Scouts-L Mail Archive for June of 1999: Annual Costs per Scout
Annual Costs per Scout
William N. Dilla
Mon, 14 Jun 1999 17:02:00 -0500
>Hi, all! This is my first post and one that I have not seen
>addressed here. I'm hoping that the collective wisdom and experience of the
>list can help our Troop Treasurer with a question.
>She has been asked to come up with an annual Per-Scout costs for our
>Troop Budget to help us gauge our bank account/fundraising against the
>annual cost for each registered Scout. These "costs" would entail
>rechartering, insurance, badges/ranks/cards/Mothers' Pins earned, and any
>other cost that y'all (yes, I'm from Texas. Go Stars!) can think of. I have
>come up with a ballpark figure, but since we are a year-old Troop which has
>gone from 5 boys to ~50, the budget for the Troop has changed dramatically.
>Any suggestions and inputs are eagerly appreciated!
I'm not sure if there's one right answer to your question. There's a lot of
different ways to handle troop budgeting. I've worked with 3 troops now and
they have all handled it somewhat differently. For example, one of these
troops collects an annual fee for re-charter and equipment costs, then does
everything else (e.g., campout fees and meals for adults) on a pay-as-you
go basis. However, it doesn't collect dues or do troop-wide fundraising.
Any money from fundraising goes into individual Scouts' accounts. Another
troop collects monthly dues and has one big fundraiser, but the only
"pay-as-you-go" items are Scouts campout meal and summer camp costs and
high adventure fees.
So, what you need to do is first decide what the troop will pay for and
what individual Scouts will pay for. Once you make those assumptions, then
a troop budget for recurring expenses won't be that hard to develop, since
you should know already how much advancement items, recharter fees, etc.
are. Then, decide how it will be funded. Will you collect dues and when?
Will there be fundraisers and will they be mandatory?
One special thing for you as a new troop is that you will want both
short-term and long-term (i.e., equipment) budgets. Then, you'll need to
allocate your sources to your needs. For example, you might decide that
dues will support your short-term budget and fundraisers, the long term
one. The "wisdom of the list" may be most helpful with your long-term
budget, as there are lots of choices to be made here. For example, you can
spend anywhere from $50 to $300 for a 2-person Scout tent, but the more
expensive tents will have a longer useful life. There's also the issue of
how quickly you acquire that equipment. Can you afford to do it in a year,
or do you spread it out over time.
In summary, the CPA/accounting professor side of me says that the most
important thing is to decide what your "budgeting assumptions" are. Once
you know those, short-term costs will be fairly easy to estimate.
Hopefully, others from the list will be able to help you determine what
your long-term costs will be.
Good luck with your efforts.
T 160, T 196, Ames IA
(a native Texan too, despite the address!)