A full committee, and a bunch of Scout Parents who chip in. There are only 4 of 5 boys in the troop whose parents are NOT involved in something. We have 3 Eagles in their 20s who are former troop members who moved back to the community, and picked up a former Eagle/Infantry Cpt. from Mass. who just wants to give back.

                  Qwazse:
                  Dues: An ASM is calling the 6 we haven't gotten yet. She started collecting in August. ($90 per year)
                  Insurance costs: I don't know. I could ask the recharter guy, or the advancement chair, or the treasurer... I don't do paperwork.
                  Last edited by JoeBob; 11-18-2013, 07:15 PM.

              • #59
                Just got word of my first youth dropping from the roles to shave some costs. She will rejoin mid year and pay pro-rated fees if there is an activity she wants to participate in.

                Comment


                • #60
                  So, the final numbers are in. I lost four youth from my crew because the registration fee was more than they were prepared to pay or raise funds for. That is 30%.

                  Still, a $10 gain for the BSA. National's loss of about $80 from the youth who dropped is offset by the $90 gain from increased fees on the remaining paid youth.

                  Comment


                  • RememberSchiff
                    RememberSchiff commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Sorry to hear this. But on the bright side, a $10 gain should be worth a 1000 points alone in the Jerknee to Economic Excellence Unit Award.
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