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Serenade

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How are your annual dues billed, and how much are they?  For example, our Committee just agreed to $90 annually for scouts, and out of that comes the $51 for national.   So our Troop will get $39 annually per scout.   However, our Council wants to do something new and add a monthly subscription fee for Council at $19 a month!   This is a new fee, and would be $228 a year on top of the $90 that our scouts already will pay, so a total of $318 a year per scout.  And the parents will still need to each pay $35 a year.   Supposedly this new $228 fee is to take the place of Friends of Scouting, an annual fund drive that supports Council.  But the difference is that Friends of Scouting is voluntary, and this monthly subscription fee will not be.    Plus, the monthly subscription will generate 4 times as much as Friends of Scouting.  The Council is not being very transparent, and nobody really has an idea what it needs all of these additional funds for.    I think a lot of people will drop out with such an increase in fees, especially since so many parents already volunteer so much time on top of the fees.

Anyhow, this made me wonder how much other Troops and Councils charge annually.  Maybe this is average, even though it's a huge jump for our Council?   Do any of your Councils bill as a monthly subscription?  

 

Edited by Serenade
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AHG -- our troop is $70 dues (Which seems high when compared to some other AHG troops I've seen) and parents pay $26 registration for girls, themselves, etc. Plus a $20 support fee per girl. The registration and support fee go to AHG. And they heavily encourage a particular fundraising program for the national program. But the dues are for the troop. (Though a lot of it ends up back with AHG to pay for badges and patches)

 

Is that monthly subscription fee per boy or per troop?  That seems unsustainable.

 

Edited by vonfirmath
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Yikes!!!

We could not sustain that. Our council still just does Friends of Scouting as far as I know. Our council is large and BSA is growing here so maybe no need for such draconian measures.

We pay $75 for Scouts and $80 for AHG.

Edited by ScoutTN
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25 minutes ago, vonfirmath said:

AHG -- our troop is $70 dues (Which seems high when compared to some other AHG troops I've seen) and parents pay $26 registration for girls, themselves, etc. Plus a $20 support fee per girl. The registration and support fee go to AHG. And they heavily encourage a particular fundraising program for the national program. But the dues are for the troop. (Though a lot of it ends up back with AHG to pay for badges and patches)

 

 

That sounds pretty reasonable. 

 

Is that monthly subscription fee per boy or per troop?  That seems unsustainable.

 

 

That's per boy per month.  I think it's nuts.  I hope they don't pass it, but I'm guessing they will, all while telling us how transparent they are and what a tight ship they run.  I'm glad my younger son only has a little more than a year to go.  Although I'll miss it, too. Scouting was good for him.  DH and I had planned on helping out after he aged out, but I'm not sure we will if we have to pay $35 each per year to volunteer.

 

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23 minutes ago, ScoutTN said:

Yikes!!!

We could not sustain that. Our council still just does Friends of Scouting as far as I know. Our council is large and BSA is growing here so maybe no need for such draconian measures.

We pay $75 for Scouts and $80 for AHG.

 

That's about what ours used to be until this year.  I'm not even sure why our Troop is raising fees.  We do an annual fundraiser (a pasta dinner with an interesting speaker), and we have $2500 in the bank.  About half of that will go to rechartering.   We are a very small Troop (less than a dozen), and everybody pays individually for each campout.  The Troop pays for badges and scout books for new scouts, and sometimes we donate money to the Cub Scout pack that feeds into ours.  But other than that, we don't really need a whole lot of money.  I mean, yeah, a cushion is nice, but I don't think we need to built up our account all that much.

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Huh. I think we pay about $80 and that includes the magazine.

Can he transfer to another troop? That monthly subscription fee sounds crazy! Have those leaders learned nothing from the credit card fraud people? Start small if you want to ultimately fleece people of large amounts of money. Sheesh.

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Our Scouts pay $49 to join the troop and get the magazine, neckerchief, and Scout book. After that, they pay the actual cost for events and campouts they choose to attend. All awards and troop equipment is purchased with proceeds from fundraisers. National fees increased to $33 just two years ago, so I'm not sure why they're telling you $51 goes to National. I can't imagine anyone here being willing to pay what your troop is proposing!

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National BSA reg. cost is $33, ds' Troop has $5 a month dues to the Troop, which is not required if one sells $180 in popcorn (as 1/3rd goes back to the Troop). The girls' Troop I've started will have the same fee structure.

With AHG we had a $26 reg and $20 support both to National and then $5 a month that went to our local Troop.

 

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LDS here—technically our church covered dues but we were very strongly encouraged to donate $180/each to Friends of Scouting to support the Council. Super high sales pressure. We have done it, yearly, but it has left a bad taste in my mouth. I am glad our church and BSA are parting ways—competing cultures. I am happy enough when them as separate organizations but volun-told donations and volun-told participation with volun-told leadership has largely been not good.

 

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2 hours ago, SusanC said:

Huh. I think we pay about $80 and that includes the magazine.

Can he transfer to another troop? That monthly subscription fee sounds crazy! Have those leaders learned nothing from the credit card fraud people? Start small if you want to ultimately fleece people of large amounts of money. Sheesh.

 

We love our Troop.  It's the Council that's the problem.  We can't easily move to another Council.  

From reading the other posts, it seems like this would be a really unusual amount to charge.   The worst of it is that they are being sort of sneaky -- they're not really sharing the information well.  They sent out an e-mail last night, but it didn't have details and amounts.   I'm guessing most people in the Council are unaware.

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1 hour ago, mom2scouts said:

Our Scouts pay $49 to join the troop and get the magazine, neckerchief, and Scout book. After that, they pay the actual cost for events and campouts they choose to attend. All awards and troop equipment is purchased with proceeds from fundraisers. National fees increased to $33 just two years ago, so I'm not sure why they're telling you $51 goes to National. I can't imagine anyone here being willing to pay what your troop is proposing!

 

I think I must have misunderstood about the $51.  I've got it in the margins of my notes from Committee, and I thought it was $51 for scouts and $33 for adults. I write the minutes for our Committee, so I need to figure that out soon.  I'm wondering if the $51 covers some other obligation.  Still, the $228 dollars for the Council would be over and above whatever the Troop/National gets.  That's the real problem.    That would be over 4 million dollars for Council.  (Supposedly there are 18,000 scouts in our Council).

Our scouts pay individually for campouts and events, too, so that wouldn't come out of Troop money. 

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We did BSA.  We had one troop that was poorly run and sandwiched between two great ones.  The poorly run one hit up parents for $1000 in March, right after the AoL boys crossed over.  They were fancy - specific troop tents for camping, two large trailers to haul their gear, required specific gear like footlockers and cots...I cannot remember off the top of my head how much of that went to troop dues and how much went to everything else they had their hand out for each year.
Our two well-run troops were simple and effective.  The boys worked their tails off selling in the fall.  That money went to help the troop run and we paid the annual $39 or whatever it was.  Nothing was required as far as specific gear, only general.  The second well-run troop was in a part of town that had a lot of single-parent families and the troop organized itself in such a way that everyone was welcome.  Their extra money went toward uniform shirts & neckerchiefs so that each boy, after their first month with the troop, received a uniform no matter what.  I cannot see a council forcing out children from scouting because they cannot afford the extra fees, and I think that is something that I would put a bug in the ear of national - it's one thing if a troop chooses a fee, it's another if an entire council keeps kids from the scouting experience because of a hardship.

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Girl Scouts works very differently.  

Scout sign up is $25 per person that goes to the council.  (adult or girl)

Our troop this year decided on $30 for dues for the year, plus badges/awards.  The camps we will be attending have fees paid to council and we pay those when we register.  The reason our troop decided to do it this way is so that parent are only paying for the awards and excursions that their kids actually participate in.  

I calculated all the troop fees together, it runs about $100 per girl.  So that’s $100 to cover every badge, every pin, every activity supply and every day at camp.   The only thing it doesn’t include is the $25 paid to council and personal camp supplies.  

ETA: we do sell cookies but we are super low key compare to other troops.  Last year we netted about $500, I expect similar or slightly lower this year given all factors (girls that have left, increased per box minimum etc)  we as a troop consider that to be extra   

 

Edited by happysmileylady
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2 hours ago, soror said:

National BSA reg. cost is $33, ds' Troop has $5 a month dues to the Troop, which is not required if one sells $180 in popcorn (as 1/3rd goes back to the Troop). The girls' Troop I've started will have the same fee structure.

With AHG we had a $26 reg and $20 support both to National and then $5 a month that went to our local Troop.

 

 

$5 a month sounds reasonable.   It's just so puzzling that our Council wants to implement this large fee when it hasn't done so before.   

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19 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

LDS here—technically our church covered dues but we were very strongly encouraged to donate $180/each to Friends of Scouting to support the Council. Super high sales pressure. We have done it, yearly, but it has left a bad taste in my mouth. I am glad our church and BSA are parting ways—competing cultures. I am happy enough when them as separate organizations but volun-told donations and volun-told participation with volun-told leadership has largely been not good.

 

 

I wouldn't want that pressure, either, especially for donations.  My husband and I have given most years in the past, but we've fallen on hard times and didn't give last year.  However, my husband does a ton for scouts -- he goes to camp for a week each summer, and he's advancement chair, which is a lot of work.  Plus he pretty much does all the arrangements for summer camp.  He spends a lot of time, since he can't spend a lot of money. 

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4 minutes ago, HomeAgain said:

We did BSA.  We had one troop that was poorly run and sandwiched between two great ones.  The poorly run one hit up parents for $1000 in March, right after the AoL boys crossed over.  They were fancy - specific troop tents for camping, two large trailers to haul their gear, required specific gear like footlockers and cots...I cannot remember off the top of my head how much of that went to troop dues and how much went to everything else they had their hand out for each year.
Our two well-run troops were simple and effective.  The boys worked their tails off selling in the fall.  That money went to help the troop run and we paid the annual $39 or whatever it was.  Nothing was required as far as specific gear, only general.  The second well-run troop was in a part of town that had a lot of single-parent families and the troop organized itself in such a way that everyone was welcome.  Their extra money went toward uniform shirts & neckerchiefs so that each boy, after their first month with the troop, received a uniform no matter what.  I cannot see a council forcing out children from scouting because they cannot afford the extra fees, and I think that is something that I would put a bug in the ear of national - it's one thing if a troop chooses a fee, it's another if an entire council keeps kids from the scouting experience because of a hardship.

 

Wow, the Troop that pressured for $1000 was nuts!  I can't believe people paid that.

I'm with you -- Scouting is supposed to be a service organization, and if boys are forced out because they can't pay, that defeats the purpose.   Council says it will have a fund for scouts who can't pay the fees, but that will still exclude a lot of people who wouldn't really qualify for "aid" but for whom paying $300 a year total for scouts would be more than they would choose to spend. 

This is one thing I really like about our Troop.  It "gets" the mission of Boy Scouts.  Our COR just last night reminded us that our Troop is not a collection agency, and on the rare occasion that a boy owes money and his family doesn't pay, we don't go after them.  It has rarely happened, but I like the philosophy of just letting it go.  

 

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37 minutes ago, Serenade said:

 

I wouldn't want that pressure, either, especially for donations.  My husband and I have given most years in the past, but we've fallen on hard times and didn't give last year.  However, my husband does a ton for scouts -- he goes to camp for a week each summer, and he's advancement chair, which is a lot of work.  Plus he pretty much does all the arrangements for summer camp.  He spends a lot of time, since he can't spend a lot of money. 

See, dh and I are both fully trained (I've been advancement chair before) and give a lot of hours as well. It's our vehicle that goes on all of the campouts. It's dh's vacation time that has been all spent on camps and outings rather than with us (no vacation days left for Christmas! or a trip to see family!).  Finances changed for us also (30% paycut with last job change) and simply no awareness/sensitivity to the "hidden" expenses we've been funding. 

-----------

Alamo Council (& I've heard a number of other councils also) lost community funding last year to the tune of $$,$$$. BSA is losing about 1/5 of its membership with our church stepping out.  I think a lot of councils are scrambling to fill gaps to cover ongoing expenses at camps, facilities, etc.

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33 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

 

Alamo Council (& I've heard a number of other councils also) lost community funding last year to the tune of $$,$$$. BSA is losing about 1/5 of its membership with our church stepping out.  I think a lot of councils are scrambling to fill gaps to cover ongoing expenses at camps, facilities, etc.

 

This is a good point.  

 

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Our fees are similar to what other posters have listed.

I have boys in Scouting. I have two Eagle Scouts.  I was a Cub Scout committee chair for many years. We only invited FOS every other year. Why? Cause their presentation was way to long for a room full of young Cub Scouts on a school night.  I wouldn't say, "We're not inviting you this year."  I would just not respond to the FOS emails.

How on earth is this gonna work? They're gonna send you a bill every month? . How are they going to get that money from Troops with low-income Scouts? How are they going to enforce this? Seriously, I would very much ignore their emails for a while. I would take a wait and see attitude.

If you've got a Roundtable Council meeting coming up, you could attend that to maybe get a clearer picture.

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National Scouts BSA dues are $33. Don't know where they're getting $51. We had a FoS hit for years, but we refused to let the DE come to harass our families. In fact, I did NOT invite our DE to our CoH next week. She is not welcome to come harangue parents. Our Council went under, but for the last few years, we got a BILL for "Fair Share" campaign of $50/Scout, which we strongly objected to since the LDS was not billed (nor did they pay anything but the $33). They used to, but stopped several years ago. We did not pay it this year, as we lost the Council before camp. Unfortunately, before that, we were forced to, or Council withheld insurance! Yeah, that won them friends... Denver now has "Investment in Character" (FoS by a different name) and we've been assured that we won't get a bill. We'll see. We did not pay it this year, and I did get a copy of the ins coverage for camp. We charge $150/Scout a year, and trips are extra. The Scouts buy their own uniforms, but sometimes we have hand-me-downs.  We go through a LOT of $$, as the Scouts do things like Philmont and Northern Tier. Camp will run about $400 this year, and next year Catalina Island will be about $1200 for SCUBA diving. With plane tickets, Sea Base is going to be way more than that!

I took an envelope for the begging campaign from Roundtable last night, so as not to be rude to the man handing them out as part of his WB ticket, but since it is HIS church that wasn't paying, I don't feel compelled to spread them around. I donate $1000's to Scouts each year (usually traveling in excess of 12,000 miles, plus all the stuff I don't hit the troop up for, so I do not donate to Council. Much of that traveling is for district and council already. I refused to run Rendezvous through Council last night, and the discussion got pretty heated. The DE knew that one of my objections is them skimming off 10%. Nope, I don't want to go through registration with them. We canNOT have Denver show up! It's a wildlife area, and the MOST we can host is 150 Scouts. Things got VERY tense two years ago about it. It's not a district/council activity. It is a troop activity and we invite who we want to. 

I want to share what our troop did this year--I knew someone paid dh's way to Philmont. We simply couldn't. I thought I knew who did. Turns out it was several of our retiring SCOUTS who did, knowing that it was the only way he could go. The mom of one of the Scouts let it slip a few months ago. That was an amazing thing for those 2 boys to do. 

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10 hours ago, prairiewindmomma said:

See, dh and I are both fully trained (I've been advancement chair before) and give a lot of hours as well. It's our vehicle that goes on all of the campouts. It's dh's vacation time that has been all spent on camps and outings rather than with us (no vacation days left for Christmas! or a trip to see family!).  Finances changed for us also (30% paycut with last job change) and simply no awareness/sensitivity to the "hidden" expenses we've been funding. 

-----------

Alamo Council (& I've heard a number of other councils also) lost community funding last year to the tune of $$,$$$. BSA is losing about 1/5 of its membership with our church stepping out.  I think a lot of councils are scrambling to fill gaps to cover ongoing expenses at camps, facilities, etc.

That might account for variations among councils and their fundraising tactics. Very low LDS population here, so the change doesn't have significant financial implications for our Council.

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10 hours ago, amyx4 said:

Our fees are similar to what other posters have listed.

I have boys in Scouting. I have two Eagle Scouts.  I was a Cub Scout committee chair for many years. We only invited FOS every other year. Why? Cause their presentation was way to long for a room full of young Cub Scouts on a school night.  I wouldn't say, "We're not inviting you this year."  I would just not respond to the FOS emails.

How on earth is this gonna work? They're gonna send you a bill every month? . How are they going to get that money from Troops with low-income Scouts? How are they going to enforce this? Seriously, I would very much ignore their emails for a while. I would take a wait and see attitude.

If you've got a Roundtable Council meeting coming up, you could attend that to maybe get a clearer picture.

 

They are having some "Town Hall" meeting to discuss it, but from reading the "FAQ" it sounds like it's a done deal.  At our Committee Meeting on Tuesday, the COR and the Committee chair say it's not going to happen for a while, but according to the FAQ, it's going to happen next year.   My son has little more than a year of scouting left, but we are a small troop, and fees like that will make it really hard to recruit new members. 

ETA:   They want to take the monthly fee out of people's credit cards.  That's the preferred method, although people can pay all at once, or however else they want.

 

Edited by Serenade

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9 hours ago, Margaret in CO said:

National Scouts BSA dues are $33. Don't know where they're getting $51. We had a FoS hit for years, but we refused to let the DE come to harass our families. In fact, I did NOT invite our DE to our CoH next week. She is not welcome to come harangue parents. Our Council went under, but for the last few years, we got a BILL for "Fair Share" campaign of $50/Scout, which we strongly objected to since the LDS was not billed (nor did they pay anything but the $33). They used to, but stopped several years ago. We did not pay it this year, as we lost the Council before camp. Unfortunately, before that, we were forced to, or Council withheld insurance! Yeah, that won them friends... Denver now has "Investment in Character" (FoS by a different name) and we've been assured that we won't get a bill. We'll see. We did not pay it this year, and I did get a copy of the ins coverage for camp. We charge $150/Scout a year, and trips are extra. The Scouts buy their own uniforms, but sometimes we have hand-me-downs.  We go through a LOT of $$, as the Scouts do things like Philmont and Northern Tier. Camp will run about $400 this year, and next year Catalina Island will be about $1200 for SCUBA diving. With plane tickets, Sea Base is going to be way more than that!

I took an envelope for the begging campaign from Roundtable last night, so as not to be rude to the man handing them out as part of his WB ticket, but since it is HIS church that wasn't paying, I don't feel compelled to spread them around. I donate $1000's to Scouts each year (usually traveling in excess of 12,000 miles, plus all the stuff I don't hit the troop up for, so I do not donate to Council. Much of that traveling is for district and council already. I refused to run Rendezvous through Council last night, and the discussion got pretty heated. The DE knew that one of my objections is them skimming off 10%. Nope, I don't want to go through registration with them. We canNOT have Denver show up! It's a wildlife area, and the MOST we can host is 150 Scouts. Things got VERY tense two years ago about it. It's not a district/council activity. It is a troop activity and we invite who we want to. 

I want to share what our troop did this year--I knew someone paid dh's way to Philmont. We simply couldn't. I thought I knew who did. Turns out it was several of our retiring SCOUTS who did, knowing that it was the only way he could go. The mom of one of the Scouts let it slip a few months ago. That was an amazing thing for those 2 boys to do. 

 

Thanks for sharing.  I really appreciate the info on this thread.   It makes me realize just how unusual our situation is.  

And that is super cool that the scouts chipped in so your DH could go to Philmont. 

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We pay $65 per year per scout.  This includes national fees and a Boys' Life subscription.  I'm not sure whether the troop or Council gets the remainder.  We are encouraged but not required to join Friends of Scouting.  Otherwise, no dues.  Scouts pay by event.  Scouts who participate in fund raising events have money deposited in their scout accounts.  In the past we had the option of using money in scout accounts  or bringing cash/checks to cover specific events.  Our troop committee recently voted do away with collecting money for individual events.  Instead scouts and parents are asked to keep a minimum balance in scouts accounts.  The scout accounts will be tapped when parents gives permission for a scout to participate in an event.  In the past, the troop allowed scouts grace in paying for events.  No-shows who then don't pay are a problem even in scouting. 

Our troop encourages scouts to sell popcorn to support council.  Yes, the troop gets a share of popcorn money, but other fundraisers net more for the troop.

 

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Our Scouts must have a minimum in order to go on trips, because we've had the experience WAY too many times of being stiffed for it. Once a family gets behind, it's hard to get caught back up. Now that we're in Denver Area Council, events are very pricey. $65 for a weekend? Plus gas (10 hours of driving)--that's hard for many families. Our next campout will run the boys about $20 with food. Of course, we have the advantage of living in Scouting paradise! It's a 5 mile drive here to a wilderness area, 20 miles to the largest lake in CO. The Scouts already own backpacks, tents, and sleeping bags. No troop equipment really, except for the kayaks, canoes, and trailer, all donated. We use the trailer for storage, only hauling it to one campout a year. We salvaged cots from the county when they threw them away, so no charges there for summer camp. The Scouts bring their own spending money for camp, and they pay for camp and mbs there up front. When we host Rondy next year, we'll keep it under $10 to cover the patch, black powder supplies and porta-potties. I think I have a funding source for the black powder. Our last Klondike was $10. Denver has said, "No more $10 events". Watch us! We had the Denver bigwig come to a meeting a few months ago DEMANDING his 10% share for the mb rally, and we started to chuckle. Finally the organizer said, "I'll be happy to write you the check! Let's see. 10% of $0.00. Who should I make that out to???" Denver was not amused. The church lent us the building, there were no supplies, and they even got the pizza donated! We watched the TX troops at camp, with the big trailers, matching shirts, NICE tents for the adults (our one adult slept in his car, and I had a tent to myself), chartered buses, etc. Not how we Scout. 

Edited by Margaret in CO
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22 minutes ago, Margaret in CO said:

Our Scouts must have a minimum in order to go on trips, because we've had the experience WAY too many times of being stiffed for it. Once a family gets behind, it's hard to get caught back up. Now that we're in Denver Area Council, events are very pricey. $65 for a weekend? Plus gas (10 hours of driving)--that's hard for many families. Our next campout will run the boys about $20 with food. Of course, we have the advantage of living in Scouting paradise! It's a 5 mile drive here to a wilderness area, 20 miles to the largest lake in CO. The Scouts already own backpacks, tents, and sleeping bags. No troop equipment really, except for the kayaks, canoes, and trailer, all donated. We use the trailer for storage, only hauling it to one campout a year. We salvaged cots from the county when they threw them away, so no charges there for summer camp. The Scouts bring their own spending money for camp, and they pay for camp and mbs there up front. When we host Rondy next year, we'll keep it under $10 to cover the patch, black powder supplies and porta-potties. I think I have a funding source for the black powder. Our last Klondike was $10. Denver has said, "No more $10 events". Watch us! We had the Denver bigwig come to a meeting a few months ago DEMANDING his 10% share for the mb rally, and we started to chuckle. Finally the organizer said, "I'll be happy to write you the check! Let's see. 10% of $0.00. Who should I make that out to???" Denver was not amused. The church lent us the building, there were no supplies, and they even got the pizza donated! We watched the TX troops at camp, with the big trailers, matching shirts, NICE tents for the adults (our one adult slept in his car, and I had a tent to myself), chartered buses, etc. Not how we Scout. 

Interesting, Dh put on a MBU last year and I was thinking there was some kind of rule that it could not be a for profit event, something about Scouts couldn't be charged for advancement. We are in a lcol area so super expensive things do not work well. Dh and his SM ran MBU's at $5 a kid, they got the facility for free and a discount on pizza. Camporee is $10 to district for badges and activitiy suplies, I'll be charging another $10 for food for the weekend. We have a campout in a few weeks, I got free camping, so it is just $10 for the food. We shop at Aldi's and the church that sponsors us gives us free paper supplies.

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We used to have the BEST mb rally in CO Springs, years ago. I don't know how many times I took ds. National shut them down, the guy almost lost his house due to lawyer's fees, and it got stinky. It was $10 I think, as they had to pay the janitors for the school, and there was a patch. National wanted ALL the money. Not sure the troop even still exists--it was a sad time. The troop was clearing about $1 a kid, but National wanted it all. 

You can charge a fee for say, renting the horses for Horsemanship, but a stables is not supposed to be making a profit. Same as for a rafting company. They can charge what they normally do for a river trip, but the rafting company can't be pocketing $10 a kid for the mb. 

eta: yes, the troop still exists, but it's much smaller now. Their website is out-of-date. 

Edited by Margaret in CO
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Our troop used to charge $1 per meeting for the boys but we recently upped the dues to $10 per month.  This helps to cover the annual recharter fee, plus awards.  The recharter fee has been going up every year, especially now that the council can add on their own fee.  Recharter with the council fee is $45 for both scouts and volunteers per year, plus the troop includes the $12 subscription to Boy's Life for all the scouts.  I am still waiting to hear what the price hike this year will be.  Camp prices also go up a lot each year and are becoming really hard to afford.  We are looking into fundraisers to help with the cost, but we aren't getting much support from parents.  Scouts also pay for campouts, usually $10 for a weekend plus patrol food costs.

In all honesty, I am looking forward the the boys being out of scouting in a few years.  I think once youngest hits Eagle he will likely drop out.  He just hit First Class this summer, and is planning to Eagle as soon as he can.  Oldest is in the final stages of his Eagle project, which is exciting, and his last summer camp is next year.

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How do you charge that $1? Collect it on the night? Only collect from the Scouts who attend? Sounds like a bookkeeping nightmare!

Yeah, camps are getting expensive, with the huge jumps in insurance costs. And most camps are having trouble getting workers--it's hard for college kids to not come out with much of a paycheck at the end of the summer. Camp properties are expensive to run!

Our problem is when we're heavy on high schoolers. They don't want to work an all-day fundraiser, when they can clear as much in 2 hours at their paying job. Can't blame them. But, when they just write a check, the troop doesn't get a cut. We had to start taking more out of pop sales to cover badges. 

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1 minute ago, Margaret in CO said:

How do you charge that $1? Collect it on the night? Only collect from the Scouts who attend? Sounds like a bookkeeping nightmare!

Yeah, camps are getting expensive, with the huge jumps in insurance costs. And most camps are having trouble getting workers--it's hard for college kids to not come out with much of a paycheck at the end of the summer. Camp properties are expensive to run!

Our problem is when we're heavy on high schoolers. They don't want to work an all-day fundraiser, when they can clear as much in 2 hours at their paying job. Can't blame them. But, when they just write a check, the troop doesn't get a cut. We had to start taking more out of pop sales to cover badges. 

It was a bookeeping nightmare, and wasn't tracked very well.  The idea was that only boys there that night had to pay.  Interestingly, it started when DH was a scout in the troop over 30 years ago.  Some boys, like mine, paid faithfully and others didn't pay much at all.  I was very happy when they switched to the monthly fee and I think the parents were too.

DD worked at a scout camp for one summer as a CIT, and wasn't paid, but the ones that are paid don't really make enough to make it worth it for a summer job.  It is more something to do for fun and for work experience/put on a resume.  DS thought about applying but decided he needed the summer for his project.

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5 minutes ago, Loowit said:

It was a bookeeping nightmare, and wasn't tracked very well.  The idea was that only boys there that night had to pay.  Interestingly, it started when DH was a scout in the troop over 30 years ago.  Some boys, like mine, paid faithfully and others didn't pay much at all.  I was very happy when they switched to the monthly fee and I think the parents were too.

DD worked at a scout camp for one summer as a CIT, and wasn't paid, but the ones that are paid don't really make enough to make it worth it for a summer job.  It is more something to do for fun and for work experience/put on a resume.  DS thought about applying but decided he needed the summer for his project.

We have a 16yo in this boat. He would love to work at camp, but he needs the paycheck. Dd is struggling with this: apply to Phillmont, or work the GenCyber camp again (getting paid very well and getting an industry cert) and work at the county, or have a good time???? 

I could see the weekly thing being a mess. I think even monthly would be hard. Our dues are due up front, and then campouts/trips go on top. Most Scouts enter the fall with good accounts due to our big fundraiser in the summer. It's about February that things get tight. Our first year campers get 1/2 their camp fees paid for by the Elks. 

I loved my years as a CIT and counselor, but I sure didn't make much!

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Am I the only one who googled this to make sure it isn't our council? (It isn't.)

I'm sorry Serenade, that's really lame. If council started charging $19/month in addition to troop dues and national registration, I think we'd ditch Sea Scouts. That's a huge increase in annual cost for the same activities. 

And just to add to the doom and gloom vibe, there's this article in the WaPo today:

https://beta.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/lawsuits-possible-bankruptcy-declining-members-is-there-a-future-for-the-boy-scouts/2019/09/11/54699d6a-ce53-11e9-8c1c-7c8ee785b855_story.html

Edited by chiguirre
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7 hours ago, Margaret in CO said:

Our Scouts must have a minimum in order to go on trips, because we've had the experience WAY too many times of being stiffed for it. Once a family gets behind, it's hard to get caught back up. Now that we're in Denver Area Council, events are very pricey. $65 for a weekend? Plus gas (10 hours of driving)--that's hard for many families. Our next campout will run the boys about $20 with food. Of course, we have the advantage of living in Scouting paradise! It's a 5 mile drive here to a wilderness area, 20 miles to the largest lake in CO. The Scouts already own backpacks, tents, and sleeping bags. No troop equipment really, except for the kayaks, canoes, and trailer, all donated. We use the trailer for storage, only hauling it to one campout a year. We salvaged cots from the county when they threw them away, so no charges there for summer camp. The Scouts bring their own spending money for camp, and they pay for camp and mbs there up front. When we host Rondy next year, we'll keep it under $10 to cover the patch, black powder supplies and porta-potties. I think I have a funding source for the black powder. Our last Klondike was $10. Denver has said, "No more $10 events". Watch us! We had the Denver bigwig come to a meeting a few months ago DEMANDING his 10% share for the mb rally, and we started to chuckle. Finally the organizer said, "I'll be happy to write you the check! Let's see. 10% of $0.00. Who should I make that out to???" Denver was not amused. The church lent us the building, there were no supplies, and they even got the pizza donated! We watched the TX troops at camp, with the big trailers, matching shirts, NICE tents for the adults (our one adult slept in his car, and I had a tent to myself), chartered buses, etc. Not how we Scout. 

 

Our Troop is pretty frugal, too.  There are a lot of adults who donate more than their time -- sometimes gas, sometimes food, etc.  Most of our regular campouts are $20 - $25, but we have two expensive ones per year -- a city trip and an overnight ski trip, although even those are done as frugally as possible.  The ski lodge lets the scouts sleep in one of the dining halls after it is shut down for the night -- basically the scouts just pay for their lift tickets and equipment rentals.  Sometimes the ski resort even gives them coupons for food.  This is at Winter Place in West Virginia, BTW, for anyone in the area.  There are a lot of scout troops who take advantage of this offer.  Anyhow, I love hearing how different troops do things.

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27 minutes ago, chiguirre said:

Am I the only one who googled this to make sure it isn't our council? (It isn't.)

I'm sorry Serenade, that's really lame. If council started charging $19/month in addition to troop dues and national registration, I think we'd ditch Sea Scouts. That's a huge increase in annual cost for the same activities. 

And just to add to the doom and gloom vibe, there's this article in the WaPo today:

https://beta.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/lawsuits-possible-bankruptcy-declining-members-is-there-a-future-for-the-boy-scouts/2019/09/11/54699d6a-ce53-11e9-8c1c-7c8ee785b855_story.html

 

It is the Occoneechee Council in NC.   Although I don't know how much info anyone would find online.  We just got e-mails about it a couple of days ago, and the e-mail doesn't give the pricing details.   A lot of parents aren't going to go to the Town Halls to find out more, and they will be surprised when they are slammed with this new fee.  (Some of the details were discussed at a recent scout meeting, which is why I know them).   At our Committee Meeting, certain leaders didn't really want to discuss it -- they said it would not happen, at least not for a while, but from a FAQ included with the e-mail, the intention is to start the program in January of 2020.  And this is one of my beefs with the Scouting organization -- it is not very forthright with plans.  It just goes ahead and steamrolls things through, no matter what members think.  Anyhow, my last scout ages out next year, so sometimes I think I should just let it go, but I think of all those parents coming down the line who will have multiple kids in scouts, and it's going to be expensive enough for them to choose something other than scouting.    As the article you linked mentions, it's hard enough to recruit scouts as it is.  This spring, our troop, a very old troop in the area with great support from our chartering organization, was down to 6 or 7 scouts.  We were so lucky and blessed to sign on 4 more this spring, which will give us a little life for a while.  But yeah, scouting can be hard on parents.  I've always encouraged our Committee to not require parents to participate if they are not able.  We needed the kids more than the parents, since we've always had a strong Committee.  One of the scouts whose parents participated minimally for years is now a very active member.  People do what they can and what is important to their kids.  But you have to hook them, first.

Edited by Serenade

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6 hours ago, Loowit said:

Our troop used to charge $1 per meeting for the boys but we recently upped the dues to $10 per month.  This helps to cover the annual recharter fee, plus awards.  The recharter fee has been going up every year, especially now that the council can add on their own fee.  Recharter with the council fee is $45 for both scouts and volunteers per year, plus the troop includes the $12 subscription to Boy's Life for all the scouts.  I am still waiting to hear what the price hike this year will be.  Camp prices also go up a lot each year and are becoming really hard to afford.  We are looking into fundraisers to help with the cost, but we aren't getting much support from parents.  Scouts also pay for campouts, usually $10 for a weekend plus patrol food costs.

In all honesty, I am looking forward the the boys being out of scouting in a few years.  I think once youngest hits Eagle he will likely drop out.  He just hit First Class this summer, and is planning to Eagle as soon as he can.  Oldest is in the final stages of his Eagle project, which is exciting, and his last summer camp is next year.

 

So in addition to trips, the scouts pay $120 a year, which covers their national & council fees, plus Boys Life? Am I understanding that correctly?

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6 hours ago, Margaret in CO said:

How do you charge that $1? Collect it on the night? Only collect from the Scouts who attend? Sounds like a bookkeeping nightmare!

Yeah, camps are getting expensive, with the huge jumps in insurance costs. And most camps are having trouble getting workers--it's hard for college kids to not come out with much of a paycheck at the end of the summer. Camp properties are expensive to run!

Our problem is when we're heavy on high schoolers. They don't want to work an all-day fundraiser, when they can clear as much in 2 hours at their paying job. Can't blame them. But, when they just write a check, the troop doesn't get a cut. We had to start taking more out of pop sales to cover badges. 

 

6 hours ago, Loowit said:

It was a bookeeping nightmare, and wasn't tracked very well.  The idea was that only boys there that night had to pay.  Interestingly, it started when DH was a scout in the troop over 30 years ago.  Some boys, like mine, paid faithfully and others didn't pay much at all.  I was very happy when they switched to the monthly fee and I think the parents were too.

DD worked at a scout camp for one summer as a CIT, and wasn't paid, but the ones that are paid don't really make enough to make it worth it for a summer job.  It is more something to do for fun and for work experience/put on a resume.  DS thought about applying but decided he needed the summer for his project.

 

Yes, it's true that scout camp doesn't pay much, but my younger son did it this past summer, and it was such a great experience for him.  He was there for 9 weeks, and he certainly had some ups and down, but I'll say he came home "grown up," even if there was not a whole lot of money in his bank account.   I missed him terribly, though. 

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26 minutes ago, Serenade said:

 

Our Troop is pretty frugal, too.  There are a lot of adults who donate more than their time -- sometimes gas, sometimes food, etc.  Most of our regular campouts are $20 - $25, but we have two expensive ones per year -- a city trip and an overnight ski trip, although even those are done as frugally as possible.  The ski lodge lets the scouts sleep in one of the dining halls after it is shut down for the night -- basically the scouts just pay for their lift tickets and equipment rentals.  Sometimes the ski resort even gives them coupons for food.  This is at Winter Place in West Virginia, BTW, for anyone in the area.  There are a lot of scout troops who take advantage of this offer.  Anyhow, I love hearing how different troops do things.

Skiing is one of the CHEAP things we do! The bus from town is free, and each kid in the MS and HS gets a platinum pass to CBMR for $120! Every kid in our town already owns equipment. And with the ski pass come free Nordic rentals. We have an entire national forest to Nordic ski in. We really do live in Scouting paradise. 

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6 hours ago, Margaret in CO said:

I just looked up rates for a camp I used to work at. Two week sessions last year went for $5500!  Scout camp is still a bargain!

 

5 hours ago, Margaret in CO said:

Just looked at a camp in CO that my mom used to work at: $6200 for 3 weeks. 

I wish every kid could go to camp. 

 

These sound like the camp I worked at after my sophomore year in college.  Counselors were treated very well, though, and in equivalent dollars we made more than what the Boy Scout counselors are paid today.  My only gripe about my son's camp experience this summer is that I don't think the younger counselors are looked after very well, and at 16, even if one is a full counselor, sometimes a kid that age still needs someone looking after him just a tiny bit.  My son burned his hands rather severely at camp, and my DH and I didn't think he was properly cared for in the medical hut, so we picked him up and took him to an Urgent Care.   We were very concerned about infection at camp, since Boy Scout camp is not realy a bastion of cleanliness.

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5 minutes ago, Margaret in CO said:

Skiing is one of the CHEAP things we do! The bus from town is free, and each kid in the MS and HS gets a platinum pass to CBMR for $120! Every kid in our town already owns equipment. And with the ski pass come free Nordic rentals. We have an entire national forest to Nordic ski in. We really do live in Scouting paradise. 

 

<jealous>

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We're in a tiny troop.  We pay around $100/year.  Last year there was a short Friends of Scouts presentation and some of us paid a bit.  Families pay for uniforms as needed, and everybody who goes to camp pays their own costs.  There usually isn't a cost for individual events, but the parents check and if there is $ needed for food then we pay the $5 or $10.  If they plan to stop for food while traveling, they say to send whatever $ the kids will need.  The troop has a lot of merit badge books that the kids can borrow.  We usually buy them for our scout and then donate them when we're done so that there are multiple copies or updated verstions.  I think that our scoutmaster tries to keep costs very low, and those who are able are happy to pay or donate extra.  We do very low pressure popcorn sales, and those who want to and can afford to often make a donation instead, which cuts down on competition for sales.  

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The reason that BSA camps are reasonable is, of course, that they don't hire counselors. They have the horse guy and the craft guy, etc. but the troop counselors are volunteers that give a week of their lives for free. That fancy camp that I worked for for several summers had all paid staff. 

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1 hour ago, Margaret in CO said:

The reason that BSA camps are reasonable is, of course, that they don't hire counselors. They have the horse guy and the craft guy, etc. but the troop counselors are volunteers that give a week of their lives for free. That fancy camp that I worked for for several summers had all paid staff. 

 

Do the scouts who work your camps not get paid?  My son got paid to work at camp -- it was $100 a week, so not much, but at least he got something.  And he worked hard for that money.  Of course, when my husband goes to camp for a week with the boys, he has to pay to volunteer.  LOL. 

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1 hour ago, ClemsonDana said:

We're in a tiny troop.  We pay around $100/year.  Last year there was a short Friends of Scouts presentation and some of us paid a bit.  Families pay for uniforms as needed, and everybody who goes to camp pays their own costs.  There usually isn't a cost for individual events, but the parents check and if there is $ needed for food then we pay the $5 or $10.  If they plan to stop for food while traveling, they say to send whatever $ the kids will need.  The troop has a lot of merit badge books that the kids can borrow.  We usually buy them for our scout and then donate them when we're done so that there are multiple copies or updated verstions.  I think that our scoutmaster tries to keep costs very low, and those who are able are happy to pay or donate extra.  We do very low pressure popcorn sales, and those who want to and can afford to often make a donation instead, which cuts down on competition for sales.  

 

I think it's great that your Troop tries to keep costs so low.  I think ours does well, but yours does even better!   Our Troop keeps old merit badge books, too, and also outgrown uniforms to give to new scouts.  

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1 hour ago, Serenade said:

 

So in addition to trips, the scouts pay $120 a year, which covers their national & council fees, plus Boys Life? Am I understanding that correctly?

Yes, as far as "required" fees.  However, they also have to pay for summer camp and a campout fee each month if they attend.  We do some fundraisers during the year to help offset fees for the boys, and we have had a few that couldn't afford the dues so we help out with that also.

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12 minutes ago, Serenade said:

 

Do the scouts who work your camps not get paid?  My son got paid to work at camp -- it was $100 a week, so not much, but at least he got something.  And he worked hard for that money.  Of course, when my husband goes to camp for a week with the boys, he has to pay to volunteer.  LOL. 

CITs usually work for free. This is the payscale for the camp we're attending in 2020:

  • 16 and older positions - $200/week
  • 18 and older positions - $320/week
  • 21 and older positions - $425/week

It's not much! We were blessed that several boys chose to leave the troop this year, with money in "their" accounts (which, of course, is not theirs) and the troop decided to put it toward the adults attending. We got one adult free, and the other just covered it. That was nice!

I just looked up base pay for Philmont. They start at $1150 a month, plus R&B. 

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19 minutes ago, Loowit said:

Yes, as far as "required" fees.  However, they also have to pay for summer camp and a campout fee each month if they attend.  We do some fundraisers during the year to help offset fees for the boys, and we have had a few that couldn't afford the dues so we help out with that also.

 

Thanks for explaining. 

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8 minutes ago, Margaret in CO said:

CITs usually work for free. This is the payscale for the camp we're attending in 2020:

  • 16 and older positions - $200/week
  • 18 and older positions - $320/week
  • 21 and older positions - $425/week

It's not much! We were blessed that several boys chose to leave the troop this year, with money in "their" accounts (which, of course, is not theirs) and the troop decided to put it toward the adults attending. We got one adult free, and the other just covered it. That was nice!

I just looked up base pay for Philmont. They start at $1150 a month, plus R&B. 

 

I'm laughing because my son would be thrilled to make $200 a week.  He is 16, and makes $100.  I think if he returns next summer he'll make $110, lol. That's probably the difference between being in the rural east and being in Colorado.   He did end up with some nice freebies after camp, though -- the counselors got to divide up all the unclaimed things in the lost and found.  He ended up with a really nice backpack and even found $10 in a nameless scout book.

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