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Cobra06

Dues not getting collected

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OK - here is the situation - I am a new Scoutmaster coming into an established Troop. My biggest problem is that the previous SM pretty much ignored fundraising (meaning dues supported the Troop), so dues are rather high. On top of that, dues were collected directly from the parents rather than the boys.

 

The first thing I did was to have each PL appoint a Patrol Scribe and instructed these guys to collect dues at the Patrol Meeting segment of the Troop meeting and then turn in the dues to the Troop Scribe. Needless to say, the first few weeks of this have been disasterous to say the least! Boys forget to turn in their money or they only have a ten and the patrol scribes can't make change, etc...

 

I would be interested in finding out the process some of you are using to collect dues and how do you get the boys set up and maintain a managable system?

 

Thanks!

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Our troop uses an annual registration fee (dues) that is due by Jan 15th of each year...........a boy can save over the summer for it if he has odd jobs etc.........he can also pay on it year round.........If the fees are not collected by Jan 31st..........a meeting with the parents must be arranged.........of course if there are extreme circumstances a meeting with the CC can be requested.

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In our troop, we give the scouts an option of paying all dues at the beginning of the year, or once a month at the first meeting of the month. Our old adminstration made the parents responsible, but I'm also trying to get my troop scribe and SPL to start a list, check it twice, and find out who is naughty or nice... but its a work in progress. Changing old habits will take time, so you'll need to be patient... I've been making subtle changes here and there to move to a more scout-run model, but its taking longer than I expected. Rather than get frustrated, I just roll with it, encourage and compliment.

 

Your comment on the SM and fundraising... being SM myself, I don't feel its my duty to do fundraising, that's why we have a committee with a fundraising chair. I do feel its my duty to support fundraising, help get the scouts to participate, etc, but my job it to deliver the program, not make money. You've got to spread the work out amongst the parents, you cannot do it all yourself.

 

Can you imagine if it actually took more than one hour a week to do this job? Sheesh! :-)

 

 

 

 

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If I only did this for one hour a week, I don't know what I would do with myself! Actually, (only because you brought it up, CA_Scouter), the prior SM was also the committee (yes, ALL of the committee)! We have since started a real committee, but up to this point, we do not have a fundraising chair, and the members we do have aren't quite sure what they are supposed to be doing. So, as you say, roll with it, encourage and compliment (although it seems I do more of that with the grown-ups than with the boys)!

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Ideally, dues would be collected each week - a small amount that the boys would be responsible for and small enough that they would not be overwhelmed.

 

Realisticly, dues every week can become a logisitcal nightmare and take up way too much troop meeting/patrol quarters time.

 

Annual dues work best from a logistic point of view, easy record keeping, set date, etc. However, I've found that when this is done they parents take ownership of the dues paying because the amount seems so large to most of the kids.

 

Our unit compromises - dues are paid quarterly. As SM, I suggested doing something lke our council/district does and have an "early bird" type discount - i.e. quarterly dues of $25 or an annual due of $90. The committee shot that down.

 

My question, as SM, what do I do with a Scout when I know he is behind in his dues and is coming to me for a SM review tied to advancement? Should I make money an issue during the SM conference?

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"My question, as SM, what do I do with a Scout when I know he is behind in his dues and is coming to me for a SM review tied to advancement? Should I make money an issue during the SM conference?"

 

If the mom or dad are paying an annual fee, there's nothing to talk about to the boy. He's been relieved of the responsibility.

 

On the other hand, if the troop teaches boys that Scouts pay their own way, and if you collect dues on a weekly basis in a small amount such as $1 per meeting, then you can talk to him about how he is meeting his responsibilities to the troop.

 

Teaching the troop scribe to collect dues regularly and to keep records and to work with the committee treasurer is a lot more work that sending an annual bill to the parents. But we're not in this business to make things "easy". It we were, we would have the adults make the annual plan, run the troop meetings, plan the menus, cook the meals, eat off paper plates, etc., etc., etc.

 

Part of Scouting is to teach boys character and life skills. Learning how to pay financial obligations, budgeting income, and being thrifty can all be taught through a program of weekly dues, payable by the boy.

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Our troop does registration, Boy's Life, and troop dues all as one billing to the families at a time close to rechartering.

 

However, as stated above, BSA also does give the opition to have the dues collected weekly by the patrol scribes.

 

The first thing that I would do is send a letter home to the scouts and parents explaining that the troop is changing the way that dues are collected. Explain how the Patrols will be collecting dues (give the amount and when they are due) and that the scouts are expected to pay the dues out of either a scout account or on their own. Without explaination to the parents things don't seem to work.

 

The next thing that I would do is work with (either you yourself or a Patrol Advisor (position held by ASM) to explain the importance of writing down when scouts pay there dues and when they don't. Without them buying into the system it won't work either.

 

Communication with key people is important in getting anything to work.

 

Also, just for extra input, an easy fundraiser to do is cartridge fundraising. For information on how this works go to www.cartridgesforkids.com Our troop usually gets about $100 every 1 1/2 months.

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Out troop has weekly dues collected by the Scribe. This is a relatively new process, and a couple of the families - yes - the parents - are rebelling by not allowing their scouts to pay the dues. Three or foru of the scouts, in fact, are 17 and 18 weeks in arrears. All of the other scouts are current, and seem to have no problems with it. (The parents in opposition are former SM and committee members - who had a 'No Dues, Period!' policy - and generally object to the notion of dues . . .

 

Our Troop bylaws state that scouts who are not paid current may not participate in troop activities. Do other troops have similar policies? At what point does (or should?) troop leadership lower the boom?? Or should we delete this provision from the bylaws all together??

 

Any and all input/response is appreciated. Tschuss!

 

Bob Hendry

Troop 908

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Bob,

 

Yes, our official Troop policy is that if dues are more than 2 months past due, the Scout is not allowed on Troop activities. We have not been strictly enforcing this policy of late, because we have three boys who have genuine financial hardship in their families. Yes, to the point that a dollar or two a week is difficult.

 

I am working on a way to help these boys earn some money to use toward dues and outing fees; the Troop has been paying their way on outings as well. I want to give the boys a sense that they have "earned" their way, rather than have them feel they've gotten a free ride.

 

ASM59

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Or should we delete this provision from the bylaws all together??

 

Is having that law in you bylaws working for you? Is the law teaching boys the value of earning their own way, or about being thrifty? Does it help them feel a sense of responsibility towards their patrol?

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