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  • Parents Using ISA accounts to attend events

    What are your thoughts about Parents or Scouters having either their own ISA accounts or using their sons to pay for scouting activities......Now I am talking specifically about unit fundraising dollars being placed in them.....Not deposits they have made by them or on their behalf.

  • #2
    Knowing a little about your troop's economic situation, I suppose if parents need help with the cost of volunteering, I would be okay with it. But I wouldn't want the adults to compete with the Scouts for sales or take a share of the money the troop earns as a whole.


    • Basementdweller
      Basementdweller commented
      Editing a comment
      I am not out to thin the herd. But it just doesn't seem proper to me for the parents to use a scouts fundraising money to attend scout events......

      My example....Webelos resident camp the Scout has $500 in his account initially only he was going. Dad asks how much is in his account.....Now mom and dad are both going on the boys fundraising efforts. ......the only reason the sibs weren't going was they are not permited by the camp.....

    • qwazse
      qwazse commented
      Editing a comment
      So this is a pack event? I'd be more inclined to accept the family pooling all resources together to go. I would try to get into their heads that you find this unusual and that those ISA funds now won't be available for other things they boy may want (e.g., new uniform, gear after crossover, etc ...), but leave it as their call. (Again, if the CC or Treasure should take this communication on for you. You have bigger fish to fry with camp coming up.)

      It would be nice if these are the kinds of parents who are there for the entire pack when they are there, but sometimes you don't know that until you have boots on the ground.

    • Basementdweller
      Basementdweller commented
      Editing a comment
      cough cough.....

      The parents are looking for a free vacation....

      My beef is that the webelo wants to go to Philmont and the Jamboree when he crosses over.... mom and dad removing $300 to take a vacation just rubs me wrong.

  • #3
    My sons troop has ISA account for the Scouts, while its difficult to know your balance at a moments notice. The account gives my son the chance to pay for targets and ammunition at Scout Camp this year. And of course, other Scout related expenses. Yes, the Scouts parent(s) has an account as well. There again, money is used for their Scout or a Scouting activity.


    • #4
      Personally, I like the ISA in a Troop.
      As for Scouter Accounts, this is the first I have heard of this theory. I would have to support accounts for any person who participates in Troop activities, especially for the SM/ ASMs (but we also have all of our SM/ ASMs wear a patrol patch and use the same exact equipment as the Scouts and camp and interact as a Patrol, to set the example). I do not believe a parent should use a Scout's account for participation in activities (the Scout earned the money, let the Scout reap the benefits ... allowing parents to use the account, even with Scout permission, doesn't set a good example for the Scouts that you have to earn your own way).
      Along the same line, I do like qwazse's solution of having every participant attend IOLS. For now, I tried to require every participant to attend position specific training prior to participating in Troop activities (didn't work ... overruled by the TCC). It would be good to set standards, and set the example for the Scouts ... our most important role.


      • #5
        I don't think this is as clear cut. Ultimately, the parents pay either way. Ya pay for this event or for the next event. In my experience, the parents are often the driving force in fundraisers. Plus if there is no money in the scout account, the parent pays. I just don't see the big deal and I definitely do not see it as my place to step into family politics. All scout accounts within the same family IMHO can be used by any family member. I'll leave it up to the family to fight their own battles internally.

        Now what I've seen that I really don't like it is when troop $$$ are used to reduce the cost of adult camping. SM? Not preferred, but okay. One or two other leaders. Maybe. Pay for gas for the pulling the trailer, debatable. Ya need two leaders on a camp out and most leaders I know are willing to pay to camp.

        My clear line of wrong is any $$$ in troop account (not scout account) going to pay for parent camping.


        • #6
          I could be convinced it's okay in fairly narrow circumstances, but this is getting outside those circumstances.

          First of all, why the heck are mom and dad both going to WRC? Are they den leaders? One of the purposes of WRC is for the boys to go to camp with their den and leaders (as they will in Boy Scouts next year), NOT cub family camping. Secondly, I find it distasteful at minimum for the parents to spend money on themselves out of their son's account. But it would be difficult to say no without knowing all the policies you have for the accounts. Knowing a little about the family's financial situation may make a difference, too.

          That said, I can also imagine a circumstance where the a crew raises money to send the entire crew to Philmont. Leaders pay the same airfare and fees as the boys, and God knows they put in the same (or more) hours of prep and fundraising time. In that case it seems reasonable that the crew money goes toward paying for the entire crew's expenses, adults included. But that's very specific, limited circumstance. Yours, BD, is more of an open-ended opportunity for the parents to raid the cookie jar.

          This why I don't like scout accounts. Seems like there is always one more way folks want to spend the money.

          By the way, I also have an issue with parents who want to go on the "fun" trips but are too busy to help with routine campouts. But I'm not sure you can fix that via the use of SA money.


          • Basementdweller
            Basementdweller commented
            Editing a comment
            They are not den leaders or even leaders in the Pack.....What happened they saw the camp flyer that invited parents along too....

            It rubs me wrong......I work to hard on the fundraisers so the boys can have a program and be able to attend camps... Then Mom and Dad are blowing this boys money so they can have a free vacation.....

        • #7
          The WRC does bring a new light to the situation. I'm not sure about ISA for Cub Scouts.
          More times than not, Cub Scouts cannot really earn the money themselves, as Fred mentioned, it is usually the parents. Fundraising should go to the entire Pack (offset the cost of activities for all involved???). Our Pack has a pay-as-you-go program, subsidized by the different fund-raisers.
          2Cub is right .... parents should start cutting the cord with parents at this point ... before they become too much of helicopter parents which cause nightmares for SMs.

          However, Bottom Line, if the money has been provided to the Scout, for his Scouting "career," then that is where the money should go (uniform, gear, cross-over, etc). Provide you opinion/ input to the Committee, and let them address the issue with the parents. Especially with such a young Scout, he needs to see the money he has "earned" goes to benefit him (not "taken" by his parents). A Webelos is too young to fully comprehend the idea of "transferring" money to someone else.


          • #8
            I have always been one that believes people donate money to a scout troop to support the scout troop, not individuals within it. I find the individual accounts unethical, but that's my personal opinion. An organization that takes in money for the "cause" only to spend it on individual interests just doesn't sit well with me.

            So then, when I see posts like these, it only goes to show how far such abuses can be carried. A Little White Lie is to a lessor extent the same as perjury. They are both lies wearing different hats.

            So if one looks at it from that perspective, if people give money to a troop that turns around and gives it to an individual scout, how is that any different than the scout turning it around and giving it to his parents? I'm thinking the case could then be made that the money should go to a new fishing boat for dad so he can take his scout son and his buddies out fishing every now and then.



            • sailingpj
              sailingpj commented
              Editing a comment
              What about units that are completely upfront about where the money is going?

              When we work crab feeds we always explain to person who asked us and is giving us the money that a portion will be used by scouts for cruises and such.

          • #9

            We use the send me to camp message.........No lie no deception

            When we were buying tents.....We say exactly that.


            • jblake47
              jblake47 commented
              Editing a comment
              If that be the case, why not put on a BSA uniform and go door to door offering to mow lawns so he can have money to go to camp? Try and and see how far one gets.

              Basement, you might clarify it for the donor, but I'm thinking that when a someone buys popcorn, goes to a pancake supper, etc. they are donating not to the individuals, but are coming to help the troop as a whole.

              If there are policies for individuals, there can be policies for the whole troop just as easily without giving a wink-wink to the scout that the money is somehow "his", that when he leaves the troop, he can even take it with him.

              Every penny in the coffer of any troop belongs to the chartering organization. How do they feel about such policies?

              I do know that if a Christian congregation is the CO, it is normally the policy that if money is donated to the church for a specific purchase and the project falls through, the money is returned to those people.

              Somehow I seem to feel there tends to be a lot of deception going on with such practices.

              If money is being pooled to get everyone to summer camp, that's great. If the troop needs tents, everyone pitches in, a fund raiser just for tents, great. A fundraiser so that certain boys get extra money for something. Not in my book as being a Trustworthy endeavor.

              If some kid is short on funds and needs help getting to summer camp, then he petitions the troop and they evaluate maybe a scholarship for him. Otherwise he gets out and mows lawns and raises his own money to make up for what Mom/Dad can't afford. That's how I got to camp each year. As far as the troop fundraising (popcorn/dinners, etc.) the money is gathered up and if money goes towards equally to all the scouts. If that doesn't sound fair, then while the boys are out hawking expensive popcorn to their family and friends, the boy could be out mowing lawns making twice as much money he would get from some "share" of the popcorn sales. Heck, 10 years ago, my father was paying a boy $20/week to mow his lawn. $40 to do the whole thing, major hillside, worth the $40 that week. Well, if a boy were to get two or three of those jobs lined up a week, he could pay for camp and have a ton left over for the Trading Post.

              As a scout I hated to be involved in the fund-raisers the troop was promoting. I always made more money with my paper route and odd jobs and never asked my parents for a dime to go to camp, pay for my uniform, etc. etc. etc.

              I think the word we're looking for here is "Thrifty".

              Otherwise, make up a bunch of rules that parents can challenge and it makes good threads here on the form as to what everyone does to get themselves out the morass they have created. Lot more fun that way.



            • qwazse
              qwazse commented
              Editing a comment
              Stosh -- even the church I attend (which should know better because of it's Scottish roots, and more recent history with the pain of "untouchable" funds sitting idle) got in the habit of "holding over" funds for a particular annual youth activity. I had no idea until I took charge, income and expense report to the treasurer, and she asked "what about the $400 from last year?" Some elders forgot (or came on never knowing) how to read budget and finance reports. I made it clear, that unless our activity was in the budget, we should have $0. It took me explaining that I knew our youth leaders were afraid of a something nice activity for the ministry because of budget constraints before a light bulb came one and folks thought "Oh, we could have let them run with that 1/2 K!" If they chartered a unit, they would have been perfectly happy never knowing it's finances unless someone like me asked why the unit account was not listed as an asset on the annual report.

              I'm sure most other churches are the same way. Thus we wind up pulling stunts like this!

              BD.. you don't have a bone in this fight ... definitely have the CC talk to the parents and try to give them a vision for how much the boy will need for what all he's said he wants to do in his scouting career. He should it clear that your boys are using those funds in stewardship for the troop. (I know a lot of you don't see it this way, but every boy who makes it to camp is doing a service for the troop. Try a week at camp when a bunch of them aren't there. Or look at how down they get when one decides to go home early.) Have him point out that if they use his funds for their fees now, there is a strong expectation that they will put their shoulders to the wheel for the next fundraiser(s), and over the years they will have built the troops' coffers up enough to front an entire Philmont contingent.

              Will they listen? Probably not. But if y'all don't deliver the message, you don't stand a chance.

          • #10
            Bottom line - the Pack has decided to allocate some of their fundraising monies to individual Cub Scouts.

            Those Scouts are granted the ability to use "their" money for any Scout-related purpose they wish.

            If the Scout decides to use some of his Scout money to pay for his parents to accompany him to Scout camp, then that is his (or his family's) choice. The Scout, and his family, all know that this choice will leave the Scout with less money. As someone else said, you don't want to get involved in a family squabble.

            The only way around this is to state from the beginning that unit funds in an ISA are not to be used by/for anyone but the registered youth member of the unit (Scout). No parents/siblings/friends/etc Exceptions would only be allowed when the Scout is required to have a parent along in order to attend (Tiger program, some Cub camps). Only one parent is eligible to be covered. All exceptions must be approved by the Committee.

            Since this Cub Pack has already approved using unit funds to send these parents to camp there is not much that can be done now. I suggest, if you have any input into this Pack, that you push to get the Pack's ISA rules changed as soon as possible.


            • #11
              I understand both sides of this and it made me really think on what my husband and I did earlier this year. My son got 10% of his popcorn sales late last year. That money went towards his re-charter in February, the Boys' Life magazine & his father and I signing up as den leader and asst. den leader. I had just lost my job two weeks before Christmas and our den had no leader a few weeks after that. Since then (when I found a job in late February), I have put quite a bit of my money into the den (as I did before I was ever leader and lost my job) and covered all my son's camp deals, new uniform, etc. I was told they only earn money for that account through popcorn sales and it could only be used for re-charter or camp. Since it covered us for a year, it was a no brainer that I'd cover camp for him (and his brother in the tot lot.) I don't know if this is frowned upon or not but considering the circumstances (and that we'll be covered every other thing), hopefully for us it balances out. I look at it as though if we hadn't of stepped up and couldn't have volunteered, he wouldn't have a den to be in right now. (Yes I realize this is a bit off the topic at the top but some other posts hinted around at this.)


              • #12
                Keep beating me up Stosh

                ISA accounts are standard practice in our district and council from what I can tell. Units give from 50-100% of the fundraiser directly to the scouts.

                Some units allow parents, leaders or not, to use these funds to attend outings....I am talking big trips not simply going to summer camp. One unit rented cabins at mammoth cave and spent a week there and it turned into a family vacation for the unit. All of it through their ISA account financed by the popcorn, mulch sale and christmas tree lot.

                We have another unit in council that works one of the concession locations at the local pro sport team, the scouts cannot work the station because of beer sales so it is adults only. I understand that they make $80k a year doing so resulting in a completely free program for the scouts.

                Q......your right I don't have a dog in the fight and it is none of my business. But it is wrong for a parent of a boy with a donated uniform and book, borrowed gear to use his ISA money to go to camp.......I won't be so mad about it if I didn't know that Dad can't hold a job because of MJ use and video games, and he couldn't tear himself away from the video games to drop and retrieive his scout after the fundraising events.......

                Guess dad will need to figure it out for next year


                • #13
                  I would at least insist thru the pack leaders that any adult attending any camp has to take youth protection training. and they should really take safe swim defense. and that they need to realize that they will be helping to supervise other scouts in the pack/den. and that there are bugs and only cold showers and the food kinda sucks. And that none of the other youth with have both parents there so the kid might get laughed at. I mean don't out and out lie, but discourage them from going. Actually the YPT and Safe Swim would be requirements in our pack for doing an overnighter. And then see what happens. If they won't stop playing around long enough to take care of their kid, they probably won't follow thru on going to camp. they might surprise you--and along the way they'll learn something and maybe surprise their kid.

                  Now how about a scout dad (he's even a leader now) submitting to his son's ISA the cost of gas to drive scouts to campouts ad the stops at mcdonalds for food? And family camping gear that may get used by the scout dad on troop campouts. Oh and paying for the whole family to stay in a hotel when the troop went skiing and stayed in a hotel instead of cold weather camping. There are worse ways to misuse an ISA.