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Stosh you got me thinking this:

What's the cost to make Eagle? On average per Scout. A rhetorical question, but one I'm pondering now. And how much are we paying for name recognition? Eagle supposedly looks good on an application after all...

I didn't go to summer camp or Jambo for rank advancement purposes. Parents never asked if I earned any badge (although I did a couple every year). Dad might have asked if I'm shooting straight yet? There was a rifle waiting for me one birthday (which coincided with camp). Went to one MB pow-wow at $30 for the weekend.


Weekend camps? The boys are gonna eat anyway. And trust me, if the girlfriend knows his schedule is open, his wallet will drain three times as fast! BSA forces us to add overhead by requiring adults on patrol overnights.


Earning MBs costs phone calls and time. Oh, and pamphlets .... with a troop library most will circulate through about 8 boys.


Service projects ... labor is the largest cost. To get it free, you're buying some quality lunches! But at that age, son #2 was treating his friends to breakfast at the house on weekends and baking cakes for birthdays during the week.

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I'm thinking that Northern Star Council's pilot program is basically dead in the water before it starts. Like NJCubScouter says, "sounds like a joke."


Some Northern Star Council web sites say $24 registration until 12/31/17 and others say $32 + $16 (Boys Life). Nothing posted as yet of any changes.

Since I don't have kids in the program, a $150 fee to council to volunteer (not including event costs) is not something I'm going to cough up. Edited by Sentinel947
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Wow... my Pack serves three of the poorest schools in our City.  We have a hard time collecting the $24 from each family.  The thing about this program is that it still doesn't cover the unit's operating costs.  Want to go to a baseball game?  That's another $10/person.  Family campout?  $20/person.  Den supplies?  $12/person.  Special Pack Meeting speaker this month?  $5/person.  Summer Camp?  That's over $150/person.  The unit will still be coming with hat out, and/or still be asking parents to fund-raise.


Listen, my son is in Karate and we pay over $100/month for that, but there the pricing is all inclusive (except for the cost of new belts which thankfully doesn't happen as often now that he is a Black Belt).  Different Packs offer different programs though, and have different budgets.  Our Pack hits fundraising hard and through it we cover much of our costs (but not yet camp and extra-curricular outings like baseball games and monster truck shows).  But based on our FoS donations in the Pack, I can tell you that out of 30+ families in our Pack, less than 20% would have signed up with an up-front fee structure like this.  It's great they offer financial aid, but if it is anything like camperships in our District, they'll only pay a portion and expect the parents to cover the rest.  For many parents, that isn't possible.  Our Pack offers a lot of unofficial subsidization to boys who can't afford Scouting, but we do it at a unit level and are far more generous than our District/Council from what I've seen.

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Brings up something mentioned at the last RT.  Popcorn sales.

Unit sells popcorn ("Hey, it's not over priced, this is a DONATION to Scouting, with a THANK YOU gift in return.").   About 1/3 goes to pay for the Popcorn (Trails End), 1/3 to the unit (divvy up as a Scout Account? and Unit?  Pay for Philmont?) and 1/3 to the Council.


Okay, if the Unit sells "holiday trees"  or sells spaghetti suppers,  they decide who keeps what (wholesale the trees to Oregon or NC,  grocery supplier gives discount). 

Any units on the receiving end of this website VOLUNTARILY donate a third to their Council?


In the mean time, it almost makes sense, what the original poster said. Almost.   Most Units that I know already collect some dues and then include the Handbook(s), neckers, hats, insignia, "bling", camp prepayments (credit!),  and  ceremonial regalia (candles, flags, banners, sign outside the  CO). 


We all pay taxes. These taxes are used (one hopes) to pay for lots of things us citizens need and like. Roads, schools, dams, parks, zoos,  military protection....


I may never get to see Zion Park in person, but I like to think my taxes have preserved it. Are our membership fees and FOS and popcorn going to preserve Camp Wizbang so it won't get sold to a developer because the SE needs a pay bump and no one thought to "promote Scouting"  other wise?   Are only us locals  showing Scouting to be the program for certain nephews ( hello UncleP  ) by which to grow into men ? 


It is nice to get a paycheck for what one does.


we have a local community museum.  It was started by an auctioneer who realized he was selling off the history of the area everytime he cleared out an old farm or settled the estate of a family who no longer lived within 5 miles of the grandparents home.  It started with a collection in the National Bank's basement.    This museum grew and became popular. School groups came. Exhibits of the "old ways" were created and one wall was dedicated to a local baseball legend. They named the road in front of the museum after his family, which donated the land for the construction of the new building.   Volunteers  worked tirelessly. 

Now, it has five paid staff,  the original founders are almost all gone.   One half of the "town" gallery has been cleared for a sculpture gallery, wine and beer gardens are more frequent than special exhibits on "old time things".  The dedicated wall to the ball player is taken down, in favor of a big poster extolling the next pottery demonstration. 

Is BSA Scouting taking this same course?  Is the Program taking backseat to the necessity of paying wages?   Hey, is this de ja vu all over again?    


Increase the National membership fee, maybe.  Include all that other stuff, no, that's the Council trying to take a piece of the Units pie.....

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  • 1 month later...

So basically after the perks you are giving around $70 to council for a year of scouting and no fos requests. With installments that doesn't seem terrible for a year long program.


Popcorn is more for the units rather than council. After all out of their "third" comes the freight cost and incentives they offer, not to mention employee hours administrating the sale. And if a council sells a ton of popcorn then it's the units that are majorly benefitting anyways.


That same fee for leaders would be ridiculous. Already have problems getting people to pay or having to use the units money to pay for volunteers, so much so that lots of adults are unregistered.

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Popcorn is more for the units rather than council. After all out of their "third" comes the freight cost and incentives they offer, not to mention employee hours administrating the sale.


I don't know... our Council's popcorn sale is usually just under $3 million.  That million going back to Council goes a lot further than covering their costs.  Most of the 'running' of the sale is done by a volunteer Council Popcorn Kernel.

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