Scouts-L Mail Archive for September of 1998: Paying the Price (Was: Re: Jere Ratcliffe's salary)
Paying the Price (Was: Re: Jere Ratcliffe's salary)
Sun, 27 Sep 1998 11:59:12 EDT
In a message dated 98-09-22, the esteemed Jim Miller, Sr. wrote:
<< Yes, the price is high, but so is the cost of a college education. If
you want to get it, you have to pay the price. >>
This really seems like the entirely wrong message to be sending our Scouts,
though. In nearly every other program area we are saying that Scouting has to
be a level playing field so that economically challenged families get the same
opportunities as the wealthier.
To take the example from Mr. Miller's post: The US contingent pays $4,000 per
Scout in part to subsidize economically disadvantaged countries. (Why don't
they have to "pay the price"?) Would it seem fair then to charge some Scouts
$6,000 in order to subsidize Scouts from families with income levels below a
While I realize many troops raise a good deal of funds to help pay the cost to
attend Jamborees and other events, the price is often just too high. Most of
the time, fund raisers also rely heavily on the areas the troops serve, which
means a troop in an economically disadvantaged area is going to have a much
harder time raising the money than one in a wealthy neighborhood.
As a Scout, I was very bitter when I couldn't afford to go to the Jamboree
while other Scouts who had not been in the program as long and had half of the
experience I had were going to the Jamboree simply because they could afford
to. I felt cheated. I thought long and hard about leaving Scouting then. It
just felt wrong - and still does - that there is a Scouting elite based on
income, as well as one based on sweat equity.
And the sweat equity usually won't "pay the price."
Cubmaster & Webelos ADL, BSA Pack 83
Co-Leader, GSUSA Cadette Troop 2825
Fort Worth, Texas.