Scouts-L Mail Archive for September of 1998: Re: Costs of Scouting
Re: Costs of Scouting
Tue, 29 Sep 1998 16:09:33 -0400
In the most recent issue of Scouting Magazine that I just got yesterday,
there is a nice article on why wear the uniform. A couple of points made,
in my mind, apply to Scouting costs in general. Please do understand that I
know that nothing applies to all universally, but a lot of places have some
cud to chew.
1. The cost of getting started in Boy Scouts compares favorably to the cost
of getting involved in sports with the uniform costs etc. Most sports go a
few weeks and the boy is off into another sport, which requires the full
uniform and all the "go-withs" in sports events.
It may cost $1,000 for the first year. That may come to $85/month. That
may simply be impossible for a family. I am sort of in the dark on one
thing, though. Are the parents as adamantly pressuring the coaches on
uniform and other requirements as much as some are the Scoutmaster?
I'm also wondering, in situations where this is the reality, are Scouting
families who can doing a good turn by helping Scouting families who cannot?
2. The uniform itself, though only one of the costs, is meant to get some
pressure OFF of economic competition in clothing by making expensive
designer wear inappropriate. In line with that, our unit has collected a
lot of things that are "personal camping items" that boys can use. Most
Scouting families in our unit are also willing to loan items. E.g. when I
was asked a couple of years ago to possibly help a counselor at Summer Camp
staff a wilderness survival outpost night, three of the other leaders and
one boy offered their backpack. I was at that time (and still today) unable
to afford one, given how rarely I can get out on the trail. Heck, one of my
sources (I'm lucky) is a former Air Force Sgt.. who loans me some of his
equipment when needed.
I guess for me I have learned that there are sometimes options to
Yet another option, hinted at above is that our troop has a lot of troop
equipment donated and collected over the years. We can tent most of our
troop. I personally run the experienced uniform program.
I'm sort of bragging about our troop not to rub it in but to see if I can't
encourage Scouts and Scouters to do what Scouts and Scouters are SUPPOSED to
do...be resourceful with what you have.
It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one
trifling exception, is composed of others.
--John Andrew Holmes