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Questions and answers for parents and leaders new to Scouting.

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  1. Girls in Venturing

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  2. New to Boy Scouts

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  3. Pack Budget

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  4. Transferring Troops

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    • As a stay-at-home dad, it's amazing how much of the work supporting my sons' Cub Scout Pack goes on during the day. Trips to our Council office to iron out problems or pick up supplies (advancement or otherwise) from the Scout Shop. Running over to the school where we met to deal with scheduling issues and access our things in our storage closest. Going to our school district offices for usage agreements for the school spaces. Deposits to our bank. Popping into our local Park District to reserve shelters for our outdoor events and our annual pool rental for family swim night.  If a few of our volunteers didn't have the privilege of at least slipping away from work for "lunch", I'm not sure how we would function. So there's plenty to do. It may not be the volunteer work you'd prefer to do, but a lot of the time it's the necessary, invisible work that's required to make things happen. Just my $0.02, YMMV and my free advice is worth every penny you paid for it.  
    • I pray that incidents like your daughter experienced NEVER cause people to avoid reporting.  Did your daughter report this follow-on incident?  Did her friends?  I'd hope he was expelled, was charged and faced juvenile court punishments.    Reporting is critical.  I fully believe future victims are created by not reporting.  The most visible example of this is Harvey Weinstein's 87 victims over 30+ years.  If early victims would have spoke up, perhaps 50 or 60  or 70 fewer victims would have been created.  
    • In terms of budget cycle, most troops want to take stock of accounts after all summer camp money is spent. That would include purchases of awards for the CoH. The checkbook balance is probably your lowest at that point. Our troop doesn't have tents. So, I can't tell you when to make those purchases for those new webelos. But, it sounds like you're on the right track of making a reasonable plan for growth, that helps set the mark for fundraisers.
    • Hi @shortridge, I've not been through this with a new unit, but have spent quite a bit of time watching unit budgeting and how we spend.  For what it's worth, here's my  thoughts. 1) your budget needs to cover awards, meeting supplies, training.  If you need to rent a space, it would need to cover that. 2) ideally your budget would have enough extra money to allow you to cover campsite reservations 3) For the first year or two, I think you could forego equipment expenses.  However, you need to assess if your troop families can provide the equipment.  In our troop, many scouts and families have accumulated equipment and so we could do this.  If your families can not provide equipment, I think you'd want to cover basic camp gear too. My basic financial model would be: - dues to cover operating expenses for the year.  Collect these upfront. - charge up front per event.  Do signups early and ask families to pay in advance. - I'd plan to run a surplus.  i.e., you want to have $500 in the bank at the end of the year to build up reserves. - conduct fundraisers of some sort to raise capital for big ticket expenses.  if you find your families cannot supply equipment then set a goal to fundraise to acquire it.
    • Even if there were studies that showed that girls were, on average, paid more attention to organizational details,  that doesn't remove the worth of the patrol method for the girls. Firstly,  because averages are just that.  There is also a broad distribution, for both girls and boys,  of instinctive organizational skill levels.  Some girls are a lot less naturally organized than some boys. Also patrols are not merely about learning to be organized.  They are also about learning leadership in a kid-sized setting.   They are about having the opportunity to try,  and to mess up,  and to overcome those mistakes --- all in a kid-sized setting. I would argue that the differences between boys and girls mean that single gender patrols are the way to go --- so that the girls don't end up doing the cooking while the boys do something else.   Of course,  since the troops won't be coed,  neither will the patrols.
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