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Cost vs. worth vs. value vs. VALUES

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Beaver (Beavah?) made the point that scouting sells itself cheap sometimes, relative to other youth activities.


High school band, for instance, costs $550 a year to participate. Volleyball costs $2,200 per year. Football and wresting are similar. Scouting is anywhere between $50-$150 per year in dues, assume $100 per year in uniforms, then add monthly event fees. I don't include food, because scouts eat cheaper on a campout than they do at home.


Because scouting is a value, relative to other youth activities, it is the one that gets bumped when the "tired" or "lots of homework" card is played.


If parents had more financial skin in the game, would that improve attendance?


I don't know. But I do know I spend the majority of my time with the scouts that take the time to come to meetings and camping trips, and not so much chasing the ones that don't want to be there.


I do note that the scouts who attend summer camp are the ones that choose to go to high adventure bases, which costs thousands of dollars. Anything done at a high level, be it band or scouts, costs a lot of money.


So because the entry cost is low, parents perceive scouting as worth less? Until the hook is set, and they see the value, and agree to pay more? That has been my observations.






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You struck a nerve there.

Scouting is a GREAT value.



6th/7th/8th grade Allstar basketball leagues = $200-$350 per season. 2 seasons per year.

T2 tennis = $60 per season. 4 seasons per year.


Neither of those activities yields the lifelong benefits of Scouting.

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Once challenge in regards to band and sports at the HS level in some areas is that the "extracurriculars" become part of the curriculum that your grade is based upon.


For example, at my HS the band had morning practices and other activities which were required AND was part of your grade. You miss a bunch of morning practices, concerts, games, etc. and your grade would drop. A friend of mine dropped band completely his senior year b/c of scheduling conflicts that he saw and didn't want to get penalized with lower grades.


As for the various sports, they had it worked out where all the players of a particular sport took PE at the same time. During the season and spring training, the daily practices and games were your PE class, and you had a break to do homework, goof off etc. Once you stopped practicing, then the normal PE classes resumed. Know a few folks who didn't take any formal PE classes b/c they played in multiple sports.


Now club sports is a completely different ball of wax. IMHO they are very costly, coaches are very adamant and demanding about practices, games, and tourneys, etc. When oldest did martial arts, I had some challenges with the instructors b/c we would get information on different tourneys and clinics with 2-3 weeks notice, and when we would tell them we can't do it b/c of prior commitments set several months in advance.


Worse case was a martial arts clinic we found out about a month in advance. We had family we have not seen in several years coming to town that was booked several months in advance so we could not make it and told them so. Apparently after the event, so few from our group attended, the instructors at the next practice chewed everyone out about not attending.

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But each and everyone of you forget that Scouting is a Second Tier activity......


Football comes first

Soceer comes first

Volleyball comes first

Band comes first

Baseball comes first


Everything comes before scouting.



it is very expensive for second level activity.




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I know we are talking about dollars, but the scouts' enthusiasm for the program is a big factor as well.


Scouting is easy to crowd out of the line up if the scout isn't enjoying it.


Go to football practice or plod thru Citizenship in the World MB at the scout hut on Tuesday night? Not a hard choice, really.


Looking back, I kept active in scouting thru high school because my troop in AK was heavy into the outdoors. Meetings were just prep time for our next outting. We spent a minimum of one weekend a month in the woods, regardless of the weather. I moved heaven/earth to keep active in scouting, in addition to my other activities outside of scouting.


So I think parents are being pragmatic. Spend 500 bucks on something the kid really wants to do, or 100 on something they don't really give a hoot about.


PS That said, a scout unit that has a dynamic outdoor program is a bargain compared to those other activities. Then it's a matter of kids gravitating to the stuff they really want to do given there are only so many hours in the day.


On the other hand, a sedentary unit is going to lose out every time, regardless of how low the financial cost may be.(This message has been edited by desertrat77)

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Wearing my parent hat.

When we were first married, I wanted us to have four kids.

As it turned out, we were only blessed with the one.

A lot of people mainly people who didn't really know us said that my kid was spoiled.

It's true that the cost of only having one child did make things easier than having more.

Maybe the fact that I'd been really into Scouts and Scouting as a kid did play into what I was willing to spend on my kid and what he wanted to do?

Maybe he did feel some kind of pressure to be involved?


There were times when I provided a friendly kick in the pants when he decided that not attending or not doing something was an option.

I remember more than once telling him that it was OK to quit but it wasn't OK to put in a half hearted effort.


Scouts and Scouting has cost me a fair bit over the years.

Again I was lucky in that I was able to afford it. But maybe? Because I was so deeply involved I may have felt the pressure that in some ways I was expected to afford it.


For some years when he first joined, I was very busy. I owned and operated a couple of very busy restaurants and bars, working very long days, coming home only to sleep and then rushing back out again.

I didn't have the time or the inclination to be bothered with fund raising events or activities.

We, my son and I had an agreement that I'd always pay half of whatever it cost.

To be very honest I made sure that he always had the money in order that he could pay his half.

Along with Scouting he was into sports, mainly soccer and track. Being as these were school activities the costs were minimal.


I'm not sure but maybe because he was involved, I was more willing to donate to things like FOS?

I know that now that we are both not so deeply involved I'm not donating as much. This might be in part because I'm not around for people to ask.

Somewhere, sometime back when the Council membership went down, I decided that because there were less youth members the Council didn't need as much of my money.

I don't ever see me again doing the 1910 or even another James E. West.


I do believe that many not so well off parents do suffer from sticker shock when their son joins Scouts.

That first year can be tough.

Paying for uniforms and then getting hit with summer camp, sometimes with very little time between the two.

This is of course worse when a parent feels that he or she needs to tag along.

A friend of mine with two kids had to take out a loan in order to pay for himself and the two boys to attend a National Jamboree.

When the World Jamboree was in the UK. I just couldn't see me spending the amount that was being asked. Knowing that I could go to England and do much the same thing for less than half the cost.

That just wasn't to my mind value for money or money well spent.

$10,000 for two of us to go home?? No way.


Now that his youth days are over.

I am able to look and see if the money I spent was values for money or not?

When I see my son as being a caring loving person I do believe that him having been a Scout has played a part in that.

When I see him working as a Para-Medic now going for his Masters in Nursing and Emergency Medicine thanks to a fire that one ASM was able to light in him and I watch how much he enjoys doing what he does.

I know that it was worth every last cent and I'm getting the greatest return on my investment.


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Scouting to me was never a second tier activity for me


Scouting is what it is on a personal level by choice.


Only School Activity which came close to Scouting was JROTC because we went Camping, Canoeing, Rock Climbing,Repelling, Rifle Team and had Orienteering meets

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Like jpstodwftexas, Scouting was not a 2nd tier activity and only JROTC surpassed my interest because A)it was remarkably similar to Scouting (in fact for one class to prep for a FX the unit was going on, the topic I had to teach was not very long and I added to the lecture basic outdoor stuff, i.e. more under you than over, clothing in you bag, etc to the class) and 2) IT WAS AN EASY A FOR ME ;)

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I think Scouting is unique, it's an activity one can pick up, and put down, and do at your own leisure, barring a important Position of Responsibility. One cannot say the same for Sports. I emphasize this to many Scouts who are considering quitting, that they can go do Football, or Band and come back in the offseason, It's not a big deal, and it doesn't necessarily mean Scouts is a Tier Two activity.


My troop is full of Marching Band kids and swim team members. We lose them during their seasons, but when they return they are always active, and participate.


Guess it's a local area thing? I dunno. Maybe something to do with the above average income most people in the Burbs have.


Yours in Scouting,


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I never thought I'd see this happen, but we recently lost a Scout to sports -- not unusual so far -- but this was AFTER he had completed ALL of his MB's for Eagle. Every required MB, and enough non-required. He decided he couldn't be bothered coming to enough meetings to get credit for a POR, much less do the work required for a project. And I'm pretty certain that he won't be one of these last-minute-returning Eagles that I read about on this forum, because his minutes are pretty close to running out. He could still do it if he decided to right now, but apparently he has decided not to.

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Not trying to hijack the thread.


While I've had some way of recording whats on TV ever since the early days of VCR's.

Over the past year or so, since I got the box that came with satellite which offers me a way of recording just about everything. I don't worry or bother about missing anything on TV or stay home to watch anything.

Maybe because I know it's there and available missing it on the TV is no longer a big deal.

Maybe? Our Scouts and their parents know that or expect that we will always be there and missing something is not really a big deal.


Last year I bought a new desk-top computer.

It was a lightning deal on Amazon. I seen when the deal was going to be available and made sure I was around to not miss out on it. (I saved nearly $300.00)

While we do expect our Scouts to be loyal and accept that Lads are into sports, band and whatever. All too often we moan and groan about the lack of loyalty.

We blame video games and the fact that some Lads are just lazy little toads.

All this might be true?

Still maybe instead of wasting time moaning and groaning, this time would be better spent looking at what we have on offer?

We all know that we are only as good as our last activity or last meeting, so making the effort to try and ensure that each and every meeting is too good to miss.

Only makes sense.


Where I live now, most of the time parents can pay and are willing to pay for what their kids want to do.

Sure, there are a few families that need a helping hand, but because there are so few, finding the help that they might need isn't that hard.

When I lived in London, the Troop was a real mix. Sixty percent of the Troop was non-white. Some of the Scouts came from very well to do families, while others came from really poor families.

We didn't have Scout accounts like many BSA Troops have.

The Scouts had their own Camp Bank. They could if they wished pay for the next big Summer Camp in weekly installments.

All fund raising events that were ear marked for that event, went into bringing down the cost of the event.

Back then our big fund raisers were Jumble Sales (Very much like a big yard sale)

About a week before the sale the Scouts went around the local streets putting flyer's in letter boxes announcing the sale and asking people to put their Jumble (Clothes, books you name it out for collection. The week of the sale we went around, street by street collecting and then on Saturday we held the sale.

It was hard work but even back then we made a lot of money for very little out lay.

The Scouts did most of the work, other than driving the vans when we collected.


I enjoyed watching young Scouts haggle over the price of items with older adults.

The Scouts always seemed to have fun.

I have photos of Scouts going through the Jumble with silly hats on and one with two Scouts in a pair of gigantic old ladies bloomers.

While no one Scout received any financial credit for the event. They all had sweat equity in it.

While I firmly believe that parents are willing to pay for a quality program.

I also think if there is a feeling of family or maybe the right word is community? Within the Troop (Group.) That parents and Scouts will be more willing to be part of what's going on and want to support it.


I love being a fly on the wall when a group of Scouts retell what happened at an event to a Lad who didn't go.

I'm never ceased to be amazed that the big things I put all sorts of effort into planning and organizing are pushed to one side and how things I thought were of no significance make the "Headlines".

Still, hearing the Lad who wasn't there say "Boy, I wish I'd went!" Makes me feel like pay day.


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Ea -


I know exactly what you mean. I remember a number of years ago we had a great campout - perfect weather, great food, challenging activities, etc. When we got home I heard one scout tell his father, "It was great - we found a deer carcass in the woods!"



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I will take exception that only Scouting gives a lifelong benefit.


I've played trumpet and trombone for 30 years. My oldest plans to become a professional trombonist.




As for cost, Scouting has been far more expensive than baseball from my experience.


I would think the price comparisons were a bit skewed in the sports examples. Most of the local sports leagues in the area at about $100 per season...that is an equivalent level of participation to your basic Scouting.


If you want to compare club-ball (which I despise in any sport), then you have to throw that into the same category as Venturing.


Also, if you play sports for recreation, you can jump in an out as you wish. Scouting isn't rec....you don't see kids bounce in and out....it's club ball.

(This message has been edited by WasE61)

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