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what do your scouts pay?

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As treasurer, I'm struggling with what seems to be inconstant practices in what we charge individuals, and I'm struggling with what to suggest to the committee.

So I figured I'd check with my friends here to have a better feel for what other troops do.

 

Do scouts in your troop pay for

  • camp registration fees for things like camporee?
  • summer camp registration?
  • fees or admission for monthly camp outs?
  • grub money for the monthly camp?
  • attending things like NYLT?
  • registration for MB fairs?
  • etc

Do scouters in your troop pay for the same things?

 

or does all of this come out of troop funds (dues and or fundraising)?

 

 

Our troop is sitting on what seems to me to be a health bank account balance, and that just doesn't seem right to me.

 

we charge individuals (scouts and scouters) for any registration fees for camporee and similar

we charge scouts nominal $10 or $20 (depending 1 night or two)for grub for the monthly camp

 

troop pays for gas in getting to the monthly trips

troop pays 50% of registration for individuals going to NYLT

 

and we don't charge specifically for things like state park admission for the monthly camp outs....

we let any adults attending monthly camp outs settle up amongst themselves for groceries

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That sounds similar to what we've done in the past.

Sometimes a troop will waive expenses for essential leaders/drivers, etc ... When they to that for me, I try to bring some treats, etc ...

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Scouts pay for:

1.  monthly campout food

2.  monthly campout entrance fee for places that charge (state park)

3.  some portion of any required equipment fee (canoes, climbing gear, etc)

 

Troop pays for:

1.  some portion of any required equipment fee

 

Scouters pay for:

1.  same as Scouts

 

For long distance trips, we build in a gas fee.

 

Our average campout is $20/person.

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Across the other side of the pond, but money is money.

 

Our Explorers pay once a term, so three times a year. That pays for

- weekly activities*

- central insurance/admin fees

- equipment

- rent of meeting location

 

* Though sometimes, to stretch the money further, if we're doing something fun and expensive we might ask for £5 ($6) or something to go towards it.

 

When we have weekend camps, we don't have them monthly, more like 4 or 5 a year, the Explorers generally pay what it costs for the camp. So that can range from £15 ($16ish) for somewhere cheap + food, to £60 ($65ish) for something with more bells and whistles. Sometimes we have subsidised weekend camps out of general unit funds.

 

Our summer camp is generally £200-£250 ($250-$310) but this year we're flying somewhere, so it's £450 ($560). We're subsidising that out of unit funds, as we have funds available.

 

Leaders generally pay nothing, except this year they're paying for their flights, otherwise pushing that cost onto the explorers would make it too expensive for them.

 

Generally we budget for camps on what they cost, variable costs + share of fixed costs + 10% contingency.

 

We also do some fundraising during the year to help buy new equipment or subsidise activities or camps, and support those that can't otherwise afford the fees for meetings or camps.

 

Yes, I also feel disquiet when I see a big bank balance. I reckon you need enough if you're suddenly in a hole, but generally I feel you should be spending most money on the people that put the money in.

 

" inconstant practices in what we charge individuals" rings alarm bells too! What do you mean?

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Our troop charges $95 for the first year dues for the first Scout and $75/year after that. For the second, third, more, scouts from the same family, it's $63/year.

 

That covers:

 

The $24 national dues

Boys' Life (we do just one subscription per family; if they each want a copy, they pay the $12/year extra)

Awards

The extra money we charge first-year Scouts covers the Handbook, neckerchief and slide, Council Shoulder Patch, Patrol Emblem, World Crest, green tabs, and custom Troop numerals. If the Scout already has some of those patches they're bringing over with them from their Webelos uniform, we don't charge them less.

We typically don't charge enough to cover all those expenses (we charge the $95, and it might cost us $100-115 depending on how many awards they earn in the year), so it's hoped that Scouts participate in the fundraising we do to cover.

 

We charge $20 to Scouts and non-registered adults, and $15 to registered Scouters for campouts.  Some campouts are more expensive than others, but we figure it all balances out in the end.

The troop pays 100% of the registration fee ($200 at our council) for individuals going to NYLT.

The troop will pay for gas money for adults, but only if the outing is quite a ways away (like, at least 2-3 hours away)

Camporee and Klondike registration fees come out of the $20/15 charged for the campout, and the troop usually covers the difference on food, if there is a difference.

The troop also kicks in some extras at things like Eagle Courts of Honor, such as, we buy the Scout a special CSP that our council sells that says "Eagle Scout", and we'll also buy an Eagle square knot for them if they've turned 18 (or will turn 18 soon) by the time they have their ECOH.

 

Scouts pay for everything else you mentioned--summer camp fees, registrations, extra fees depending on where we're going, etc.

 

With the fundraising we do, that covers camping gear, tents, cooking gear, camp stoves, propane, etc. We're also in the market to replace our troop trailer, so the troop has been saving some monies the last few years to pay for that.  We don't keep all the fundraising money we earn, either--2/3 - 3/4 of the profits on fundraising is returned to the Scout for their merit fund to help them pay for activities that come up.

 

There are probably some other incidentals that the troop will pay for over the course of the year that I'm not entirely privy to, just because I don't go to committee meetings where they're discussed.  We do well enough with fundraising that it's not a big deal for us.

 

Right now our treasury account is higher than usual, but that's because we're saving money for the new troop trailer.  We typically do not carry a big balance on the account.  We usually spend what we take in.

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We are similar -

  • Scouts pay for handbook and uniform
  • Scouts pay for summer camp, high adventure, other activities such as MB workshop, ski trip
  • Scouts pay for meals on monthly campout
  • Troop pays for campsites (summer camp and montly) including cabins or other venues for Troop activities

 

Scouters pay the same as Scouts

Our Charter Org pays recharter fees so no dues for Scouts/Scouters

It is decided year-to-year but traditionally the Troop keeps 50% of their portion from popcorn sale and the Scouts get the other 50% back.

 

The Troop funds go toward advancement items and Troop gear - we provide tents, stoves, cook kits, canoes/paddles.

Edited by jjlash

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Our standard practices seem pretty similar to yours, including both  the fact that there aren't perfectly standard practices and that we have a healthy bank account.

 

Our big troop fundraiser goes into the troop kitty and pays for equipment and transportation.  We allow/encourage scouts to sell popcorn and all those proceeds are earmarked for individual scout accounts.

 

When we perceive our bank balance as being higher than necessary we start paying more for activities on campouts, for instance last year we went skiing but only charged for food and camping but not the price for lifts and rentals, or we'll deliberately set the price lower than we know the total trip will cost, like charging tent camping prices even though we're staying in a cabin.  

 

There are dissenting voices, there are a couple of folks who advocate that each campout should absolutely cover all its associated costs, and there are some folks who have a difficult time with not trying to always save money for later, as if there is some future college or retirement cost we need to fund.  What we try to do is make sure that we have enough cash that we can easily absorb an unexpected cost like a major trailer repair or equipment need while also being able to absorb a bad year or even two of poor fundraising.

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We have an annual registration fee of $50/ Scout that covers all of the re-chartering fees to Council/National/insurance. We have a single fundraiser- holiday greens. Each Scout has a minimum amount to sell, based on our margin, or if they do not participate, there is an alternative payment of $150. That covers awards and the basic operational costs of the Troop, including repair/replace costs on all of our gear (much of the Troop equipment was pretty old and in a sad state of repair when my son crossed over, and we have been pretty aggressive about rectifying that). We set a fee for each trip based on the actual cost plus a fixed amount for food based on the number of meals. Payment can be by check or with our new website, by credit card. Taking plastic has proven to be very popular- almost universal actually. It does make the Treasurer's life much easier, since he can print off a list of registered participants for each trip, and reconcile that against the statement from PayPal so he has less people to chase for payment. Any additional funds are also used to help out any Troop families in crisis, so no Scout ever needs to worry about participating if there are unforeseen family financial issues. 

Edited by Torchwood

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Unfortunately the finance piece of scouting seems to have been taken over almost completely by adults. It is a shame as the financing of campouts, camporees, etc... is an awesome experience for scouts to learn. This is a battle I have been trying to fight at my own troop. The adults are extremely reluctant to allow to boys to do anything with money, except collect 25cents for dues by patrol each week. Often it seems the adults are more of a work in progress than the boys.

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Scouts pay $125 for registration.  That covers 3 CoHs, rank and advancement badges and a holiday party.  We maybe raise $1,000 through popcorn.  

 

Scouts and Adults pay per outing - the cost of the campsite divided by 15 (average number of scouts going), $14 for food ($3 breakfast, $3 lunch, $5 dinner, $3 breakfast) and $1 for supplies (propane and paper towels) plus the actual cost of any activity.

 

Scouts pay for summer camp, the camp lets 4 adults go for free and the troop pays for the additional adult that goes to camp.

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Our CO pays for registration, very generous in my opinion. Some of the parents, years ago, organized a 'lending library' for leftover uniforms, and similar items that we make available to families who cannot easily afford them.

All other costs are paid as we go by the boys or their families. We don't have an annual 'fee' arrangement and try to cover costs of awards, etc. with fundraisers. We encourage the boys to fundraise for major trips or service projects but those end up as distinct budget subfeatures in the overall spreadsheet.

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so it really seems by this snapshot that what we are doing is not really off base at all....

based on this, it makes my concern a lot less, and my job frankly a bit easier...... to just carry on I mean.

I do think that as I collect more data, I'll probably work towards more of an actual cost model, but I'm just keeping that in the back of my mind for the time being....

 

Unfortunately the finance piece of scouting seems to have been taken over almost completely by adults. It is a shame as the financing of campouts, camporees, etc... is an awesome experience for scouts to learn. This is a battle I have been trying to fight at my own troop. The adults are extremely reluctant to allow to boys to do anything with money, except collect 25cents for dues by patrol each week. Often it seems the adults are more of a work in progress than the boys.

ha ha, we do $1 a week, but the same idea.  It's the only money that the scouts really ever touch.  The adult's idea in it was a way for the "boys" to learn and practice some responsibility.  Honestly, I think the practice has no teeth.... especially since adults were holding the money each week, and the money would eventually just go into the general troop account..

 

I was really latching onto this idea though, of letting the scouts take on a bigger role with the money when I first started as treasurer.  Thinking that working with/through the scribe was the one way that as Treasurer I could help spur along "boy-lead" and such....

 

Something i read from Clarke over at scoutmastercg.com.... or maybe it was during one of the online chats..... anyway, something got me to re-thinking this idea.  I'll paraphrase based on my understanding, but the takeaway that I got was the idea that all this money stuff really isn't what scouts is about.  That it's better for the adults to just handle the money and fun raising, so that the scouts can get on with doing what scouts do.

 

When I think of it that way, the character building we are doing here really does have more to do with camping, outdoors, and using the patrol method.  the money is just static in the background.  A distraction and bother really.

 

For our $1 a week, our money goes into patrol envelopes.  I have given responsibility of those over to the scribe, rather than keeping them myself.  Hoping that the scribe would take on more responsibility with the PLC in determining what to do with the money, maybe using it for patrol grub rather than collecting from the campers for each trip.... but so far it really hasn't taken off.  It's still just static...... & honestly now I'm not convinced that the idea is worth saving.  I'm probably the only one on the committee thinking this way, but if it were up to me I'd take that money and let the patrols spend it, then stop the practice giving the scouts more time to do the stuff that Scouts do.

 

They'll learn math and money in school &/or elsewhere..... someplace better suited for that lesson.  In scouts they are having fun in the outdoors, learning character and leadership, ideally without knowing that they are....

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I disagree that the money aspect is jyst static in the background. It is an integral part of the program. One could make the argument that meal planning is just a distraction and a bother... and they learn nutrition in school, etc...just have the adults plan it. The entirety of the campout, from the idea to execution including finance should and could be part of the the program. The patrol method, leadership and character are promoted by including the financial piece just as any other part. I try to anchor my thoughts to the maxim, don't do for the scouts what they can do for themselves.

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Our monthly campout Patrol food money is cash.  Each Scout brings that to his Patrol Leader.  The menu, budget & cash are all given to the grubmaster who in turn buys the food for his Patrol.

 

Having it done in cash has helped with the Scouts in terms of responsibility & financial management.

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Our monthly campout Patrol food money is cash.  Each Scout brings that to his Patrol Leader.  The menu, budget & cash are all given to the grubmaster who in turn buys the food for his Patrol.

 

Having it done in cash has helped with the Scouts in terms of responsibility & financial management.

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.

 

We have individual accounts in our troop (funded by the scout's parent).  The scouts' accounts are charged for grub, or it's collected prior to the camp.  It goes to the treasurer (me) for bank deposit.  The grubmaster goes to the store and a responsible adult with debit card does the paying (or hands cash to the scouts).  There's no real teeth in that, IMO anyway....

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