Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Momleader

Sibling Discounts?

Recommended Posts

Wondering how other troops/packs handle this?

Fee to join our pack is $XX year per scout (boys life extra)

That includes, national fees + insurance + council fees + pack Dues.

Pack dues just pays for car kit and awards earned plus we don't charge leaders for thier fees to be leaders (they pay for thier son though). If/when Cubs earn more than the required it throws our budget into a tizzy.

 

We had a family ask about a sibling discount (more than 2 sons). Would love to offer one but the pack dues barely cover the awards and derby car. Which is why the popcorn sale is so important.

 

Our council only offers discount/scholarship if boys get free lunch at school (not reduced)

 

Other than upping the fees - anyone have an idea?

 

Are we bad for not offering a discount?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are already charging as low of a price as possible fur dues then just be transparent. Show them the break-down -- how much the Pack must pay per scout for the items you listed and explain you really can't reduce fees any lower. However.....

 

What we did instead is allow families to pay a reduced membership fee the following year if they sold X amount of popcorn. So if your normal popcorn goal is $200 per scout, then take your desired discount, multiply it by 3 (to cover the amount council/Trail's End take when selling popcorn) and increase the goal by that much and offer it as a "stretch" goal. We actually have a bunch of stretch goals and some of our scouts are motivated to sell up to $1,500 per year.

 

Some people might say this sounds too much like scout accounts but it's not. The money can't be applied to anything they want and does not roll over. It just gives people a way to pay for things they can't afford that normally come out of pocket. We had 1 family with 4 brothers sell over $1,200 in popcorn year after year and still have to pay hundreds of dollars in dues (which was a struggle for them). I didn't think THAT was fair.

 

I think incentives are fine as long as the Pack doesn't go in the red because of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder if the boys go to a Catholic school?  Most Catholic schools offer tuition discounts when families enroll more than one child.  The parents may simply be used to getting a multi-child discount.

 

My school takes a significant financial loss when enrolling large families, but we feel that it is worth it.  Our large families add a lot of stability to to our school, providing us with a more steady enrollment of students and volunteers. 

 

Are you bad for not providing a multi-child discount?  Not at all.  But I do feel that you may be passing up a good opportunity to add stability and growth for your unit.

Edited by David CO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We had 1 family with 4 brothers sell over $1,200 in popcorn year after year and still have to pay hundreds of dollars in dues (which was a struggle for them). I didn't think THAT was fair.

 

Yah, sure it is.  Sellin' popcorn is helpin' the pack go!  Every boy should be doin' his best to do his duty to help the pack go!

 

Helpin' the pack go is part of how we teach citizenship, eh?  Yeh contribute time to improvin' your community because that's what good citizens do, not because yeh expect to get paid for it.

 

For my part, I'm glad da BSA is finally squeezin' out this notion.  Aside from bein' not particularly kosher from a legal perspective, I think it works against our Aims, eh?  

 

Just one old furry fellow's opinion, anyway.

 

That havin' been said, there's nothin' that says a pack can't choose to do reduced dues for families with 2nd or 3rd or 4th kids in da program, eh?  That sort of thing bein' covered out of general fundraising as a policy to support families is fine.  Even fine to suggest "stretch" goals for popcorn or whatnot, as long as it's not quid pro quo.

 

Beavah

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't remember what our pack did.
The troop did try to cut large families a break. Precisely for the reason @@David CO suggests. Large families contribute more to the "unit brain trust". Stories get handed down. Gear gets handed down. Scouts come wanting to do what their brothers did. Simplifies the PLC no scouter has to explain the possibilities, they boys already know. Fundraisers become nearly automatic, because the parents who support them have done so for more than a decade.

 

In our Venturing crew, because our older siblings move on to college or war, and parents need to direct their attention elsewhere, we sorely notice the absence of that institutional memory. I find myself explaining (what I think are) the simplest things.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We did not have a "sibling discount" in the Pack I was with (for registration, etc.) but did have a "family cap" on campout fees.  So, we might charge $5/person, but a max of $20/family.

 

Agree with what was posted above, if you're just barely covering costs, then providing a "discount" for multiple scouts might be tough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is an interesting question.  I know my son's Karate school offers a similar discount.  I think the difference is that in Scouts we aren't collecting that fee to pay a leader/teacher to run the Den/Pack, instead the cost is directly and totally tied to program expenses.  While one more kid in a Karate class or school classroom probably isn't costing the school much, with Scouts almost all of our program expenses are tied directly to the number of Scouts.  I tried to think of a case where the cost doesn't change if it is one kid from a family or multilpe, and the only thing I could come up with is the budget line item for Pack Meeting expenses since the whole family is expected to attend the Pack Meeting, so if another of those family members is a Scout the Pack shouldn't incur additional expense vs. one member in the family being a Scout (since we budget for siblings and parents being in attendance at Pack Meetings).

 

Now, how much your Pack budgets per Pack Meeting I don't know, but I bet it isn't much so the discount shouldn't be much (perhaps not even enough to bother giving a discount).

 

With that said, I think some of the others are right in that multiple sibling families are good for the Pack, the cost to recruit the siblings is likely less than the time/effort/money put in to recruit new families too.  Multi-sibling families are also good if one or more parents volunteers as a leader, because then you have more leader continuity.

 

In the end, my philosophy is that you never want money to be the reason a boy misses out on Scouting, so if money is that tight for this family I'd find a way to sponsor them, either out of Pack funds, Chartered Org funds, Council funds, or through a generous anonymous donor. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This question came up with us just yesterday.

Our standing "grub/camp" fee is $20/head

I don't know where this came from....it was before my time.

Anyway, a few of us were discussing this and it was asked/mentioned about the idea of a multi-scout discount

 

I just said well IF $20 is what it costs per person, then how will it be any less that $40 for two scouts?

 

That being said, I realize that the $20 is based on some empirical average to cover stuff.

 

Personally, I'm in favor of moving to an "actual-cost" basis.  Something that as treasurer I intend to look at more closely as I'm able to collect data on actual costs over several events.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As someone who has 3 kids in Scouting, as much as I would love a discount, I really think it depends.  On one level, you have fixed expenses for your Scouts, and to offer a discount will cause problems. Awards, food, campsite fee's etc come immediately to mind.

 

But there are instances where a discount can be done. I know in my council, two Cub Scout activities I attend have a maximum fee for a family. What's the benefit? Kids do the activities and either A) stay in Scouting or B) want to be a Scout when old enough or C) help staff the event.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have a sibling discount but it turned out it was just one Boys Life subscription per household. We did just start a 'Eagles Camp Free' policy for youth to encourage guys to come back. Apparently it extends to boys who just aged out and are Eagles and come back to help as adults.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wondering how other troops/packs handle this?

Fee to join our pack is $XX year per scout (boys life extra)

That includes, national fees + insurance + council fees + pack Dues.

Pack dues just pays for car kit and awards earned plus we don't charge leaders for thier fees to be leaders (they pay for thier son though). If/when Cubs earn more than the required it throws our budget into a tizzy.

 

We had a family ask about a sibling discount (more than 2 sons). Would love to offer one but the pack dues barely cover the awards and derby car. Which is why the popcorn sale is so important.

 

Our council only offers discount/scholarship if boys get free lunch at school (not reduced)

 

Other than upping the fees - anyone have an idea?

 

Are we bad for not offering a discount?

 

I don't like the idea of councils using the federally subsidized school lunch program as the basis for eligibility for scouting discounts and scholarships. 

 

Many schools don't participate in the lunch program.  Even when they do, many families choose not to sign up.  

 

It is becoming increasingly common for youth serving groups and agencies to use the lunch program eligibility this way.  I don't think a family should have to sign up for a federal lunch program (they do not want) in order to qualify for a scouting discount or scholarship.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't like the idea of councils using the federally subsidized school lunch program as the basis for eligibility for scouting discounts and scholarships. 

 

Many schools don't participate in the lunch program.  Even when they do, many families choose not to sign up.  

 

It is becoming increasingly common for youth serving groups and agencies to use the lunch program eligibility this way.  I don't think a family should have to sign up for a federal lunch program (they do not want) in order to qualify for a scouting discount or scholarship.

 

I think this is the first time I have ever heard of anyone outside of a school system itself using the federal free lunch eligibility as the basis for a "needs" scholarship or discount.  Our school district uses it as the criterion for waiving fees for various other fees (sports and activity fees, maybe some testing fees, etc.)   But that's within the school system.

 

I suspect the council does it out of convenience.  They don't have to develop their own criteria for financial need, collect financial information and evaluate it.  They just have to look at the letter of eligibility from the school system and give the discount.  I can understand that, but it does have drawbacks as you point out.

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
Sign in to follow this  

×