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WisconsinMomma

Does your Troop have dues?

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Questions:

 

Does your Troop have annual dues, what do your dues cover, who (adults or youth) determines the dues amount and handles collection? 

 

What is the relationship between dues and fundraisers in your Troop, and do you have any great ideas for fundraisers?  Who decides which fundraisers your Troop participates in, adults or Scouts? 

 

Thanks!

 

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No dues. 

 

Fundraisers are the sole ownership of the parents.  If they don't want to do fundraisers, they pick up the total cost of their son's scout experience.  If that is a financial burden, they can do fundraisers to get someone else to pay for their son's scout experience. 

 

The boys participate, if they wish, in the fundraisers.  Some of the money taken in is earmarked for troop expenses and some for patrol expenses.  The committee uses the money to keep the unit solvent.  The patrol money is spent by the boys for things of importance to their patrol operation.  Nothing ever is earmarked for an individual scout.  However, there are times when a family is having financial difficulty, the troop can offer troop funds to scholarship them to summer camp.  This is an easy decision when it is observed that the boy was doing is fair share or even double-duty during the fundraisers.  It all seems to flow nicely under these parameters.

 

And as I have suggested in the past, one could always raffle off a goat as a fundraiser.  :)

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No dues. 

 

My CO is an Athletic Department of a school. Scouts help raise funds for the CO by selling tickets and concessions at home games.

Edited by David CO

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No dues. Our chartered organization pays for all the boys' membership fees and for all awards and program costs, so almost nothing comes from out of pocket except for uniforms and books. We are technically allowed one fundraiser a year, but we usually don't need to resort to that. 

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OK, Stosh so give me more details on how this works.   

 

Let's say that in the year, the expenses are something like $300 for summer camp,  $30 for BSA enrollment, $20 for supplies like patches and pins and Eagle gifts, etc. and $50 for other outings.

 

Does the parent pay $50 to the troop for the supplies and BSA enrollment? 

 

Our Troop has scout accounts but honestly I am not up to speed on how those work out.  We usually pay as we go for our kids activities.  So for example, they have a camping weekend that's $25 a kid, and we'll write a check for $50 for our two kids. 

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The reason I am asking is that our fundraisers are generating less money than they used to.  I am wondering if the Troop should charge families more in fees to cover their costs. 

 

Then again, I could just do the meeting minutes and not worry about it.   Not my problem?   :)

 

So the issue is described as -- parents aren't interested in doing fundraisers.  And the natural solution is -- then families pay more "dues".   Do your fundraisers have buyouts? 

Edited by WisconsinMomma

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We just upped our dues because of a lack of participation in the troop-level fundraising events. Popcorn sales go entire to the individual scout accounts which can be used to pay for dues but if the scout does no fundraising, We also changed our troop-level fundraising events to be scout specific in the future (all money to the scout accounts). it was determined that those that don't participate in fundraising should bare the full cost of membership instead the scouts that participate in fundraising subsidizing such.

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Dues (about $80/year now) cover registration fees and bling.  Summer camp, uniforms, and nominal weekend camp fees are out-of-pocket. Troop equipment is payed for by fundraisers. The SM also has a discretionary fund. But, lately he hasn't been tapping it.

A portion of funds raised by each scout is put under his stewardship for the good of the troop. (E.g., if you buy your uniform with your allocation, your are expected to turn it in when you are done with it.)

The treasurer puts out a regular report of income and expenses. So it's pretty clear what we need to raise. I think we have been on target.

 

A troop should have reserve for about one year's worth of expenses. Usually that number should be calculated after summer camp so you have a good idea what's in the checkbook after summer camp fees are spent and before fall fundraisers kick up.

 

So, if that number keeps dwindling every year, it's your problem. If it sky-rockets (say a big donation or some other windfall), it's your problem. If it's roughly what it was in years past, you're okay.

 

Offloading expenses to families sometimes works. Sometimes doesn't. It really depends on your community.

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our troop has charged $100, which long ago was determined by some long ago scouter, as a good round number that hits the target

pays for national dues at recharter

boys life

and pays into the bank account for general stuff.  It more or less pays for advancement patches, etc....

scouters pay the cost of national dues

 

Then, we typically charge $20 for the monthly camp out as grub fee.  If you go, it costs $20 a head for the scouts..... Scouters/adults generally just split whatever the cost is for the food for the adults

More often than not, camp outs are a slight profit maker for the troop, considering that often some of the drivers don't submit their gas expenses, etc...

 

Not saying I like the approach exactly, its just what we do.

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Other side of the Atlantic but dues (what we would call subs) are pretty standard here. They typically cover everything that happens on a normal troop night (with some very occasional exceptions), capitation (ie national membership) and upkeep of our building.  Ours are £90 per year, so about $100.

 

Camps and other outings are charged separately.

 

Capital expenditure (ie camping gear and other equipment) is paid for out of fund raising.

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OK, Stosh so give me more details on how this works.   

 

Let's say that in the year, the expenses are something like $300 for summer camp,  $30 for BSA enrollment, $20 for supplies like patches and pins and Eagle gifts, etc. and $50 for other outings.

 

Does the parent pay $50 to the troop for the supplies and BSA enrollment? 

 

Our Troop has scout accounts but honestly I am not up to speed on how those work out.  We usually pay as we go for our kids activities.  So for example, they have a camping weekend that's $25 a kid, and we'll write a check for $50 for our two kids. 

 

When a boy joins or at recharter time we collect the registration fees due outside of the unit from the parents.  If the boy goes on an activity, the family pre-pays the expenses.  If there is bling needed, the parent pays for their boy's bling.  If they want to go to camp, the parents pay for it. 

 

Now if the parents think it's too expensive, they pull together a fundraiser.  I don't care as long as it's not a raffle or a Ponzi scheme.  They generally push the popcorn sales and as adults get out and raise a ton of money selling popcorn with or without their scout. That's how most operate anyway.  If the PARENTS decide the kid ought to get off the sofa and help, it's their call.  I don't care.  I don't have to keep track of who's doing what either.

 

All the money goes into the troop fund and patrol funds.  There are no individual scout accounts.  I have ethical and legal concerns about that practice  Everyone of my parents are on board with this view.  If one wants to work to have a troop experience for their boy, they fundraise.  End of discussion.

 

When the funds get low, they do fundraising.  To-date, there has always been enough money to cover all but $50 for summer camp (everyone has to have a bit of skin in the game), cover all the bling, and gas for the outings.  If the troop runs out of money either the parents fundraise or they start paying out-of-pocket.  I don't care how they work it out, it's not my problem, I'm not involved.  If there is some scout struggling financially, the Committee (made up of these parents) can decide how to spend the troop funds that they have raised anyway they wish to,  They raised the money, they can spend the money.  The boys have hand-me-down tents they got from another troop when they bought new tents.  They got military surplus equipment from a parent who scrounged them up.  They have a troop flag because the parents wanted the boys to have one.  They have propane stoves because the council camp bought new ones and the boys did an extensive service project to help out the camp and they gave them the stoves in return for their efforts.  The parents do a lot of fundraising and the boys participate as they are able.  Any evaluations as to funding the boys is entirely up to the Committee.  IF someone turns in a receipt for gas they get paid, no questions asked.  I never submit a receipt in that the Committee pays my registration, so it kinda balances out in the end.

 

Does it work?  It must because I have never hear of any grumbling about finances and the money is always there when needed.  Do the boys work at it?  Two of my boys raised over $2500 in popcorn sales this year.  I have a troop of 5 active boys.  That means we won't have to worry about summer camp next summer, it's taken care of.

 

There are no rules, no regulations, no attendance taking, no ISA's, just everyone working together to make sure the troop stays operational so the boys have an opportunity for a Scouting career.

 

By the way, I do not eat with the boys, but bring my own food.  I am careful not to spend the boys' money, but appreciate the generosity of the parents when they pay my annual registration, and we attend summer camp where two leaders attend for free.

 

On this last campout the boys did divvy up the fish they caught so I had some of it.  They figured that if they caught it and I cooked it (which they didn't know how to do as yet) that everyone would get an equal share of the rewards.  I did teach them how to clean the fish.  It's called teamwork.  :)

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Our troop charges $120 per Scout for dues.  That covers registration, replacement costs for troop and patrol equipment, patches/awards and helps to pay for adult participation in campouts and submissions for reimbursement for gas.  Additionally, Scouts pay for their campouts which vary from $15-$35 per outing and summer camp which runs about $400-$700.  The troop also does fundraising including popcorn in the Fall and Camp Cards in the Spring.   The fundraisers help fund Individual Scout Accounts as well as troop accounts--usually 50% goes to troop account and the other 50% is divided among participating Scouts.  We have about 20-25 Scouts.

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I've been with a few Troops...

 

Dues determined by adults and collected by Treasurer every September to cover annual registration (due to Council in Feb-Mar), awards, leadership patches etcetera. 

 

The costs of common equipment (tents, pots, etc), "subsidizing" for all the cost of far away trips, financial aid for some boys, et al, was funded by fundraising and/or Chartered Organization budget.

 

Boys' Life subscription varied by Troop... (a) required of all and included in dues, (b) only for younger boys or © optional for each Scout with addition dues payment.

 

Adults in Troops with a few ASMs & Committee members did not pay their own registration. Adults in Troops with many adults paid their registration fee.

 

One Troop added the cost of Troop T shirt to dues.  Others do not want the hassle of maintaining inventory.

 

Some Troops attempted weekly/monthly dues collected by Patrol and/or the Scribe keeping dues records...  never worked!

 

Fund raising decisions had at least youth input & buy-in from the youth and ideally final decision making since they are the ones selling product, washing a car or making a spaghetti/pancake breakfast. 

 

All avoided candy or popcorn sales where product had to be pre-bought and no return of un-sold product.   Christmas trees were very profitable high margin, fun, profitable and lots of work for adults.  Once had concert performed by professional parents with their own "following" which was easy money.

 

 

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Ok, I'll be the killjoy with all this talk about "parents".  Baden-Powell's original concept was that "each scout should earn his own way."  Also, any unit fundraisers, per BSA policy, need to approved by the Council Scout Executive...there are rules that govern what you can and can't do as a fundraiser.  Also, I am a fan of the "Unit Budget Plan" which is planned by the Troop Committee (with PLC input) each year...you will need to account for projected expenses such as awards (not cheap anymore), Court of Honor expenses, outings, camp, equipment, etc.  Then figure out what income sources will support the budget.  Since the unit is owned by the CO, you should get their approval on the plan, also.  They need to see what it costs to operate a scout unit.  Finally, the BSA officially discourages Scout Accounts.  This has been discussed ad nauseam on this forum.

Edited by scoutldr
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