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  • What can pack funds be spent on.

    Am new here to the forum.

    Right now our committee has a few members that want to buy meals for all committee meetings for all members and they want to pay with pack funds. They also want the pack to pay for child care for their kids during committee meetings. Have your packs come up against this and how did you handle it????

  • #2
    Pack funds are for the boys. PERIOD. If meals are to be at an event for adults, then they pick up the tab. Same for child care. People do not contribute funds to a pack or troop to be spent on the on the adults.



    • #3
      I wonder what the pack families would think if they found out that the committee is spending the boys money on food for meetings and babysitting.

      We do not provide food or beverages at the meetings......our meetings are less than an hour long.


      • #4
        Half of our committee members including myself, think like you. The other half of committee thinks the other way. Is there any place in any council where this is written. That way we can shut it down before a vote because I am worried they may have a majority. I need all the help I can get to overcome this.


        • dcsimmons
          dcsimmons commented
          Editing a comment
          I doubt you'll find anything written from the BSA because pack funds aren't the BSA's money. Those funds belong to your Charter Organization. How they get spent is up to the committee and the Charter Org. I personally wouldn't want to be the one explaining to the parents why little johnny had to pony up $20 for the blue and gold banquet when the committee is eating dinner once a month on the pack.

        • Basementdweller
          Basementdweller commented
          Editing a comment
          Some things are just wrong, I am constantly amazed by the greet and selfishness of some folks.

        • Hueymungus
          Hueymungus commented
          Editing a comment
          So very wrong. If the Committee is going ahead with this, go to the COR and explain. If the COR is in on it, time to jump ship (if you can) and find another Pack. Alert the Parents.

          Have the Committee Meetings at someone's house and do potluck. Lame...

      • #5
        That's a new one on me. We usually have kids running around during the meeting but it's never been too much of a problem. If they vote to pay for dinner and child care add it to the budget and let them know up front how much dues will have to be raised.


        • #6
          That's nuts. As a parent, I would vehemently object. Ask for volunteers to do child care (any local Girl Scouts or a Den Chief?). Adults can each chip in 5 bucks for pizza, or do pot luck.


          • jblake47
            jblake47 commented
            Editing a comment
            It doesn't need to be GS or DC, any scout would gladly watch the kids as a good turn.

            Good thing you threw in the DC thingy, or I'd have to slap you down for being chauvinistic.


        • #7
          Many high schools now require students to do community service hours for graduation. Maybe you can advertise at the local high school. And, bring a sack dinner for heaven's sake.


          • #8
            I agree with all of the above. I don't think the BSA has any rules on this, but it seems like common sense. If the committee really wants to dine together during meetings, chip in yourselves. At times I have attended committee meetings in someone's home, and whatever refreshments were there were provided by the host. I don't think I was ever asked to pay because I ate some pretzels or a little club sandwich (if the person was being really fancy, I think that only happened once.) As for child care, I could see that being a different story IF all other avenues have been exhausted. (I think Moosetracker recently posted about a situation exactly like that, somewhere in the forum.) But you can almost always find someone willing to do it, if not a sibling then someone else. And if you want to offer the teenage "watcher" (sibling or just a "volunteer") a few bucks after he/she has spent 90 minutes making sure five little kids do not damage themselves or each other, again, those whose children are being watched can fork over a couple of dollars each.


            • #9
              We haven't done either, but if there was a request to get dinner in for a committee meeting, I'd probably do it. I normally host them at my house late at night (my wife and I are the only couple with both spouses involved, so this avoids our needing a sitter). However, if we wanted an earlier time, I'd have ZERO problem with using Unit funds for dinner and childcare.

              Here is my reasoning, EVERYONE that is active and involved on the committee are also the people that are out there selling Camp Cards, selling popcorn, volunteering in the Unit, etc. We all pay the same dues, but the committee is the people that put in the extra time to make it a good program. So "People do not contribute funds to a pack or troop to be spent on the on the adults." -- no, they contribute funds because it's a dirt cheap activity because of the volunteers, the people on the committee, make the program go.

              So are you redirecting money from those scouters to themselves, if so, who cares. Are you redirecting it from the non-active parents to the active-parents? I guess, theoretically, but the active parents are the ones that are fundraising.

              Again, we don't do it, but I don't have an issue with it. I paid for a babysitter once to attend Roundtable when my wife was out of town... I didn't bill it to the Pack, the money didn't matter to me at that time (other months it would), but if I did, I wouldn't have had any qualms about the Pack paying for the babysitter. I mean, I'm the volunteer that goes to Roundtable, if nobody else steps up, why is it so horrible that I might "tax" them all the $2/each it would cost the sitter instead of my contributing time AND cash?


              • #10
                I'm not as black and white on the subject as the others. The volunteers put a lot into making the unit run and if the pack spends a little here and there to show it's appreciation for their time and effort, there's nothing wrong with that, in my book. I think part of a CM, SM or CC's job is building morale among the adults and doing something nice occasionally is a good way to do that. We started having quarterly meetings with the ASM a couple years ago. The first meeting I made dinner for everyone and charged it to the troop. Dinner for 12 guys was about $60, if I recall. Subsequent to that, we may meet out at a restaurant (Dutch treat) or maybe have pizza with everyone chipping in $5 or so. Sometime the kitty makes a profit; sometimes the troop picks up the few bucks difference.

                That said, regularly paying for monthly dinners will add up to big bucks -- pretty quickly more than I would be comfortable spending for this purpose. Comfort level is going to depend on your unit's budget. Both our troop and pack have big budgets, and I can't see us doing this.


                • #11
                  Volunteers give their time, and those who can't volunteer give money. Asking volunteers to give both time and money by incurring out-of-pocket expenses for the privilege of being a volunteer is a little hard to swallow. But rather than having the pack pay for their meals and babysitting, I would look at alternatives you could do to avoid that expense. Why do the meetings have to include dinner? Can't they be short meetings that occur after the dinner hour, like from 7:00 to 8:00? Why do the parents need babysitters? I can't imagine every parent volunteer is a single parent that needs a sitter. Can you work your meeting schedule around those who have childcare needs to avoid the sitter issue? Can you meet somewhere where kids are welcome to play and can entertain themselves like a member's house with lots of toys? Can you teleconference or meet less often? There are so many ways to avoid this big expense to the pack, I'm not sure why they'd even consider it.


                  • Basementdweller
                    Basementdweller commented
                    Editing a comment

                    If it is such a big sacrifice then don't volunteer......I have zero sympathy for a whiney parent......

                    I have no clue how many boys I have bought shirts for, Slushies at the trading post, meals on trips, paid for camp outs and souvenirs......repairs on the church van, gas, oil changes and car washes...........No idea of the dollar amount, because it doesn't matter.

                    It is about giving the boys the best possible scouting experience.

                    If your worried about paying for a meal at a meeting or $10 for a babysitter.....Ya need to look in the mirror and ask yourself if your doing it for the right reasons.

                  • dedkad
                    dedkad commented
                    Editing a comment
                    BD, we both agree that they shouldn't be spending pack money for these meeting expenses. I gave some good suggestions on how they might be able to avoid those expenses, you on the other hand just like to argue. You choose to spend your own money to help the boys. Good for you! That is your choice and you apparently have the means to do so. For someone whose troop serves low-income boys, I am surprised that you are so cavalier about spending $10 here for babysitting and $9 there for increased national dues. These expenses add up for those who are just getting by. Sounds to me like you are saying that poor people don't deserve to be leaders because they can't afford to spend that little extra here and there. I am appreciative of anyone who is willing to volunteer, whether they can afford to spend extra money or not.

                • #12
                  "If you get paid to do Scouting, you're a Professional. If you pay to do Scouting, you're a volunteer." I can't tell you how many thousands of dollars I have spent "out of pocket" over the past 40 addition to thousands of hours of personal time and vacation time. It goes with the territory.


                  • #13
                    Our pack traditionally has a meal as part of the annual pack planning meeting and covers the cost of the entree. The entire pack is invited, too. I think that is reasonable. Meals at every meeting along with paid babysitting? Not reasonable. I'd skip Roundtable before hiring a sitter, too, but maybe other roundtables are more compelling than ours...

                    Ichandler, is it common for churches or sport leagues to provide food and childcare at meetings in your area? I doubt it and I'd make that point along with the others presented here.


                    • #14
                      HOW MUCH? - What are we talking? Two large pizzas and 20 cans of pop? Or a sit down meal at red lobster each month? Also, is this a 100+ person unit that sells $60,000 in popcorn a year and has a $25,000 budget? Or a 30 person unit with a $2000 budget. Reasonable could be $25 to $50 a meeting. I doubt if $10 per person with 10+ people twelve times a year is reasonable.

                      TOO MUCH CASH - Sometimes volunteer organizations with too much money start finding ways to spend it and create internal bickering that can tear them apart.

                      PERCEPTION - This is huge. Depending on how much money you are talking about, you WILL open yourselves up to personal attacks as many will see this as luxious and potentially unreasonable. What will parents and outsiders think? Most scout "volunteers" do incur significant cost themselves. If they hear about this, it will sound extravagent and there will be jealousy.

                      FUNDRAISING - You could also affect fundraising. I myself would have trouble giving money to a unit where I am already incuring cost if it is being spent on other volunteers instead of directly on the program.

                      EXAMPLE - Our district chair buys food for everyone out of his own pocket for the district meetings.

                      EXAMPLE - None of the leaders in any unit I am in have ever expensed gas or transportation unless the distance is 400 miles or longer round trip.

                      THINKING PATTERN - Is it the example you want to set for your scouts?

                      Leaders help units all the time without expensing the cost or thinking twice about it.

                      I did not address child care. That one is way out in left field for my experience. Does the scouting unit choose the baby sitter and/or incur risk if something happens? What is reasonable? Minimum wage? $20 per hour? $5 per kid per hour? I just would NOT get into the child care issue for meetings. Work around it or find another volunteer.
                      Last edited by fred johnson; 09-26-2013, 03:18 PM.


                      • #15
                        Also ... I like the idea about making the funds visible. BUDGET IT. The visibility of the budget impact will reflect if it is okay or not.


                        • Basementdweller
                          Basementdweller commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Let me see 10 committtee members $10 per meal 8 meetings per year that is $800
                          Child care for 5 committee member $10 per hour 2 hours per meeting 8 meetings per year. $800

                          So that is $1600 for just perks for the committee.....That Translates to $5,000 in popcorn sales....

                          That is more than our enitre budget for a cub pack of 40 members.