Bobwhite Blather

Information, Observation, and Inspiration for Scouters

Financial practices for units: The unit budget

bankbookNow that many troops and packs are winding down the most active part of their program year and are looking forward to scaling back a bit over the summer, and as adult leadership and committee assignments often change, it’s a good idea to review how you do business, from a business standpoint.

While most Scouting units don’t fall¬† in the “small business” category, they do tend to handle a fair amount of money during a typical year. For a Cub pack, registration and membership fees and other costs such as insignia can run upwards of $50 per year per Scout. Add in fundraising proceeds, family camp, Blue & Gold banquet, Pinewood Derby trophies and day camp, and you could hit $10,000 without much trouble.¬†In a troop, this can skyrocket when you factor in equipment, camping and high adventure. A typical troop can run $25,000 or more through its checking account in a year’s time, and if the troop uses a system of Scout accounts, the amount of cash held in the bank can be substantial.

How, then, does a unit best maintain the safety and accountability of these funds? Continue reading

Arrow of Light changes

oldest_island_boyWrapping up our series on the upcoming changes to the Cub Scout program, this time we’ll discuss what is changing with the requirements for the Arrow of Light award.

Although these changes take effect on June 1 of this year, bear in mind that current Webelos Scouts can continue to use the current Arrow of Light requirements. Any boy joining Cub Scouts after June 1 must use the new requirements.

The most significant change is that the Arrow of Light no longer requires first earning the Webelos rank. Continue reading

Is Roundtable that important?

roundtable_250Do you attend your district Roundtable?

When I was first recruited to be a den leader, our Cubmaster told me that, besides basic leader training, I needed to attend Roundtable each month. I viewed it as part of my commitment to the boys in my den, and found it to be really valuable as a new leader just learning how the program worked.

But over the last few years, I’ve noticed that Roundtable attendance has been steadily dropping. Continue reading

Which way are your people pulling?

train-travel-minitime_bill85704_250Do you ever feel like your leadership efforts are like the engine of a locomotive, but it seems like you’re working a lot harder than you have to in order to get somewhere?

Some organizations seem to operate that way. It can take a lot of effort and a long time to achieve results that you expect should have been realized much sooner and without nearly as much pulling.

I think this is more commonly true of volunteer-led organizations like Scouting. Continue reading