scouts-l Mail Archive for August of 2000: Re: Patrol Food Budget
Cary Bradley (cbradley@IX.NETCOM.COM
Sun Aug 13 2000 - 09:15:38 CDT
This topic struck a chord with me, because we have had some very lively
discussions among our troop's adults concerning this very topic. I am
interested in hearing how other troops approach this.
We have adults who would vehemently object to the idea of you setting a
budget at all. Reason? The Scout Handbook (pg. 260) prescribes a process
for planning and buying food. It involves planning the menu, devising a
shopping list, pricing the items at a store, and dividing by the total
number of scouts to be fed.
The related issue, in our case, is collecting the money, and it comes down
to how seriously you take the "boy-run" concept (I, by the way, am adamantly
serious about it). Our development of the budgeting idea arose from the
problem of parents getting "stiffed," when their son was the one buying
patrol food. Boys can be somewhat less than precise about who is signed up
for an outing, whether they've paid, etc. While it's our job to coach them
through that, the reality is that you end up with a young man who is on a
deadline to get food for his patrol, the shopping list is built around a
number the patrol has determined will be there, and some other number of
scouts (usually fewer, but sometimes more) actually go on the outing.
Invariably, we have scouts who have spent money on food for scouts who don't
show up, or were never signed up to begin with, and they can't collect what
they've spent from their patrols.
Some of you are already, I'm sure, poising your fingers on your keyboards to
ask why we don't just declare that if you don't sign up and pay in advance,
you don't go. We have done that, but once again, when you put 13- to
15-year-olds in charge of this kind of process, there are lots of loose
ends. I'd really like to hear how others of you manage this whole
process -- or, more correctly, how your scouts manage this process.
(BTW, we used $3 per scout per meal -- some meals were more, some less, but
it seemed to work out over the course of a weekend).
Scoutmaster, Troop 795