Troop Finances
Excerpted from BSA Troop Committee Guidebook
For Successful Troop Operation
Copyright 1998, Boy Scouts of America, ISBN 0-8395-4505-3


The Unit Budget Plan
and the Troop/Team
Record Book are
useful guides.
Troop Finances
Proper Management of the troop's finances will allow your troop to achieve its program goals. The recording, disbursing, and budgeting of troop funds, along with unit money-earning project assistance, is the responsibility of the troop committee and its treasurer.
Every troop should have a checking account at a local bank. An account that requires two signatures on each check, those of the committee treasurer and Scoutmaster, is recommended. Troop funds need to be recorded and deposited weekly into the troop's checking account. The Troop/Team Record Book is an indispensable tool fo this purpose. Disbursements from the checking account are made on the recommendations of the Scoutmaster with the authorization of your troop committee.
Occassionally in the course of troop activities, the Scoutmaster will need unplanned miscellaneous articles. The committee needs to establish a petty cash fund for this purpose. When most of this fund has been paid out, the Scoutmaster accounts for it with the receipts for purchase and secures a new advance from the treasurer.
The troop budget is a plan for receiving and spending troop funds. Immediately after approval of the troop's annual program plan, the Scoutmaster and committee treasurer should start the preparation of the annual budget. The Unit Budget Plan and the Troop/Team Record Book are useful guides.
Troop expenses will include:
  • Membership registration fees
  • Boys' Life subscriptions
  • Unit accident insurance
  • Advancement and rank badges
  • Literature for the troop library and record keeping
  • Unit charter fee (which goes to the general liability insurance program)
  • Reserve fund (for unexpected expenses)
  • Program materials (including unit flags, new camping gear, and program supplies)
  • Activities funds for summer camps and high-adventure trips (usually paid by the participating boy and his parents or raised through special troop money-earning projects)
When the cost estimates for expenses have been calculated, the next step is to identify sources of income. These include:
  • Dues. Dues are usually paid weekly or monthly by troop members. In some troops, the boys pay a yearly fee. We don't recommend this because it doesn't help the Scout learn how to budget. In most such instances, the parents pay the fee, so the boy will not learn how to pay his own way, and the fee could prohibit many potential Scouts from joining the troop for economic reasons.
  • Troop money-earning projects. The remainder of the anticipated expenses not covered by dues and surpluses from the previous year must be raised through troop money-earning projects.
These projects can be large or small, depending on the amount of money that is needed. Some suggestions are:
  • Troop-sponsored dinners
  • Collecting aluminum cans for recycling
  • Car washes
  • Lawn care service
  • Council-sponsored fund-raisers (popcorn sales, Scouting show tickets, etc.)
  • Bake sales
  • Product sales (ink pens, candy, greeting cards, etc.)
Project selection should begin with the patrol leaders' council and the Scoutmaster. They will bring the ideas to the troop committee.
Once your money-
earning project has
been reviewed
for con-
formity to Boy Scouts
of America standards
and approved by the
troop committee and the
chartered organization,
the Unit Money-Earning
Application must be
submitted to your local
council for approval.
This step is to make
certain that the project
conforms to Boy Scouts
of America policy.
Here are some guidelines to help you to determine whether your project conforms to Scouting standards.
1. Have your troop committee, chartered organization, and local council approved your project, including the dates and methods?
2. Do your plan and its projected dates avoid competition with money-raising programs and policies of your chartered organization, local council, community chest, and United Way?
3. Is your plan in harmony with local ordinances, free from any stigma of gambling, and consistent with the ideals and the purposes of he Boy Scouts of America?
4. If a commercial product is to be sold, will it be sold on its own merits and without reference to the needs of Scouting either directly (during sales presentation) or indirectly?
5. If tickets are sold for any function other than a Scouting event, will they be sold by your Scouts as individuals without depending on the goodwill of Scouting to make the sale possible?
6. When sales are confined to parents and friends, will they get their money's worth from any product they purchase, function they attend, or services they receive from your unit?
7. If a project is planned for a particular area, do you respect the rights of other Scouting units in the same neighborhood?
8. Is it reasonably certain that people who need work or business will not lose it as a result of your troop's plan?
9. Will your plan protect the name and goodwill of the Boy Scouts of America and prevent it from being capitalized on by promoters of shows, benefits, or sales campaigns?
10. If any contracts are signed by your troop, will they be signed by an individual without reference to the Boy Scouts of America and in no way appear to bind the local council or the Boy Scouts of America to any agreement or financial responsibility?
Local councils use every opportunity and means available to keep summer camp cost to a minimum. But despite their best efforts, many boys and their families will have difficulty paying the average camp fee at one time. The Boy Scouts of America has devised a systematic savings plan that will allow most boys to have their camp fee paid when it is due.
By depositing money weekly or monthly toward the camp fee, the majority of the fee will be paid by camp time.
The local council provides many services to make the Scouting program possible for your troop. These services include program, support materials, training, advancement program, activities, camping facilities, high-adventure opportunities, and personnel readily available to assist in making possible a better program for your troop.
Friends of Scouting, or FOS (called Sustaining Membership Enrollment, or SME, in some councils), is a primary source of operating income for the council. Friends are those individuals with an interest in the Boy Scouts of America and a desire to support the program financially. When properly informed and given the opportunity, many families of youth members wish to become Friends of Scouting.
Unit Money-Earning Application - Page 1
Unit Money-Earning Application - Page 2
Last revised 9/9/02
John D. McCarthy