Troop finances and billing for troop outings are run by the troop Treasurer, so as to relieve the Scoutmaster and other adult leaders from this burden. All troop billing and payments goes through the troop treasurer. No boys or adult leaders will ever collect or accept payment for any event, or otherwise touch money!
The troop charges dues twice a year, in September and March. You can think of dues as your son's membership fees for the following six months. Dues provide for the base costs of outings for the six-month period, including food, stove fuel, camping and activitiy fees, meeting supplies, and minor gear maintenance. In addition, the September dues include an additional charge for registration and chartering with the Boy Scouts of America.
While dues cover all basic outing expenses, they do not cover costs for major trips like week-long summer camp, junior leader training week, or the biannual Vermont ski trip. For these major events, a separate information packet is distributed to boys that explains the event and the event costs. Payments for major events are typically split into two or more partial payments or deposits to reserve space. The troop cash flow relies on timely deposit payments! Trip deposits are generally non-refundable.
Dues also do not cover large expenses for weekend outings which are individually incurred. For example, dues are not sufficient to cover downhill skiing lift tickets for a weekend ski trip. When a trip has such additional costs, those costs will be listed in the online information about the event. If your son signs up for a trip, we will commit troop funds for his participation and you will be billed for that cost. If your son cancels at the last minute and we have incurred non-refundable costs, you will be billed for those fees.
The troop treasurer maintains accounts for each family. Approximately every two to three months, and any time major deposits are due, the treasurer will send out statements listing current account charges and requesting payment of any balance not covered by receipts you may have turned in. We ask that you pay off your account promptly. Troop 8 runs on a very limited budget, and delays in payment can compromise our ability to secure campsites and activities in a timely fashion and at the best price.
We recognize that sometimes individual families will be in financial circumstances that do not allow them to be able to afford some troop events. We ask such families to do two things: First, to pay the dues amount if at all possible, or if not possible in full to make some good faith effort toward paying the dues. Second, to let the treasurer or the parish Scouting Coordinator know of the difficulty in advance of major trips, so that we can plan appropriately. We value all our boys, and work hard to make sure we never turn a boy away from any trip because of family financial circumstances. Through a combination of generous alumni, parish support, and troop fundraising, we have been 100% successful. There are two important limits to our generosity, however. We cannot use financial aid money for a boy who cancels out of a trip. Therefore, if your son was receiving assistance but cancels out of a trip, you will be expected to pay our real cost. Second, we cannot cover financial need that we are informed of after the fact.
To help support our common troop gear and a portion of our scholarship support for boys, the troop conducts several fundraisers each year. The troop prefers to schedule "one shot" fundraisers like a pancake breakfast, rather than sales like the BSA popcorn drive. Parents of all troop scouts are expected to participate in a fair share of shifts (usually one or two) for each fundraiser as a condition of maintaining membership.