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SpEdScouter

How much is scouting?

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Our troop is attempting to help an inner city troop get going. We can of course provide some basic equipment like tents and all but I know first hand scouting isnt cheap. I'm thinking of all the expenses including:

 

Scout fees

Campout fees

Equipment fees

Going to camp

Costs for earning merit badges

 

Back in my youth most of the reason I had to quit scouting is because we didnt have the money. Even say $5 for a campout. And I definitely had no equipment like a backpack or hiking boots.

 

My question is, how much do you think a scout typically spends a year on being a scout?

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I know this is not what you asked, but since this is an "inner city" troop, is any assistance available from council. There used to be (and probably still is) a "Scoutreach" program but I am not sure what kind of money, if any, was attached to it.

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I would peg it at $500, for a boy who wants a new uniform, summer camp, ten weekends away, and literature. If you're not getting equipment donations ad $200 for everything from boots to pack.

 

Nice round numbers. Maybe in the high side. But if scouts and donors know that going in, they can work with it instead of being blindsided at every event.

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@@SpEdScouter
I think quazse's estimates above are about right. Judging by other posts, I'm thinking you are in the HOAC council and are hopefully in contact with the volunteers and professionals that can help with fundraising, donations and people-power.  We have an entire District devoted to helping any and all urban and rural troops within the boundaries of the Council.

http://www.hoac-bsa.org/frontier

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My son's troop has had a hard time fundraising, size, local competition, etc.  They changed their dues structure a few years ago to $40 / month, covingering BSA registration, awards, most camp outs, and summer camp, and some shared troop gear.  Since the cost of council camp went up this year I have a feeling we'll be talking about $50/month before too long.  If scouts do fundraise, they can get a month discount, it all depends on what they are doing.

 

scouts are expected to supply their uniform shirt, preferably a full uniform, but we aren't too picky, and personal camping gear, sleeping bag is the biggest expense there. 

 

Yeah, scouting isn't cheap, but it is still a great value!

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Monthly camping trips run $35 per month, dues $100 a year.  Summer camp $250-$275.  Uniform $100 twice between age 11 & 18.  Personal camping gear: $50 sleeping bag, $75 pack, $20 mess kit, + rain gear.   

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We charge $100 a year. That includes $24 registration, $1 insurance, registration and insurance costs for the adults, registration costs for the Troop, advancement awards (rank and MBs) and PoR patches.  Popcorn fundraising typically goes to purchasing equipment (the Troop equipment was in poor shape when the current SM took over). 

 

A typical trip is $16 for food and consumables ($3 breakfast, $3 lunch, $5 dinner $3 breakfast and $1 consumables) and $4 camping costs (around $50 a night, for two nights and 25 scouts).  Backpacking treks don't cost anything because the boys bring their own food.  I would suspect that a weekends worth of backpacking food would be around $15 to $20.  We don't charge for gas, but figure 100 miles each way is around 6 gallons of gas with 4 to 5 scouts and adults in a car would be around $5 per person.  So call it $25 per person.

 

Summer Camp is around $400 for the week.

 

$100  Registration

$250  Ten Months Outdoor Program at $25 Per Trip 

$400  Summer Camp

-----------------------------

$750  Total

 

However, using my camping formula, a Troop can do its own weeklong camp for $14 a day ($11 food, $2 camping, $1 consumable) or around $98 for the week.  

 

$125  Uniform (including Shirt, patches, switchback pants, socks)

$15     Book

$15    Class B Uniform

 

As for gear, we tell folks to get a sleeping bag, sleeping pad and mess kit to start off with:

 

$120   Sleeping Bag -30 degrees, lightweight (around 3 pounds)

$  30   Thermarest Sleeping Pad

$  20   Mess Kit (GSI Plate, Bowl, Cultlery and Backpacking Mug)

 
We advise parents as they buy new clothes for their kids to purchase non-cotton shirts, non-cotton sweatshirts and non-cotton underwear.  We drill in that Cotton is Rotten from the moment they join the Troop.

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I have been tracking my scout expenses over the last few years for my two sons and it averages $500-750 a year not counting trips like Seabase, etc. Just uniform, some equipment, and 10 campout events. For all the fund raising we do it never seems to budge these down much. I think a thrifty Troop could get it down to average $400. 

 

There is a lot of wasted cost in equipment. I made some of my own gear.

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