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Beavah

Scouts and Commitment

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For weekend campouts, we have a sign-up and money cut-off usually a week prior to camp, sometimes two weeks. If scouts miss the cut-off, they cannot attend the camp.

 

If a Scout who has signed-up has to drop out from attending camp, he is not refunded any money until the Troop returns from camp. Any unused funds from the camping trip are equally divided among the scouts and credited to their scout accounts.

 

Full refunds are rare and are never expected.

 

 

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I'm talking normal troop outings here - not NOAC, Jambo, Philmont, Sea Base, etc. We didn't get a lot of folks backing out, we got a lot of "I don't knows" who would not commit either way so it was very frustrating trying to plan. Lots of "are you going?", "I'll go if so and so goes", etc.

 

My solution - which was summarily shot down by the committee, have the Scouts pay $250 to $400 (depending on the annual planning) up front at the beginning of the year and all outings are "free." So if you go, not up front money. Those on a tight budget could earn their fee - popcorn, or other fundraiser. Those tight on time could simply open their wallets.

 

It is tremendously difficult to plan for an outing without a good estimate of the head count.

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Yes it can be a problem, even more so when there are brothers involved, and both (or all three in one case) drop out of the event. Especially if you've already bought the food, and in some instances planned a menu around those that end up dropping out anyway.

 

An even bigger problem, for us anyway, is getting people to commit earlier on. They him and haw, then decide at the last minute they want in, is there still room? Again, food may have already been bought, etc.

 

But I just equate a lot of that to crappy intra-troop communication.

 

Worse, if the troop has no set policy on how to handle the dropouts, who is left holding the bag? Someone drops out, they want their deposit back, there is no official policy they don't get it back, but it causes a hardship on everyone else.

 

 

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You have to be firm and upfront with your members. We have definite due dates for permission slips and money, usually a week before the event. NO MONEY WILL BE TAKEN AFTER THE DUE DATE. It only takes one or two refusals for people to get the message.

 

As far as refunds, we do not refund any money. If a scout cancels out on a trip at least a week ahead of time, he gets credit toward the next campout. If it's within a week, too bad, so sad. We print the policies and give them to every new member and repeat it in our newsletter for everyone at the start of the year.

 

Unfortunately you have to make a policy and STICK TO IT!

 

Dale

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My son was in Cub Scouts. The Scouts (Weblos) were going on a camping trip (1st week in August). In May I realized my son was going to Florida. Which is were his father is from, for some of the summer. I realized he will not be here for the camping trip. The person in charge of collectiong the money for the trip, sent a check to me from another parent who than decided to go on the trip(150.00) This is the portion the parent had to pay who going. He also sent a form to me to receive the two hundren ten dollars from the Boy Scouts of America store on Jefferson Ave. I filled the form out and dropped it off Tuesday May 25th. The young man said he would turn the paper in to the proper person. I left (without a copy). He said she will be intouch. I thought about it from time to time, but never called I assumed it would just take a while. Here we are in August. I called the store August 9th. I spoke with Shirley. She said she NEVER received the form. She would research it and get back to me the same week. She never called back. I called again today, Friday August 27th and left a message on Shirley's voice mail with work and cell number. She called back within 30 min. She told me she did not call back because she misplaced my phone number.Than said after pulling my son's paper work, which she said she did not have or my number, she could not give me a refund because it was not an emergency why he did not go. IE death or moved out of the area over 150 miles. I did tell her that if I had known I could have made arrangemetns to have my son back before the date. Also told her my paper work was in 3 months ago, someone on her end dropped the ball and now I am out 210,.00. Being a single mom this is a hard one to swallow and I can not afford to loose this money. All she said when I asked is this the finale answer was "yes".

I am contacing you in hopes that you can help me.

Thank you in advance,

Cheryl

 

This is a copy of and email I sent out. Not one time was I told I could not receive a refund from pack 6. I initiated the calls, because they were never returned. It took her three months (after camp was over) to tell me I was not going to get a refund. Camp was August 1st thru 6th.

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My son was in Cub Scouts. The Scouts (Weblos) were going on a camping trip (1st week in August). In May I realized my son was going to Florida. Which is were his father is from, for some of the summer. I realized he will not be here for the camping trip. The person in charge of collectiong the money for the trip, sent a check to me from another parent who than decided to go on the trip(150.00) This is the portion the parent had to pay who going. He also sent a form to me to receive the two hundren ten dollars from the Boy Scouts of America store on Jefferson Ave. I filled the form out and dropped it off Tuesday May 25th. The young man said he would turn the paper in to the proper person. I left (without a copy). He said she will be intouch. I thought about it from time to time, but never called I assumed it would just take a while. Here we are in August. I called the store August 9th. I spoke with Shirley. She said she NEVER received the form. She would research it and get back to me the same week. She never called back. I called again today, Friday August 27th and left a message on Shirley's voice mail with work and cell number. She called back within 30 min. She told me she did not call back because she misplaced my phone number.Than said after pulling my son's paper work, which she said she did not have or my number, she could not give me a refund because it was not an emergency why he did not go. IE death or moved out of the area over 150 miles. I did tell her that if I had known I could have made arrangemetns to have my son back before the date. Also told her my paper work was in 3 months ago, someone on her end dropped the ball and now I am out 210,.00. Being a single mom this is a hard one to swallow and I can not afford to loose this money. All she said when I asked is this the finale answer was "yes".

I am contacing you in hopes that you can help me.

Thank you in advance,

Cheryl

 

This is a copy of and email I sent out. Not one time was I told I could not receive a refund from pack 6. I initiated the calls, because they were never returned. It took her three months (after camp was over) to tell me I was not going to get a refund. Camp was August 1st thru 6th.

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if shorter trips, such as weekenders, are offered just as entertainment, then you will get dropouts if better entertainment appears.

Keeping your word may be old hat as our schools now teach self-esteem enhancement where everyone wins and no-one is under stress to keep a committment if they change their mind

We get better buy in if assignments are made well ahead of time. Examples: Johnny-you, Bobby & Billy will be responsible for laying out the orienteering course at our next campout - OK? Pete, you & Jack will need to teach the newbies fire-building. Tom, come up with something for a good campfire skit. Of course, it is up to the PLC to obtain these buy-ins.

As to refunds & cancellations -- it depends on when. Sometimes most, sometimes partial, sometimes none. If coming down to the wire, Scout must furnish his own qualified replacement.

 

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Mine was the post Beav referenced.

 

Normal outings are paid ahead in son's troop with no refunds for cancellations < 1 week notice. There are usually some that cancel (sports, something unexpected, or something better came along). Since it is 'only' $10-15, who cares. There are also ususally a few last minute additions.

 

The trip in the reference was to Philmont with the local contingent. That year the ball didn't get picked up, money was not collected in advance, and so no one appeared to feel any embarrasment or remorse in dropping out. By the time it got picked up the troop was on the hook for a chunk of money to the contingent and it was a scramble to fill a crew. Worked out great considering it was an aggregate crew from three different troops (one a former troop member who moved across country); and no full crew shakedown was managed. Not an approach I'd recommend. . . .

 

The troop's HA trips are usually better planned and executed, but the Philmont one is generally left up to the participants, something I wasn't aware of at the time.

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"money was not collected in advance, and so no one appeared to feel any embarrasment or remorse in dropping out."

 

yeah, many of us say we'd like to do stuff. However, real decision time doesn't take place until you have to open your wallet -- just part of the American culture.

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