Scouts-L Mail Archive for September of 1998: Re: Wow! Cost of Scouting
Re: Wow! Cost of Scouting
Fri, 25 Sep 1998 16:00:26 -0700
These totals made me wonder just what we spent to get our elder son started in
Boy Scouts. It looks to me like Randy Storms' figures are pretty close to the
mark, with a few exceptions. I use Quicken to keep track of expenses, so was
easily able to run off a report.
My son began last year, so prices should be current, and we're in the Bay
Area, for comparison - stuff can be pretty expensive here. His first year's
total came to roughly $620.00, WITHOUT summer camp (he couldn't go). That
included annual registration/dues of $72.00, full uniform inc. shorts AND long
pants, event fees, a frame backpack, good sleeping bag, hiking boots,
equipment rental for a snow trip, and sundries like camp dishes. Even if he'd
done summer camp, our first year would have come a little under Randy Storms'
budget. And yes, the equipment purchases were spread out over a few months.
For his first campout, my son borrowed his dad's sleeping bag and carried a
vinyl duffel for his stuff (we had no time to prepare - the first campout was
only 3 days after he joined!). We bought him his own bag immediately
afterwards, but borrowed a frame pack from a friend for the next couple of
campouts. We purchased the boots when a long hike was coming up.
However, our second year is only half through and we've spent $370.00 already
(including a fairly hefty summer camp experience - merit badge fees and
spending money bring the week's total to about $210.00). There are several
items Randy Storms didn't consider. My son wore out his shorts AND his long
pants and we had to buy him another pair. We got tagged for FOS to the tune
of $100.00. We've bought a MB requirements book and some individual MB
books. And it appears we'll need to replace his handbook soon (even with a
cover, hard use is wearing it out).
All that said, I consider this one of the best investments we'll ever make in
my son's future. The expense is a pittance when weighed against the enjoyment
and enrichment he receives, and even when compared against the cost of most
other activities he might have gotten involved in. Heck, we spent a lot more
annually on karate lessons than we do on Scouting.
Anita H. <firstname.lastname@example.org>
John Conley wrote:
> Storms, Randy wrote:
> > I was actually doing a little research on this topic this week -- In our
> > troop, these are the basic costs for a boy's first year: (Note -- some
> > items are optional, all costs are approximate.)
> > Registration 7.00
> > Annual Dues 26.00
> > Boy's Life 8.00
> > Scout Handbook 7.00
> > Full Uniform 100.00
> > Summer Camp 150.00
> > Basic Camping Gear 500.00
> > Event Fees (Food, Gas) 150.00
> > ______
> > 1st year total: $948.00
> This seems mighty steep to me, especially the last two items. $500
> should get you a lot more than basic camping gear. I certainly have
> more than $500 in camping gear (how did I live without Gore-Tex?), but
> I would hardly consider my equipment basic, and I didn't have it
> all when I got started.
> I'll bet I could get a new camper started with $200, and probably a lot
> less if necessary. I've seen a lot of new Scouts show up
> with dad's old sleeping bag. Granted, I wouldn't want them using it
> in our climate in February, but we're talking about beginners.
> I'm certain that if I waved a $948 price tag at my new parents, a lot
> of boys would have missed out on Scouting.
> Also, several of those costs could be spread out over the year. Why
> make that first year budget look worse than it already is by showing
> them as a lump?
> John Conley
> Arrowhead District Commissioner
> Finger Lakes Council (NY)
> *Better to build boys than mend men*