Q: How much does it cost to join Cub Scouts?
Let us first say that finances should never be a barrier for anyone to join Scouting. Scholarships and financial assistance are available at all levels of Scouting – national, council, and Pack 404 itself. All requests are handled privately and discreetly.
Annual dues for Pack 404 are $100/year. This covers dues to the BSA national organization, our local council (Bay Area Council), and Pack 404 dues. A $10/Scout discount is given for additional Scouts (2nd, 3rd, etc.) from the same family.
Pack 404 dues covers: den & pack programming, the awards and advancement items that the Scouts will receive throughout the year, a subscription to Boy’s Life Scouting Magazine (one per family), a pack t-shirt (one per Scout), and derby vehicles – Pinewood Derby, Space Derby and Raingutter Regatta (and the awards/trophies for each derby), as scheduled.
Annual dues are paid in September or October of each year. This timing places the annual dues between back-to-school expenses in July/Aug and holiday expenses that pick up in Nov/Dec.
The amount can be paid in full in September, or split into two payments of $50 each in September and October. Just let us know if you want to split payments. Please help our Treasurer retain her sanity by being paid up by the October pack meeting.
New Scout Registration
Scouting dues follow a calendar year of January-December. The Cub Scouting program traditionally follows the school year calendar, with most new Cub Scouts registering in August.
The Pack charges a pro-rated $50 for new Cub Scouting joining at the beginning of the school year. This pays the national and council fees for this last 1/3 of the year, and also includes the pack t-shirt and the Scout’s first handbook.
With the Pack t-shirt and handbook, the Scout will be ready for their first den meeting on day one.
Easy budgeting for new Cub Scouting families is “three easy payments of $50” each month in August, September and October. This will have everything covered through the end of 2018 and all of 2019. Information on uniform costs (and ways to help offset them) are below.
Other Expenses & Fundraising
The Pack covers event costs throughout the year, via our fundraising. These costs would include campsite costs at state parks, and reserving rooms for parties or events. We strive to cover as many costs as possible with the dues and fundraising.
Parents can expect to cover food costs for their families at campouts, adult entrance fees to state parks (kids 12 and under are free) and registration fees for district and council events such as Cub-O-Ree, Twilight Camp and Webelos Woods.
All of Scouting sells popcorn in the fall for its annual fundraiser (like Girl Scouts USA sells cookies). With successful fundraising the Pack can plan more and bigger events, while covering the costs.
With more modest fundraising, the Pack will either adjust the calendar of events accordingly, or ask parents to pay entrance or ticket fees. The Pack only fundraises when necessary – either a Pack project or fall fundraising shortfall.
We do not fundraise just for the sake of fundraising. Cub Scouting is not a fundraising organization. The community sees us at two different times – when we are either fundraising, or serving. We want them to see us at far more of one than the other.
Q: How much do the uniform and handbook cost?
As with the annual dues, cost should never be a barrier to Scouting.
Pack 404 is starting its “Uniform Exchange” where gently used uniforms that Scouts have outgrown can be placed into inventory, and then larger uniforms that now fit a Scout can be taken out and used.
The goal is to create a rotation of uniforms in and out, and reduce the financial expenses for everyone. This is also a great way to account for the physical growth that our Scouts experience during elementary school.
Lion Scouts do not wear a full uniform. They wear a t-shirt and hat, which cost about $25 total. An adult leader embroidered polo shirt costs $30.
The full set of program materials for the Lion Scout and Parent cost $10. Lion is the first chance for a Scout to join the Pack, so chances are this expense will be covered with your registration.
Tigers, Wolves & Bears
Tigers, Wolves, and Bears wear a blue uniform, which costs about $75 (or $100 with the official shorts and socks).
The uniform consists of the shirt, the required patches for the shirt, the neckerchief (the scarf), the neckerchief slide (it secures the neckerchief), the belt and a hat. Adult leaders for these dens and wear a tan uniform.
With each new year, the uniform is updated with a new neckerchief, slide and hat for their new den. Scouts also need a new book for that year’s program. This costs about $30 each year. New Scouts joining any den will receive their first handbook included in their dues.
Our hope is that the Uniform Exchange can offset much of the expense of the blue uniform during these three years. We only require Scouts to wear the official shirt. The shorts and official socks are optional – blue jeans or navy shorts can be worn instead.
Webelos & Arrow of Light
For the two years of Webelos, Scouts move into a tan colored uniform, which they will take with them when they transition into Boy Scouting. They retain the same neckerchief, slide and book for both years.
While not required, we do encourage our Webelos to wear a more complete uniform, as they begin to prepare for the Scouts BSA program. Shorts and knee socks are encouraged, given the hot weather often makes the official long pants impractical.