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Will there be a new policy on unit dues?

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  • #16
    All our scouts pay their own dues, so the fee is not the responsibility of our Pack.

    As for them mailing out flyers with YOUR info and this "wrong" price, that is something that your DE should not be doing.

    We have 23 or so units in our District (troops and packs), and the Pack flyers that go out for recruitment are all specific to one of our 12 packs in our district. So the prices reflected on the flyers are what it will cost for the scout to join that Pack. In our area, some packs have no dues, some have $10 dues, some have $50 and one even has $150 dues. Each pack's dues covers different things and are highly dependant with how motivated they are during fundraising. (ie the $10 dues pack hits the popcorn sale hard, while the $50 due pack just really does takehome if the kids want to).

    So our flyers that are specific to a pack do say the exact amount for that pack to join up.


    • #17
      Our council now puts the registration fee on the flyers that go home with interested boys. At first it was a problem as it was a LOT less than we were asking of new families. We adapted and it isn't a problem any more.
      • We ask just for the amount to register at this point in time with the application. This increased the number of boys who sign up on registration night.
      • We present the cost of our pack dues and when payments are due - end of September. We used to ask for all of it up front with the app. This way works better anyway.
      • We show in detail what the pack dues cover, and emphasize that the registration fee goes to National, not us.
      • We tell them how they can use popcorn sales to reduce the cost of scouting. Most don't take advantage of this but giving them the option makes the cost more palatable.


      • fred johnson
        fred johnson commented
        Editing a comment
        You mentioned that you only asked for the BSA membership cost with the application. Later you ask for unit dues. The trouble is the 2nd year, 3rd year, etc. The unit dues need to include BSA membership cost because the "unit' pays that cost when the "unit" recharters. Individuals do not repay a membership costs.

      • sasha
        sasha commented
        Editing a comment
        Our unit dues include the cost of BSA registration at re-charter time each year. We tell this to the parents. I don't understand your point? We could charge unit dues and BSA registration fees separately, adding them together into one sum and calling it unit dues that cover BSA registration each year is the same difference.

    • #18
      I think it's more cynical than that... National's numbers are down, this would be a one year juicing... which is critical to sell the membership guidelines change as a positive one so they can change it for scouters in the next two years and get corporate money back.

      In the past year they've been talking about gay people, fat scouts, and zip lines for a program that recruits 6 year olds to wear uniforms and do art projects. National pays ZERO attention to the cub scout program, where 90%+ of Scout Recruiting takes place. Middle/High School scouts hate uniforms, solution, talk about getting rid of uniforms (which the Cub Scouts LOVE). More high adventure for older scouts, no resources for Cubs. It's dumb... Despite all that, they desperately need to show that the Membership Guideline change was a positive one, and that it "slowed the rate of membership loss." Solution, Council Resources for Join Scouting Night as long as you only charge $10/Youth, $5/Adult, then ask for more money later. Sure, plenty of the kids will drop out before a meeting, but National can show how great the membership numbers are. No time to finish up the Lions pilot and roll that out, when there is more High Adventure Scouting to plan... I don't care about the fee increase, I care that it was done boneheaded and confused...

      JTE Guidelines: have a budget by 8/31/2013. My JTE Spreadsheet I'm supposed to fill out lists dues as 15/member. I'm now supposed to turn it in monthly, but my budget is broken. Stupid and sloppy for no reason.

      Focus on cubs, not gay people. Drop the gay issue from Cub Scouts ALLTOGETHER, it's IRRELEVANT to a program for 6 to 10 year olds.

      When someone asks me, my response, "I deal with Cub Scouts, if one of my boys is having sex, I'm calling the police, regardless of gender."


      • King Ding Dong
        King Ding Dong commented
        Editing a comment
        Same idea but not on such a grand scale. But even if they did I wouldn't endure the endless crafts and popcorn sales just for a fancy playground. My old council had nothing, just primitive camp.

        Do they charge to use the playground ? Mine charges for cub pack overnights comes out to about $5 a tent.

        Remedial training for the good stuff with maybe some character education along the way. And PWD. They do half the stuff in school anyway.

      • Pack18Alex
        Pack18Alex commented
        Editing a comment
        You're not unique, you're making my point. Scouters don't care about cub scouts. They are the ones sold on Boy Scouts, they put time into cubs so their son will be doing Boy Scouts. The professionals are the same way, cub scouting is an add on program to get boys into Boy Scouts.

        However, most parents that show up to a join scouting night are bringing their 6 year old son. The program they are sold on is cub scouts.

        So the ones in charge are all about the troop and maybe the crew.

        But the work on building scouting is all on the cub scouters to make it work. It's short sighted management by BSA.

        If the Boy Scout program was so critical to BSA it wouldn't have such high attrition. We have awful attrition (in the stats) at Webelos and first year Boy Scouts.

        Given that the troops do near zero recruiting and the scouters see cub scouts as something to get through is the core culture problem as BSA.

        Since almost all the recruiting is at the cub level, some energy should be focused there.

        One of the belt loops still talks about using a tape recorder (pin level)!

        As I spoke to my DE, in our district, cubs outnumber venturers 4:1, so why do the emails about council events for venturers and older scouts (implied venturers patrols) out number stuff for cubs 4:1.

        Why do recruiting events focus on canoeing and rifles when the boys being recruited aren't allowed to play laser tag?

        If your recruiting is for an indoor program, why scare my suburbanites with things their boys can't do for 7 years?

        If the troop program can't support itself, why not put resources into grown cub scouting as valuable on its own. If you can't fix the drop out process, why not at least grow your pool of scouts with cub scouting pushes?

      • Pack18Alex
        Pack18Alex commented
        Editing a comment

        Thanks for the link! I forwarded that and the website overall to my DE, who seems open to trying to shift some resources to Cub Scouts. The Boy Scouts shouldn't NEED facilities, they are supposed to be doing back country camping, right? For the front country Cub Scout campers, where whole families are going, it's overly primitive. Some of my old timer Cub Moms are appalled that since we've be doing more Council/District stuff, it's primitive camping... they like KOAs with hot showers, electricity at camp sites, and a swimming pool. Now, not a single one of those moms will be camping with the Troop once their son crosses over, and that's fine with me. Meanwhile, the Cub leadership needs to get the boys comfortable with camping outdoors, which some moms veto.

        We need to get boys into Cubs, Cubs into camping, Webelos into being useful while camping, and Webelos into troops. That's the end game. Sure the occasional new Webelos signs up (we actually got a bunch this year), and a few troops in our District recruit a few fresh scouts, but most of the new Scouts coming up the ranks start as Tigers or Wolves, some Bears, occasional Webelos... I can count the new Scouts on both hands in my district.

        But as long as Professional and Volunteer Scouters treat Cub Scouting as an afterthought, numbers will continue to Dwindle.

        If we had something like Dan Beard has for Cub World, I'd run recruiting events Saturday and Sunday all September long. Activities for the Youth to do, and then representatives from any Packs that want to show up can recruit, and also Council and provide information for people about Packs in their area.

        "Back in the Day" the troops recruited... been reading the original Scouting For Boys... a First Class Scout to bring a friend and get him trained up... if a boy wants to be a patrol leader, he should recruit a patrol and train them... Cubbing was started to recognize (and providing programming) for the junior corps of younger brothers that were already forming.

        Well, today, the Troops don't recruit, except from Packs. The Packs get limited help from the Troops (Basement Dweller and a few super star Units in my area excepted), and the Cub Parents are expected to run this program for their boys with the attitude from National/Council that all that matters is that we bust our ass so the Troops can recruit our boys. That's messed up, and that's why you're suffering attrition.

        Make Cub Scouting exciting in its own right, give Webelos the taste of Boy Scouting (while getting helicopter mom to calm down), and Boy Scouting becomes the draw to hold them in... But if recruiting for everyone is on the Cub Scouter's shoulders, give us SOME resources.

        In my Council, Cub Scouts account for about 70% of Popcorn sales... the money that goes to the Council funds overhead and Troop programming. My parents whose oldest is hitting Webelos don't understand why they should care about Cubs anymore, they're almost moving over to troop (nevermind they have another son in Tiger/Wolf Dens). This is what I mean by a broken model.

    • #19
      We are starting the recharter process. We are dropping all non-contact committee members except the bare minimum number needed to recharter. I wish I could buy the Scouting magazine for them. For scouts, our cost is $36 now (boy's life too). When we created our policies, the cost was $22 per scout ($12 boy's life + $10 membership) Our policy was that if they might continue, we'd recharter them. Now, we are purging them from our roster. We have to do that. Our troop is essentially a 25 to 30 scout troop now. We have a SM + 6 ASMs + 6 committee memberships. We've shrunk significantly as our surrounding packs have shrunk.

      Our recharter cost for one year of BSA membership is about $1300.

      Policy change - We have scouts who have not paid their dues for years and we ask and ask. We will NOT recharter them this year.

      Policy change - We have more committee members than required. We can save $24 per person for each we do NOT recharter.

      We can save significant funds.


      • #20
        Pack18Alex commented
        09-18-2013, 08:23 AM

        The Boy Scouts shouldn't NEED facilities, they are supposed to be doing back country camping, right?

        The Facilities are Needed for the Scouters who can't afford trips to places that Offer Activities..Not All State Parks are Equal in Comparison. Someday I will get out and Take a Picture of Our local State Park..and you will see. Sadly not every Council can or will support a Camp that offers Zip lines, Climbing Walls, Repelling Towers, and so Called High Adventure Camps. Scouts in Northwest Texas Council have to leave the Area to attend a Good Camp..Many Scouters can't afford $500 a week for Summer Camp when You Factor in the Additional Cost of transportation.

        Come to Texas to try and Do your Back Country Camping and You will Find it ain't the same type of Camping as You would be doing in the Appalachians, The Rockies, The Grand Tetons, The Backwoods of The Great Lakes Region.

        Each region Offers an Unique Experience. Some Councils are offering Unique Camping Experience that even a National High Adventure Base Can't.. Ever Paddle 6 Days through Swamps? Well You can now with Scouters at the New SWAMPBASE in Louisiana. A Locally run BSA facility.

        In Yester Years Scout Councils usually had some of the Best Camps in their Area. Sadly not every Council allocated enough attention or money to maintain these camps properly..Money was better spent on Salaries and Offices. To Many Mucky Mucks thought the Same Way..Camps were an Unneeded expense as Scouts could always pay to go somewhere else to Camp..Scout Camps were provided as way to make it affordable for scouts to go Camping.