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I am very disheartened lately...a few issues

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  • #16
    Just got back from the boys' troop meeting. We're a new troop and we're struggling to come up with the first year's summer camp funding. The boys picked out a nice patrol-method camp and are all excited, but of course, the cost is $260/boy. We're a new troop and the only money available is the money given by the Pack from the boys' ISA's. As the boys were discussing what they would need to do for fundraising one of the parents spoke up and inquired about the ISA accounts from the Pack and that we needed to go and ask them about it. I had the check in my pocket with the money all broken out for each scout. It ranged from $70 to $375 in the accounts. Obviously some of the boys worked harder than others.

    I was anticipating a rough go for the discussion and with the parents there I figured out I was going to have my hands full. Yet, the boys had been discussing what they needed to do to raise money AS A TROOP. Finally the most vocal parent got up and much to my chagrin, it was the parent whose boy hand the most on the slip of ISA breakdown. She was adamant about it and insisted that ALL the money go into the troop funds and this whole ISA issue was not to be part of the troop's tradition. She went on to say that if a boy needed money he could "borrow" against the troop and "pay back" by working at fundraisers, but everyone would be working together to get everyone to camp. Wow, did I dodge a bullet.

    She volunteered to be the committee treasurer and that she would take the position as long as there were no ISA's. She didn't want to hassle with the extra bookkeeping. I asked the boys what they thought of that and they unanimously agreed it was a good idea.



    • Sentinel947
      Sentinel947 commented
      Editing a comment
      Sounds like you found a keeper there!

    • Twocubdad
      Twocubdad commented
      Editing a comment
      I've got a new membership chairman cut from the same cloth. Isn't it nice when that happens?

  • #17
    Originally posted by jblake47 View Post
    ... She went on to say that if a boy needed money he could "borrow" against the troop and "pay back" by working at fundraisers, but everyone would be working together to get everyone to camp.

    as someone who admittedly struggles with accounting, Im not grasping how NOT having ISAs works. I get that all the money goes into one fund...what I dont get is come time for camp payments how do you know how much Johnny raised and how much Tommy still needs? And once you have that figured out, if a boy needs to "borrow" against the troop, by what calculation do you determine that he has worked off that debt so to speak? It seems to me that if you know how much a boy has contributed or how much he still needs to contribute, somehow you are still going thru the motions of an ISA but just not calling it that.

    of course, this is why I wont be a treasurer, cuz clearly it works for some people out there but I just dont get it


    • jblake47
      jblake47 commented
      Editing a comment
      The lady did not elaborate on that point, but from what I was getting from the discussion, if the boys are all working hard on fundraising and the efforts only raise half the money needed and there was a boy who simply could not afford to pay his personal half, he could "borrow" the money and "payback" with future fundraisers. Basically the reason why the words are in "quotes" is because they were doing a wink,wink, the boy was busting his butt, but the fundraising efforts came up short. That does not mean they aren't going to do what they have to do to make sure the scout gets to camp. If he continues to bust his butt in future years he will in fact be "paying back" his loan and if the need comes up again next year he'll be able to "borrow" again. She seemed to indicate that ALL the boys need to get to camp. She didn't want to deny a boy that chance if the fundraising efforts were not successful. There wouldn't be any accounting in the process, just keep an eye on the boy and if he's making all the effort as the rest of the boys, there would be a "camp loan" provided that wouldn't be paid back as long as the boy kept up as much effort at fundraising as everyone else.

      Of course that is not very "objective" and with such a subjective approach it leaves a lot of holes in the process. That's why it is going to be left in the hands of the committee to maintain an awareness of how the boys are doing with the fundraisers. If one boy doesn't show up for the fundraisers and yet has no money for camp, then the committee can make it's own decision on whether or not they fund his expenses. I'll be up to the boy to show effort in order to be considered for the "loans".

      Last edited by jblake47; 02-26-2014, 01:58 PM.

    • qwazse
      qwazse commented
      Editing a comment
      I kinda get what's being suggested. The lion share of fundraising goes into lowering the cost uniformly for every participant. So, net $3000, and maybe $2500 goes to offsetting the cost of planned activities, equipment, etc ... Perhaps in a small patrol that means each boy pays $100 instead of $350 for camp. The rest goes into a general/discretionary fund because you may have a boy who still can't afford that last $100 or you may have to replace a flag, whatever.

      In our troop, if it involves helping out an individual scout, we leave the approval between the SM, CC, and Treasurer. (At committee meetings, the name of the boy is not mentioned. -- only the expense.) That keeps things sufficiently confidential.

    • qwazse
      qwazse commented
      Editing a comment
      P.S. - Our troop has not weaned away from ISA's, but this is basically how our crew works.

  • #18
    Re: ISA’s
    As far as I know, troops keeping track of their scouts’ individual fund-raising is not against the rules, but that may have changed. I haven’t been active with my troop due to my work schedule. I think part of the objection is the use of the word ‘account’. To some people, an ‘account’ would be a checking/savings/investment account, with a specific number, and rules by which each type is governed. For most units, an individual scout “account” is simply as you have described – a means of tracking each scouts’ fund-raising proceeds.

    My troop has one checking account into which all fund-raising proceeds go. The troop treasurer is kind enough to keep track of each scout’s individual fund-raising efforts and this is their ‘ISA’, to be applied against summer camp, uniform and other troop/scouting related expenses. The only fund-raising function whose proceeds go directly into the troop’s general fund is what the troop earns for cleaning up after our CO’s annual picnic. Any funds that remain in a scout’s ‘ISA’ after he leaves the troop (e.g. by reaching Eagle, aging out, or simply dropping out) are put into the troop’s general fund for troop equipment, etc. Sometimes arrangements have been made to transfer the funds to another unit if the scout is moving (e.g. out of district or out of council). Those are handled on an individual basis.

    Re: Participation
    This is where communication comes in. Set the expectation at the start that anything turned in past a deadline (I would say at least 1 week before the pack meeting/award ceremony) would have to wait until the next time to be recognized.

    At the troop level, when I was SM, I expected my PL’s to get in touch with the guys in their patrol that hadn’t been to a meeting in a while (2-3 weeks). e.g.: “Hey, we haven’t seen you, wanted to let you know what’s been going on/ what’s coming up/ see if you’ve made progress on that mb we were working on the last time you were here, etc.” With the pack level, I would think it would be the den leader doing that kind of communication, at least once a month. i.e.: “I haven’t seen little Jimmy for the last couple of den meetings. I was wondering if he’s gotten any requirements done towards his next rank? Could we get together so I can update his record?”

    Re: extravagance
    That seems to be the trend in a lot of different areas, not just Scouting. “My wedding’s gotta be the biggest ever”, “My house/car/mouth has to have the most bling”, etc., etc. ad nauseum. Why not suggest a simple theme that the boys would enjoy being a part of creating? A B&G should not be expected to be dining at ‘Chez Imperiale’ but what it is – a banquet for 6 to 10-year-olds to celebrate Scouting’s birthday and present some special awards generally not seen at any other time (e.g. the thank-you’s for the adult leaders, etc.).

    Re: Boy Scouts
    As has been mentioned, some units are a bit insular (“OBC”) and don’t like change. Other units are much more open and dynamic. Shop around and find one you (and your scout) like that appears to be more receptive.