Take ﬁrst things ﬁrst. If your job is to manage funds, your ﬁrsts are
basics: basic income, basic spending, and basic needs.
If your job is to manage funds for a Cub Scout pack, Boy Scout
troop, Varsity Scout team, or Venturing crew, your basics still come
ﬁrst, and they are the same whether the unit is in Hawaii or Maine.
They should be planned and budgeted FIRST. Once you develop a
sound budgeting plan for basics, you can add other things, such as
your individual programming or equipment needs.
The total is a well-managed, well-ﬁnanced unit. Recognizing this,
the Boy Scouts of America recommends a basic unit budget plan,
including 10 parts divided into three categories: basic expenses,
other expenses, and sources of income.
1. Unit Liability Insurance Fee. Units are required to pay a unit
liability insurance fee of $40. This fee shall be submitted with the
unit’s charter application and will help defray the expenses for the
general liability insurance program.
Here are the recommended basic expense items per youth member:
Registration ............................................. $15
Boys’ Life ................................................. 12
Let’s look at each basic expense.
2. Registration. When a youth joins, normally the unit asks them to
pay the full $15 national registration fee, regardless of the number
of months remaining in the unit’s charter year. The unit sends to the
council the prorated amount for those remaining months. Note that
fees are ﬁgured on a monthly basis: 1 month $1.25; 2 months $2.50;
3 months $3.75; 4 months $5; 5 months $6.25; 6 months $7.50;
7 months $8.75; 8 months $10; 9 months $11.25; 10 months $12.50;
11 months $13.75; 12 months $15.
The balance of the youth’s fee is kept in the unit treasury to
supplement dues in paying the next full year’s fee. This procedure
ensures prompt registration at charter renewal time.
3. Boys’ Life magazine, the ofﬁcial publication of the Boy Scouts of
America, is available to all members at $12 (half the regular rate).
Every youth should subscribe to Boys’ Life because of the quality
reading and the articles related to your unit’s monthly program. It
is part of a youth’s growth in Scouting, and research proves Scouts
will stay in longer and advance farther if they read Boys’ Life. If the
reserve funds allow, the new Scout, during the charter year, should
be signed up for Boys’ Life on a pro rata basis.
When reserve funds do not pay for the subscription, then the youth
or his parents may be asked for the amount. They should understand
that the Boys’ Life subscription cost is not a required part of the
national membership fee. On late registrations, it may be necessary
to deliver back issues.
4. Unit Accident Insurance. Each unit should be covered by unit
accident insurance to help meet the costs of medical care if accidents
occur during a Scouting activity. The majority of the councils purchase
Council Accident and Sickness insurance, which means you are
already covered for accidents and sicknesses. Check with your council
to see if they already have the insurance. If not, there is an Accident
plan available through Health Special Risk (HSR). Your council can
UNIT BUDGET PLAN
provide you with a brochure that details the plan. Below are the fees
from September 1, 2013, through December 31, 2014, from HSR:
Accident insurance, minimum $25 per unit or:
*Unit accident insurance for Cub Scouts........ $1.50
*Unit accident insurance for Boy Scouts ........ 3.35
*Unit accident insurance for Varsity Scouts ... 3.35
*Unit accident insurance for Venturers........... 4.75
*The same rates apply for registered Scouters; minimum $25 insurance
premium per unit.
Because LDS units have coverage through Deseret Mutual, it is not
necessary to purchase unit accident insurance through HSR.
5. Reserve Fund. The reserve fund might be established by a gift
or loan from the chartered organization or by a unit money-earning
project. The reserve fund should meet unexpected expenses that
occur before dues are collected or other money is earned. A new
member’s initial expenses may be met from the fund.
A small portion of each youth’s basic expenses is budgeted to
maintain this fund. If the reserve fund falls below this amount, it
should be restored through a money-earning project or other means.
6. Other Basic Expenses. These basic expenses include insignia of
membership and rank for each Scout to ensure prompt recognition,
and literature required by unit adult and youth leaders. Because
service to others is fundamental in Scouting, the budget should
include a goodwill project, Good Turn, or a gift to the World
7. Program Materials. Each unit needs to provide a certain amount
of program materials. For example, it should have a United States
ﬂag, unit ﬂags, and equipment and supplies for its regular program.
8. Activities. The size of the budgeted amount for activities depends
on the unit program. Usually, such activities as Cub Scout pinewood
derbies, Boy Scout hikes, camping, or Varsity Scout high-adventure
trips are ﬁnanced by the Scout and his family over and above the
As a special note, refreshments at parties or parents’ meetings can be
homemade or met by a cover charge or “kitty” at the event. Regular
unit funds should not be used for this purpose.
SOURCES OF INCOME
9. Dues. Most people agree that the habit of regularly meeting
ﬁnancial obligations is desirable. The ﬁnancial plan of any unit
should include participation by a youth in a regular dues plan. An
annual unit fee, too often completely contributed by parents, does
little to teach responsibility. However, if the youth has to set aside
a little each week for a desired item such as dues, they learn how to
budget their own income. Paying dues regularly is not easy, but it
does help develop character. It teaches individuals responsibility and
a wholesome attitude toward earning their own way.