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Cost of the Program and how to move pay for it.

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Spun this from the Belt loop discussion. We had a young man earn 25 belt loops our first year in the program and with his hiking, event and rank advancement patches we had $70 in rank advancement and awards for this one scout. He is an outlyer, there were have a dozen in the $50's.


With that said we did very poorly fund raising last year and beat up our savings account last year.



So we determined the cost of our program, with recharter, tshirt, pinewood, Blue and gold it was right at $100.


We investigated Weekly dues.....too much time collecting and tracking.


We investigated parents just writing a check for the amount. We would lose a bunch of scouts, judged unacceptable.


We investigated the Bulk pack fund raising, everyone sells and dumps the money into the Pack general fund. Unacceptable results. In the past we have had as few as 10% of the youth carry the entire pack. Again unacceptable.


We investigated mandatory $300 minimum popcorn sales. again we would lose scouts.


On and on....it was a year process.



Our solution was all of the money fun raised goes into each scouts account. The money in the account can be used for camps, uniforms, books and program fee. We are an inner city Pack and what we have found is we lose the free loaders. The boys who never fund raised, camped, came to the weekend pack outings.


Our responsibility, is to make sure we offer three fund raising opportunities a year, Popcorn Christmas wreaths and spring flowers. The spring flower bulbs generally pays for summer camp.


So how do you handle dead beat parents and scouts who always have their hand out and refuse to participate in fund raising?


I have told the story before about the mom filling out a camper ship application in the front seat of her new expedition, all made up, with freshly manicured nails, while talking on her blackberry. hmmmm. pet peeve I suppose.

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I agree with you that weekly dues takes too much time away from the rest of the meeting. We do accept monthly dues, quarterly, or annual.

The three fundraisers you mentioned are of the sell something variety. Selling, going up to strangers, scares a great many. Perhaps you might try a non-selling funder and see how that works.

There are always freeloaders. It is a value judgment with us to accept or reject a campership; we are not bashful -- we would flat out ask why they need a campership if they're sitting in an Expedition. Some parents look at financial aid as just another income stream. It would be up to the Scout -- does he deserve to go even if his parents are mooches instead of genuinely tapped out?

In any group, some always do more than their share. Thank the Lord for them

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forgot to add, when we plan the year's activities we make a rough estimate as to total cost. If we feel each Scout's share is $100 cash, then we send a note to each home listing the activities planned, and that they need to bring in $10 a month to participate.

We also list the total costs of camps and outings, and point out this is why we also need to do fundraising. We try to be most clear that it is not their choice of dues or funders, but that both are necessary

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We try our hardest to keep expenses to a minimum.


We try to balance a great program with a economical one.


We camp twice a year, with the cost being $15.00 per scout and $5 per parent. This covers cost of campsite and food plus a few beltloops awards for kids.


This year, we are holding our fall campout at the CO. Big field out back that is large enough for 8 soccer fields to be used at same time. Some woods surround it. Not true forrest, but will do.

We are camping there so only cost is food.


So anyways, we have $40.00 dues at begining of year.

$15.00 for BSA

$3.00 for BSA insurance

$22.00 for pack ( equipment, awards, pins, beltloops, rank patches, etc)


Now, ewe do offer camperships and support for those who need it.


Thing is, we don't want to chase off parents who don't like the cost, but we also explain to them that those same parents will pay from $60.00 to $100.00 for their son to participate in a sport that only lasts 2 1/2 months compared to a year of scouting.


We also have other activities that are seperately priced out: camping on USS YorkTown for example. Yeah, it's fun, but an extracirricular activity. Blue and Golds are pot luck instead of catering out. Same for PWD and Christmas parties.


As for fundraising, popcorn does "okay", but thats about it.


We have two BBQ chicken dinners a year. One in spring, one in fall. The boys actually like working this one: serving food and selling tickets.

We go to a local Lowes home improvement store and sell tickets. We make more off unsolicited donations than ticket sales. The best part is that the boys get a hundred compliments a day on being scouts and looking good in uniform. The boys eat it up! :)


So, even if mom or dad doesn't have the time because of whatever reason, there are usually 4 or 5 adults as well as DLs and ADLs who will watch the boys . We consider it a den activity.


We do not record who sells the tickets when everybody is together.

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"So anyways, we have $40.00 dues at begining of year.

$15.00 for BSA

$3.00 for BSA insurance

$22.00 for pack ( equipment, awards, pins, beltloops, rank patches, etc)"



I am confused by the amount you charge......for us national gets $1.25 per month and $1 for boys life a month. So that is $27 even before anything else. Do you charge for the pinewood derby cars? do you charge for the B&G? Pack tshirt?


We include all of that in our program fee. I was member of a Pack that nickle and dimed you to death.


The only thing that is not included in the program fee is the family camp outs. Two a year and the cost depends on the location.

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Our pack is trying to develop a workable budget, but we are getting there. We are still rebuilding our pack from near death a few years ago. The problem adult leadership team has moved on, thankfully. When the current group of leaders took over the pack, we had a negative balance in the pack account (though the ledgers said differently). Whether it was poor record keeping on the part of the last treasurer or theft, we may never know.


We have two main feeder schools for the pack. One is a solidly middle class school while the other holds the distinction of being the poorest in the county. We must tread carefully otherwise a line is drawn in the sand by the two groups of parents. (Horrid sounding, but unfortunately true). We have great parents that step up and do what is needed within their means, and for that we are very grateful!


We have right at 20 boys far this year (lost quite a few to crossing over last year and need to replenish our Tiger den at next week's round-up!) We spend about $150 per boy each year. This includes:

$15 registration

$4 insurance

$5 Leader fees/recharter

$25 patches, advancement, handbooks

$5 B&G

$5 Pinewood track rental and awards

$15 Family camp out fees & BBQ

$20 District/council events

$40 field trips

$20 Den supplies


Each family pays $20 a year, unless they want Boy's Life, then it's $32. We don't force the Boy's Life subscription on a family. We sell hotdogs, chips and drinks at our Pinewood Derby that takes care of its cost. (Scouts in uniform get their hotdogs for free. Only siblings and family have to pay).


We pay for two district or council events we attend as a pack--a fall event and a spring event. Cubs and parents must pay out of pocket for any other events they wish to attend. We give handbooks out to each boy crossing over into the next den. We found it the best way to ensure every boy had a handbook.


We have a uniform closet for boys that need help acquiring a uniform. We take old uniform donations and scour thrift shops each summer for old uniforms. Families and cubs can either pay $10 for a complete uniform or donate their time to at least two pack event set-ups and break-downs in exchange for a uniform. Most donate their time which really pays off. We get the new parents involved in the pack from the get-go and they tend to remain wonderful volunteers for the duration of their boy's Cub Scout career. We also have 100% uniforming nearly 100% of the time, which is just plain awesome.


We only pay the fee and for the ingredients for the pack dutch oven desserts for our yearly pack camp out, families supply their own gear and meals. We do supply the food for our year end BBQ. We have a potluck for B&G. Last year I spent some time making/sewing table cloths, centerpieces and other B&G decor so we would no longer be investing in disposables each year, so from now on it's only cost should be the cake and paper plates.


We have a pack event or feildtrip each month. About half are free. About three are paid for by the pack and the other three paid for by the families.


We pay for a lot of things other packs expect the family to pay for, but it allows us to share Scouting with boys who's families otherwise may not participate. It also prevents the pack from becoming split into the haves and have-nots, which would occur if only half the pack could afford to attend special events.


If all goes at least as well as last year's popcorn sale, we are looking at having a surplus in the pack account this year, finally. Once we have a surplus, we want to implement scout accounts (hopefully next year!). Money left in the boy's account can help offset the initial costs of Boy Scouting once he crosses over (first year camp fees, etc), as well as covering extra activity fees, day camp, etc while he is a Cub.


That being said, I and the other leaders and volunteers put in a lot out of our own pockets. But we find the program worth it or we wouldn't do it. We had our first meeting last week. Every single boy who didn't cross over last year was there, plus a few new faces. 100% retention! We must be doing something right, but it sure can be stressful sometimes! :)


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Your situation seems almost identical to ours.


Under prior leadership we had a christmas tree lot that paid for everything. In looking at the previous budget is was in the Neighborhood of $300 per scout including day camp. Well two years ago they lost 1/2 the trees to theft and we lost our tails, end of free ride and christmas tree lot.



We are collecting the national recharter of $27 per scout before Nov 1st and the other $75 in either popcorn fundraising, or wreath sales.


SO you have a per scout budget of $150 a head?? How do you raise money to met that amount?? Do you simply set a dollar amount and fund raise till it is met???? I am curious.


We looked at setting a fund raising amount based on our budget and it was $$6,000 which means even with $10k of popcorn sales we would still need $8k of wreath sales to make it work.



So how do you deal with the poor families and requests for assistance?????

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Luckily, we do not get many requests for assistance from families since we pay for almost everything except the $20 registration/insurance. Most of our money is from popcorn. We usually get another $200 to $300 in donations during the sale. Door-to-door selling isn't popular with our pack, due to the neighborhoods some of our boys live in. Most of our sales come from Blitz day and booth sales. We set up booths three days a week during the sale at a hardware store. (Not to sound sexist, but mainly men tend to go to hardware stores, and many of these guys were scouts. If they don't buy popcorn, they often give a small donation). We do much better at the hardware store than we do at Walmart booth sales. We raise the rest of the money during a spring candy bar sale.


Our district hosts a spring honey sale, but we never had any luck with selling the overpriced honey. We actually buy the candy bars at Costco and sell them at a slight markup. The bars cost us .30 each and we sell them for $1. We buy bars as we need them for the duration of the sale, so we don't end up with a bunch of unsold product.


We are trying a third fundraiser this year because we would like to stop the spring fundraiser. Barnes and Noble book stores allow organizations to wrap gifts in their store for donations during the Christmas season. They supply the table and wrapping, you supply the labor. You keep 100% of the donations. Naturally, it will be us parents and leaders wrapping gifts with the boys drawing in the customers--I can only imagine what a gift wrapped by a Tiger Cub would look like! :) Spots go fast and now is the time to contact a B&N store manager if you are interested in trying this sort of fundraiser. We have heard promising things from a Girl Scout troop about the profits brought in by doing this


Right now with the general fund, boys are expected to sell a certain amount. We give them a goal, and yes some boys surpass it while other don't sell much at all. We give the boys a $500 goal for popcorn sales, but it isn't mandatory. Each boy is expected to participate in either Blitz day or two booth sales. A boy can opt out of both fundraisers by paying $10 monthly dues, but we have never had anyone exercise that option.


So this long-winded post is basically yes, we do just fundraise until the goal is met. The first year our current leadership group took over it was a mess and a lot of stuff came out of our pockets to make ends meet. Last year it was pretty painless, and we actually earned enough for the year with popcorn alone and the spring fundraiser gave us a surplus. We focused on group selling (Blitz and Booth) and made more that way then we did when the boys mainly sold individually in past years. It might also help that it gets cold here in October, so people take pity on the poor kids standing outside for two hours trying to make a buck :)

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Our Pack collects $64 per boy for the year. Of that, $40 goes to the pack fund and $24 goes back to each boys Den. This has worked out well but since I started 4 years ago and even before me, the dues have not changed. We give the families an option of paying all in September or half in September and half in January. This seems to help those out who are struggling. As far as fundraisers, we sell popcorn and have a bowl a thon in the spring. This money pays for the boys to go camping whether its a Pack or Council sponsored event. The parents pay their own way.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This year it's $50 down and then they have to pay or earn through popcorn sales the remaining $125. Each boy has a goal of selling $500 to meet that amount. Every boy gets 25% of all his sales. We use the remaining amount we earn from popcorn to pay for adult registrations, books, and trainings.


The fee for Cub Scouts is $175 per year. This includes (for the Scout only):



Boys Life magazine


Neckerchief & Slide


Pack t-shirt

Pack campout fees

Pinewood Derby car

Raingutter Regatta boat



Den Supplies

Field Trips

And more


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How are you all keeping your awards so low? I'm looking at this and seeing $22,$25 for awards PLUS other items. Our Pack averages nearly $40 per boy for awards ONLY. And that is with a policy of capping belt loops/pins.


We charge annual dues of $85 covers pretty much everything except costs for events such as camping, rock wall, etc. Concessions pay for derby costs. And we use Scout accounts to allow boys to earn their way.


Our Scholarship fund was hit heavier this yer than ever. We scholarshipped nearly 10% of out total Scouts this year. The cost for that will be even higher for the Pack this year since the Council stopped scholarshipping uniforms and well have to fund those ourselves.(This message has been edited by pack212scouter)

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