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I have copied and pasted this from a council web site:


Friends of Scouting is a voluntary program whose purpose is to encourage the support of the Scouting Program by Scouting Families by asking them to share in the cost of the program that serves their youth. As volunteers in the Scouting Program, we invest our time to make the program successful. But there are things that volunteers cant do, that still must be done. Scouting Dollars pay for the things volunteers cant do:


Training for adult volunteers

Leadership training and advancement programs

New unit organization

Recruiting activities

Program publications


Maintenance of our Scout Camps

Program Materials

Records processing

Clerical staff

Telephone and office equipment

Other related costs to support the entire program




The Operating Budget for 2013 is again in excess of $6 million. Thats more than $15,000 per day. We are a United Way Agency, and they support BSA by providing about 26% of our operating budget. Friends of Scouting, including the Community and Family Campaign, provides 36% - the largest part, of our operating budget. None of the annual re-charter fees or monthly dues we pay go to support our Council. That is why we have this campaign each year.


There are at least three reasons why each of us should participate in

"Friends of Scouting":


Because we believe in the ideas and ideals of Scouting

Because Scouting has impacted OUR sons in a positive manner

Because this will ensure that the Boy Scouts will survive in the future




For 2013, we are again asking each Scouting family to consider a pledge of at least $300. This is about the amount that our Council spends on each Scout. This is less than a dollar a day. We ask you to support the Councils objectives by giving, because of what Scouting has done for our sons and our families. Payments can be made in installments. BSA will send periodic invoices, based on how you mark your pledge card. If your units parents havent had an opportunity to hear a presentation


I truly believe in Scouting, but I have issues with somethings. A couple of years ago, a pledge of $100 was the ear mark, now $300?? I think BSA is going to cost them out of existance, and I know this is volunteer, but still with cost of uniforms, summer camp, and anything that the pack or troop might charge, just wondering where it will end




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Costs to be involved in Scouting are skyrocketing. I find it laughable that one talking point is diversity and yet the costs prohibit many from joining. No matter how hard they try, it will always be priced as a group for middle-class or upper-class folks. Kind of difficult to diversify when only certain people can afford it.


It was hilarious that they conveniently omitted "Professional staff salaries" from the list of things FOS pays for.

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The local Fund Our Salary drive.



From my local perspective lets look at your points


Training for adult volunteers.....Hmmmm no I pay $10-15 for a single day position specific training session.....cost for an overnight IOLS training weekend is $75.....Woodbadge is $300. Single day training is run my volunteers in a donated church basement......Pure profit. IOLS has maybe $10 of cost associated with it for food....Same goes for woodbadge but more like $25 for two weekends. The best part is the staff have to pay to staff IOLS and woodbadge.



Leadership training and advancement programs NYLT training per youth is $245....What other advancement programs????? I pay for my scouts books, I pay for my books, the troop has to purchase merit badges and rank patches.


New unit organization. What is that????? We had to buy the book from the scout shop for the venture crew.


Recruiting activities.... Our district and council provide nothing for recruitment. We schedule and do our own boy talks do our own flyers too. He the DE usually shows up to collect the apps and money at sign up night.....didn't even bother to do that this year.


Program publications....Hmmm, never got a free one from district or council...Always had to buy what I needed


Communications not sure what this is telephones and internet service????


Maintenance of our Scout Camps Ya got me on this one.....But shouldn't the camps pay for themselves.


Program Materials....Again what program materials??? I buy those at the scout shop


Records processing...This needs to go away.....Should be done by the units directly into scoutnet.


Clerical staff Who is that the voice on the call tree????? They have a volunteer at our front desk...


Telephone and office equipment...

Other related costs to support the entire program This means all of the catered luncheons and the SE stipend.



I have not given to the FOS campaign for a couple of years.

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I am with you Basement, have not given in a while, I gladly give my time and alot of money to our troop. I have yet to get anything from council. And find it laughable and distrubing that as a volunteer I have to pay for all my training. My job pays for my training, so I have to pay to be a volunteer??

A Scout it thrifty seems to be forgotten at the council level



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Thanks for bringing up this topic.


Our DE called me last week and wants to schedule our FOS talk for Jan, Feb or March. He asked for B&G, but I won't let them hijack our program. And I won't let 'em take Pinewood Derby either. So, that leaves January. We normally schedule for April, but they need pledges in by March 31. Last year, the FOS speaker was a no show. So, our DE came to a leader meeting in May.


My question to y'all: What do our popcorn contributions go towards? (I am talking about the % that goes to Council and not our unit.) By my calculations, Council received $5900 of our total sales which is approx. $150 per scout in our unit. Someone at RT said popcorn sales fund a different account and is separate from FOS.


Several of our leaders feel we have done our fair share to support Council and want me to tell our DE, "No thanks." What's the answer? I haven't been around long enough to know.

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Training for adult volunteers --- leaders pay out of pocket, can cost over 1k in a year. some councils make money off this

Leadership training and advancement programs --- scouts or troop pay out of pocket, run entirely by volunteers

New unit organization -- founding leader typically pays all initial start up costs out of pocket

Recruiting activities --- also known as fund raising activities

Program publications --- purchased individually at the scout shop. ideally should be entirely online

Communications --- couple emails a year from each council/district

Maintenance of our Scout Camps ---- self supporting through camp fees, oa volunteer work, directed donations

Program Materials --- have never seen any council pay for a single page of anything many scouts are encouraged to buy

Records processing --- seriously? either managed by the unit for the scouts or completely lost

Clerical staff -- responsible for failure to enter records, duplicate or wrong entries. serve no useful purpose

Telephone and office equipment -- i dont even want to think about how much council is additionally requesting each year for this

Other related costs to support the entire program --- are paid for by the members (scouts and scouters)


i will never again participate in "fund our salaries"


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Being an Executive Board member of my Council, I get to review budgets, revenues and expenses. Each Council has 3 accounts: Operating, Capital and Endowment. Rarely do funds cross over between the accounts. Our Board made it policy that 5% of the endowment gets credited towards the operating account each year. The capital account is not used for regular maintenance at properties, that falls under the operating account. The capital account pays for major renovations or new construction at camps or the Council office.


So, the operating account has multiple lines of income/rvenue: FOS, grants, bequests, United Way, sales of merchandise at the Scout shop, camping revenue, investment income, activity revenue and others. Our FOS goal is about a third of the total revenue projected in the budget. The remainder comes from the other sources. Sadly, the salaries are a larger expense than the FOS goal.


I feel badly for basementdweller. Those costs are outragous compared to my Council. Our Wood Badge and NYLT run about $175. We don't add in all the swag/crap (patches, jackets, etc) that only drive the cost up. Our IOLS and basic leader training might cost $15-20 to cover food and the copies/printing that we distribute.


National does review camps and if they are self-supporting. I could check next week when I'm in Dallas and see if I can get a percentage of which ones generate revenue, break even or lose money. I know it costs my Council $100K annually to keep our facilities open (lights, water, ranger, etc). I bet the biggest chunk is the Council Service Center.

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Most program stuff is now required to turn a profit -- training, camporees, day camps, etc.


When I was Cub day camp director I was intimately aware that not only did our camp not receive one dime from the Council either directly or indirectly -- not held on council property, no staff time or resources used, nothing.


So after spending hundreds of hours of my time on day camp, it really chapped my butt to have the local FOS guy show up and tell the pack parents that their donation helped pay for the district camp. The next year, I grabbed the fellow before his presentation and let him know that unless he wanted to be corrected in the middle of his presentation, he needed to be a little tighter with his facts.

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So Polaris.....


Your unit already supported your council to the tune of $6k.......So why are they bothering you again???? Next roundtable ask that question......


Then follow up with What is being done about the units that do not participate in the council fundraiser, popcorn? Shouldn't they be the ones being visited by the FOS people?




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Tokala -- help me understand this. And I'm not asking you to throw your own council under the bus, so feel free to use percentages or generic info.


What is the total for staff salaries. You never see councils report actual salaries -- they're always allocate out to various functional line items like "program," "fundraising," or "administration." Frankly, I never trust those allocations anyway.


Secondly, how do salaries compare to money raised. Point being, if FOS, (family, business, community, etc.) accounts for a third or so of council income, but the salaries we're spending that on salaries, then what's the point? I know it's more complicated than that. My DE does the normal district stuff, but is also advisor to the advancement committee, the OA lodge and some council golf tournament (or some dang thing). But it also seems to me a lot of this stuff is intentionally bound up. If the staff is spending a third of the time raising a third of the budget, just cut income and expenses by a third and call it good.


(And I know that all councils' fundraising cost miraculously come in under 15%, but I don't believe that either.)

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FOS should go away.


The idea of shaking down parents and unit level leaders, a group that already carries the biggest financial burden of scouting, to pay for BSA overhead isn't right.


Professional staffers at all levels should solicit funds from businesses and such to pay for the things that FOS alledgedly funds. If the number of pros and admin overhead is so critical to the movement, they themselves will figure out how to fund their operations.


Or, if the fundraising is for something specific--a new roof on the old mess hall at camp--by all means, ask all, parents, leaders, alum, businesses. Many folks would welcome the opportunity to know EXACTLY what their money is going towards.


But an open-ended pitch for money to fund organizational overhead? No thanks.

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Twocubdad, I looked through my old emails and I have deleted the budget with the specifics. I'm going from memory here with some rounding of figures. My Council budget for salaries which includes the office staff, professional staff, taxes, and benefits is around $500K. Our FOS goal is about $380K. I don't think that they have a break down on what percentage of their time is spent fundraising, advising council committees, etc.


FOS has different areas as well such as community division, family division, special events (golf or fishing tournaments, etc), Executive Board division, and direct mail.

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There seems to be a lot of anger here, and a rhetorical, why is that?


We are almost all adult volunteers in an Organization whose local professional component hardly ever obtains our respect


It appears there is little regard for "Irving" or anything that is done at the National level.


And yet we still spend time and energy with an Organization we appear to despise and have little regard for, why do we do what we do?


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OK, I'll bite...we do it for the boys, because no one else will. I was amazed at the OP and the list of things that are performed AND funded almost entirely by volunteer Scouters. I find that website post insulting. Now as to professional scouters, over the past 35 or so years, I have seen some that are useless, and some who are hard-working, honest professionals. They work horrendous hours for little pay trying to meet unreasonable goals. Some I have called "friend" and it's a lot easier to work with them as a team, than it is to work under a cloak of animosity. We just need to understand what their job requires of them...to increase units, membership and donations. Delivering the program is our job (the volunteers).

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