2014-calendar

Here are the three big changes in the BSA that happened on Jan. 1, 2014

Before you watch Times Square’s big countdown tonight, take a look at three big changes coming to the Boy Scouts of America at the stroke of midnight.

Effective Jan. 1, 2014, you’ve got a new list of Eagle-required merit badges, a new membership policy for youth, and new membership fees for Scouts and Scouters.

Let’s take a look at each one of these changes: 

1. Cooking merit badge required to earn Eagle Scout rank

Cooking-EagleEffective Jan. 1, 2014, the Cooking merit badge will be required in order to obtain the Eagle Scout rank.

The total number of merit badges needed for Eagle remains at 21, but now 13 of those are required and eight are elective, instead of 12 required and nine elective. In other words, an Eagle Scout must earn a total of 21 merit badges, including the following:

  • First Aid
  • Citizenship in the Community
  • Citizenship in the Nation
  • Citizenship in the World
  • Communication
  • Personal Fitness
  • Emergency Preparedness OR Lifesaving
  • Environmental Science OR Sustainability
  • Personal Management
  • Swimming OR Hiking OR Cycling
  • Camping
  • Family Life
  • Cooking

Other important notes about this change:

  • If a Scout has already earned Cooking merit badge, he does not need to re-earn it now that it’s Eagle-required. He’s all set. That said, he may purchase or be presented with the silver-bordered Cooking merit badge emblem if he chooses. He shouldn’t wear both the silver- and green-bordered version, though.

    cooking-mb-old-and-new

    During the 2014 transition period a Scout may use either the old or new requirements. Either way, the merit badge is required for Eagle beginning Jan. 1, 2014.

  • Regardless of when a Scout earned the Life rank or began working on Eagle, unless he fulfills all the requirements — with the exception of his board of review — before Jan. 1, 2014, he must earn the Cooking merit badge to become an Eagle Scout. I suggest you communicate this news to your older Life Scouts ASAP so they aren’t disappointed to learn they don’t have all the merit badges they need.
  • The requirements for Cooking merit badge are changing, but 2014 is a transition year during which a Scout may use either the old or the new requirements. Read the new requirements here 
2. New membership policy for youth takes effect

After an extensive discussion within the organization, the BSA’s approximately 1,400 volunteer voting members in May voted to remove the restriction denying membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation alone.

That membership policy change becomes official tomorrow: Jan. 1, 2014.

As immediate past BSA president Rex Tillerson said in May, “we’ve made the decision. We’re going to change. Now what?”

Now we unite and focus on “The Main Thing,” which is to serve more youth in Scouting. That hasn’t changed, Tillerson said. Watch his speech below, and find related training resources at this link (thanks, Bill Nelson).

3. Membership fees increased to $24

The BSA will increase its annual membership fee for youth and adults to $24 from $15, beginning Jan. 1, 2014.

The move was announced in August by Chief Scout Executive Wayne Brock.

“First, I want to make clear that the Boy Scouts of America maintains a strong financial position,” he wrote. “In order to continue to deliver the nation’s foremost youth program, it is occasionally necessary to increase membership fees so that we can offset rising administrative costs.”

The big story is the increased fees, but in September I explored what your $24 pays for and how that cost compares to the fees you’ll pay for other youth activities. Short answer: $2 a month is a bargain for such a high-quality activity for your son or daughter.

Coming later in 2014


2014 photo from Flickr:  Some rights reserved by danielmoyle

84 thoughts on “Here are the three big changes in the BSA that happened on Jan. 1, 2014

  1. I’m happy with the Cooking Merit badge addition. I’m neutral on the allowance of youth who identify themselves as homosexual into Scouting (at this time) and I am irritated by the large increase in cost to register as a Scout(er). Only organization that charges one to volunteer, expects one to pay for uniforming and training in order to help the program run.

    Eagerly (some level of sarcasm) awaiting additional changes that will come in 2014…

      • My biggest problem is with the huge increase in Scout membership. Most of my Scouts have dads who are Soldiers, who don’t make a lot of money. Also I have many families with 2 & 3 boys in Scouts. So multiply the membership increase times 3 and you can see the difficulty in them paying.

        I have a number of Scouts right now that I have to buy socks for or winter jackets, this price increase this large is not well timed, but as Scoutmaster its my job to make it work and keep the boys in Scouting.

        We will figure out a way.

        • The troop I was in as a youth paid the dues for all the scouts and leaders. The money was raised from a yearly spaghetti dinner fundraiser we had for the local community. This way we never had to turn anyone away due to dues.

    • I agree that the fee to volunteer is problematic for any of a dozen reasons. I’d love to hear ideas to mitigate the uniforming expense. My unit covers registration costs for adult leaders to reduce any barriers to volunteerism that are controllable. We can’t afford a uniform subsidy without sacrificing programming.

        • Regardless of who payed, it now costs more to be a member than it does to walk in the woods with three square meals and a tarp and enjoy the evening. So we are trading in an entire day of scouting to have the right to stitch “BSA” on their cloth.

          If your income doesn’t increase, which camping night are you going to skip?

          There are lots of youth and many adults saying “Not a single one! Bye!”

          And that’s what’s sad.

      • We actually have a uniform exchange program for leaders primarily, and at times, when Scouts don’t wear their out; they participate as well. We pay $5 to any adult/ Scout who has a decent uniform to turn in if/ when they start deciding to move from the program (or outgrow theirs in some cases), and then charge $10 to Scouts/ Scouters for the uniform “purchased” from the closet. It is less than purchasing a new one, and it usually comes with basic patches included. A win/ win for the Scouts and the Troop. Other ideas… Ebay/ Craigslist/ and 2nd hand stores work well at times also.

    • Girl Scout also charges their volunteers we just don’t need a uniform. Girls fee went from $12 to $25 in 2012. It is not just $2 a month it can be $25-$100 month depending on how active your troop is.

        • The more accurate cost of scouting, we all know, is much more than $2/month. But whereas other groups (such as my kids’ mEching band or school sports) gives the parents a list upfront of all of the expenses before the child signs up, many feel that this is false advertising on the part of the BSA. Many local organizations that the kids can join don’t have a hefty (yes, $25 is a hefty portion) amount going to a national office, never to be seen in the local district again. The BSA cannot be considered trustworthy when they continue the charade that membership in the BSA, pack troop crew or ship, costs a total of $25. That would be a bargain. But any of us who plan yearly budgets knows there are any more costs involved, otherwise why would units need to sell popcorn? Our unit has a list of expected costs for parents to make an informed decision. It hasn’t turned anyone away, and parents are grateful for the honesty of the true costs. But the BSA has got to stop using the excuse of “it is the best youth organization bargain in the country”

    • Other volunteer organizations have fees attached besides Scouting… Many organizations make you pay for background checks and trainings (such as with trail maintenance for one nonprofit in my area). I have seen annual volunteer training costs up to $300.00 for some programs and up to $60.00 for background checks (depends on the state and if national checks are run as well). With this I know the Red Cross also charges a lot for volunteers who want to be involved in emergency preparedness, disaster relief, and safety education.

      • Hey Jane… You’re right. I do realize this, and while I am irritated about the fee increase, it is mainly because I have limited funds that I can spend to be a Scouter and keep my family provided for. My son participates in the various fundraisers, which offset his expenses well, but I don’t have that luxury, and I believe in wearing the uniform; setting the example, going to every training I can afford, attending summer camp, and being as involved as possible in the Troop activities. I believe in participation in FOS, and the fee increase is just plain irritating. I want my money to go towards programming, providing for youth that can’t afford, and being the best Scouter that I can be, and the fee increase, as far as I can tell, doesn’t go towards any of these goals…. It goes to pay for the Scout professionals as far as I can see. Not sure, it’s a guess, but it stretches my pockets thinner, and I have to decide; what do I have to give up to offset the difference, as it will be ultimately taking away from the youth in some facet. My irritation (I don’t believe) is self-serving… I want to provide all that I can, and the continued increases in fees take away a portion of my ability, from a financial standpoint.

  2. Sad about the membership change. Wayne Brock, in his Scouting magazine column, said we reached consensus. No sir, we did not. Consensus mean there is agreement with the choice made. It was a majority vote, which is how BSA operates. However, we do not agree with the change.

    • Shows national (paid) officials are all about the $money$ and not Scouting. Scouting is now about those who have and not including those who don’t !

    • I think the consensus referred to is that the policy was changed only with respect to youth membership. Neither side gets everything they want.

  3. My reflection in order of presentation:
    1. Welcome Cooking with utensiles in hand! ;) At our latest council camporee I saw crews all over the dutch oven exhibit. It will be neat to see what other methods will on display now that different troops will be more motivated to crank out those menus!
    2. Never kicked a gay kid to the curb, never would. But this issue caused more folks than ever outside of scouting to strike up conversations with me. I just used it as an opportunity to talk to folks about venturing and how well our youth respect the boundaries everyone else always frets about! :)
    3. So far, 3 youth dropped from my roster expressly because scouting is no longer worth the price of admission. Rest assured they’ll take that $28 (once you factor in in unit accident insurance and liability insurance, that’s our cost per member) and have a great weekend camping/hiking/climbing without the BSA. :(

    • They say $2.00 a month is cheap for a Scout, but all at once at the end of the year (Christmas time) is hard for a lot of families. This is especially hard for families with multiple Scouts!

  4. Cooking Merit Badge should have been required all along – What do we teach? 2/3 of Scouting is “Outing” which means Camping (required) which means cooking food on campouts, SHOULD have been required…The Sexual Orientation thing – I wish it’d never hapened, I can’t change that, so I continue moving forward. To say you’re pulling your kids (to those that are saying that) because of that – That’s just silly… You’re also then saying you’re pulling your kids out of your public school, your local church, and society as a whole? I just don’t get it. I would never pull my son(s) out of Scouting because of this ruling, plus I would want THEM to make that decision with proper guidance… It’s their Scouting experience, and the program, the leadership it teaches, the skills you learn are theirs, and that hasn’t changed…. It’s still the very best program around…As for the membership fees increasing, that’s just crazy! But it’s happened, and that’s the way it is – I’ve been a Scout Master for over 30 years, I don’t have any sons – I do have 2 daughters – And I will continue being involved in Scouting on some level from now on… Happy New Year to all of you…

  5. I’m happy that Cooking Merit Badge is now required, talk about a life-long skill! I’m VERY pleased that the membership vote finally brought the BSA into the 21st century, which my state of Vermont did back in 2001.

    I’m not so pleased with the membership fee increase, as that’s a very big jump in the past 10 years and I don’t see what this big increase could be going to besides redundancy at HQ.

  6. Oh, and when are the new Scoutmaster’s Handbooks coming out? I’ve been waiting to pick those up since they were announced here but can’t find them yet.

  7. Hey StewS52… if you don’t see the new SM handbooks w/in the next few months, don’t worry too much about it. They will release another revision at the beginning of 2015! :)

  8. Please stop with the “Scouting is $2 a month” line. I understand that dollars are worth less today and that costs are increasing, but nobody believes the spin that Scouting costs $2/mo. Scouting is a great value, but the actual costs are a real challenge for many families. We should at least be honest about this to show that we understand and respect that challenge.

    • I’d love it if BSA were called out for the have their cake and eat it too mentality. National takes takes takes from units and THEN expects the units to also PAY PAY PAY for overpriced patches and insignia and then has the audacity to limit the means by which units fundraise. I’m sorry but if I need to operate like a business to make my unit function, you better believe I’m incorporating as a 501(c)(3) and reaping the benefits to offset $2 JTE strips and every other nickel and dime expense that comes AFTER recharter and BEFORE programming. The idea that only councils can solicit donations or incorporate as non-profits is folly.

    • I couldn’t agree more. Such a huge percentage increase makes me wonder about the competence of the people running it. Then misrepresenting the cost of scouting is shameful.

      • Please know that I, as someone who has been in Scouting since age 6, understand the membership fees are just part of the expenses a Scout pays. But that’s no different from other extracurricular activities.

    • I’d invite you to offer some evidence of that statement but I’m confident it doesn’t exist. The fees went up because they always go up. I have less issue with the increase than the manner of the increase. My unit got screwed because we set our annual fee schedule before the increase was announced and had to scramble.

      • The last part is the biggest problem. This should have been announced way in advance. This messed up our units’ budget. I am the COR of a Troop and its feeder Pack, and both budgets get hit because we start our payments coinciding with the school year, so September is when we do this. Poor communication from the BSA and our Council.

        Our Council CEO said that it will go up again next year, but he doesn’t know how much, but somewhere in the $5 neighborhood. It did increase not too long ago, where it went from $10 to $15, I believe in 2009. Yes, it kind of hits home because in addition to COR of a Troop (where my son is a scout) and Pack (where my son got his Arrow of Light), I am also an ASM of a different Troop (where I earned my Eagle), but also the Cubmaster of its Pack, so I have 3 uniforms. I know I could have made them velcro patches, so I could just switch the position and units around, but much more convenient to have three separate uniforms particularly if one gets wet. The Pack where I am COR pays my membership, and it covers the membership for the other three units, so only paying once.

        Anyway, please plan accordingly, there is another increase next year. But if you read the Boy Scout Handbook, it does say the Scout should learn to pay for himself, by doing “jobs” around the neighborhood. Even if the parent pays, if the boys are given that in an allowance, make the boy pay, at least the BSA portion so he can learn to budget as required for 2nd Class, requirement #10.

      • Jambo overruns wouldn’t amount to more than a few cents on each member. The increased lawyering BSA is compelled to do in it’s defense is the more likely rapidly expanding expesnse.

  9. In a conversation I had with my uncles about Cooking becoming required, they told me it WAS required when they were in scouting (1 earned Eagle, 1 made it to Life). When I earned my Eagle (1985) it wasn’t required (always thought it should have been). I earned it at summer camp, easy way to get something to eat for free during between meals! Now it is required again.

    The big question is Why it STOPPED being required in the first place.

    • Same reason that camping got dropped then put back on. Sometimes Scouting learns from its mistakes. Sometimes it doesn’t.

  10. $24 a year is really not a strain when taken into the grand scheme of things. Whether you have two youth in the program or just yourself, fees around the country are increasing with the cost of living. What is important is how your unit does its fundraising. A youth should never be unable to attend a Scouting event due to money alone. It is up to the Unit/Chartered Organization/Council to make sure that all who want to attend can.

    • Not all families can afford the increase. Not all families live in areas that support fundraising due to their low incomes. This is to big of a jump at one time. It should have been done gradually. We have only lost a few Scouts because of this but should not lose any. The Chartered Organization and the unit can’t afford to help. We have also had several boys not join when they heard the cost of chartering, uniform. book and monthly dues.

    • I agree with the thought that all who want to attend should have the opportunity to attend, without regard to the fees related to attendance. I do believe that the youth who will be attending should pay SOMETHING for their attendance, however. If others are paying fully for those who can’t afford to attend, without the Scout having any “skin in the game,” what is this teaching? Something for nothing? Not into that…. We believe that the Scouts who are on the low income side will pay a little something, and should participate in the fundraisers. There are individual fundraisers that go into the Scout’s individual account, and then there are group fundraisers that are split amongst the Troop, with the Troop account counting as a “member.” It allows each Scout approximately $350 (+) in their individual account for a group fundraiser.

  11. Glad to see Cooking MB back as Eagle required . I earned it in 1971, and still have my sash with the silver bordered MB on it. Great campouts include great food!

    About the dues increase – it’s never good PR to have such a dramatic increase, no matter how justified it is. Increasing it slowly over time by $1 or 2 a year is an easier pill to swallow, and is never a big deal.

    The membership standard “issue”? Never will everyone agree, but the majority has spoken, so lets just please move on positively by continuing along the Scouting Trail now that we just cleared and got past the fallen tree on the trail!

    • Much agreed regarding the membership policy changes to a degree. The next step will most assuredly be adult leadership membership standards being changed. I’m not as worried about all of the homosexual boys or leaders coming into Scouts… It’s more of a concern about the organizations that will continue to drop Scouts due to the changes. Many chartered organizations dropping Scouts due to the boy changes… Many more if/ when leader changes occur. No matter how much of a non-issue it is to have gay Scouts/ leaders to many individuals involved in Scouting, the organizations who disagree and drop Scouts increase; it will be more difficult to obtain charter elsewhere… It’s already hard enough…. anybody out there ever searched for a place willing to take on a charter, after hearing what all is entailed? It is difficult to gt organizations to charter (at least around here) already… If your not sure about your area; put out feelers… See how many organizations who have the capacity to charter actually will… and then throw in the policy decision about our homosexual youth. It will cut out a portion of those willing, and then pose the question, “What if homosexual adults are leaders in our group?” I love all people, and my Goddaughter’s parents are a homosexual couple in my many homosexual friendship group. We speak openly about these issues, and these are the scenarios that they pose of me…

  12. Chief Scout Executive Wayne Brock is not worth what he is getting paid. He is not my leader. I reject him. No buy in with me.

    • Our Council Scout Exec gets over $150,000 in compensation, which is over 4% total Council expenses. I know Unit and District leaders who do much more work, and will gladly continue doing so, and they have to pay. I no longer contribute to FoS, but don’t get such a choice on a National level. I wouldn’t mind the extra nine dollars, but what are the Scouts getting for that extra money?

      • That’s true across all american society. Do you think CEOs in any company are worth their salaries. Also, please provide evidence of your $150k number.

        • That Info is known by finance committee members. When I worked as a district executive, I had knowledge if what Council Executives made in other councils as well. It is based on membership and fundraising. The New Youk City Council Executive makes near a million a year as of 4 years ago.

        • Shareholders that are not happy with CEO pay should not invest. If enough people/shareholders/stakeholders are unhappy with executive salaries, then the salaries would be cut or they would change the executives to those who would do the work for less.. Simple market economics in my mind (I imagine that sounds radical to some).

          There is only so much we can do to voice dissatisfaction. The 60% increase in the membership fee is upsetting to me and has alarmed me to the excessive (in my opinion) salaries for many scout execs that influence how the organization is run (there have been many reports from reputable news organizations on this).

          I still think that Scouts is good for my son, so we will stay in. So, alll I can do is speak with my dollars. Thank you Wendy (above), I too will not be giving to FoS this year. I usually give FoS a measly $250 each year.

      • The events that the district put on have to be self sustaining. The fees for the event cover the cost to put on the event plus a bit of a profit. If an event doesn’t generate a profit or at least break even, fees for future events rise to take up the shortfall.

  13. We have lost registered parents because of the increase in fees. It may not seem like a lot of money, but when you are already paying dues for 1 or 2 boys, $24 more makes it expen
    sive.

  14. I agree with Cooking being required ….again.
    Even though I have decided to stay in for now, I disagree with the new membership ruling, that goes against both Safe Scouting and Youth Protection.

        • “I disagree with the new membership ruling, that goes against both Safe Scouting and Youth Protection.” What YPT/ Safe Scouting guidelines do you believe are being referred to, as I am a trainer in the council, and am unaware of what is being inferred in this statement… Help me out?

        • I am a trainer too and have taken both Venturing YPT and regular YPT. I read his statement and he did not mention the word predator. It is up to parents to enforce 2 deep in their son’s units. There are still units that fudge the guidelines because parents think that BSA stands for Baby Sitters of America.

        • I agree with you, Danny. He did not use the word “predator. As stated, this seems to be inferred. My question to you still stands,
          “… goes against both Safe Scouting and Youth Protection.” What YPT/ Safe Scouting guidelines do you believe are being referred to? You are a trainer as well, so you know YPT guidelines, as well as SS guidelines… What guidelines are being compromised? 2 deep leadership is not in question in this thread. You may be correct; I’m not sure, as I haven’t seen it in our District, but I’m sure Scouters out there somewhere aren’t practicing 2 deep… It just doesn’t correlate to the issue that this thread represents.

        • BTW… I’m neutral on the decision… I don’t ask Scouts, as they join, if they are gay, so there may/ may not be Scouts in my Troop that are gay. If there are, they don’t promote it. If they were to, in an instigating manner, I would have issue with it, and address it as I would any Scout who is attempting to delve up controversy for negative purposes with any controversial topic… Race, religious practice, “nerds versus jocks,” etc.

          I am, right now, facing this in the thought of, “it has passed. Now, how do I respond? Scouting is volunteer based. I can:
          A) encourage (force) my son to quit
          B) let my son stay, and I quit (on them/ him)
          C) show the Scout Spirit that I speak with my Scouts about…
          “What s Scout Spirit?
          “ Scout spirit applies to how a Scout lives and conducts his ‘daily’ life. He shows Scout spirit by being a role model to his peers, living by the Scout Oath and Law. The concept of Scout spirit is not based on how many Scouting events or outings a Scout attends, but rather by how he helps bring out the best in others as a reflection of his own character and attitude in his ‘daily’ life.”

          It is realizing that one can sit around and gripe about things, or they can work with what is presented to them, using the Oath and Law as their compass, and making the best of what they are presented with, be it poor weather, a difficult hike, or whatever they have presented to them.

          I choose letter “c” above. If others still involved in Scouting do not, then they really must question whether they need to continue to be involved, and whether they are truly promoting Scout Spirit within their Troop, or are they simply fooling themselves?

    • I can’t buy your argument Neal; otherwise, we’d have to say venturers (and co-ed scouts around the world) would be at risk from opposite sex Adivisors. We advisors of a co-ed crew, I’d be kicked to the curb on account of being the complimentary sex to some youth!

        • Yes, and if you have a female SM you need at least one (presumably straight) male leader to take boys on overnights. The unanswered question: does all this fussing over sex actually protect the youth or shield adults from accusation? Maybe a little, nobody really knows. But most folks are pretty sure the two-deep accountability works.

    • Neal, Thanks for speaking up. As a Scoutmaster I raised your points to our local council and to the national office. They turned a deaf ear. Youth protection and safe scouting was just watered down. I’m still in for now but I am waiting to see how youth protection will be updated.

  15. In addition to the fact that Cooking MB is now required, we need to pass on the word that the new Eagle Scout Rank Application form is now online at the BSA Advancement Resources page (http://www.scouting.org/advancement.aspx). Because it includes Cooking, it must be used by all Eagle applicants from January 1 on. A small change, but an important one. Happy 2014, all!

  16. I’m sorry but in the long run and considering the benifit to a Scout $24 is worth it. Fund raisers can be done in any area. The Scout can also do some on his own, raking leaves, moving snow or mowing grass. Start in January and put $2 in a Scout tin each month. $24 is equal to about 25 soft drinks or icees or bottles of water or about 80 or so cigarettes (please don’t smoke),

    • Or a youth can get together with 8 of his/her buddies, go to he library, check out a BSA handbook, go to the store and get vittles, rope, and tarp and start camping on that $24!

  17. I like the idea of all Eagle scouts knowing how to cook, but I worry about only some Eagle scouts knowing how to swim. Maybe that change was made a long time ago when I wasn’t looking. I’ve always thought whenever I meet an adult (like my husband) who can’t swim that someone has been very neglectful of their education.

      • Unfortunately I’ve seen quite a few boys get passed with a wink and a nod for their swimming requirements just to move them along, as swimming alone was holding them back. I would prefer someone to help them, encourage lessons or routine visits to a pool over signing of a boy who really can’t swim. In my sons’ last troop I saw this; the boy had been “stuck” as a first class for a year only because of swimming, somehow all of a sudden he was signed off without any further skill, and made eagle toe years later (just last month). I feel that’s a great disservice to both the boy and the rank of Eagle.

        • We live, and scout, in Hawai’i, and being an island State, all parents want their children to learn to swim. Many activities involve water, like the ocean, pools and ponds. Also, since we are in the tropics, we never have freezing water; we can swim year round. I do not know of any scout who can’t swim at least those in our State.

          I don’t like what Elizabeth had seen. It kind of degrades my Eagle. But I don’t know how had been stuck at First Class, since swimming is required for that rank. I can’t even understand how the boy made 2nd Class which, although way shorter, still requires being able to swim 50 feet. The scout should have been “stuck” at Tenderfoot.

        • Sorry, I meant stuck at finishing the first class requriements. No idea how he got past 2nd class, as I moved to that troop when he was already wearing 2nd class rank.

      • It was also required for 2nd Class, however, the distance is only 50 feet (25 feet, stop, swim back to your starting position) after jumping into water over your head. So you need to swim a bit for second class. It is, as Bill Nelson said, required for First Class.

        My son got his swimming merit badge while still a Scout, so his swiming requirements are done. I feel this was the real value of the Skill Awards, and the Swimming Skill Award was required, but I don’t remember which rank. I got both the Swimming Skill Award and the Swimming Merit Badge at the same outing, but had to swim separately for each.

      • Oh you know that isn’t true…..

        All a lad has to do to get around the swimming requirement is go to the Family Doctor and have him write an excuse saying he is afraid of the water. Bingo instant Pass on the requirement.

        Lots of Eagles can’t swim.

  18. I also like the cooking merit badge change. The fee is very small when compared to Little league, soccer, youth football, and hockey. I do agree something should be done for volunteers. Because of the cost of insurance, some cost is needed or the youth cost would be even higher. I agree the policy was decided solely across financial lines. But, in practical terms, this is such a non issue. Do any of you know a openly gay 7-10 year old? I think not. So the affect on Cub Scouts is zero. The issue would be with 15-17 year olds . Scouts are smart kids. Most of them would already know before a boy came out as gay. I also don’t believe any of you know someone who turned gay because they knew a gay person. This run your unit as you always have and give the boys a great program. That’s what it’s about. Not sexual preference. Let’s all have a great Scouting year! Happy New Year!

  19. 1 Cooking Merit badge… About time. That is a skill that will stay with the boys long past the other badge skills fade.
    2 the BSA completely mishandled the issue. They let the radical groups on all sides control the debate. It was politically motivated and the change was made because of money. There is no and there should be no sex in Scouting period. As leaders we have no business promoting any type of sexual relations within our units period. The youth have enough on their plates without adding sex to the mix. Lord knows they get hit with it enough in school and on tv.
    3 while the BSA says it is because of increased administrative costs, the huge increase in membership fees is a direct response to the drop in membership and the donors who refused to give because of number 2 still not stepping back in even after they got their way with the youth issue. As a result, those of us left are saddled with making up the difference. In order to achieve Gold in Journey to Excellence, troops must have many outings that can cost a youth an additional 15-50 dollars a month. Throw in fees for merit badges, OA dues and fees, uniforming, High Adventuring, gear, Jamboree, Scout Camp, unit dues, handbooks… Scouting can be very very rewarding, but expensive.

    • Danny,
      If a troop or patrol holds its own camp out, the expenses should be minimal. It is good for the boys to plan their own patrol camp outs with regards to leadership growth. We hold several of these each year and they cost about $5.00 per person for food. An event may be a hike, a canoe trip, or just camping in the woods to work on advancements for the lower ranks or even for upper ranks including Cooking, Canoeing, Kayaking, Wilderness Survival, Geocache or Camping MB’s. Camping should be cheap but some troops make it expensive and complicated.

      • We tend to eat a bit better than you do I think. Our food bill typically for a 2 night campout is between 200-300 dollars to feed close to 15 scouts and 3-5 adults. I am interested to see how you do it so cheaply.

        • We have a pre-set budget of $12 per person for food for Fri- dinner, Sat. B’fast, Sat. lunch, Sat. Dinner, Sun. B’fast and Sun. Lunch. Every camp out utilizes the Patrol method, and each Patrol creates their menu (including the adult patrol). Each patrol designates a grubmaster for that particular camp out, who is in charge of collecting money, purchasing food. Any leftover non-perishables? They go into the Patrol pantry to be pulled for the next camp out shopping list supplement.

          There have been grubmasters (with some parental guidance) that shop efficiently enough to return money back to their fellow patrol members (usually not much). The patrols eat fairly well (within their cooking skill-set, and at times better, when they request the Cooking merit badge counselor within the Troop to come out with them, and teach them a new dish).

          Each Patrol cooks separately, and then we come together on Saturday evening for a group meal. Otherwise each patrol eats separately, cleans separately, etc.

          Water? We decided several months ago to invest in a Sawyer water filter, in order to supply water in most places. It is a shared responsibility on the camp outs, noted on the duty roster, under “water boy.”

          http://www.sawyer.com/water.html

      • We do a lot of large group cooking of more than just ramen noodles or rice and sause. We use Dutch ovens and provide water among other stuff. I would like to exchange notes on what it is you do for camp outings.

  20. Danny,
    At first I thought your numbers were out of line, but 20 people at $200 is only $10 per person. As you said, you could go up to $15 per person. We use DO’s as well. When I was a scout, DO’s are all we used. Hamburgers and hot dogs are swear words WRT cooking. I think we are probably eat about the same though. You seem to be a Cast Iron Man.
    I guess we do not waste to reduce costs. What ever is not used on the camp out is bought back by the purchaser. For example if the troop does not use a complete bag of potatoes, the troop or patrol only pays for part of the bag and we use them up at home as part of our family meals. We also have hunters in the troop which equates to free meat which is a major expense. We also shop at Aldi’s and local grocery stores with sales. We also had a guy in the troop that worked at a meat packing plant. He would get a nice discount on beef (roasts and steaks). We had a few troop committee members that worked at the local schools and we could get food at a discounted rate. There were also local stores that knew that the local troops do a lot of service projects, so they give us a discount on food.
    I was actually surprised at a troop camp out that the boys had such good meals. Pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes, 8 ounce steak, taco omlets, and spiedies.
    NOW I would like to know what your troop eats. If you are using the DO’s, I bet you have some awesome meals. Once the boys discover how easy it is to use a DO, it is hard to get them to do other styles of cooking.

  21. Reblogged this on BSA Troop 45 and commented:
    Here are upcoming changes to the BSA that every scout/parent should know about. Please be sure to thank our chartering organization, The American Legion, for paying for our registration this year ($24 per boy, plus $3.50 insurance, adds up pretty quickly!)

  22. Seems that there is a lot of concern about registration fees, especially for adults… Rotary, Kiwanis, VFW’s, and other service groups have fees that are generally much higher and just because you volunteer to be on a committee or two at church you are still asked to contribute every week to the collection and often to tithe (10% of your income). The fee is nominal and a bargain when you look at what the program provides for our kids and communities. The big problem is we need more adults to step up and help. My hat is off to all those that do now. Thanks… PS, I’m an SDE for a few more weeks and then I’ll be a volunteer too and happy to pay my registration to remain a part of this movement.

    • It’s not about the scouting fee vs. some other club’s fee. It’s about paying to have a scouting logo vs. paying to accomplish scouting’s mission. When the cost of the logo exceeds the cost of a weekend mission, you lose those members whose finances are “on the bubble.”

      You mentioned tithing. Well, the membership fee is now about 1/10th of my average venturer’s expense for our program. A number of youth in my crew are unwilling to venture on at “90% efficiency”. They have asked to drop from my roster so that every dollar they have goes to any outing they may be planning.

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