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Gosh, hopefully your Troop is putting much more than 10% of popcorn sales into the boys' Scout Accounts. My son deposited over $700 from popcorn this year.


Eagle92 and others are spot on. I would add to the equipment list a little, though. Good boots and lots of socks are a must. Boots keep us going because son's feet are still growing, but I'd rather that than messed up feet. They need to be waterproof and count on them getting muddy! For winter he will need a really good base layer of clothing - Under Armor type stuff and polypropylene (which we got used at the Army Surplus store). More than one pair of gloves, too. Our boys also need their own mess kit (we don't allow paper). In addition to a sleeping bag, get your boy a good sleeping mat (not an air mattress; no cots for winter camping!).


Depending on the time of year he is crossing over determines how much/which equipment you need to get right away. I would personally wait on the backpack until the Scoutmaster tells you when he needs it - they are sized to them and he will grow quite a bit in the next year or so.


Our outing this weekend is costing our boys $23 plus enough money to buy dinner at McDonalds. The troop provides tents (we just bought all new ones).


Oh, and high adventure trips, like Philmont, cost a lot more than summer camp. Ours are paying $1100 (give or take) this year for Philmont.

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M2E brings up some other equipment that may be needed. And having your son talk to the PL and SPL about equipment he may want to get is a very good idea. I didn't mention mess kits as each patrol had their own set that fed 8. we didn't need them.


And don't get overwhelmed at teh amount of gear. Yes some of it is VERY important, but you may be able to find substitues at home, i.e. plastic bowls, palstic cutlery, extra blankets to use as a sleepign pad, etc. if you can find the 2nd ed. BSFB, it has some great ideas ion how to use common stuff and make your own. Works VERY well too.



I just don't recommend using the hipbelt it describes with a cheap Kmart frame ;)



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don't go overboard with the initial gear. If the first two camps are car camping, hold off on the purchase of the backpack & the sleeping bag. To hold the gear use an old suitcase or a shellacked cardboard box. To meet the requirement of showing how to pack for an overnight, use a schoolbook type pack - it's large enough

Similarly, for sleeping, use a bunch of old blankets cowboy style.

Make sure he likes camping before you spend the bucks

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Thank you all for your suggestions on equipment. We have been in Cub scouting for about 4 years now, so we have some basic camping supplies (i.e. big tent, small tent, mess kit, sleeping bags, etc)..you know, what you need for back seat camping.


Like I said, we are still a year away from selecting the troop, but you all have giving me a good idea of the kinds of things I will need to ask a potential troop in order to be prepared.


A good friend of mine whose oldest is crossing over in March recommended starting a scout savings account for our kid. She told me they pay the troop dues in March and the summer camp fee is due pretty closely after that. So we'll probably do that. She also told me that most troops in our area hold good fundraisers a couple of times a year that go a long way towards funding a lot of the trips.


I feel much better now!

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As you can tell Troops vary widely on how they do things.

At least 10 Troop camp-outs a year (under stars or Canvas), 1 Cabin Camp, never more than $15 a trip.

Council activities 2-5 per year depending on conflict with our outings 10-30 per outing depending on COUNCILS price.

Philmont or other HA every other year after meet age requirements 720 + Travel costs about $900 total for family + Troop provided funds.

Summer Camp about $250 all-in.


Tents, cooking gear , water filtration etc. provided by Troop funds from fundraising(and it's not Popcorn money for this For us you can use your Popcorn portion for anything you want but we have Troop fundraisers to offset what we consider Troop costs.)


Sleeping gear and clothing provided by families - got to tell you thrift stores are awesome.


I figure the average family pays in about $550 or less to the Troop/Council per Scout on a non-Philmont year.

I figure the average family that chooses to send their Scout to Philmont pays in about $1400 or less to the Troop/Council/Philmont per Scout on a Philmont year.


Personal equipment costs vary so much based on what you choose to buy and where you buy it, the Scout Direct Program of ALPS Mountaineering is awesome. Several Scouters have used gear websites that are incredible.

I want a NEW sleeping bag, I am looking at $200-300 but over the course of two years only it's less than $3 a night I spend outside. So it depends on how you look at the purchase also

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Now that we bring up the topic of high adventure bases ...


If the older boys are going to them, eventually your boys will want to go also. But, don't overwhelm yourself with the concept. Do saddle some of the responsibility with the boys. Here's my lecture to young scouts ...


"Personal Managment should be one of the first merit badges a boy takes, not one of the last, on his trail to Eagle. But, since I know it rarely works out that way, and I've seen that look in your eyes when you've heard about Philmont or Seabase or Jamboree, here's what you need to do starting now:


Earn and save $100 a month. We're talking your own money in your own account that your folks help you set up.


Look at the jobs around the house that your parent's complain about doing. (Laundry, dishes, cleaning up after pets, lawn care.) Offer to do one or two of them. You'll have to stop doing something else that you do every day just to kill time (like playing video games, beating on your little brother or teasing your sister, whatever). You'll have to start doing those jobs -- maybe put in an hour a day.


In other words make your self woth that $100. If your dad has a business, maybe you should ask for a job application and work there on Saturday mornings. Your neighbors might be looking for someone to do work.


They may not be able to fork over that much cash. Maybe they are already paying you an allowance. Then, *stop* spending your folks' money. Say 'dad instead of that new game system I've been nagging you about, can you put it in a savings account for me? Forget that soda you wanted today. Drink some tap-water instead.


Oh, and get the most out of your education by making perfect marks. If folks see you are being frugal with their money (remember they pay for your school one way or another), they may consider you worth the investment.


This sounds crazy and maybe impossible, but I think it's within almost every boy's potential to be worthy of $100 per month. If he starts when he's 11 or 12 maybe by the time he's 13 or 14 he'll have bankrolled $2400.00. That'll more than cover the cost of any super-activity. And the best part? If you change your mind and don't want anything to do with scouting, you still have that cash for whatever really interests you!"


Your scoutmaster will probably say something of the sort. But you can modify the above for a parent-child conversation and for the method of saving you think is best. As a parent it is really something to see a boy become (somewhat) more responsible around the house.

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Our Troop camps every month. We do not do extravigant camping. For 10 of our camping trips it costs around $15 to $20. The other 2 camping trips are Summer Camp ($260) and a trip that is dreamed up by the PLC (cost around $100).

The Troop just started individual Scout accounts where the Scouts earn a percentage of fundraising into their account to pay for their Scouting. A Scout should help "EARN THEIR OWN WAY".

By keeping it affordable Scouts and their famililies are not burdened financially by Scouting.

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Our annual dues are $100. We give the scouts 100% of the commission on the first $300.00 of popcorn, then 50/50.


We camp 10-11 times a year, including summer camp. We have one family campout a year.


We have one "expensive" trip a year, which runs about $75.00. Other trips are in the range of those mentioned.


My recommendation to new parents is, don't buy anything at Wal-Mart or any other discount store.

I provide recommendations on gear that they can buy one or two pieces at a time and not break the bank, and as it is needed.


For example, a first year scout does not need a pocket rocket and a titanium cook set, but he does need a good rain suit, not a poncho.


Scouting, like anything, will expensive when done at a particular level of performance.

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It can be an issue, especially in the financial times we are in.


It's a big problem for me now...my new job pays less than 1/2 my previous job.


The bigger problem is the recurring costs to replace outgrown uniforms, broken equipment, additional equipment for 4 season camping...supplies, etc.


But it not just on the Scouting side either....my other son is in Band and Baseball...I'm hoping he doesn't break his bat this year....


There is a possibility that it will have to be cut back...

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