I couldn't get a paper-route until I was 14. Before that, I shoveled walks, mowed lawns and tilled gardens with a shovel, just to mention a few things. I had all the money I needed even before I was old enough to "work". When one has earned the money, they also have earned the right to determine how it was spent. A buddy of mine got the idea to raise rabbits and earned enough money to have plenty while in high school and then completely pay for college through the masters degree level. Keep it in mind, rabbit meat in the stores is more expensive than beef. He did the math, it was a lot of work, but it gained him a lot of money. He did this all out of his folk's garage.
One of the original requirements for a scout was to open a bank account and start putting money aside. I have no idea when that went away, but it's a lot easier to just reach into mom/dad's pockets than it is to actually earn money these days. Until parents put their foot down and teach their children about the importance of money, not much is going to change.
One last thing... when did TRIFTY turn into me earning my way to camp to having everyone in the neighborhood donate to me going to camp?
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Hold a troop fundraiser and reduce the camping cost for all scouts in your troop ... equally. Raise enough to send all your troop scouts to summer camp.
Today's scouting is not cheap. I'd imagine 60 years ago you could easily find a field, bring wool blankets and camp. VERY CHEAP. Times have changed.
06-19-2013, 12:33 PMEditing a commentThe first time I went to Boy Scout Summer camp, the cost was $29.50 for the week.
06-19-2013, 12:55 PMEditing a commentJblake, BP himself must have been the Camp Director.
Fred, after seeing all the boys abandon their wall tents at summer camp last week, I am starting to question the need to set tents up at all unless rain is expected. Could save a lot on wear and tear.
Basementdweller commented06-20-2013, 08:00 AMEditing a commentYa my first summer camp was $22 and I went a second week and it was $15.... I had to borrow money from mom and she made a huge deal about it and my poor planning......Heck I didn't even know I could go for a second week....
Fred.....It was a different time, growing up my parents had one car, one TV and we didn't have cable TV, cell phones or internet, Now everyone has two cars, motorcycles, boats, a TV in every room in the house and honestly more disposable income than probably ever....
Camping was probably pretty comparable in cost....The big difference I see is the access to property to camp on free or cheap and local donations. Our troop camped on a one of about 8 farms for free.....Cost for a campout was $3-5 for the weekend and the canoe guy let us go free. Now we have $100 for a campsite then we have to pay for canoes or rappelling.....or what ever the program is.....Our camporees are $15 a head just to register....then another $15 for food.....
- May 2007
Our rules are that ISA accounts are fine but the money can only be used for purely scout related purposes. Apparently there is precedence with the IRS (something about marching bands) that this is good enough to pass their "no personal gain" rule. So, a scout asked if he could use the money to buy a bike for a high adventure trip and we said no, as the bike would also be used after the high adventure trip for personal gain. Using the money to pay for the high adventure trip was fine. Using it for jamboree is fine. Using it for church camp is not fine. Using it for summer camp is fine. Basically, using it for gear is not OK. Once a scout turns 18 he loses all of his money, so adults can not have accounts.
If this issue was legitimate, ethical, on the up-and-up, none of this discussion would be happening. The original thread should read, "How far can we abuse troop funds of our chartering organization before someone notices and we get into trouble?" A little honesty in the BSA program/troops is a refreshing thing. Manipulating, shuffling accounts, staying under the radar, if marching bands do it, we can, too, etc. are not activities we need to be teaching our boys.
packsaddle commented06-22-2013, 07:56 AMEditing a commentI agree 100%
- Aug 2008
As one of those scouts who needed an ISA to stay involved, I am all for it. Seriously if it wasn't for the 'scout account' that allowed me to pay dues, go camping, summer camp, etc I would not have been able to afford Scouting after my father walked out.
My troop did one fundraiser a year: working at a local fair. The troop got a set amount to do cleanup, and that was divided by the total number of man hours used for cleanup, and each scout that much per hour worked. We could only use it for program,i.e. dues, camp outs, etc, not supplies.
Now the troop also had a hot dog and lemonade stand that the adults worked. That money was used by the troop as a whole.
06-26-2013, 06:55 AMEditing a commentSounds a bit like a formula to calculate an hourly wage for the boys. As altruistic as it may sound, it still has questionable undertones of ethics. Yes, money can be tight for families, but there are still thrifty scouts out there that do personal odd-jobs on the side to pay for their scouting experience. I didn't need to worry about "how the money can be spent". It went to camp fees, uniforms, equipment and candy bars at the trading post.
If the event was a service project, I rolled up my sleeves and helped out. If it was a fund raiser for scout accounts, I always took a pass. I would always make more money for the effort on my own. Nothing worse than trying to sell stupid fire extinguishers door to door when the time spent would be more productive mowing lawns for the neighborhood.
How is an individual scout account any different than the Camp Card program the BSA has been rolling out ? 1/2 of the money goes directly to each scout to pay for camp. http://www.stlbsa.org/programs/campc...SLAC%20StL.pdf
06-27-2013, 09:59 AMEditing a commentKing Ding Dong ... "someone" = US government statues clarified, documented and enforced by the IRS. IRS doesn't care to handle a blanket or small amounts. So if your ethics are affected by if you can fly by under the radar, go for it. Heck, scouts privately benefiting by raising funds for a non-profit isn't really that bad is it. Our scouts do it too. .... But it doesn't make it ethically right or fair. It's just what we need to do to make the unit finances work right.
06-27-2013, 10:38 AMEditing a commentIt most certainly does. People donated money with the ethical, moral, and just purpose that it goes to helping out the unit, not the individuals within that group. I don't contribute dime one to any telephone solicited charities no matter how honorable it is, the telephone solicitors take up to 90% of those funds for doing the phone solicitations. Just look at the South Carolina official web page. The Top Ten Scams are listed there. They are ALL phone solicitation companies.
When someone donates to a cause, they all assume it will be ethically used in the manner in which it was given. If Mom and Dad want their child to have $$ for summer camp, they do not buy popcorn, they write a check to the camp. They know where their $$ are going. If they buy popcorn it is assumed that the funds are going to the unit. Actually, technically it is going to the CO which in turn is supposed to be financial guardians for the unit. It is under their exempt status the money is received, not the unit's. The unit does not have an exempt number of its own.
koolaidman commented06-27-2013, 11:28 AMEditing a commentNotice the commission for camp cards goes to the unit, not the scout: "Introducing… The Camp Card
The Camp Card program is designed to help Scouts earn their way to summer resident camp, high adventure, or day camp. Units participating in this program will earn 50 percent commission ($2.50) for each $5 Camp Card they sell."
Originally posted by King Ding Dong View PostHow is an individual scout account any different than the Camp Card program the BSA has been rolling out ? 1/2 of the money goes directly to each scout to pay for camp. http://www.stlbsa.org/programs/campc...SLAC%20StL.pdf
It includes the following under the section "Private Benefit Considerations"
Councils should make sure that any sales materials, instructions, and support information do not make reference to individual scouts earning money for their own participation in Scouting activities. When the council is remitting proceeds, from any sale, back to units, provide guidance on distribution of funds. Encourage units to develop fund distribution plans that include other criteria than sale of items.
Camp Cards are another fund raiser like popcorn sales. And should be treated the same. They are not another form of ISA.
Ok. Learn something new everyday. We only sold two camp cards this spring so I hope we don't do hard time for that $5. I guess as IH I should be looking in to this. Crap, and we have several lawyers in the troop. The interesting part of that quote is "include other criteria than sale of items". I read that as sale of items can be one criteria but you must include other criteria. I am not a lawyer, I just play on the Internet sometimes. Anybody have any idea what other criteria can be used or should be used ? I can't imagine a troop committee is equipped to start evaluating every families financial need.
- Nov 2011
This is the reason that the Girl Scouts not only disallow ISAs, but have also eliminated the gift card incentives from their sales.
Every ISA program that I know of involves the scout going out and selling something on behalf of the BOY SCOUTS. "I'm Johnnie from so-and-so troop and would you like to buy some widgets?" The implication is that the funds support the troop or the program, not the boy's individual account.
If a boy wants to raise money for camp, there is a very simple solution: go get a job. That's the only way it is truly on the up-and-up. I predict that sooner or later there will be a change to the ISA convention in Boy Scouts, given the number of people with axes to grind against the organization, not to mention the current stance of the IRS against conservative organizations......
Eagle92 commented06-30-2013, 08:08 PMEditing a commentUnfortunately, not every Scout is old enough to have a job. Once I was old enough to get one. Generally your 11-14, possibly 15 year olds can't get jobs. Heck even the newspapers nowadays are delivered by adults.
And let's not forget with the way the economy is going, a lot of jobs that would be for teenagers are going to unemployed adults.
Brewmeister commented07-01-2013, 07:16 AMEditing a commentYeah but we have 7 year old Tiger cubs working as salesmen for Popcorn National, we just call it fundraising. Agricultural work is age 12 with permission I believe. The age for for washing the neighbor's car or mowing the lawn...? Lots of troops also do other year-round sales...candy bars, etc. So sell the bars with the message "My name is Johnny and I am selling these for ME so that I may go to camp next summer."
rdclements commented07-01-2013, 08:41 AMEditing a commentSome years ago, I had a scout who needed to earn some dough to pay for summer camp, so I hired him to move and stack some firewood. He did a fine job and make exactly what he needed for camp. Of course a few weeks later I needed to hire another camper to move it back. I liked it better over there anyway.
My apologies, the complete quote is:
Private Benefit Considerations
Councils should make sure that any sales materials, instructions, and support information do not make reference to individual scouts earning money for their own participation in Scouting activities.
When the council is remitting proceeds, from any sale, back to units, provide guidance on distribution of funds. Encourage units to develop fund distribution plans that include other criteria than sale of items.
These might include:
1. Participation in the camp card sale
2. Participation in the program
4. Scout Spirit
A portion of the proceeds from any sale or activity should be set aside for general unit expenses and could include funds used for assistance to members with financial need.
06-30-2013, 01:26 PMEditing a commentThis is all so very vague. It seems to just say sales $ cannot be the sole criteria, but a unit could make it 95% of the criteria and include 5% other criteria. That may address the legal issue, but not necessarily the ethical one.
Rick_in_CA commented07-01-2013, 04:05 PMEditing a commentWell, this is just a power point presentation, so I would expect things to be simplified. However, I think it does show that National is aware of the legal problems with ISAs.
Camping is free. Some examples: Andersonville A primitive campsite is available, free of charge, across Highway 49 from the National Cemetery entrance on National Park Service land. The group campsite is available only for organized youth groups such as Boy and Girl Scouts and must be reserved at least two weeks in advance. Eligible groups should have a connection to the park including camping as part of a curriculum or program based visit to the park, or be providing volunteer assistance to the park. To reserve this campsite, call the park at least two weeks in advance Florida Scouts can trade work in the state park in lieu of camping fees. Look for a conservation tie-in. Properly approached, your area should have something similar with Federal or state agencies.
True kids under 14 cannot hold jobs, but they can be self-employed. Someone mentioned selling rabbits. They can also be the jr. neighborhood handyman, run errands, babysit, grow produce to sell, make something to sell
07-02-2013, 11:54 AMEditing a commentIf they make the popcorn, the "factory" must be first inspected by the Health Dept.
07-02-2013, 02:49 PMEditing a commentHe will endure pickets from trade unions if he is a handyman, insurance issues running errands, pedophilia charges babysitting, FDA and EPA regulations if starting a farm. How does the PTO get away with a bake sale ?
Brewmeister commented07-11-2013, 11:51 AMEditing a commentAround here, we have some scouts that split and sell firewood. Others that plant sweet corn and have a stand. Another that raises and sells nightcrawlers. My daughter who is a Venturer prefers babysitting. Lots of things the thrifty scout can do that don't involve shoveling coal or working in the salt mines.
Not unethical Scouting is recognized as an educational activity; camping is part and parcel of the education. If ISA are used for camp fees, field trips & uniforms, then everything OK. If one Scout uses his ISA to buy a Big Agnes, then not OK as that is individual, personal gain. and must be declared as income. However, Scout probably comes under the minimum earnings level to file. Didn't we discuss this last year?
Rick_in_CA commented07-02-2013, 01:14 PMEditing a commentI posted the link to the discussion above. Yes, we did hash this out. What you are describing here looks iffy (though not automatically illegal). Take it too an extreme: a scout joins a troop right before popcorn. Sells a bunch of popcorn and ends up with $1,000 in his ISA. He spends it all an new camping equipment, and quits scouts the next day, walking away with his $1,000 of new equipment. This is clearly private benefit.
Go re-read the old thread. All this was hashed over. And the conclusion I thought was pretty clear - ISAs are a bad idea both ethically and legally. But many units will insist an having them anyway.
07-02-2013, 05:23 PMEditing a commentScout would not be allowed to spend $1000 on camping equipment as money is not allowed to leave the organization -- the troop. He can spend it within the organization for camp fee, High Adventure fees & permit & optional program extras, and for uniforms. He cannot withdraw cash to go and spend it on his own. Now, the troop as a whole can buy everyone in the troop a Big Agnus if it really believes it will further enhance its camping program -- one of its reasons for existence. Cash motivational awards, such as a $1000 gift card for selling a case of Trails End, are allowed -- it's taxable income to the Scout. As long as all the "eyes" are crossed and all the tees are dotted, Scout leaders can even be compensated. Not all non-profits are charities. Perhaps ISA should be denominated in units or credits instead of in money. I missed your earlier post, I can't get this website to scroll most of the time
07-03-2013, 12:51 PMEditing a commentBoomerscout ...
"credits instead of in money" ... but then if someone doesn't have the credits, can they pay cash instead? It ends up being the same thing. A credit has a specific monetary value.
Great point on charity versus non-profit. Way about the level of most troops to manage though.
I think key is the "AS LONG AS ALL THE "EYES" ARE CROSSED AND ALL THE TEES ARE DOTTED" is the real statement. Troops / units don't do that. Unit leadership is continually taking administrative shortcuts through ignorance or volunteer time constraints. We all know that. The "good enough" approach creates the legal and ethical dilemmas.
Yeah. It was discussed last year. It will keep coming up as the topic is riddled with contradctions.
We want scout accounts and those same accounts and our troops are subject to IRS rules.
We want scouts to earn money and pay their own way but we don't want to call it EARNINGS.
We want fundraising results to benefit those who did the fundraising but still keep our nonprofit status and avoid paying sales tax or deal with W2 or 1099 statements.
We want scouts to pay their own way, but then we want to control how and what they can use the money for. If they mow lawns, they can use the money for anything they want. If they sell popcorn and earn money, then it's only for scoutign.
We want to teach character and morals but to do scout accounts we have to bend rules and justify ourselves until the line is broken.
boomerscout ... you yourself wrote your justification because it's too small to hit minimum earnings levels. But that's only true if the scout doesn't have another job working. i.e. 15, 16, 17 year old scouts.
Ethical.... It's ethical in the exact same that going four miles over the speed limit is ethical. Who's hurt? It helps me achieve my goals a little bit easier. Everyone does it.
I don't have a problem with it either way. Just be careful legally and let's think about the lesson we are teaching our scouts.
King Dong: bake sales are exempt because everyone is supposed to understand the baked goods are baked in homes by amateurs, and you take your chances
So, if we stop valuing ISA in dollars, and switch to credits, even though there is a one to one correspondence, and everyone understands the ISA has to be spent within the troop (camping fees, uniforms, Scout Shop training kits, patches & badges, etc) many of the problems should be resolved
07-10-2013, 07:32 PMEditing a commentThink of an ISA as a do it yourself campership. The more a Scout participates in troop activities -- whether fundraisers, Scout spirit, leadership, etc. the bigger his campership. The actual money remains in, and belongs to the troop. The troop can pay for a Scout's camp fees as one of the benefit to its members. As long as an ISA is not solely valued from fundraiser performance, it will be OK
"We have a 501(c)(3) youth sports club. Can donations be used to cover the costs of an in-need player (uniform, fees, etc.) or do all donations have to be spread so that all players (regardless of need) benefit equally? We have been told that we cannot have a “scholarship player.”
There is certainly no federal tax reason that you can’t use contributions to help cover the costs of players of financial need. That’s the whole concept of donations. There might be a league rule about the use of gifts, but it does not seem likely that a league rule would prevent such use of gifts." (website on non-profit law)
"How can I save money on the cost of uniforms and equipment?The unit may provide assistance to families. Some units operate a uniform exchange or uniform bank, or they may hold fund-raisers to enable the boys to earn their uniforms. Also, some units will award boys rank-specific uniform components (hat and neckerchief) and/or the program books that the Scout needs each year—so parents should inquire as to what the unit provides before purchasing the items themselves." (BSA's own website)
qwazse commented07-11-2013, 11:42 AMEditing a commentI agree with Fred. Credits=Currency. ISA's are real money that a boy uses for things that he thinks are real important.
The only "correct" way to view ISA's, IMHO, is by applying youth led principles and teaching your boys this working definition: ISA's are troop monies put under the stewardship of the scout for the betterment of his troop or patrol.
1. If a scout uses his ISA to buy a uniform, that uniform is the troop's. When it gets too big, it gets handed down to another scout. Boys inspect each others' uniforms because you never know who will be wearing it next!
2. If a scout uses his ISA to buy gear, it is because the troop needs a boy who is prepared. Any northerner who has had to deal with boys at winter camp outs with only one pair of sneakers knows what I'm talking about. Gear bought with an ISA -- if it hasn't been worn out after dozens of troop outings -- should be handed down to another scout.
3. If a scout pays for camp fees through his ISA, he is doing a service to the troop. Anyone who disagrees with me just needs to come to camp on a year that more than 5 boys can't make it! If you don't allow "ad hoc" patrols, then your boys really know what it's like to do without another youth! The troop/patrol gains more from any given boy being in camp than the boy ever gains from being with the troop.
4. If the boy uses his ISA for jambo, or as a provisional scout on a high adventure, he is doing a service to the troop. That boy will be representing your unit in a far corner of the globe. In the process of training for the trip, he may organize a super activity for your unit. On his return he will give reports that inspire your first-years with big ideas for the future.
Thus ISA's aren't mere personal bank accounts for easy accounting of popcorn incentives. They are a tool that your most involved boys can use to shape their unit in ways they see fit.Last edited by qwazse; 07-11-2013, 11:47 AM.
07-11-2013, 12:18 PMEditing a commentBOOMERSCOUT - It gets ugly quick.
"Most" of what you described is probably okay, but defends different specific situation than originally discussed. Fine. Nonprofits can use funds as they decide to benefit their target audience. Buying clothes for specific homeless people is a classic example. You do not need to spread funds evenly. You can have scholarships. Fine. Nonprofits can allocate funds to serve their purpose. It's the whole idea.
And you are right ... it's key that ISA "credits" not be based solely on fundraiser performance.
But it's a very dangerous game. The issue is when private benefit creeps in.
EXAMPLE - A troop crosses that boundary with a policy of pay $100 annual dues or sell $250 in popcorn or work 10 hours selling popcorn. There the profit from the $250 in popcorn sales earned by the non-profit is being targetted directly to one individual in exchange for having earned sold that popcorn. Same with working 10 hours. The scout is avoiding paying his $100 annual dues. It's using non-profit status to benefit a private individual.
We've done scout scholarships because of need, but I don't want our troop having a committee deciding who gets how much. Especially as it's mostly the parents of the kids in the troop.
I also don't want a shopping list of how to earn credits or a treasurer having to keep track of it.
.... $ 2 ISA credit(s) = 1 hour working on volunteer servic project
.... $ 10 ISA credit(s) = 1 month as PL
.... $ 15 ISA credit(s) = 1 month as ASPL or QM
.... $ 20 ISA credit(s) = 1 month as SPL
.... $ 1 ISA credit(s) = Attend one meeting
.... $ 20 ISA credit(s) = Attend a weekend camp out
.... $100 ISA credit(s) = Attend a week long summer camp
It would be different if the troop said we have $1000 allocated to reduce scout costs. Let's allocate the money back out based on various criteria. It would also be different if the money is a small amount of the total raised.
It's just not a simple topic and very case by case specific.
QWAZSE ... you walk a fine line still.
.... #1 & #2 ... you have the person who raised the money choosing how to use it and being the first to benefit and often the only to benefit because of wear and tear. Plus, if I donate my sons shirt after four years, I don't get to write off the full price of a new shirt. You get the garage sale price / value. Anything else is fraud.
.... #3 & #4 ... beyond questionable. Especially as any camp attendee can claim they are doing service or representing their troop. To do this, IRS would need to treat all youth scouting costs as tax deductible. But, they aren't. Youth may be doing service / representing their units, but they are 1st and foremost "enjoying the activity."
Everyone wants to define their own view point. That's not how it works. The IRS and the courts require you to use their terms and their interpretations. Guess who wins. It's moot though as most scouting $$$ are just too small to get attention.
But just because we are too small to get corrected does not make you right.
And I do fear it as our troop has $25,000 easily going thru the checking account each year. Most of it passes thru with popcorn, wreath and camping costs. But it does pass thru.