Personal Management Merit Badge becomes real for Georgia Scout
Ed Henderson (BigEdBSA@AOL.COM)
Fri, 8 Dec 1995 06:52:30 -0500
For the first time in many years, our troop actually found itself with a
surplus of cash last year at recharter time. We were getting ready to start
on Personal Management Merit Badge, and decided to make it a real learning
experience. We have five patrols and decided to give each of then $200 and a
challenge. They had one year to invest it in any of the options for
requirement # 4 of the badge (the stuff it in the mattress option being the
only one excluded!!! - As agreed on by the PLC). The winning patrol at
year's end got to keep its money for a patrol campout and party.
A year later and I am thrilled with the response! Each of the patrols were
very excited about the challenge, they consulted with the Merit Badge
Counselor, as well as the leader of a local investment club who visited at
one of the meetings and did a presentation. The scouts looked through copies
of Money Magazine, and even used the internet to look up sats on stocks, etc.
Here is what they did:
The Bat Patrol used their $200 to buy a $100 EE Savings Bond for $50, They
opened a savings account with $100 at 3.5% interest, and they spent $50 to
buy stock shares in a Junior Achievement Company that that Patrol Leader was
involved in. They did well on the JA stock, getting a $.35 dividend on each
of the 50 shares for a grand total $246.33 on their investment.
The Oglethorpe Patrol (he founded Georgia) bought a No Load Mutual Fund with
the Founders Fund and netted $229.40.
The Indigo Snake Patrol (a rare species found in GA on the endangered species
list) used most of their money to make 3 1/4" metal buttons for Valentines
Day to sell at school. They did quite well with raw materials only costing
$.18 each and with them selling the buttons for $1.00. They had some raw
materials left over and donated those to thre troop to use at our last Scout
Show. They used the rest of the money in a Christmas Club Savings Account.
Their revenue came out to $289.55
The last two patrols, the Sequoyah Patrol and the Chief McIntosh Patrol each
spent their money buying Stocks on the Stock Market. They used Dividend
Reinvestment Plans that some companies (Coca-Cola, Exxon, Disney,
Westinghouse, etc.) have which allows individuals to purchase stocks directly
from a company without using a broker or paying a commission. One of the
patrol leaders got so involved, he started checking his patrol's portfolio
each week on America On Line, and had the editor of the local paper list the
stock performance of their stocks (the paper thought it was a great story).
The Sequoyah's netted $248.03 and the Chief McIntosh Patrol hit some home
runs as the NYSE hit 5000 to generate $306.75.
Well the Chief McIntosh Patrol won the competition, the patrol has decided to
go rapelling at Camp Thunder! All together the year long investment
generated $1,320.06. Each patrol had to do an end of the year report to the
PLC. The other patrols are returning their funds which will be $1013.31 to
the troop. WOW!!! Our troop got all of its money back (okay, so we lost a
little with inflation), and the kids are pumped! At the last committee
meeting I had the parents tell me that between this badge and Consumer Buying
(which we did just before BSA National foolishly did away with the badge)
their scouts have all started helping more with shopping, using coupons, and
over half of the scouts now practice some kind of savings. My ASPL & the
Troop Scribe even have both invested in stocks of their own!!!! We will
have our annual PLC planning retreat lockin next week. I have already been
told that all of the patrols want to continue the contest and I have been
booked next month to explain our contest to the other Scoutmasters at
roundtable. This has been a wonderful experiment, and the scouts did a lot
better than I thought they would. By making our projects real, we also add
some zip to our meetings and badge work.
Scoutmaster BSA Troop 12
Flint River Council, Griffin GA
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City