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Loy_36

Starting to fill a bit overwhelmed.

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As I've mentioned before I'm new to the whole Cub Scout world and we just started a new Pack on top of that. When we started the Pack I knew we would have to have at least 5 volunteers signup a long with the boys that signed up. I however didn't know that the volunteers had to pay registrations fees as well. We only had 5 kids at signup so all of the adults but one had to signup as volunteers to start the pack. I signed up for the Cubmaster spot with on guy signing up for Den Leader and the others signing up for Committee spots. I myself have gotten the boys through the Bobcat rank and now I'm asking all of the volunteers to take on a Den Leader position as well. I have talked to everyone about how we were going to do the whole den meeting program as another user on here had suggested we meet as one group for the opening ceremonies, then split off into our appropriate ranked groups for the den meetings, then group back together for activities. Up to this point I have been fronting all the money for the activities and with all the other expenses that have been involved I'm about to get myself in a bind. I really want this to work out not just for my son but for the other kids involved as well but, I'm afraid that when I go to the other parents about helping pay for the activities they are going to start dropping as they too have spent a lot of money on this new Pack as well. My fear is that these families are going to start dropping out because of all this. Has anyone on here ever had experience with a new start-up and how did you go about getting the pack off the ground?

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Fundraising (like popcorn sale) will eventually alleviate much of the financial burden. Unfortunately as with most things, there are struggles in the beginning. Year 1 will be tough, but focus on good, low cost (free) experiences for the kids. year 2 will be better as you get more kids.

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Our den meetings were on different days, and locations as all the others in the pack. We only got together as an entire pack for the big events. I think this helped instill the idea of the patrol method early on.

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Our den meetings were on different days' date=' and locations as all the others in the pack. We only got together as an entire pack for the big events. I think this helped instill the idea of the patrol method early on. [/quote']

 

Most packs are run closer to the patrol method than troops are. Dens meet on a regular basis then gather together for big pack events. Take the boys at a certain age, make one of them the leader and voila, you have a patrol method troop.

 

As easy as that may seem, it's really hard to get the adults to back off and thus one has Webelos III, IV, V, and such. Kinda like parents that can't let go and then can't figure out why their thirty-something children are still living in the basement. :)

 

Stosh

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When registration fees were just $12 the Pack covered it, now at $25 we are more careful. If you keep fronting all the costs without letting the parents know what is happening you are going to have a hard time collecting. You need to have conversations with them on their expectations. I think this comes back to setting a budget and everyone knowing what the costs for this will be. Focus on trying to enjoy the free things in life. Hikes and getting outside are not expensive. Football games, hayrides, cub mobile races and such start adding up. Scouting does not have to be expensive but it takes more planning. Do you have a plan for Pinewood Derby? Try contacting some of the other Packs in the area and see if you can use their track before or after they run theirs. Offer to help out. My old district held a special race day for packs that did not have tracks.

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Be very honest and up front with your adults about what you've spent so far, and what expenses you foresee. Then ask parents how they want to pay for them. (E.g., how much through dues, how much through fundraising, how much through "piggybacking" off of an established pack.)

 

It is fair to admit that you were blindsided about registration fees. That falls to your district executive about not being clear to you about them. But they are going to happen every year, so everyone had might as well get into routine.

 

F.Y.I. - The cost of scouting has increased roughly with inflation. But it hasn't been slow increments every year. Every few years there's been a 20%-80% bump in registration fees ... mainly (National claimes) due to the cost of adults' background checks.

 

What you want to avoid: paying for other boys and families out of your own pocket. It's one thing if some friend of the pack makes a whopping donation out of the blue with no strings attached, but direct contact leaders who do that wind up sowing a root of bitterness.

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Ya, right out of the gate our District Executive forgot at sign-up night that since we were a new Pack he was suppose to collect at least 6 months dues from everyone instead of the standard prorate so because we signed up in October he only collected $6 for the registration from each person. When I confronted some of the other parents about the DE wanting some more money from each of us they started talking about how much they were already in money wise so the DE said he would pay the difference since it was he's screw up. You would think that if local councils would have some sort of account setup to help new start ups out with their initial start up cost or at least have some sort of basic supplies they could give you to help get everything started.

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Six months national dues is 12.50, so the difference we are talking about is $6.50. If that is a problem with these parents I would think long and hard about if this is a group I want to do scouting with.

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KDD, when we went to sign up night we only had 5 kids there which is the minimum for a new start up along with 5 volunteers. None of the volunteers knew that they would have to be paying to volunteer. The whole issue with this is that it didn't get brought to our attention by the DE until about 3 weeks after everyone had signed up and went and spent money buying uniforms and all. So far everyone in the pack is out between a few hundred to several hundred dollars since every family has at least one Cub Scout and one Leader. My family had to sign up two adult Leaders and one of the other families has two Cub Scouts and one adult Leader that signed up. No where did the DE mention that it was going to cost this much for everyone to get started in this. If he had done so I really feel as if everyone probably would have baled on this.

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I understand. While the uniform is important it would probably have been better to just get t shirts for the moment until everyone's feet were wet. There is a lot to take in. Take it slow and enjoy it as best you can. Why did you start a new pack? Are there others close by?

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We started a new pack because the one that was in our town was not around anymore and the other one that was about 10 miles away is not an active pack from what I understand. What I mean as active is doing other things other than just meeting once a week. Now there is a much bigger Pack that is about 15 miles away but I wanted to at least try and do something for the kids in our area that I know wouldn't travel that far for a Cub Scout Pack.

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... If he had done so I really feel as if everyone probably would have baled [sic] on this. ...

 

This is just wrong. And it leads to frustrated and untrusting parents. Boys can wait until the Holidays or longer to get their uniforms. They can't wait for parents to get registered and as educated as possible about the program they are supposed to lead.

 

So, L36, with the best of intentions, you all followed the wrong priorities. As a result you're overwhelmed and asking strangers on the internet for coping strategies.:rolleyes:

 

Get yourself to roundtables or call the leaders of some neighboring packs and get a feel for what your expenses may be through the end of summer. Then lay that out to your parents. Apologize for the blind side, and admit you need help thinking through what's best for the boys for this year. Everybody should count the cost. It might mean skimping on a few activities until fundraising or a fair payment plan has caught up with expenses. Don't worry about it, just take the boys out to the park a lot more and have a more humble Blue and Gold banquet!

 

The kids have uniforms, find them a parade!

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Maybe your charter organization could help you with expenses until the pack gets on its feet?

 

 

 

THIS!!! is your COR or Organization trying to help as well?

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We were in a new startup pack. Council gave us $ 50 credit in the store (which of course did not go far).

 

Definitely put a calendar and plan together for the pack for the year and put together a budget. Get thee some connections and get some support (locate and borrow a pinewood derby track). After uniforms I would put in 100 for a year long activity for my kiddo. (Back to school season being a difficult time, however.) Ask each family to put in so much in the kitty and provide periodic updates of where it goes to and how much is left (by each boy). You are going to need some pack stuff (flag?, activity supplies, etc).

 

Are you guys chartering this yourselves? Or do you have a charter organization? As them for a start up donation.

 

Then do plan on fundraising in some way.

 

Best of luck. Get thee some support. (besides us)

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