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by Dave Nolle

It is often around this time of year, while visiting with newly recruited parents at events such as the Fun With Son Camps that the question of pack dues comes up.  Several times a week we receive a call asking for financial aid because, "Cub Scouts costs so much. We have to buy the uniform, and sign-up to register, and our pack has {$75, $90, $100) in dues."

My initial reaction is, "Holy Cow, really? Why so much?"  Yes, you can cite the Cub Scout Leader Book and other printed materials on having dues in a pack. More appropriately, however, I have understood dues to be a component of a Scouts weekly den meeting. He brings $1 or $2. The majority of those funds support the den's programming. A portion might go on to the pack's budget. So, at $2 a week with 3 den meetings a month during the school year tat is as most $54 per year.

I would encourage pack committees that may have higher one-time dues upon joining to revisit the issue. Build your budget with a popcorn goal in mind. Collect dues weekly at den meetings. Build in a mechanism to provide assistance, but not a completely free ride, for those who might not be able to pay.  The programmatic value of a Scout, "paying his own way." is of far greater importance, in my mind, than a one time hit to mom or dad's pocket book.

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//Dave

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