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possible fee increase coming

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25 minutes ago, desertrat77 said:

I've heard nothing in our council except this:  "it really doesn't matter how high the fee is, scouting is still a bargain."

While I agree in theory, in real life it isn't going to work that way.  Families are already squeezing budgets to the brink.   For many, scouting might be the first thing jettisoned in the coming months.

We are supposed to recharter around the first weekend of November.  Concern is we will not know the fee until maybe a week prior.  I know they have said we will hear something about 10/23, but that is the earliest.  Our unit has about 100 Scouts and Leaders.  Currently that is maybe $3,300 for recharter.  If the fee goes to (and this is worst case) $100 per Scout (*Hey - still a bargain!!) we will need to somehow come up with another $6,700.  Many families may decide not to continue.  Will take a minute to sort all of this out and determine a path forward.

Not good planning at all.  Between the UNKNOWN FEE and the REVISED BACKGROUND CHECK FORM and the DEPARTURE OF THE LDS UNITS my assumption is that CSE Surbaugh's Bonus and those of the National Staff is clearly tied to how many leave the program 2019 to 2020

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24 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

We are supposed to recharter around the first weekend of November.  Concern is we will not know the fee until maybe a week prior.  I know they have said we will hear something about 10/23, but that is the earliest.  Our unit has about 100 Scouts and Leaders.  Currently that is maybe $3,300 for recharter.  If the fee goes to (and this is worst case) $100 per Scout (*Hey - still a bargain!!) we will need to somehow come up with another $6,700.  Many families may decide not to continue.  Will take a minute to sort all of this out and determine a path forward.

Not good planning at all.  Between the UNKNOWN FEE and the REVISED BACKGROUND CHECK FORM and the DEPARTURE OF THE LDS UNITS my assumption is that CSE Surbaugh's Bonus and those of the National Staff is clearly tied to how many leave the program 2019 to 2020

@Jameson76, thanks for the real-world perspective, the math that units are working through is sobering.  

I agree, it's scramble time for National.   Their unapologetic silence speaks volumes.

Edited by desertrat77
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6 minutes ago, desertrat77 said:

the math that units are working through now is sobering.  

The sobering part may be all the units that have NOT begun working through the math.  They got the note but are assuming it will be another $10 - $12 increase.

Suppose you are a NEW unit, just bee bopping along, planning for next year fun and adventures, etc etc.  You know the fee is $33 now, you've got 10 Scouts and maybe 6 leaders, so you have the $528 ready, possibly hedged about $160 for the increase.  BUT WAIT - you will actually need (worst case) $1,600 or an additional $1,072 in total.  This will be a shock to the system.  

Also if it does go to worst case, now new Scouts will need to pony up a big chunk.  If you join Tigers with your young-un, and want to be a leader, that will be maybe $200.  More if there are Unit dues.  Will be tough.  Family Scouting will be replaced by Ghost Leaders.  We'll sign up the minimum, everyone else is a visiting parent.

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No SE, national or council wide should see a raise or bonus for this  year or the next till everyone sees how it all plays out.   Its reminiscent of the government bailout of 2008 where we footed the bill but the big wig CEO's of those companies still got bonuses and came out smelling like a rose but their company and employees took the brunt of the mess. 

If our troop camps every month next year and my son and I both go it would cost me about $600 for just for the food costs.   Depending on where we camp if there are fees.  It will be more.  Then you have our current monthly dues of $10 so that makes it $720.    Add another $600+ for summer camp and transportation costs we are at over $1300.  If we go to a district camporee or University of Scouting, that's another $100+.  Factor in a few other events and maybe a uniform part and we are at minimum $2,000 a year and that is not including the current membership fee.  That's a lot of money just for 2 people to participate in something if you ask me.  

I agree with the "we should not have to  pay for past sins" of abuse.  I am very sorry and appalled it happened for those involved. But the BSA should have been saving their pennies over the years for payouts instead of churning out stuff like Scouter magazine.  I enjoy reading it but it takes maybe 20 min. at most to read and I could do so online for free.  God only knows how much it costs to produce it and mail it out. 

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I brought up the subject of fee increases to the SM/COR in my troop and they had no idea it was coming. Desertrat77 and I share the same council, so I'm thankful he stated that council is clueless. At least now I know why my troop hasn't heard anything yet. 

My troop and myself like so many others, can not generally absorb sudden fee increases. I tend to do long term planning to avoid the sudden major fees, like summer camp. If I plan on going next year, I drop $20 a month into my scout account so that I can stay ahead of the wave. However when my son was in scouting, we didn't do that for him though we should have. 

My troop already charges the scouts more than the standard $33 for recharter. I don't know how parents will react to a substantial increase. 

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I don't agree with the idea that $1000/year is still a great deal. It may be a great deal for those kids that are on crazy competitive soccer, or marching band, or mill your own robot parts. The parents of these kids can more easily afford this. But scouting is supposed to be for all kids. In the land of under employed, $1000/year is still a lot of money.

Sometimes it has to get worse before it gets better. Maybe it would be better if the BSA just filed chapter 11 now. I'm optimistic enough about scouting that something good will come up from the ashes. Again, the problem isn't scouting.

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I know. The 'scouting is a great value' statement always has my eyes rolling. While scouting isn't more costly than other organizations or activities, it's not cheaper and there are lot of hidden costs in it in terms of not only material and activities but also time and energy. Don't even get me started about FOS or about volunteers who have to "pay" to volunteer.   
 

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4 hours ago, Jameson76 said:

We are supposed to recharter around the first weekend of November.  Concern is we will not know the fee until maybe a week prior.  I know they have said we will hear something about 10/23, but that is the earliest.  Our unit has about 100 Scouts and Leaders.  Currently that is maybe $3,300 for recharter.  If the fee goes to (and this is worst case) $100 per Scout (*Hey - still a bargain!!) we will need to somehow come up with another $6,700.  Many families may decide not to continue.  Will take a minute to sort all of this out and determine a path forward.

Not good planning at all.  Between the UNKNOWN FEE and the REVISED BACKGROUND CHECK FORM and the DEPARTURE OF THE LDS UNITS my assumption is that CSE Surbaugh's Bonus and those of the National Staff is clearly tied to how many leave the program 2019 to 2020

I can not speak for everyone, but $100 recharter fee is a deal breaker for me,  I have a Bear, I have a daughter who I am working on creating a Scouts BSA Troop in town, I am a leader as is my wife.  We are not paying $400 a year just to send to National.  

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4 minutes ago, 5thGenTexan said:

I can not speak for everyone, but $100 recharter fee is a deal breaker for me,  I have a Bear, I have a daughter who I am working on creating a Scouts BSA Troop in town, I am a leader as is my wife.  We are not paying $400 a year just to send to National.  

The question will be, or National will try to push, is what is that breaking point?  Is it $50, is it $60??  When will the frogs in the water in the slowly warming pot say "Wow, it's getting HOT" and jump out of the pot?

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The cost just to be counted as a "Scout" or "Scouter" at $100 I do see as a deal breaker for some for sure.  We've been discussing in our TC the ramifications- we'd love to offer assistance to families if indeed it is that big of a jump, but short of rolling in more fund-raising there's a limit of what we can offer.  Our CO is tapped.  We don't want to have fund-raising to start to overtake time spent on activities.  In my view, the community is pretty tapped on those peddling to them.  As we have historically covered the cost of registered adults, this could be a big jump to our budget, and I'm beginning to have conversations with those who are only minor contributors - I can't justify paying a $100 for someone that comes only to handful of meetings, never camps, etc.  I'm inclined to have them register as a MB counselor (assuming those are still free) just so I know YPT is being tracked. 

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5 minutes ago, carebear3895 said:

I'm on the $49 train. We currently have a poll going on our office. 

Well let's do the math

2,500,000 (Youth / Leaders / All in / Rounded up for ease of math) @ $33 = $82,500,000

less 525,000 LDS folks departing (yes yes I know, they may not have paid the full fees, lot of neat deals made, but let's press on)

1,975,000 (remaining) @ $33 = $65,175,000

Basic projected shortfall of $17,325,000 OR $8.77 per remaining participant to cover.  That does not factor in the insurance increase, Summit Bechtel Reserve Tax, Scouting Professional Pension shortfalls, liability to abuse cases holdback, and a myriad of other financial woes hanging around out there.

$49 may be the number

That would be close to $97MM in revenue

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1 hour ago, Jameson76 said:

Well let's do the math

2,500,000 (Youth / Leaders / All in / Rounded up for ease of math) @ $33 = $82,500,000

less 525,000 LDS folks departing (yes yes I know, they may not have paid the full fees, lot of neat deals made, but let's press on)

1,975,000 (remaining) @ $33 = $65,175,000

Basic projected shortfall of $17,325,000 OR $8.77 per remaining participant to cover.  That does not factor in the insurance increase, Summit Bechtel Reserve Tax, Scouting Professional Pension shortfalls, liability to abuse cases holdback, and a myriad of other financial woes hanging around out there.

$49 may be the number

That would be close to $97MM in revenue

Our DE is guessing $48 so its an even $4 a month.  $49 would be $4.08 a month and that would be stupid to have to deal with change for when people pay cash at Join Scout Night

 

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1 hour ago, 5thGenTexan said:

Our DE is guessing $48 so its an even $4 a month.  $49 would be $4.08 a month and that would be stupid to have to deal with change for when people pay cash at Join Scout Night

 

Not bad logic, but why round down? $49.20/12 = $1.10 a month. Brother, can you spare a dime?

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1 hour ago, 5thGenTexan said:

Our DE is guessing $48 so its an even $4 a month. 

I wouldn't be surprised.  Registration was $11 fall 2000 and another $12 for Boy's Life.   

As fees increased, we always found a way to reduce our recharter costs.  When the fee increased to $24, our pack went down to one Boy's Life per family.  Then, we stopped registering the partially involved adults.  For example, we stopped registering the mom who helped bake or the dad who reserved camp sites.  We focused on registering direct contact and key committee members (chair, treasurer, etc).  Then, we stopped automatically buying books for the families.  Later years, we stopped rechartering unpaid scouts.  IMHO, fee increases never result in a direct revenue increase.  

I fear $48.  It might not be that huge, but the troops and packs have already collected annual dues and are well over half way through fund raising.

My whole scouting career has been surviving major trends.  Dale v BSA.  Loss of United Way.  Loss of school support.  Loss of LDS.  Ridiculous lawsuits.  

Edited by fred8033

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