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#1 casime

Posted 13 October 2019 - 06:49 PM

Is there anyone with a child in Scouts that could let me know how it all works please?

My son decided he wanted to join Scouts, so we went along to the group.  Get a bill for $250, which I thought was steep, but presumed that included his uniform and all of the associated costs for a year.  I paid this about four weeks ago.  He has received nothing since I paid the fee.  

This morning I received an invoice from the local group for 'Term 4 Fees' for $125.  I presume therefore that this is a termly fee, making Scouts $500 for a year?  He attends a one hour weekly meeting, where they do the pledge, then run around and play a couple of games for the hour.  This seems very expensive to me.  If I knew there was something actually being taught I'd be more willing to pay for it.  But for a group run by volunteers, I can't see how they can justify the costs for 1 hour of playing games per week.

Is there anyone with their children involved in Scouts that can tell me if this is the normal costs, and what it covers please?

#2 Caribou

Posted 13 October 2019 - 06:56 PM

Not in scouts but Guides. Ours was a bit of a shock with bill too. It was $250 for admin/insurance purposes and you can claim the Active kids voucher with them so that saves you $100.

Uniform is seperate, believe me I got caught out on that too. Was NOT impressed. Especially with the $100 of uniform plus badges and scarf etc However we’re paying $35 a term for 2 hours once a week. It’s mostly run well enough, not my thing but DD loves it.  

I Think it comes down to who the leader is. But I’ve asked around about the difference and it’s meant to be the same, just guides is for girls only. They’re meant to have activities the kids decide for the term in order to work towards a pin/badge for their scarf I.e how to type various types of ropes or how to light a camp fire.

I’d defintely he speaking to the area manager about what scouts should be doing, I did put a complaint in about the leaders not being clear enough on what fees were actually involved. They agreed it was ambiguous and it now means no one is rudely caught out with the new way they inform fees.

#3 Smoo

Posted 13 October 2019 - 07:19 PM

DS has just finished his trial we were given these costs upfront and itemised. Camps will be extra on top of this. (We're in the Parramatta area if you think geography will make an impact on costs)

Costs - Joining
$55 – Joining fee ($35 to NSW Scouts, $20 to Group for scarf & shirt badges)
$42 – Registration fee to NSW Scouts
$30 – Group Term fee. $5 discount for each additional sibling. Waived for children of Leaders
$10 – Hall maintenance deposit (refundable if maintenance done by a parent)
$35-$45 – Uniform shirt: navy and yellow (purchase from The Scout Shop)
Beige pants (purchase yourself)

Costs – Ongoing (per term)
$42 – Membership fee to NSW Scouts
$30 – Group Term fee. $5 discount for each additional sibling. Waived for children of Leaders
$10 – Hall maintenance deposit (refundable if maintenance done by a parent)

#4 iwanttosleepin

Posted 13 October 2019 - 07:41 PM

Our scout group is in Queensland.  our fee is about $180 initial joining fee and then $150 per year after that which all goes to Scouts Queensland - the group keeps nothing.  the $180 fee covers a years membership plus the initial joining fee.

we charge $4 a week (so $40 a term) but it is waived the first term because we know the joining fee and uniform is a big hit for parents.  some parents don't pay the term fees.  we don't deny any child membership because of an inability to pay.   so for an existing member about $310 in regular fees per year.  

Uniforms are purchased online from the Scout shop - but the group does have some second hand ones that we hand out for a token $5.

we don't charge our members for badges - that comes out of the $4 weekly fee.  we pay ALL costs associated with being an adult member or leader - including travel to jamboree ($1500, uniforms, training, petrol etc.  we waive some fees for leaders kids.

we fundraise.  some parents put it much more effort than others.  it really bugs me because its often the parents who can least afford to pay who do the least.

for camps/activities we charge whatever it costs.  So between $10 ( a night at the den) and $4,500 (yep for that you go to NZ for 21 days).

our group has very low overheads because we have a free den/hall. our demographic is mixed but lots of low income families.

#5 MsLaurie

Posted 13 October 2019 - 07:57 PM

I’m involved in Guides, so slightly different. Our fees are about $100 a term when you add up the local fee and the state fee. Uniform is extra, as are badge books, but badges are supplied.

Some nights you would probably think “where does the money go?” when it’s an evening when the girls are organising each other into games, and no equipment or supplies are required... but two weeks later we’ll be cooking a three course meal from scratch which requires purchase of various ingredients, the purchase and upkeep of our outdoor cooking stoves, our “class set” of sharp knives and chopping boards and implements etc. The true costs of running a unit can be hard to calculate, as some costs are immediate, some are long term.
That said, our biggest and least negotiable cost is actually hall rental. Even at well below market rates (and some groups have to pay full market rate) it’s thousands a year, which really impacts how much money you have each week.

#6 WaitForMe

Posted 13 October 2019 - 08:06 PM

Girl Guides here. Its probably the cheapest activity she has done so far.

$50 per term Vic Girl Guides fee
$30 per term local district fee

Uniform, they had a heap of second hand items that looked brand new, I think we paid $10 for the shirt, $10 for the fleece and its a really nice good quality fleece. I think they were half price.

Camps seem to run about once a term or so. $80 for two nights, includes transport, food and incidentals.

I have absolutely no idea how badges work I really need to talk to them about it, but from what I gather theres a book that needs to be bought and they work through it.

#7 iwanttosleepin

Posted 13 October 2019 - 08:11 PM

I buy all the stuff for our group - as an idea in the last month or so I have bought:

1x 6 man tent - $150
1 x personal locator beacon - $270
1x radio set - $400
10 pkts of fuel things for camp cooking - $55

paid out over $300 in leader training
covered island taxi (boat transfers for leaders costing $250) to go to a camp

out group has about $20,000 in camping gear in the shed
1x trailer
10 x tents
a bbq
3xmarquees
15 x hiking backpacks
3 full camp kitchen setups
3 expensive espies (that keep stuff cold for days)
lightweight hike gear for 5 adults (kids bring their own)
6 tables
4 bench seats
5 folding chairs

the list is endless

I pay a cleaner 4x a year to clean our hall because parents won't volunteer.

It is not cheap to run a scout group.  we are very lucky that we use a council hall at $0 rent a year!

Our group is small.  we have about 40 kids.

#8 casime

Posted 13 October 2019 - 08:14 PM

Thank you to those who have replied so far.  It looks like our fees are quite expensive compared to others.   The building is owned by the Scouts, and there is no rental to pay.

His sessions have all consisted of games or movie nights, and one night was a walk around the park where the scout hall is.  There has been no discussion of badges or tasks at all.  If they were regularly running sessions such as cooking or other activities with a learning focus, I have no problem with fees to make sure the leaders are not out of pocket for those.  None of the nights so far have involved any materials that have needed to be purchased, and often it's just the kids running around playing tag with each other.

He's in Joey Scouts at the moment, but at the end of the year, he'll move up to the next age group.  I might pay this term, but hold off buying the shirt (he'll need a new one next year anyway), and see how it goes in the next level up and if the activities become more focused.  I can't justify $500 per year for him to play tag for an hour while I sit there freezing my backside off.

#9 iwanttosleepin

Posted 13 October 2019 - 08:26 PM

https://www.gumtree....ze-6/1229309604

here is a $10 shirt on gumtree.  get him a shirt - it is important part of the ritual of being a Scout.  I am very passionate about the benefits of a good scout group - I have a joey, a cub/almost scout and a scout!  its not only about 'games', it is so so much more than that.

Scouts is one of those things that may require more than you dropping them off and picking them up.  volunteer to help out, get involved.  ask how you can help.  

it costs a bucket to 'own' a scout hall.  Rates, insurance and maintenance - just like your own home.  I know the group in the next town from us need $10k a year to look after their hall.

we pay $500 a year in contents insurance just for our gear.

#10 WaitForMe

Posted 13 October 2019 - 09:35 PM

Why are you freezing your butt off? Drop and go!

I had the same thoughts around the games when DD joined Guides at first. She spends 4 nights a week at OOSHC, does she really need more time playing?

But I now see the weekly nights as a 'slow burn', that prepares them for the bigger stuff. My sweet girl, who has never spent a night away from her parents, still wants us lying down next to her to get to sleep, and is quite anxious, went on her first camp, two nights away from home, and absolutely loved it. Amazing!

And then theres the side benefits I never considered. DD2, who has never had both her parents all to herself, or even one on one for extended time, got us all to herself for a whole weekend. She missed her sister but absolutely revelled in the dedicated time together. And the house was so quiet!

The whole family is benefiting from it.

#11 Elsegundo

Posted 13 October 2019 - 10:06 PM

We pay a term fee but no joining fee. Uniform is extra. Badges are covered by the group. I do know that more than half the fees go to scouts vic to pay insurance, hall costs, camp maintenance etc. They are not running at a profit  if you have concerns ask to go to a parent meeting or see the finances - we always appreciate interest and potential helpers.

#12 niban

Posted 13 October 2019 - 10:21 PM

You may well find quite a difference in the type of activity when you move up to Cubs - with the little ones (Joeys) there really is a limit to what you can do with them without a lot of parent involvement.  Our group the parents are supposed to stay during the session (some don't)  - most just sit there and don't help out.  We do Sea Scouts - at Joey level a parent needs to be in kayaks etc with them, at Cubs they don't (and we can do things like sailing).

We have term fees in the range you are talking about -over half go to national org etc, then upkeep of hall and equipment etc means there's certainly no (any) profit being made.  We keep the prices lower at Joey level and I can see how parents could wonder where the money is going when the kids often just in the hall, but all those fixed costs mount up.

I'd maybe find out more about your Cub group programme cos you may well find that it's quite different (in our case longer, with camps and a lot of things the younger ones don't do)

#13 laridae

Posted 13 October 2019 - 10:59 PM

Mine is in cubs now but started in joeys.
Joeys was $170 a year and Cubs is $320 a year. $135 of that is insurance and scout registration fee.
This cost included scarf and badges, but not woggle or shirt. I think the woggle was about $5 and shirt about $35.
Pants, most of ours just wear whatever, though they are expected to wear navy really. But that can be from anywhere. Mine usually wears navy leggings or track pants, or her black school ones. They only really care for the ANZAC parade (which is optional anyway).
Joeys was mainly craft or games or local (walking) excursions. It went for 1 hour. They also did a first aid session, a session on fire lighting, and other useful things.
We didn't have to pay until after investure, so the first month or so was free. While the group is sea scouts, joeys are only allowed out in the big boats, not the kayaks, so that only happened a couple of times a year. They earn badges as a group, ours earnt worked on one badge per term. Occasionally there was a small extra cost, eg for a bbq, or an end of term activity like mini golf or bowling, but usually only around $5.
Cubs goes for 1.5 hours and most of summer they seem to be out in the kayaks. Still a lot of craft, games and local walks though. More camps too. Mines just had cuboree which is a statewide Cub Scout camp. 2 nights. $95, and she had the best time. I think it's well worth the cost.
Ours has its own hall. I would guess a lot of the fees cover craft materials, hall running costs, badges (which we don't pay for) etc.
They should have a term program that says what they'll be doing (roughly) each week. We have to sign that we've seen it each term and give permission do do the activities, so I'd be surprised if they didn't have something similar.

#14 luke's mummu

Posted 14 October 2019 - 07:21 AM

I would ask to see the program for the term, and if you’re not happy change to another group. Both my boys only started cubs at age 9 and I’m so glad in hindsight. The group runs activities on a 2 year cycle, so by the time they were ready to move up to scouts they were getting bored, and other kids left because they were bored.

Both my boys are going on a combined scouts/cubs region camp this weekend. Our first childfree weekend in 14 years!

Edited by luke's mummu, 14 October 2019 - 07:23 AM.


#15 seayork2002

Posted 14 October 2019 - 08:31 AM

My son was a joey and moved up to now scouts, not sure what we pay but we get $200 (nsw) vouchers from the government we put towards it.

we don't have a car so need to hire one for the away from the hall events, on a normal weeknight outing away from the hall we say to DS he can do one a term, we do not restrict the weekend camps but he does not do all the days out on the weekend.

I do not know any child that does 100% of all group/area events, some do more than others, some less

some kids can't make all the hall evening nights.

DS has been to the last 2 Jamborettes and quite a few camps inbetween.

We check with DS each term if he wants to continue and so far he does, we may have to see next years when he is in highschool but he wants to go tot he Jamboree in Vic in a few years.

I am a registered parent helper and was going to be a leader but had health issues which still seem to be hanging around so I help when I can

Edited by seayork2002, 14 October 2019 - 08:34 AM.


#16 Soontobegran

Posted 14 October 2019 - 08:33 AM

View Postiwanttosleepin, on 13 October 2019 - 08:11 PM, said:

I buy all the stuff for our group - as an idea in the last month or so I have bought:

1x 6 man tent - $150
1 x personal locator beacon - $270
1x radio set - $400
10 pkts of fuel things for camp cooking - $55

paid out over $300 in leader training
covered island taxi (boat transfers for leaders costing $250) to go to a camp

out group has about $20,000 in camping gear in the shed
1x trailer
10 x tents
a bbq
3xmarquees
15 x hiking backpacks
3 full camp kitchen setups
3 expensive espies (that keep stuff cold for days)
lightweight hike gear for 5 adults (kids bring their own)
6 tables
4 bench seats
5 folding chairs

the list is endless

I pay a cleaner 4x a year to clean our hall because parents won't volunteer.

It is not cheap to run a scout group.  we are very lucky that we use a council hall at $0 rent a year!

Our group is small.  we have about 40 kids.

I think this is a very insightful post.
People often forget the costs that go on in the background to enable these groups or sporting clubs to provide the service.
That and the fact the people who run them are volunteers.
That is great that you have zero hall rental though.

#17 123tree

Posted 14 October 2019 - 08:51 AM

We pay $250 per year for scouts plus you pay for the uniform but we only needed to have the shirt everything else is optional.

The camping trips are minimal cost, like $40 a weekend.  Fundraising and working bees are run but it really is just the same handful of parents again and again.

I am volunteering for a camping trip next month. I am not enthusiastic but I keep telling myself that it is nice to help out if I can. I don’t have any skills to share with the group unfortunately.

Compared to other activities my kids do I consider it cheap. The leaders carry a huge load.




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