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Funding High Adventure Trip

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One of our ASM's proposed a high adventure trip for next year. He estimated the cost at $2000 per person (excluding travel expences). We would travel about 22-24 hours to arrive at our destination. Most of our families cannot afford this kind of a trip. It was brought up that the troop would need to do funraising to pay for scouts to go. Is this viable in a troop of 25 scouts-I'd estimate 15 regularly attend most events? Does the entire troop do the fundraising or only the scouts going on this particular trip? Has anyone else found creative ways to pay for a trip of this kind? Ideas please? Thanks!


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What is this proposed trip? Without knowing the details, this sounds kind of exorbitant. From Illinois we have gone all across the country (Maine, Florida, Philmont, Texas, Arkansas, Kentucky, West Virginia) and have never come close to spending $2,000 per person. Our troop reserves the profits from popcorn sales for High Adventure trips. The scouts "bank" their profits until they are eligible for High Adventure activities, so most will have 3 years of popcorn profits to use for their first HA activity. It would not be fair for the entire troop to fund raise when only a few are reaping the benefits.

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About 5 years ago the troop my son has since joined went to England. We didn't go, as my son was still in Cubs back then, but I've talked quite a bit with some of the leaders who were in the troop at that time. With airfare, costs were close to what you are projecting. It took three years of fundraising to pay for the trip and almost everyone who went paid almost entirely from fundraising dollars and not out of pocket.


Last year the same troop went to Yellowstone - which is most of the way across the country from us. It took 2 years of planning and fundraising to pull it off and again, most scouts and adults who went paid little or nothing out of pocket.


In both cases, nearly the whole troop attended, not just those eligible for "high adventure." In both cases, the entire troop participated (or was expected to do so) in the MANY fundraising efforts - had to seek special permission not to. I don't know how people felt about this with the England trip. I do know that as a parent of a boy who crossed over into the troop in March last year, I wasn't terribly pleased about this situation. For several reasons, my son didn't go to Yellowstone. The fundraising expectation seemed over the top, considering we were new to the group and not planning to attend. What REALLY steamed me was that the troop had no contingency plan for young scouts who couldn't go or whose parents were uncomfortable with this enormous first summer camp trip, to attend a traditional BSA camp instead (and there are several good ones within 2 hours of our town). In fact, this was actively discouraged. I really got annoyed about it to be honest. I know a couple of families who quit as a result of this, a real shame and completely avoidable in my view. I ended up arranging for my son to do a week of provo camp (a mediocre situation but better than nothing) but none of the troop's fundraising money went toward that, despite our participation in their fundraisers.


I guess what I'm getting at boils down to 3 things:


1. these kinds of trips probably require more than a year's planning in order to get everyone on board

2. You need a good alternate plan in place for those who aren't allowed or won't be attending this trip.

3. What effect will this have on recruiting? Parents of current cub scouts might be pretty skeptical about your troop if they perceive you are taking extremely expensive trips that are not very carefully planned. They may decide your troop is too expensive for them to join and look elsewhere (or just drop out) instead.


Then there is also:

4. Is this a boy led thing? Or is this the adults projecting their desires and plans onto the boys? Half the time the kids would be just as happy doing something a bit lower profile (and less expensive).


5. If this is something the boys themselves have picked, how good an understanding of the cost involved do they have? Are they really willing to do the work to earn the money? Has anyone had a serious conversation with them about it? (and I mean going both ways - not just adults telling them what to think - and over more than one day because they'll need time to think it through). Do they clearly understand that not everyone will be eligible for high adventure, and how do the boys who aren't eligible feel about it?


I hope this doesn't come off as too negative. Big trips can be done, and done well. But they require an awful lot of work ahead of time, it seems.




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firecrafter -


Lisabob gave you an excellent response. Her questions are spot-on.


You need more time. But you can do it, if everyone is on-board. First, make sure the boys are aligned with it. Second, make sure the parents are. If so, you need someone to head up the fundraising portion of the project.


A couple of thoughts. You'll need to have a few options. There's not any one fundraiser that's going to generate that kind of money at one time. Second, you need to set some goals. How much do you need to raise? To do that, you need to figure out how much you can afford. Also, you'll need to make sure that the funds are allocated based upon effort. Otherwise, you're likely to have some kids slack off and take advantage of the others efforts. Finally, make sure it's something that the boys can get excited about and involved in. Get them excited, and let them run with it. Use that youthful energy to your advantage.


Good luck!

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2K in a year is alot to expect to fundraise per scout (30K - yikes). What is this trip that costs 2K. Sounds like Europe to me.


For our HA program, the scouts pick the destination and the activities. Then they make a list of what they want to do. I assemble an itinerary and travel route to accomplish their desires. Then, each of them is required to become the trip expert at each of the "stops".


HA's run 400 to 1000. I make it known to the scouts that I expect them to raise 1/2 their HA money and I hold them to that. They have plenty of opportunity. The scouts sell $50.00 sponsorships to businesses. They keep 40% as a commission. If they work, they make money, if not, they don't. We do hoagies sale's, but for $1 sell for $3. 100% profit is split is split between those who participate.


We run traditional summer camp for 13 and younger and HA for 14 and older. They are at different times in case someone wants to do both.



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Our troop fund raises regularly, for high adventure as well as traditional camp and other camp/troop/patrol outings. Our Scouts attend a high adventure type program every other year. This year they went to Sea Base and it was a 2 year fund raising committment with each Scout needing $1200 for the trip. We have 8 fund raisers each year and we had 2 special fund raisers just for this trip (a brat sale on fishing opener weekend at a local bait shop and a taco feed at a hosptial function). All the Scouts try to keep a cushion in their accounts for upcoming high adventure and other trips. We have only 15 active boys in our Troop so it is a big committment from each Scout and their parent(s) to make this work. The Scouts pick their locations and activities that they want to do. The parents and leaders do help with cost containment and the details (mostly just a lot of follow up on who is doing what and are they meeting their schedule). We keep track of the money and make sure the bills are paid! Not every Scout wants to do a big high adventure, like Philmont or Sea Base. We have had boys just go sailing or rock climbing or rafting with organizations we have found through camps, coleges and on line resources. Because of the fund raising we do, I have never paid more than the initial deposit for my sons to participate in a high adventure trip, camp or outing (our Troop requires a $25 deposit on summer camp and $100 on high adventure trip to hold a spot and this is non-refundable. This is to insure no one backs out once a reservation is made because we all know we can't get our deposit back and we have to pay for everyone we initially registered). This system has worked for our Troop for years.

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