Murphy Peter (MurphyP@RND3.INDY.TCE.COM)
Mon, 20 Nov 1995 10:39:00 PST
John Campbell asked some good questions about Den Dues.
I have a lot of mixed feelings on this subject as a Cubmaster
and wish to share them along with some questions for John.
First, what is your den and pack doing with all that money?
The first purpose of den dues is to teach the Scout some
responsibility by making them "earn" or save for their own dues.
National recommends the budget plan for all packs. In theory
it works like this: Dens collect dues from every Scout for every
den meeting regardless if the Scout attended every den meeting.
Den leaders turn in dues and financial records to the pack
treasurer at each monthly pack leaders' meeting. The pack
reimburses the den leaders for expenses associated with running
the den (crafts). At re-charter time there should be enough in the
treasury to pay for every Scouts' re-charter fee PLUS Boy's Life.
Therefore, each family pays the initial registration fee up front when
they join the pack and that is the last time they pay a large sum ($14.80).
The pack gains a little by charging for a full year's registration and
Boy's Life when the family joins even though the pack pays a pro
rated amount to National. The pack also gains a little by collecting
dues from the second year Webelos their entire last year even though
they will not be rechartering a 4th time.
That's the theory. Now the reality is that a lot dens like to collect
quarterly, or even yearly dues from mom and dad because its easier,
less paperwork and more reliable than asking the Scouts to remember
to bring the dues. But then we lose the teaching point of being
responsible and teaching them to be thrifty. In the end the money comes
from mom and dad anyway because CUB Scouts are too young to
have jobs and really earn money. And in Scouts we try to stress
responsibility to doing chores in the family for no pay. So how does a
Cub get money? From allowances and maybe agreeing to do some
extra chores beyond their fair share.
Many packs either pad their re-charter fee to the parents because that's
easier and more reliable than depending on den dues. Many packs
ask for the re-charter fee every year instead of using the budget plan.
If you take the annual re-charter fee ($7.00) plus Boy's Life ($7.80)
plus awards, insurance, crafts it adds up to a good $30 to $40 per
Scout. It would take den dues of $1 per Scout per meeting assuming
9 month school year and 3 or 4 meetings per month on average
(there are months shortened by school breaks and holidays). To
me that seems high.
In my pack we pretty much make due with the popcorn sale for
pack expenses and let the dens charge a token dues to cover
crafts and to teach the responsibility values. We still charge annual
re-charter fees to everyone but we've cut the padding to just $1 or
$2. I'm slowly trying to push the pack to a budget plan. I believe
it is doable. Dens must try to get by on the cheap. Crafts can be
made from household throwaways. Recycle that trash. My wife
has bags of cardboard tubes from toilet paper and paper towels,
juice can lids, and all sorts of other trash because "you never
know what we can make of this in a den project".
John, your pack charges $35 per year PLUS re-charter fee PLUS
your den charges $18 per year PLUS you have the popcorn fund
raiser. That seems excessive to me. Propose that your pack
committee look into the budget plan and try to get by on less.
I know Webelos activity pins and all those belt loops and pins
for sports and academics are expensive, but cub Scouting should
not be that costly.
Just my opinion.
CM, P125, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
Del-Mi District, Crossroads of America Council
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City