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Individual Scout Accounts

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Our troop does not use individual accounts. I agree that the boys benefit from such a concept, but our adults are not willing to take that on just yet. Far easier to write checks as required.

 

The question of using scout accounts resulting from fund raising for personal benefit is a good one and one that I had not thought of. The question logically would apply to scout bucks spent for camp and outings in addition to gear. In general I would expect that monies raised by an ostensible non profit organization in effect rebated back to the boys probably compromises the non profit status of the organization. Personally I don't think that the IRS is going to come after some boy scout troop or individual scout on this. I wouldn't worry about.

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These questions came up about Individual Scout Accounts

 

How do you control what each scout can take out?

A concern came up if a parent is expecting their son to save the money in his account to use towards summer camp and the scout decides to use it for equipment instead.

Do you limit the amount a scout can remove at a time without his parents permission? if so, how much?

 

What rules do you have in purchasing things like knifes, axes and such? Do you need the scout to get parental permission before purchasing? And who decides?

 

How do you make sure that money is being spent on equipment? We have a few scouts that cannot afford to buy equipment up front and then be reimbursed. We have though about limiting equipment purchases to only the scout catalog and Camp-Mor catalog.

 

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In our troop, more than 95% of all ScoutBucks are used to pay for summer camp. If a scout wants to purchase equipment, he tells the Committee what he wants and gets their approval in advance. Most camping and hiking related items are approved (a scout would need to have his Totin Chip to purchase a knife or axe). He then submits a reciept for the item and gets reimbursed. I imagine that if a scout proposed to buy a $200 tent, we would contact his parents first.

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We have accounts for the boys. There are limits on what this money can be spent on. If a boy leaves the troop we will send the money to his new troop. If he doesn't join a new troop, our troop uses the money to support scouts that need help. We maintain the records in case a boy later rejoins.

 

As for the Scoutmaster deciding how the money is spent, that is not his job. As Scoutmaster, I have a budget to cover troop meeting (both mine and the boys). Commitee is responsible for most of the money.

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Our troop has individual accounts. We have 1 troop fundraiser that supports us for the whole year then each scout that sells popcorn has the profit put in his account. They then get to use this money on anything "scout related". If they work hard at selling popcorn their parents never have to pay for anything.

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Here's how it works in our Troop...

 

Yes, we use Scout Accounts - They are funded by fundraisers like PopCorn, or when we help the United Methodist Men in their pancake breakfast, etc..The funds raised are divided amoung the boys worked with the number of hours worked taken into that account too...Each boy will get X% of the full amount per hour worked. That money goes to pay for Summer Camps, Trainings, etc...Not for individual personal gear.

 

Now - when/if we are really low on troop funds, we take a % of the gross amount made and put that into the Troops General Fund, the rest, then is divided like I mentioned above. And boys/parents are aware of how we're gong to divy up the money ahead of time.

 

Seems to work really well for us...

 

Brad G

SM BSA T23

OKC

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Does anyone have a spreadsheet that they use to keep track of the individual scout account funds that they would be willing to share?

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Our Troop uses Individual accounts and it works great. We have one fundraiser a year in the fall. All scouts must participate to help out the Troop and their accounts. The committee decides on the Troop/Scout split. It is generally 2/3 goes to the scout accounts. When outing paperwork comes out the boys can pay 3 ways. Cash, check or out of their accounts. We also allow them to purchase their own personal gear then give us a receipt for it and reimburse them. This way they take the responsibility of keeping their gear in good working order if they buy it themselves.

We are an active troop that goes on outings once a month from Sept. to May and Summer Camp. The way we do our outings is we charge $10.00 for food, camping fee, and gas (depends on how far it is). We generally don't charge for gas if its an hour or less away. It has worked out for us for over 10 years. I know my son's would not have been able to go on some of the outings if it had not been for the scout accounts.

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Susan,

 

I hope someone has backbriefed your COR and obtained approval for youth members to be buying personal equipment from their portion of the Troop account.

 

The Chartered Partner is the licensee of record from your Council for your unit. Your operating practices reflect on them.

 

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One has to be careful with the use of individual scout accounts. If the fundraiser states that the donation these people are making is for the troop and the money is then split up into individual's personal accounts to purchase personal equipment it constitutes money laundring. One has taken money under one pretense and dispersed it under another.

 

If the scout is funraising for the purpose of going to summer camp, then the donor knows he is donating to that specific scout for the purpose of his participation in that specific program and the money can be put into an account for him to spend on summer camp. "I'm going to summer camp and need some money, want to buy some popcorn?" Now if the boy takes that money and buys a tent, it constitutes money laundring.

 

This process can happen, but it needs to be made clear to the donor just exactly what it is he/she is donating to, the troop?, a trip?, a scout?

 

While this might sound like a lot of technicalities, such honesty on behalf of the scouts must be maintained above board. With a society attuned to misconduct and corruption in every aspect of programs in their area, it would be a shame if BSA got caught up in it especially after promoting honesty as one of it's biggest tennats.

 

Stosh

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We just started with ISAs.

 

First off, the paperwork side of it is a pain in the neck.

 

Otherwise, with our troop...

We collect a small amount each year at Recharter time for dues, which covers most of the administrative stuff the troop needs to operate, like patches, badges, awards, etc.

Any and all "fundraiser" money would go to two areas; #1 to the troop for purchasing of equipment (including troop-owned tents) or any other "big ticket" items the troop deems necessary to purchase. #2 would go into the Scout accounts, where they could use their ScoutBucks to pay for any outing (including food costs), like Camporees and Summer Camps. If they have money left over when Recharter comes back around, they'll be able to use it for that as well. At no point would we even consider offering the possibility for using ScoutBucks for personal equipment.

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We use them, Scouts sell popcorn and the profit then goes into a "Scout Bucks" account. The treasurer keeps track of how much money each Scout has. The money is used generally to pay for camping trips and summer camp. As SM I get reimbursed for expenses through my son's Scout Buck account. It easier on the treasurer than writing me checks every time I spend money on troop supplies.

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While we don't use scout accounts (a fact for which I eternally grateful) I do think we're over thinking the ethics of how the money can be used.

 

First of all, a princple of unit fundraising is that units may not solicit contributions, but must earn money providing valuable goods and services. As such, if you buy a product from a Scout, it's none of your dadgum business what he does with the proceeds. It isn't a contribution.

 

 

From a practical standpoint, I realize many folks don't really need or even want popcorn, first aid kits, eight-pound chocolate bars or whatever the scouts are selling. They buy the stuff as a gesture of goodwill to support scouting. As such, a little more transparancy is in order. Saying the proceeds of a fundraiser benefits "Scouting" or "Troop X" or "the Scouts in Troop X" is both honest and sufficient. For me personally, I don't care if the money is going toward the troop's operating overhead, helping to defray the lump-sum costs of a trip, pay an individual kid's way to summer amp or buy him a new sleeping bag. It's all part of the same elephant. On the other hand, it would bother me if troops allowed boys to cash out their account and spend the money on whatever they want.

 

When my boys sold popcorn with the cubs, I told them to be prepared to answer folks who asked what the money is being used for. I taught them to answer that the pack used the money for things like campouts and Pinewood Derby cars. If they had a particular premium in mind (like a Cub Scout knife or a backpack) that was a good answer, too. When they were really little and would tell folks they wanted the glow-in-the-dark yo-yo, I was nearby enough to add that most of the money supported our local pack and the local council. People are cool with that.

 

 

 

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