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Dues, fund raising, and all things tied to the evil "buck"

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I think I'm posting this in the right place... oh well here goes.


One of the things that I perceive as a "sore spot" in our troop is how we collect and disperse money. We are looking at revamping how money flows through our troop.


Here's the proposed idea.


Each fiscal year the Troop Committee forms a budget (we already do that). Based on that budget, we could calculate an amount of money that each Scout would need to contribute to the troop.


We do a handful of fundraising events throughout the year; the proceeds from those events would be divided up among the boys (according to participation) and deposed into their own troop accounts. The boys would then use the money in their accounts to pay off their debt to the troop.


At the end of the fiscal year, if any boys have not participated in enough fundraisers to have the money in their account to clear their dept, they would then be expected to pay the balance themselves.


We would use this method instead of charging dues of any kind.


The hope being that the yearly amount per boy would be small enough that he could get it knocked out relatively quickly, the rest of the fundraising earnings going to his troop account for him to spend on whatever he needs (gear, uniforms, outing costs, etc). Even more optimistically, if the numbers work out we could also offer camperships, reduce the cost of outings, and so on.


Is anyone doing something like this? What are the potential problems with this system? What do you guys think about this idea?


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Our fundraisers go to the troop for troop equipment, reducing summer camp costs, recharter. Individual scout equipment is purchased by the scout. Scouts also pay for each trip of which the cost is determined by where we go. I don't really like the idea of the scout assuming debt right from the start. Some things that could happen: Scout leaves the troop, a scout works harder than others and thinks he should get more, a balance could be very large for a scout and turn him and family against scouting. What about new scouts who join during the year? Are they way behind in funds for activities? I also don't like the idea of fundraising covering dues.

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Our troop has one major fund raiser for the year..a BBQ dinner...we do between 1200-1600 dinners. The boys get $1 into their account for every ticket that they sell and they can use that money then to offset summer camp fees or towards other scouting activities, then the rest of the money goes into the troop fund for other uses. We also have a $1 a week dues..which of course, they never seem to remember to bring. We have recently change this to be paid on a quarterly basic and is collected at our quarterly Court of Honor since that it the time when whe have many parents in attendance. Our treasurer prints out a statement for each boy which we mail to their homes to make SURE that the parents get them! (I think we all know that giving information to a scout and expecting that it will get passed on is akin to just dumping it into a black hole!!) The troop then totally covers the cost of rechartering for the boys (adults pay their own fees) from the troop funds and it also covers all the awards that are given through the year too.


Our biggest issue doing this is that we have the BBQ dinner in February and our new boys come in the first of March, so they do not get the opportunity to sell tickets and build up any funds in their accounts. We like to encourage the father of new scouts to attend Summer camp with them the first year, so to encourage them to do that without causing undue financial strain of having to pay for 2, we will either cover Dad's fee or if this is a camp that allows for a certain number of free adults, we allow them to fill one of those slots.

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Money should not be an evil necessity that troops grudgingly deal with. Of course money is necessary. Earning, budgeting and spending money are life skills that we all have to learn at some point in our lives. Scouting is a good place for boys to get a little practice.


Weekly dues for provide income for the troop. Many troops blow off dues as being too much trouble, or set an annual membership fee instead. But weekly dues help instill a sense of responsibility in the boys, and help them feel ownership of their troop. The amount is not as important as is the fact that the boy must set aside some of his personal allowance or personal earnings to pay for his Scouting needs. It is a good responsibility for the troop scribe too.


Money-earning events should be planned such that each one has a specific purpose. This helps the boys understand that if they want to do that canoe trip, they will have to first earn the money to buy PFDs and oars. Their money-earning project has a purpose.


Id recommend some of the practices found in the Troop Finances chapter of the Scoutmaster Handbook. The Unit Budget Plan and worksheet has a lot of good info too. It can be obtained at the council office or downloaded at https://www.samhoustonbsa.org/Home/Forms/UnitBudgetForm/ .

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We have Troop dues of $2 per week or right at a $100 per year. If the scout gets 60 days behind he's not allowed to advance (depending on why he is behind) usually they get behind because they forget to pay. Theres usually enough money to get a coke, candy, or movie when it comes right down to it. If the scout is behind 60 days or more he is not allowed to attend any extra events other than the troop meeting. At first it was a little hard keeping it inforced, but seems to be working out fine.


Dues are for 2 camporees per year, 4 court of honors, patches, pins, equipment, etc all broken down to a precentage.


Scouts who work at fund raisers get credit for time worked dived by 50% of the money earned. Sometimes it does not seem like much but it does give them the oppertunity to cunduct fundraisers to help or compleatly pay for their summer camp and some other extras. We also give a precentage to our charter...about 10-20% off the top before we divide up.


You can't make a lot per individual on just a couple of fund raisers, you have to plan and learn what not to do. We will have about 5 per year with 1 big event where all of the money goes to the scouts less our contrubution to the charter.


Edited by Eagle Foot


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Our pack and troop charged dues up front. As the year went on, some of the fundraisers paid into individual unit accounts that could be used for dues, summer camp, or some other unit-related expenses.


In Cubs, this included the den dues/expenses. In the troop, it did not.


In both cases, we ran it past the parents to see their preferences. Most of them preferred to pay the full ride up front and not depend so much on trying to keep track of weekly dues, lots of fundraisers, etc. This way, it was a family's option to help fundraise for many of the events.


It also ensured us cash flow from the beginning. Most units need a bigger chunk of money this time of year, and if you wait for dues or fund-raisers to cover it, you'll often be cash-poor.


My experience has been that we averaged less than 1 major 'hold out' each year using this method.

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The evil buck?

No Way!!

I like money.

I have been almost busted a few times and it's no fun.

We are about teaching young people how to make ethical decisions. Money comes under that heading. As does a Scout is Thrifty.

How do you do the budget before you do the Annual Plan?


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Dues are an opportunity for a scout to manage some money and keep a commitment.

For those parents that are really paying the scout's dues for him and prefer to make one payment and not worry about it, I would suggest that they make the payment to their scout and then let him manage the money.


For ahull's plan, I would have a hard time understanding why I'm in debt when I haven't done anything yet. And, why I have to subsidize an event that I am not even going on or did not go on. Other than that, having an account for each scout should work fine and getting a budget together first is great.


Scout On


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Dues and earning money are part of the troop program. It is up to the PLC to plan how they will earn the money needed to do their plan. When they become adults, they will have to earn and budget to match their plans. NOW is a great time for boys to learn this, on a scale they can handle.


I don't see this as a a thing we should turn over to parents or committee to figure out. Adults taking over this responsibilty robs the boys of part of the program. How can a Scout be "Thrifty" if he has no part in the money end of running his troop?

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I agree with FScouter on this one. The boys need to take ownership with respect to finances in SOME capacity.


We used to have weekly dues in our troop. However, it became frustrating because the record keeping was laborious, too many sqabbles, etc. So, while aware of the benefits of weekly dues (as pointed out by FScouter) and also the "ease" which annual dues has on record keeping we compromised with quarterly dues. Still not to big a chunk of money that the Scouts could not prepare for ($25) but also not such an administrative burden that it took up 10 minutes of patrol corners every meeting.

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Thank you all for the valuable feedback.


I am seeing the value of keeping some form of dues (weekly, monthly, quarterly, as several have stated). It does provide a valuable personal finace management lesson for the boys.


We were trying to collect weekly dues and running into the record keeping headaches that acco40 spoke of.


We are looking for a balance of ease of adult management and maximum youth invlovement at the same time giving the boys an incentive to participate in fundraising. The origional idea the TC had (outlined above) is not it.



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