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SeattlePioneer

$4/Gallon Scouting vs $6/Gallon Scouting

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What impact is $4/gallon gasoline having on Scout programs as you observe them and what is the likely impact of $6/gallon fuel prices should those occur this summer?

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I'll whine and I'll complain to anyone who will listen but in the end I'll pay for it. Look at he numbers, If I need 5 gallons to get to camp and back, at $3 it was $15 at 5 if's $25, the $15 isn't going to make or break me. And week end at camp will always be cheaper than a week end at home for me.

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If you are talking about driving too and from camping and events none. I live 1 mile from the CO and 30 miles from most our or camps and camping. so an extra 5 bucks for fuel won't bother me a bit. I will commute to work on a motorcycle that gets 70 miles to the gallon.

 

now if your talking about the money available for scouting youth to do things. Then probably significantly. Our families can only marginally afford scouting and most cannot budget money beyond next week. I see us losing some scouts because of money problems as a result of increase gasoline costs and fuel charges to retailers.

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We'll still camp monthly. However we have been in a process of camping closer to home and leaving the trailer behind and doing more out-of-a-backpack type camping and cooking.

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We would do more within 90 minutes, push travelling lighter, and a little more fundraising from the boys. Our big problem is now hauling gear and trying to get away from a heavy base-camp mentality to more backpacking style. Would probably cut back on trips requiring us to haul canoes, etc.

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We camp monthly and that won't change. Our destinations might. We are forutnate in that one of our council properties is right on the edge of town, but there are rumors that the council is going to start charging in-council troops for camp use. Bad decision. Our troop is fortunate in that we have a gentleman who was associated with the troop years ago who gives us wide open access to his land. It is in the country and only about 10 minutes from our CO.

 

Weekend before last we had Section Conclave. If I didn't feel obligated as a Chapter Adviser to attend, I wouldn't have. My Associate Adviser drove his vehicle and we transported three boys. The Conclave cost was $25. The gas there and back was $100. I make a comfortable living.......but not comfortable enough to do that monthly.

 

Edited to add: My son chose a troop 25 miles across town when he was a scout. He aged out in February and signed up as an adult, so we still attend meetings each week. Last year, I took over as Chapter Adviser which means another weekly trip across town during ceremony season for practices. I'm really eyeing the wisdom of driving a minimum of 100 miles per week for these two scouting meetings.(This message has been edited by sr540beaver)

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We have had to add a $25 gas surcharge to our Summer Camp fee this year. The camp is about 325 miles from home. We figured the original cost last fall when gas was at $2.50. We haven't had to do this for about four years. I think the parents realize the problem and we won't get too many complaints. Of course, if a family just cannot afford it, all they have to do is tell us and we'll waive the extra fee. We won't let a scout stay home because of that.

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It might even stimulate more nights of camping for us. Reason is that we won't be as tempted by the long trips so we'll have even more opportunities close by. And as I have always tried to impress on the unit, we have an abundance of opportunities within just 5-10 miles. The number is almost without limit if we are willing to go 20-30 miles.

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I have been a strong proponent of local camping, leveraging the good graces of folks who have wooded property or park boards who could use some service project. Then, every few months find a location more than a few hours away. The issue is not so much cost as it was time stuck in a tin can waiting to get somewhere.

 

What is changing is parents have to work an extra couple of hours to pay for fuel to commute. Half of our troop and crew comes from more than a couple miles to get to our meeting place. The boys who commute have to work harder to organize rides. I suspect geography will have a greater bearing on selecting a unit.

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It has had and will have a greater impact on activities. It is no longer "a two hour drive" but a "75 miles at 20 miles per gallon time $4 times two round trip" drive.

Since Scoutson started taking classes at the community college, he is much more aware of gas saving driving techniques and regales us with stories of students in the school parking lot who sit in the car, engine running, windows up, A/C on, stereo blasting. And wondering "who pays for his gas?"

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We developed a policy the last time fuel went over $4/gal of adding a logical surcharge to all attending a camping trip (except drivers). The surcharge would be based on distance, # attending, and cost to drivers. Usually this has been $5/person, which is then divided logically by vehicle. I'd get a bit more of pot since I'm driving a Suburban pulling a trailer than my buddy driving a Dodge Caravan. My GPS (Garmin 265WT) can track my costs based on the current fuel price, which helps in the allocation.

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Frequency of outings should not decrease.

 

Location of outings might change.

 

If I was still a Committee Chair, I'd ask the SM to bring his SPL for a burger and a shake at a local burger joint. We'd talk about THRIFTY, and being GOOD STEWARDS.

 

Then, I'd let the SPL and the PLC, under guidance of the SM, revisit the annual plan. The issue is the cost of gas impacts both program and support. The program side needs to show some maturity by being sensitive to the wallets of the support side.

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