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Individual Accounts For Scouts

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I was wondering if there are any Cub Scout Packs out there that allot a certain percentage of their popcorn sales profit to individual scout accounts for use in paying for things such as Pack dues, camps, etc. Specifically, my question to those who currently have this type of program in place is how exactly do you determine what percentage goes to the pack general fund and what percentage goes to the Individual Scout accounts? Further, once the money is alloted, how is it administered and how much extra work does it amount to for the treasurer? On top of those questions, what specific rules/guidelines do you post to the members of the pack for this type of program to prevent problems such as little Johnny quits the pack, where does his account go?,etc..


Our Pack has about 60 boys. I am the Treasurer and do have budget amounts set up for what we spend and expect to spend each year. (I''ve been the treasurer for a few years now...) The problem I have is that we are often faced with waiting to see what we make off of popcorn to determine what we actually get to do. We have a plan in place prior to popcorn sales, but don''t always make our goal and therefore have to cut out some of the items from out plan or require more money from the parents to keep certain things in the plan.


We did very well last year on popcorn and didn''t run into a lot of these issues. However, this year we have parents who feel like they got the shaft because their son sold $1700 of popcorn and our pack only gave them a $75 gift card and paid their day camp fees of $55. The rest of the profits went into the general fund to help pay for the new Pinewood Derby track our pack is in the process of purchasing. There were, of course, many boys who only sold around $200 worth and the parents of the ones that sold $1000 or more feel like their profit shouldn''t have to pay for the awards and things of the scouts who only sold $200 or nothing... We also have pack dues of $30 for everyone in the pack. My opinion is partially that of "A Cub Scout helps the pack go..." which means that the individual effort of a boy in the fundraising activities should be done as volunteerism to help the pack go. However, I also would like to present a plan to make a more balanced and fair system for the pack funds based on individual contribution. That is also weighted with the fact that we don''t ever want to require a child to have to come up with $150 pack dues if they don''t participate in the fundraiser...That would leave so many boys out and that would just be sad..



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The last two years, our pack has paid $50 toward camp for any family that sells $500 or more of popcorn.


This year, we have added more levels to reward the families that go way above and beyond. At $750, the pack will put $75 in the Scout''s account, and at $1000, the pack will put $100 in the Scout''s account. For every $250 above $1000, the pack will put in an additional $50. There is no ceiling. The account may be used to pay for Scouting events or to purchase items at the Scout Shop. Any funds in the Scouts account will be transferred to a troop when the boy crosses over into Boys Scouts. However, if the boy leaves Scouting and there are any funds in his account, the funds will go back to the pack.


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I can''t remember the exact numbers, but after Council get''s their cut, around 50% of whats left goes into their account and can be used to pay for dues, camping fees, etc. We also allow families to transfer funds for payment between their children. We keep our Pack roster in an Excel spreadsheet and basically have columns for thier ballance and for each event that needs to be paid.

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Welcome to the forums


Great question. First of all, as far as policy, your Chartered Organization Representative in cooperation with your Pack Committee Chairman work together to determine the Chartered Organization''s policy on any fund raising. This means that any funds raised are entirely controlled, organized and distributed through the CO and your Pack Committee. You, as the Pack Treasurer, play a key role in this planning. You ensure that all funds are distributed according to the policies set forth by your Chartered Organization.


A Pack Fund Raiser is, by definition, a fund raising effort for the entire pack. Individual boys can pay Den Dues and this is kept track of by the Den Leader, as far as which boys have paid their Den Dues. The Den Leader should turn in all dues from boys into the Pack Treasurer (you).


I recommend that parents be made aware of the budgeting structure and policies of your pack. A parent should not expect that if Johnny sells $1000 worth of popcorn for the pack, that he should be entitled to 10 times more than another boy who only sold $100 since it is a pack fund raiser, not an individually based fund raiser. It may also be helpful to distribute to the parents a breakdown of where all the funds are going from a fund raiser. This way, they can see how each and every boy is benefiting from the fund raiser, regardless of their individual efforts.


I agree with you on your philosophy regarding the boys learning to help pay their way and Help the Pack Go! This is crucial and helps Cub Scouts feel a part of the pack. I believe Den Dues are a sufficient tool to use to help promote this message. I also agree that boys should not feel an obligation to make up the difference toward a pack activity if they have fallen short in Den Dues. If a boy has not been able to pay their dues, this should be handled individually to find out the reason behind it, and then the Committee, parents, and the boy should all agree on a plan that works for everyone. No boy should feel they may be excluded from any activities if they haven''t paid their Den Dues.


It also may be helpful during a fund raiser to keep parents informed as to where you are for your fund raising goals. If you are not quite where you need to be let the parents know that more effort may be necessary to reach your fund raising goals in order to go on x activity this summer. Then do some more promoting and encouragement to encourage their boys to Get out there and sell more popcorn!


Hope this helps


Eagle Pete

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Our pack has all of the money go to the pack account. The prizes seem to be motivation enough for the boys. At the troop level we do Scout accounts, with 50% going to the individual accounts, and 50% going to the troop account. It''s definitely more work to keep track of this.


There''s another active thread about what happens when a boy leaves and there''s money in the account. The money was raised from people for use in Scouting - it should not go to the individual. If that boy isn''t going to use it for Scouting, then it should go into some other general unit account.


I am not a big fan of waiting until you see how you do. Setting expectations is important, and it''s much easier for people to get upset when you don''t tell them what to expect. They''ll probably just assume it will be similar to last year - or through some other method they''ll set their expectations. Better to have you do it. You should have a good idea how popcorn sales generally go.

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Our pack uses Scout Accounts. Each Scout (except Tigers) have a quota of $115 profit from fundraisers (about 350-400) product. Basically this amount is our pack dues. Parents have a $10.00 a month buy out option.


After that quota is met, the profit from sales is split 50% to the pack, 15% to an account for den activities, and 35% to the Scout''s account.


The "Annual Pack Program Plan" http://www.scouting.org/cubscouts/resources/packbudget/index.html

addresses this question - see point 3


"Some Important Points:


Paying your own way. This is a fundamental principle of the Boy Scouts of America. It is one of the reasons why no solicitations (requests for contributions from individuals or the community) are permitted by Cub Scout packs. Young people in Scouting are taught early on that if they want something in life, they need to earn it. It is among the reasons that adults who were Scouts are found to have higher incomes. The finance plan of any pack should include participation by a Cub Scout in a regular dues plan.


An annual pack participation fee, too often completely contributed by parents, does little to teach a boy responsibility. The unit''s entire budget must be provided for by the families through either fundraising or other means such as dues or fees.


Individual youth accounts. Packs using this method have traditionally had stronger programs with less turnover of youth (Cub Scouts are retained). Individual Cub Scout accounts, whereby the pack keeps track of how much a Cub Scout or his family has raised toward his "Ideal Year of Scouting" goal, are critical to the success of this program. When individual Cub Scouts are credited for their efforts, they develop a sense of personal responsibility and participation."


Note the downloadable Excel sheet that you can use to create your budget.




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Thanks for the comments. I should say that any changes implemented would not happen until next year. We are already in the middle of popcorn sales and we will not make any changes to how we do it for this year... I am interested in the logistics of the process. I just have concerns about implementing the individual accounts in regards to those boys who don't have parents that are heavily involved. Sure, the individual accounts would be of more benefit to the few boys that go really above and beyond on popcorn sales. However, what about the ones whose parents don't want to push popcorn at work and don't want to give $130 per year in scout dues..? Do they just fall by the wayside because if they don't sell, we can't afford to even pay for the awards that they earned...(unless their parents are paying an exorbitant amount in dues...) The Cub Scout Pack is about the boys. That is why I feel like the funds earned by the pack should be spread across the pack. At church, if I give X amount of money which happens to be X amount more than another member and I volunteer my time for church activities and this other member doesn't, I don't expect the church to put so much of the collection plate money into my individual account to spend as I wish for the church activities I am personally interested in... The nature of goodwill and volunteerism is doing the best you can do without expecting anything in return. So, if a family knows that the Individual account system is not in place and they decide to sell $1700 worth of popcorn, (when the pack only asked that they sell $300 worth), why do they then get angry that they get nothing in return? (even though this particular boy did get a $75 prize from the pack on top of the trail's end popcorn prizes and he also received a certificate for $55 to pay for day camp in the summer, which he did take advantage of...) Plus, this particular family was one of the outspoken advocates of getting a new Pinewood Derby Track which the pack will be getting as soon as he orders it (which he also volunteered to do...). To me, the boy and the family must have been getting something out of selling $1700 of popcorn if they did it even knowing that there were no Individual Accounts in place....I suspect it was about the competition to beat another boy at selling the most (which he did by about $20...)


Sorry to put all of these specifics out there, I just get frustrated trying to maintain a balance with the outspoken naysayers in the pack and doing what I feel is right for the pack. We have an active Pack Committee and anything we implement would be voted on and approved. We don't, however, have any charter organization interaction at all. We used to be sponsored by the schools in this area, but now all packs are either chartered by churches or by the Lion's club (which is our situation...) The only involvement they have is to sign the form once a year.


As treasurer, I don't know that I have time (after all, this isn't my only job...) to get to the degree of figuring out this percentage of this goes to this and this percentage goes to Johnny and this goes to Blakie and Johnny is going to use this for this thing, so write a pack check out of the pack account and shift the money from the imaginary account back to the pack funds and Jason is going to do this next month, etc., etc. It seems like an accounting nightmare to me. Plus, I would think that if Individual Accounts are implemented, then the parents of little Jimmy are going to want a statement once a month or quarter or whatever of what has gone in and come out of his individual account. Now, multiply that by 60 scouts....What am I trying to say is... Can anyone tell me that the benefits of this type of plan to the pack as a whole outweigh the benefits of awarding the high-sellers with a prize and free day camp and are, therefore, worth the extra accounting headaches?

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Just to clarify, the "he" that I mention in the previous post is not the scout. It is the parent who happens to be on the Pack Committee... I just didn't want anyone to think that I was saying the scout was in charge of ordering the track or being difficult because he is not...

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Yah, dasmith, good question.


Yeh see scout accounts much more often for troops than you do for packs. That's because kids of boy scout age are learning to manage money, starting thinking about jobs and such, and usin' accounts in that way is a fine learning tool.


You've had some great answers. The only thing I'd add is your comment that a scout-accounts setup would be a "more balanced and fair system." Not sure why you'd think that. There's nothing at all unfair about people contributing their talents, strong and weak, to make the pack go. If there were, then the Cubmaster and Treasurer and Den Leaders deserve the biggest chunk of dough in their scout accounts, because they're clearly puttin' in far more time and effort than the most successful popcorn seller. For that matter, so is the single mom who works two jobs but always re-arranges to get her kid to meetings and to do what she can to help.


I've seen debates about "who did more" and "who should get more" gnaw at the goodwill within committees or even blow up into adult fights and pack splits. To my mind, you want to keep the "all for one, and one for all" ethic front and center in everyone's mind, and avoid the "who should get more" thing at all costs.




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