Jump to content
scoutldr

The Boy Scout Handbook and inflation

Recommended Posts

On one of the nostalgia pages on Facebook, someone recently posted a picture of the 6th edition (Rockwell Cover), BSH, published in 1959. It was coincidentally the first handbook I started under. The accompanying ad stated the retail price was $1.00.The Thirteenth edition was recently released at the price of $15.00. According to the online inflation calculator I just checked, the new handbook should have cost $8.14. Is there a reason that BSA pubs are selling at twice the rate of inflation?

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On one of the nostalgia pages on Facebook, someone recently posted a picture of the 6th edition (Rockwell Cover), BSH, published in 1959. It was coincidentally the first handbook I started under. The accompanying ad stated the retail price was $1.00.The Thirteenth edition was recently released at the price of $15.00. According to the online inflation calculator I just checked, the new handbook should have cost $8.14. Is there a reason that BSA pubs are selling at twice the rate of inflation?

 

Odd that you posted this today. Just got back from the Scout shop yesterday. Bought loops, slides and unit number for the six (6) new Scouts crossing over this week. It was $85!!!! Nearly $7 for the slide, $4 for the loops and unit numbers at $1.50 each. Had we purchased the neckerchiefs and hats from BSA (we get them through another outlet at $3/unit cheaper) it would have cost us nearly $200 to give 6 new Scouts loops, numbers, neckerchief/slide and a hat!!!

 

So to recoup these costs we would need to charge each scout a minimum of $35 to break even; making our dues a minimum of $71 just to break even for BSA dues + Boy's Life + minimum crossover bling. That's before we even discuss troop and personal gear.

 

Yeah, the BSA stuff is ridiculously expensive. Were their gear made in the US I could get the prices, but they make it in Bangladesh!!!

Edited by Krampus
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes I used that same edition. Somewhat of an apples to oranges comparison, as the 6th edition price was lowered due to all the third-party ads (OMG rifles, jock straps, sardines, gum, bike tires, Coke, cameras, baseball bats and gloves, ammo, sneakers, fishing reels, outboards, archery, axes,...). Today's edition has only one ad - scoutstuff.org.

 

I used the same handbook for 7 years.

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@@RememberSchiff, which brand of tires? My venturers visited the Kelly-Springfield exhibit in Cumberland museum. It would be neat to show them a scout connection (if I can find a 6th ed HB).

 

@@Krampus, why buy a neckerchief slide when it's the one part of the uniform that boys are allowed to custom-make? Have them where their Webelos or other cub slide until they design and build their own from leather, metal, rope, or the pizza boxes that would come from the $42 otherwise spent at the scout-shop?

Edited by qwazse

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@@Krampus, why buy a neckerchief slide when it's the one part of the uniform that boys are allowed to custom-make? Have them where their Webelos or other cub slide until they design and build their own from leather, metal, rope, or the pizza boxes that would come from the $42 otherwise spent at the scout-shop?

 

In our area is has become a (weird) tradition which the PLC has kept. They end up making their own patrol slides during the first few months anyway. I've "suggested" to the PLC that we should do away with the slide purchase (a Scout is Thrifty). To date they have elected not to. We are budgeting for next year in a month or so. They will get my suggestion again. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

mine is 6th ed, 1st printing Nov, 1959

p447 full page Carlisle Bike Tires, Carlisle,PA

inside front cover  Goodyear bicycle tires

inside back cover U.S. Royal bicycle tires

 

Later printings of same edition had changes in ads.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In our area is has become a (weird) tradition which the PLC has kept. They end up making their own patrol slides during the first few months anyway. I've "suggested" to the PLC that we should do away with the slide purchase (a Scout is Thrifty). To date they have elected not to. We are budgeting for next year in a month or so. They will get my suggestion again. ;)

My knee-jerk for any apparel the troop "gives": take up a collection from former or aging-out scouts. With our boys it's been automatic. Even if it's stuff they've bought on their own, they turned it in when they've outgrown it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My knee-jerk for any apparel the troop "gives": take up a collection from former or aging-out scouts. With our boys it's been automatic. Even if it's stuff they've bought on their own, they turned it in when they've outgrown it.

 

Yeah, we do that every year...have a flea market where stuff is swapped or bought for pennies. In our area (not poor by any means) the units give the loops, slides, neckerchiefs and numbers as part of crossover. Few stay from that. I think it is a waste to be honest.

 

My biggest issue though is the unit prices for the BSA stuff. Looked back at old receipts and the prices have risen sharply in the last five years; similar to the rise in costs for the handbook. We can reduce some costs by buying in bulk (e.g., neckerchiefs, unit patches, make-your-own-slide). Have contemplated making our own loops just to make a point. ;)

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our neckers, slides and red loops are all made by the unit.

 

Can I put in an order for 100 each? That should hold us for 4-5 years, give or take.

Edited by Krampus
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gotta talk to the Mrs.  She's the ones that makes them.  My ASM makes the loops.  She buys the wide ribbon and cranks them out as needed.  The boys make the neckers.  Those that would like, I teach the Turk's Head and they make them out of para-cord of various colors.

 

Also, our neckers are patrol specific so a mass order is not going to work.  She makes 8 of them and we don't sell them to the boys, the boy borrow them from us.

 

It will be the tradition of the troop some day that when a boy Eagles he writes his name on the necker and turns it back in when he ages out.  That way some new patrol member will have a unique necker and will be less likely to lose it.  :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Growing up, we didn't have a feeder pack for a while. So a new scout would not get anything until A) Registration fee was paid, B) current with the troop's monthly dues and C) He earned his Scout Badge.

 

As soon as he earned his Scout badge, we invested him in our troop in a formal ceremony. He received a troop neckerchief which was custom made, a woggle or slide, a troop totem, and his Scout Badge.

 

Transfers into the troop would be invested as soon as the transfer fee and monthly dues were paid.  I got invested on my 3rd meeting (they had to make some more neckers, hence the wait).

 

When we finally got a feeder pack, we told the Cubs upfront we need everything back. But we symbolically gave them a necker, slide, and totem at Cross Over if other troops were present. If no other troops were present, we would accept them into the troop, but withhold everything until the investiture ceremony.

 

Currently, my troop is in the process of getting new, custom neckers made since National is going out of the necker business. This will be the 4th necker design in 5 years as national keeps stopping the production of our picks. The custom neckers will be OD military triangle bandages, hemmed and with a green  number on tan background with city and state underneath.

 

The slides may be a slight issue. Last night they voted on red, paracord Turk's Head woggles. Then after everything was said and done, and the meeting was over, someone suggested each patrol choose their own color. My only problem with each patrol with their own color is keeping a supply of 3, and possibly up to 5 if next year happens as it is looking, colors of paracord on hand AND two patrols wanting the same color Red. Third patrol wanted the red and black paracord.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With different solid colors of paracord, one can alternate two colors into one knot.  First tie a two strand Turk's Head then weave the second color in so it ends up a 4 strand knot, two-two strands woven together  :)  Think outside the box!

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have no problem with ads, if it lowers the cost for the boys.  Let them know there are interesting things out there besides video games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×