Thursday, October 23, 2008
The Cost of Scouting
Julianne has decided she wants to be a girl scout. I'm okay with that. I always wanted to be a girl scout when I was in elementary school. My best friend was a girl scout and wore her uniform to school every Wednesday. It was "da bomb." My sister Terry and I went to a girl scout meeting once. I got to look through the book at all the cool badges I could earn. I wanted them all. Back then you had to have the whole uniform and I guess it was more than my parents could afford at the time so it was our one and only girl scout meeting.
I went to the parents meeting for our girl scout troop last night. It's a brand new troop based from our elementary school except we can't meet at our school until the paperwork goes through. Our school has approved us but the paperwork is stuck in district. Apparently it takes months for them to approve it. The other factor in being a brand new troop is we have no "start up" money so they have asked for 6 months of dues up front which is $20. per child and then there is the $10 fee that the council charges per child. They also charge $10 per parent to have a background check done. Now this is completely voluntary but if you want to attend a meeting or stand at a table where they are selling cookies, etc. you must be approved. Okay, so that's another $20. They no longer require a uniform. It's khaki pants or shorts and a white shirt but they do require the girls either wear a vest or a sash. Our troop has decided on a sash which I believe costs $6.50. Then there are all the pins, badges, troop number, american flag etc which actually brings the cost of the sash up to $20. Oh and they also wanted $5.00 for the official t shirt for the girls to wear to march in the parade coming up next month. If you are keeping count, that's $65.00 I handed over last night. Not really terrible BUT not everyone can do that these days. We had one mom there last night who had 2 girls that wanted to join and she was a single mom. It would have cost her $120. and she just couldn't do it. I felt really bad for her and to the troop leaders credit she really tried to help. She told her that really all she HAD TO have last night was the $20. for the girl scout council which is something she had no control over. She told the mom she could pay the fees on a meeting by meeting basis and would have also have been happy to front her the money for the sashes but I think it was all very overwhelming for her. I felt really bad until I heard her say something about her really having looked forward to "getting rid of the girls for the weekends when they went camping." HUH? We found out that the girls also didn't go to our school, but to another school who already has a troop. Not sure why she didn't join there, or maybe she did and there was a problem there too.
Me, I'm looking forward to doing this with Julianne and I also got to look through the badge book again ~ and again I want them all. I guess some things never change.