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About SM_Travis

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  1. This got put off because of holidays and illness at the Treasurer's house, but is being readdressed. We have a committee meeting this evening. That is when the Treasurer and CC are going to explain the situation to the parents. I'm sure that will go well, especially since the CC is the one who allowed this to happen when he was Treasurer. It looks like an even bigger problem than I thought, probably $5,000 after we account for a few "negative" scout accounts from boys that have quit and who have parents whom I am guessing will not pay. On the other side, there is over $1,000 in a scout account from a boy I haven't seen in a year. I would like him to return, but I am guessing that his account will end up in the general fund eventually. We have 25 scouts, plus at least 6 Webelos crossing over (possibly more). The sad thing is that we don't really have a bunch of new shiny equipment to show for this. I think much of this debt is due to the boys not being charged for gas when prices went up a few years ago. There were big $$ being paid in reimbursements to drivers, but that wasn't ever charged to anyone's account. There are also numerous activities that were not charged to any scouts, and others where some of the boys but not all of the boys were charged who attended some event. I'm going to give a few of these suggestions to the Treasurer and let her take it from there. Part of my issue is that I have a hard time recruiting Webelos when I know they are going to end up eating some of this. I also am having a hard time as a parent pushing my boys to build up their accounts much, since I know there is nothing to back up the Troop's "moral debt" back to the boys. The whole situation is a big distraction from what I am supposed to be doing as SM. Through a combination of poor record keeping and wanting to be generous to some of the active boys who were going on these big trips, a well intentioned Scouter has caused a pretty big problem.
  2. Thanks for the tip, I am guilty of sometimes pushing the envelope on leftovers. However, with this cobbler it was probably colder than my fridge by the time it was finished, and it was a bit frosty in the morning. So I think we were ok.
  3. Update: Made a pork loin roast with rice/vegetable mix for lunch. Dinner was beef stew and biscuits. Cobblers for desert/left over cobbler for breakfast, along with quiche. Spent less than $8 per Scout. Boys all were impressed. Hopefully we will see the food improve at campouts. Also we are going to try the "pick an item to make" idea from above. Also going to try a "mystery ingredient" that each patrol gets a few weeks before the campout that has to be incorporated into the menu. Maybe give some special prize or privilege to the winner of the best dish using the ingredient (as judged by the SM, of course).
  4. More information: I just spoke with the treasurer. I don't think this accounts for everything, but there are numerous scout accounts that are negative. Some should be easy to collect (my boys are down about $70, I think that is because they didn't get credited for a couple of fundraisers last year, but I'm just letting it go at this point and will make them current). Others will be difficult, like one scout who quit owing $400 and another that transferred Troops owing $350. Why those were allowed to happen I have no idea. I think with the current Treasurer Scouts won't be allowed to run a big deficit in their personal accounts. I have a bad feeling that the Troop is going to end up eating at least $1,000 from boys who have quit the program. Maybe 1/2 of the rest is from Scouts like mine that don't know they are in the red, and the other 1/2 is a true spending more than we make problem.
  5. We don't pay for summer camp. But I am guessing that at least $2000 of the $3000 in scout accounts will need to be paid out for summer camp. And right now we can't cover it.
  6. Clarification - I know the scouts can't "cash out", but they can draw down for summer camp, etc. Last year we spent over $5,000 on summer camps, so I can see us needing to fund some of the $2300 "moral debt" that exceeds our funds in the next several months. Another question. I am Scoutmaster, as of a week ago. The old treasurer is now committee chair, and a new treasurer has just come on. How do I handle this without overstepping my bounds? The old SM pretty much left this to the committee, I'm not sure if he is even aware of the situation. I think it needs fixed, I just want to do it without causing extra drama with the adults. I'm going to get together with the new treasurer in the next few days and discuss with her. She is freaked out by the situation and wants it fixed.(This message has been edited by SM_Travis)
  7. Thanks for the replies. I have not inserted myself into the situation yet, so I can't say with 100% certainty, but my understanding based on talks with the new and outgoing treasurer is that we are in the red about $2300 if we were to need to pay out all the scout accounts. We give the boys 90% of their popcorn money, and there are a few Troop level incentives on top of that, so the Troop ends up making not much off of that. We have a soup supper where the boys keep 75% of the ticket price, after we buy soup I don't know if the Troop has enough to break even. Other fundraisers the boys keep 80%. We do charge the boys dues to their accounts. The troop pays the registration fee for the adults. The troop pays for patches, etc. I would love to see more responses as to how fundraisers are split up, and as to what the troop pays for and what the boys pay for. Obviously what we have been doing isn't working.
  8. We have what I think us a pretty normal system for keeping track of fundraising done by the boys. When we do fundraising, the money goes into their account, with a small amount going to the Troop for general expenses. I just found out we have $700 in the Troop checking account, but collectively the boys should have $3000 in their accounts (this is pre popcorn numbers). I have a couple of couple of questions: Is this deficit normal? How much does your Troop keep when the boys do fundraising? FYI - I don't think the money has been taken. I just think we have been running at a deficit and not dealing with the fact that we need more Troop level funding.
  9. I've had a couple of other posts about this. I'm having a campout for the PLC -- SPL, 2 ASPL's and 5 PL's. I'm not sure exactly I should be doing with them (Troop hasn't done this before). What I really want them to do is to take more ownership of the program. In the past it has been more the SPL working with the SM, with not much input from the PLC. My ultimate goal is for them to embrace taking control of the Troop. We have a very sketchy annual calendar, so that is going to get addressed. Also, the meetings have been planned last minute. I'm going to have them look at the program guide and set meetings for the next couple of months. What else should I have them be doing? What does your PLC do?
  10. We are having a PLC campout this weekend, at our regular campground. Some of the things I want them to do are plan the annual calendar (what we have currently is a joke) and plan the next 2 months of meetings. What I really want them to do is to take ownership of the program. We have not had a PLC that did much for a while. It has been an SPL run Troop, with quite a bit of involvement from the SM and ASMs. There are some tasks I want them to accomplish, but this is the real purpose. To let them know that they have the reins. I am encouraged by the fact that my new SPL asked if we could camp in a different spot, so that the leaders' tent was not right next to the Scouts' tents. I have been talking to them the last couple of campouts about how we need to spread out, it's nice to see that he was listening.
  11. When I said low quality I was thinking about the tortilla pizzas they always seem to make. Tortilla, dump on pizza sauce, precooked sausage and cheese, warm up and eat. They also almost always do breakfast burritos. That's not bad, but I think some of those patrols have had breakfast burritos on their menu for every campout this year. They need some imagination. We don't normally allow hot dogs or poptarts. You aren't learning anything by eating something already precooked. Depending on what we are doing, sometimes we allow for cold sandwiches based on time constraints. So it's not that they aren't cooking, they just aren't cooking much quality or variety.
  12. This next weekend I am taking the PLC on a planning retreat campout. One ASM and I will be with them, and will be doing all of the cooking. I would like to give them some good ideas of fairly easy to prepare food that would step up what they are eating when they cook. They seem to do the same low quality meals every month. I am a reasonably good cook, but not very experienced with camp cooking. I also tend to use ingredients that would not appeal to the boys and may be out of their price range. We will have access to propane stoves and fires for dutch ovens. Any ideas for some easy to prepare, cheap to make dishes that might spark a PL to step up the cooking his patrol does at the next campout?
  13. I would be afraid the debate could run negative pretty easily. We have the boys address the Troop. Last time we asked them to discuss their strengths and weaknesses, and tell the guys why they thought they should be SPL. I was impressed with how insightful some of them were about strengths and weaknesses and how they affect the troop. The boy who won was the only one who had well prepared with a 60 second speech about what he planned on doing for the troop. I think the speech helps weed out the guys who want the resume entry but haven't thought about the responsibility.
  14. Thanks Packsaddle. I agree that it's pretty hard to have a meaningful conversation without more info. Maybe I am giving BSA too much credit, but if this is Eagle required (at least as an alternate) I would think they are going to make this a real merit badge somewhat equivalent to Environmental Science. I would be surprised if it becomes fluff or political like some people are afraid of.(This message has been edited by SM_Travis)
  15. Seriously, take it somewhere else. The Internet is full of places for you to compare me to a North Korean dictator. This isn't supposed to be one of them.
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