Using profits from unit money-earning projects
Edited by Robert Peterson
Money raised for Scouting should be spent for Scouting, readers agreed in responding to assistant Cubmaster J.E., who asked if boys could use sales earning for things other than Scouting activities and equipment.
You want to encourage salesmanship and help families pay for Scouting activities, but you don't want to deceive customers about what their money is supporting. When Cub Scouts sell items as a money-earning project, the customers assume the profits are going to support Scouting.
Therefore, this money should only be used for Scouting-related items such as activity fees, camp fees, uniforms, and camping equipment. Each boy should have his own account, and when he graduates into a Boy Scout troop, any funds in it should be transferred to a troop account for him. Similarly, if he moves to another troop, his Scout account should be sent to his new unit.
If a boy quits Scouting, the funds in his account should revert back to the pack or troop. Never write a check to the family. The money was earned in the name of Scouting and should be used to support Scouting.
Two years ago, our pack committee decided to use money-earning profits to pay the boys' camping fees and to use any excess money to buy items needed by the pack.
Since then, we have been able to buy tents for Webelos Scouts to use on camp-outs. We have also arranged to lend tents to parents who cannot afford to buy a tent, and we have bought dining canopies and a supply trailer, as well as flagpoles and flag stands.
All the items we have bought with the extra money have benefited the entire group and allowed us to become a Quality Unit.
I'm a new Cub Scout leader, and I've just heard about Scout accounts by which the pack or troop treasurer keeps track of the money raised by each boy. Money is subtracted from his account for day camp, trips, and other costs. Some of the money is used to pay costs of running the pack, such as buying patches, snacks, copying newsletters, and buying office supplies and craft stuff.
It may be that J.E.'s pack is holding fund-raisers more frequently than necessary. In the Cub Scout Leader Book, the point is made that "the boys' weekly dues are the primary source of funds for the pack budget."
Of course, fund-raisers are sometimes necessary for such extras as camp fees, trips, and other costs. But among the suggestions for "Planning Pack Money-Earning Projects" in the book, there is this statement: "Money-earning projects must be approved by the pack committee and chartered organization. There should be a real Scouting need for the project, not just because someone offered an attractive plan. It is best if Cub Scouts can earn their own way."
In summary, pack fund-raisers should have a reason beyond the fact that for years the pack has had an annual popcorn sale.
Pack Committee Member J.S.
Allowing earnings credited to individual boys to be spent for whatever their parents approve detracts from the spirit and goal of a pack or troop money-earning project, which should be to raise funds to finance the unit program. Whether it is a sales campaign or a pancake breakfast, a project should be a satisfying and rewarding effort for the boys involved. A key to this outcome is an understanding that the money earned will be spent for Scouting purposes, whether for troop equipment or individual expenses like summer camp fees.
October 2001 Table of Contents
Copyright © 2001 by the Boy Scouts of America. All rights thereunder reserved; anything appearing in Scouting magazine or on its Web site may not be reprinted either wholly or in part without written permission. Because of freedom given authors, opinions may not reflect official concurrence.