September 9th was our Join Night… and we certainly didn’t let the downpours, thunder, and lightning deter us!
Join Night is an opportunity to welcome new prospective scouts and their families, share info about our programs, events, meetings, and the year in general, and have a bunch of fun. And don’t forget, it’s never too late to join Scouts. If you missed our Join Night, come to any of our future den or pack meetings to find out more, or contact us for more information!
We set up several stations in the Chinook Elementary Gymnasium (safe from the weather) for the kids to come by, learn a requirement for the Bobcat badge, and then take part in a fun activity. Here’s just a sample…
The scouting year is about to begin, and our first night is MONDAY 9/9 @ 6:30 pm to 8 pm. It’s JOIN night so look forward to learning about our schedule, and having some fun at 6 different activity stations with many visiting kids who want to see if Pack 608 is something they’d like to be a part of.
The Pack Committee has worked over the summer to prepare for this year of scouting. We’ve focused on several things to improve on what we have learned from last year, and I’m confident we’ll see positive results.
One of our main focuses was the Pack’s finances. Due to the increase in annual registration, materials (books, badges, neckerchiefs, and slides), and the fact that we did not adjust our dues for the 2018-2019 year, our bank account shrank by more than 50%. As a Pack, we cannot afford to operate in this manner, which would leave the Pack without any funds by the end of the 2019-2020 year. We need to adjust in order for the Pack to remain solvent.
We have cut costs where we can without impacting our program and have elected to change the total amount of dues required for the year. Our goal is to keep a low out of pocket cost up front, making scouting accessible to everyone by providing the option to fund raise or pay out of pocket for the remaining balance. Anticipating the need to raise more funds than in previous years, we are exploring an additional fundraiser (Christmas wreaths) to help to cover the cost of dues and summer camp. These changes will result in the Pack’s income and expenses being close to neutral for the year, assuming our Christmas tree fundraiser goes similarly to last year. With revenue equal to expenses, the Pack will remain financially viable for years to come.
The Pack’s leadership has determined the total amount of dues required for each Cub Scout to be $150.00 for the 2019-2020 school year. This puts our overall budget pointed at a net gain/loss of $0 for the year.
Our plan is to have a $75 payment required at the beginning of the year (same as last year), with a need to either fundraise or pay an additional $75 by December 16th. In the case of fundraising, this would mean needing to sell approximately $250 in either popcorn or Christmas wreaths.
The Christmas wreath fundraiser is still in the planning stages and has a tentative end date of December 8th, with the Scouts’ percentage of those earnings yet to be determined. Earnings from the Spring 2020 candy bar and meat stick fundraiser will not be available to cover the cost of dues. However, those funds will be available to cover the cost of summer camp.
Your Scout’s participation in fundraising is vital to the financial health of the Pack. Currently, the Pack retains only 3% from popcorn sales and 5% from candy and meat stick sales and is allowed to keep 99% of donations collected from Christmas tree recycling. These funds are allocated to pay administration costs (facility usage, training, den funds, etc.) and pay for Pack events (Blue and Gold, Summer Picnic, Pinewood trophies, etc.). Our hope is that, with an increased participation in fundraising, there will be little change in out of pocket expenses for most Scouts, and dues may decrease in the future as the Pack fund grows.
I wanted you to be aware that these are some much needed changes, and we’ve thought carefully about how to approach this. I believe that the decisions made will continue to result in a solid program.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please let me know. I have some detailed information that the Pack Committee has compiled to help everyone understand how the Pack’s funds are spent and am happy to share with anyone interested in how we arrived at this decision. I will be at the information table after we get the meeting started on Monday.
Yours in Scouting, Joe Franklin Cubmaster – Pack 608