It’s that time of year, where after the annual Census has been completed, it’s now time to pay up! For each Scout (& Beaver etc.) and Leader, the Group has to pay an amount to the District, which is then passed onto the County and finally the Scout Association at Gilwell. Each level takes there own ‘cut’, with the majority going to Gilwell and this money is what helps run Scouting at these levels. The total payable per member tends to vary between Districts as, although the amount charged by Gilwell is the same for everyone, Districts and Counties can charge what they want. This year we have to pay £25 per person.
This year my Group has recorded 74 members (up by 10 on last year!) which means we’ve had to pay £1850! Now we always pay as soon as possible as it means it’s then paid and out of the way.
We get our money back by getting the parents to pay in February / March after we have paid out our money. This means we are playing catch up with receiving the money and we always end up somewhat out of pocket (the Group pays for the Leaders, which is a contributing factor).
Getting money out of the people normally isn’t too much of a problem, but at times it can be. And this situation is not just specific to UK Groups. A forum post on the PTC Media forums was discussing the fact that some people seem very reluctant to pay.
It seems that some people think that because we are Scouts and a volunteer organisation (yep, my salary as Group Scout Leader is a whopping £0!!!) paying up on time isn’t as important than, say to the kid’s football team or paying for piano lessons.
If a family has some issues paying, if they talk to the Group then arrangements can be made. We all want their kids to benefit from Scouting and not have to remove them from the Group, but if parents refuse to pay up of ‘forget’ then hard decisions have to be made. It is not fair that the Group ends up out of pocket because of a refusal to pay.
Fortunately, all this is a rare occurrence!