In order to retain and attract new adult volunteers, our troop is considering paying part/all of the adult member recharter fees. If your troop does this, I’d love to hear about how it works for you. Do you require a certain amount of active participation?
So I guess there are a few questions to consider.
- How much are you willing to spend on adult memberships?
- How many adults are you trying to engage?
We generally don’t pay for the adults in our Troop; paying for all of them would burn nearly a fifth of the Troops annual budget every year.
We have been paying it. But will probably stop this year except for key 3 and ASMs. Our troop can’t afford it. Back when we had double the number of scouts we could.
Given the choice, I’d rather use that Troop money to offset Scout registrations than adult registrations – the cost per Scout has gone up much more than the cost per adult over the past two years, and we can’t cut our Troop dues any further without making big changes to the program we provide them.
Our unit has historically paid the registration fees for our adult leaders, in an effort to make sure that fees don’t become a barrier to ensuring we have enough registered adults to deliver the program. We don’t generally have problems getting “adequate” participation from the adult leaders who are registered, so there hasn’t really been a concern about a minimum participation level for us.
I can also see the arguments others have made for using the funds in other ways (e.g. offsetting youth registration costs). It’s likely a question of how your unit prefers to spend the money, and how much of it you might need to otherwise keep scouts involved or otherwise deliver the program. On the flip side, if you can’t get/retain leaders, and offsetting those costs helps get you enough leaders to deliver the program (or deliver a better program), then there’s some benefit to the scouts from that side as well.
If a Troop is well funded and it’s not taking away from the Scouts I think it’s fine under certain conditions. Personally, I wouldn’t use this as an enticement to register. I would reward dedicated ASM/SM’s that really put the time in as a thank you for the support. I imagine a number of you have had people that signed up to be leaders and rarely if ever participate. New Adult leaders that have never acted in this capacity may find out that it’s more than they are willing to commit to. Perhaps treating them as parent volunteers using the 72 hour rule to attend some camping trips to see what occurs would be a good idea to see what they are getting into.
I fee like offering to “Pay to play” is not the right way to about it. Perhaps an incentive program based on support. What I’m thinking is for new adult leaders, they pay up front but if they’ve participated at whatever the Troop deems appropriate a reimbursement would occur at the end of a season and would be paid for moving forward. I would also say that these new leaders should be expected to do more than attend meetings. They need to get their hands dirty and support camping trips because that’s where the “real Scouting” occurs. As for Committee, they need to participate actively. Obviously they are not expected to go on camping events (although we have a few that love getting out their).
I will say that if you have a Cub Scout leader/assistant leader that’s been with the program for at least 2 or three seasons I would call that a dedicated person and would support a Troop paying their fees.
That’s a good idea. Get the parents involved before committing to bankroll their adult membership.
Also consider that depending on your area, paying for the adult membership might not be that big an incentive… We’re in a relatively well-off community in suburban Metro Detroit, and paying an extra $50-ish per year isn’t a big deal to most of the families in our Troop. If you jump 15 miles to Pontiac or Detroit, it might be whole different discussion…
Our charter organization pays Scout registrations, recharter fees but not adult registration.
We did pay for all the adults until recently when the fees went up. It was It was only $12 for many years, not too long ago, Then $24 for a short while, $33 for a year or 2 then woosh, $60 then $66 per child. That we are a small troop and have a large number of leaders that made it harder to finance… We have 8 trained scoutmasters, 3 have Silver Beaver Awards and only 12 scouts.
It is truly obscene that BSA charges for volunteer help.
The precipitous rise in the volunteer toll of late is egregious.
We all should get together and refuse to pay to volunteer.
With all due respect, you can’t do that. Part of those fees goes to paying for things like the background checks and insurance.
You do realize the BSA is in Bankruptcy now to keep the organization alive over lawsuits of alleged abuse victims. Do you honestly think the BSA will process an unpaid adult volunteer? No one likes the rate hike but it’s a mandate we have to pay if we want to play.
I’m all for ways to reduce the fees, but refusing to pay just won’t work.
Our Cub Scout pack pays for any and all adult volunteers. Our volunteers are the key to a successful pack and we feel strongly that these volunteers, who already pay council and pack fees for their kids (some of them for 2 or 3 kids), should not be burdened when it is the Pack who is asking them to help.
Our pack has historically paid the cost of our volunteer leaders. Unfortunately, this year our charter organization mandated 1 parent of each scout must register as a leader. That would break the budget, so now we expect all adults to pay their own way.
Wow - did the charter organization give a reason why they were requiring this? I’ve known Packs to require parents to take YPT, but not to make them all become leaders. We could also not afford such a thing and still I can’t imagine asking all my parents, some of whom struggle to pay their child’s pack fees, to cough up yet more money.
Our pack pays for all the registered adults where the pack role is that adult’s primary role in scouting. We have a few that are “multiples” where they’re registered across multiple units and we aren’t necessarily the primary, so they pay thru the other registration. We only register a bit over the minimum required adults. This year, it’s the Key 3, Two MCs and all 6 of the den leaders. The fees for that are part of our annual budget and mostly come out of dues. So really, instead of the leader paying for it themselves directly, the families still pay for it. But this way, the total adult registration fees for the unit are spread equally across all of the scouts.
Our Troop pays for our Scoutmaster and His Asst Scoutleader who works directly with the scouts because of the time they give up. The other Asst Leaders and Committee members pay for their own .
We pay for our adult leaders so we have plenty of active volunteers. If for some reason they stop being active, we remove them at re-charter. They work hard for the Troop and already have to pay for their own Scouts.
Our troop pays for all our registered adult leaders. We also reimburse for all scout training courses they take (within reason – we’re not flying them to SeaBase or Philmont to take a class). We reimburse for kids who take NYLT, too. To pay for all this, we collect annual troop dues (currently $150 per scout), from which we pay for national registration, advancement (patches, medals, etc.), and the rest goes into the troop general fund. Monthly outings are priced so each scout pays a little more than what it costs, enough that the leaders aren’t asked to pay to attend. Everyone (including leaders) pays on high adventure trips due to their high cost. The troop has a scholarship fund we use to provide financial assistance to scouts the unit who can’t otherwise afford to participate.
How big is your Troop? Many of those things are possible with larger troops; as the rosters get smaller, it gets harder to cover that stuff out of the general fund.
Our troop has about 50 registered youth (40 active at any one time) and about 20 registered adults (15 active at any one time). A typical weekend outing may have 20 youth and 4 adults attend. For our area, this is considered a medium-sized troop. There are several units within 3 miles of us with over 100 youth and others down near the minimum needed to renew their charters. When I took over as SM our troop had about 30 registered scouts (20 active) and maybe 15 adults (10 active), with the same policies and similar finances. I know we are fortunate and what works for us won’t work for all, but I think the question was “what does your troop do?” I am also the Chair of our District, with 1000 registered adults and 8,000 registered youth. In my spare time I am an Assistant Cubmaster at the pack my sons used to be in, as well as a Unit Commissioner for several local units. No, I am not retired, but scouting consumes most of my waking hours when I’m not at my day job.