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what do your scouts pay?

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Honestly, if I step back and look at this thing as a parent

I'd rather in the time he has available for scouting each week, that my son get to practice independence with his buddys, have some fun in the outdoors, get some leadership experience, and learn some woodsman skills, and maybe gain a little character along the way 

than have him waste that precious little time struggling to sell something that nobody wants and generating more work for the volunteers that are spending their precious time to help the troop.

 

I'm figuring there is enough to be gained if the boys were just turned loose with the patrol method focusing on doing the fun stuff that scouts are supposed to do

The rest of that stuff they'll learn in other venues.....

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I'm figuring there is enough to be gained if the boys were just turned loose with the patrol method focusing on doing the fun stuff that scouts are supposed to do

The rest of that stuff they'll learn in other venues.....

Patrol Method?

 

If I may, I'll play the devils advocate here. If the parents are paying for their son's entertainment (fun stuff), what are the limitations of funds for the entertainment? Who sets the limit? Does the Patrol Method lose some identity when the parents (adults) say "enough". Is there a point when the Patrol Method becomes just a title for an afterschool program?

 

I agree with David, but living in a disposable world doesn't diminish the life lesson of being thrifty. Our troop is in an upper middle class area, so funding isn't an issue for most of our families. But I found that if scouts were pushed to fit their program under a budget, their priorities and interests changed from what their parents wanted them to do to what they wanted to do. You would be surprised at the number of scouts who go on high adventure treks because their parents pushed them. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, but we seem to talk a lot on this forum about adults giving scouts space for patrol method. Adults can have a huge effect on patrol method simply by their choices of what they will fund.

 

I'm not advocating for or against parents funding the scouts experience. I'm just trying to bring it more in perspective of the scouting program and the goals of the BSA.

 

Barry

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Posted Today, 09:48 AM

Stosh, on 10 Jan 2017 - 11:22 PM, said:snapback.png

 What's wrong with a Scout earning his own way?  

nothing...... in fact it's admirable

except it's really not part of the program is it?

 

I missed the memo, when did they drop the Scout Handbook?

 

From the Scout Handbook - "A Scout is thrifty. A Scout works to pay his way and to help others. He saves for the future. He protects and conserves natural resources. He carefully uses time and property."

 

It used to be under the section where they explained the Scout Law, word by word.

 

My mistake.....

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The difference between our financial  experience as Scouts and the modern boy's experience is , I believe, caused by the invention of credit.

Fifty years ago (!),  almost everything  monetary, save perhaps a home mortgage,  was handled on a cash basis.  Cash in hand, or a check (handled as cash), paid for your clothing, gasoline, food,  electricity bill... My dad bought our Buick with cash, I remember that handful  of money .

 

As a Scout,  I remember collecting cash for our dues weekly, our Patrol had a Treasurer, who handed money over to the Troop treasurer (an adult).  Hike or camping trip?  We collected cash up front either before the trip or on the morning to buy food. $3. per each is my memory for a weekend camping trip.  Then on the way out, we stopped at the Safeway and bought our supplies. Not enough money?  Change menu/plans. 

Where did this money come from?  We had allowances, did jobs for neighbors, family. At age 13, I had a $3. a week allowance, and kept a bank savings account.  Working for my dad's  landscaping business (boss's son!)  earned me some more during the evenings and weekends I wasn't camping or marching in the school band.

 

Fund raising?  Cub Pack sold popcorn at school events (popped ourselves!) and later, my dad found a place that sold prepopped popcorn to movie theaters and they GAVE our Cub Pack huge bags which we re-bagged and sold,  The Boy Scout Troop sold Christmas trees and donuts. Scout Troop would gather at the church at about 6am on a Saturday morning and meet the Troop parents who had gone down to the Krispy Kreme Company and brought back several hundred (!) dozen donuts.  Still warm and gooey, they were divvied up among the Scouts and parent's cars.  We drove around the neighborhood  and sold (CASH, now) fresh donuts door to door. At 7, 8am on a Saturday morning?  Folks came to expect us , bought two and three dozen to freeze, they said. Now THAT was educational! 

What was this donut money used for?  I truly don't know, but hey, the Patrol gear was always there, the award patches were always there,  the church room was always there, and I was told we (Scouts) bought the church a new lawn mower (did I mention mowing the church lawn was a "good turn" each Patrol took on per month?)

 

As the idea of credit  took hold (pay for it next month?),  and the idea of "convenience of the card"  took hold, we began to lose the idea of saving up and , in essence , paying for something BEFORE we bought it.   Now, we have the idea of paying for something AFTER we have bought it.  Buy the camp food and then divvy up the expense?   Pay Pal?  Square swipe?  The cost of things is not realized by the Scout (is it realized by the parent?) because of the ease of racking up debt.  And somebody else is making boocoo bucks on that "convenience".

"A Scout is Thrifty" sounds good, but how to actually do that when the Scout doesn't deal with it?  What is the reality now?   Scoutson wanted a telescope. We required him to do some research into what kind of telescope, how much the price,  how to order it or buy it locally...  He came up with his desire, well planned, and we sat down with him and helped him determine how to combine his bank savings, birthday and Christmas checks and a small loan from the "bank of Mom and Dad"   to buy the instrument. 

Even Eagle projects are often done on credit . Mom and dad foot the bill,  Scout works out (does he really?)  how to fundraise for it?

 

Kids as young as 10 and 12 have debit cards.   How is that limited?   Cash in your pocket is self defining and limiting.   It used to be a Gracie Allen joke that " How could I be overdrawn?  I still have checks".  Now, it is no joke.  The kid "overdraws" the debit card account and mom and dad repay the overage, the overage fee and the interest accrued.  How does a kid learn to use money wisely if they don't "see" the money?  Balance book arithmetic is not the same as counting it in your hand.  

 

To use OPM used to be a real estate adage , now, "other peoples money" is so easy for "others" to obtain legally,  it is accepted that one will pay for the privilege of buying things. 

 

Rant and reminiscing over. We now return you to your regularly scheduled discussion....  

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Even Eagle projects are often done on credit . Mom and dad foot the bill,  Scout works out (does he really?)  how to fundraise for it?

 

Kids as young as 10 and 12 have debit cards.   How is that limited?   Cash in your pocket is self defining and limiting.   It used to be a Gracie Allen joke that " How could I be overdrawn?  I still have checks".  Now, it is no joke.  The kid "overdraws" the debit card account and mom and dad repay the overage, the overage fee and the interest accrued.  How does a kid learn to use money wisely if they don't "see" the money?  Balance book arithmetic is not the same as counting it in your hand.  

 

To use OPM used to be a real estate adage , now, "other peoples money" is so easy for "others" to obtain legally,  it is accepted that one will pay for the privilege of buying things. 

 

Rant and reminiscing over. We now return you to your regularly scheduled discussion....  

Good post. You put in better words of what I said earlier.

 

I've not scoutmastered for a little over a dozen years now, but the difference in the challenges are huge. A few scouts during my time had phones, but nobody had smart phones. Our challenge was those small hand video games (I can't remember what they were called). Money? While we were getting in to the money card era, cash was still an easy and accepted method for patrol budget responsibilities.

 

I've often said here that the troop program is "Real Life Scaled Down to a Boys Size". The troop is an arena where scouts can learn from their decisions without fear of being ridiculed for the results of there decisions. But I honestly don't know how Scoutmasters today work toward developing moral and ethical (and thrifty) decision makers when smart phones and credit cards are considered the norm in that arena. I find myself a student of your experiences today. That doesn't mean I won't preach (sorry) the idealism of Aims and Methods because I do believe they are still the targets which keep adults going the right direction, but I do respect the challenge.

 

I am watching and learning from your experiences with these challenges. But even as a student in the newest methods of scouting, I still have your back in developing citizens of character and leaders of integrity. After all, I love this scouting stuff.

 

Barry

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all very valid points of course....

 

and I agree, great post SSScout

.... and I'll add one more angle of all this "credit mentailty" that is damaging in a way..... between direct deposit and the concept of "takehome pay", a lot of folks don't really know how much they make, or how much they pay in taxes.

..... Scout works out (does he really?)  how to fundraise for it?

......

 

I think this one little statement might cut to the crux of the issue in my mind anyway.

and this isn't really a new thing either....

I recall many fundraisers through the years of my childhood.... between band, scouts, and probably a few other groups from time to time....

But even back then did I really get much out of it?

Maybe a little... but mostly I hated it.  I probably made my parents miserable for pushing me to go knock on those doors.... I sold some, but never really made all that much money

selling stuff we didn't want to sell, stuff thought up by some unknown adult that we didn't believe in, that was over priced, to people who really didn't want the product, and making in the end not really all that much money for a lot of work and stress. 

 

 

 

Posted Today, 09:48 AM

Stosh, on 10 Jan 2017 - 11:22 PM, said:snapback.png

nothing...... in fact it's admirable

except it's really not part of the program is it?

 

I missed the memo, when did they drop the Scout Handbook?

 

From the Scout Handbook - "A Scout is thrifty. A Scout works to pay his way and to help others. He saves for the future. He protects and conserves natural resources. He carefully uses time and property."

 

It used to be under the section where they explained the Scout Law, word by word.

 

My mistake.....

 

and ok, it does say he pays his own way.  I stand corrected.  I suppose one could say it's "part of the program".  But I still feel like it's not really part of the core of it..... maybe that's my mistake. (For what it's worth, they way I take that though isn't that paying ones way is the definition of "thrifty".... I read the intent as likely more like a list of things...... he thrifty, works to pay, helps others, etc.....)

 

My thought on this is only that a scout can do a lot of things to pay his own way, one of which is negotiating a business loan from the bank of mom...... or asking his "employer-mom" for a little overtime and extra work to make a little extra cash.

Fundraising is only one way.... and while it is an interesting opportunity from several angles..... I have never really seen it done well I guess.....

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What part of "A Scout pays his own way." in anyway implies credit?  The requirement was to earn money and put it in the bank, not borrow money one doesn't have.

 

On occasion, in my life time I have held bank notes for up to 3 years.  I have bought cars on credit and paid it off early.  I finished my masters degree, 8 years after graduating high school with $1,500 in student debt which was paid off in 6 months, I own two houses outright, I have 5 cars all paid for, I retired a millionaire and I never made more than $47,000/year in wages/salary.  I have a credit rating of ZERO and it doesn't bother me one bit.

 

I took seriously the scout law when it say, "A Scout is Thrifty" meaning he pays his own way in life.  It's a lesson that we have substituted a different program from what Scouting originally intended to teach the boys.  The problem with 1929 was everyone was over extended with credit.

 

Maybe it's time we reviewed what B-P meant when he said "A Scout is Thrifty".  I don't think he would even know what SSScout is talking about with this "credit" business.  Thrifty NEVER means spend money one doesn't have.

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While I've not read every response on this thread, the one thing I see missing is any Charter Org help as far as finances go. Our Charter Org doesn't give us any funds at all. In fact, they frown upon us even trying to sell popcorn or anything to the congregation(it's a church). Are we alone in this? It seems from the breakdowns I have read that this is pretty common. I just assumed our charter org was less involved than most.

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We aren't restricted in who we sell to (we, too, have a church CO) and we receive no funding from them either.  However we do help setup, serve and clean up afterwards, their annual fundraiser dinner.  And yet, if the boys want to eat at that meal they have to buy a ticket.  They never offered a free meal, we don't assume it either.   Every CO does it differently.

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While I've not read every response on this thread, the one thing I see missing is any Charter Org help as far as finances go. Our Charter Org doesn't give us any funds at all. In fact, they frown upon us even trying to sell popcorn or anything to the congregation(it's a church). Are we alone in this? It seems from the breakdowns I have read that this is pretty common. I just assumed our charter org was less involved than most.

Our youth love helping out the CO (a small church that none of them attend) with service projects.

The CO loves letting the boys use the hall for our annual fundraiser.

We use up space ... which in this day and age is as good as $.

Never would we consider asking them for financial support.

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Stosh, it sounds like you have the same arrangement we do. Our boys work the dinners around the holidays for feeding the homeless and such. As they should as scouts. Community service should be a big part of scouting with no expectation of anything in return. I know a few troops in our area who get a large amount of contributions from their CO, and many more who do not. We find a way to make the funds we earn through fundraising and dues cover everything (well most everything). I was just curious on how common our situation is.

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I think if you can take it back to that simple/basic extreme it might make a little sense....

 

If all the adults do is oversee and coach regarding the menu, drive them to the store and watch.... and it's all handled scout to scout with cash, then that piece of it makes some good sense as a responsibility lesson, money handling, etc...  but it kinda needs to be 100% scout planned, scout budgeted, scout collected, scout paid, etc.... for it to have any teeth.

 

But as soon as the parents pay, or the money goes to the bank, the adults pay by debit card, etc...... then for the scouts it's just going through the motion and handing off.

 

What about a simple budget sheet for campouts that shows money collected (income) to money spent for food (expenses).  Have a space for expenses to ask for the Troop Committee for like the rental fee of the campground they are going to.  Have the scout present it to the Troop Committee asking for funds.  Scouts don't need the entire Troop Committee budget but they can learn that activities they plan has to go to the Troop Committee for some funds.

 

Most above have covered what ours youth and adults pay for above but if you still want a detailed list, I can do.

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