So now I have to decide what to do with Richard. He is supposed to be a Tiger this year, however I'm not sure we really can afford to do that. I knew having four scouts was going to be tough. But yikes, they are making too many changes.
- They are upping the amount of popcorn sales needed to cover the basic expense. $470ish per scout in sales, or we have to pay. Multiply that by two cubs. Add the fact that my boy scouts need to sell some too, or we simply cannot afford things like summer camp. Last year, they had to sell $250 per cub scout, so this is a dramatic increase, nearly double. And seeing as our closest neighbors are cattle... and most of our closest people neighbors are unemployed... well...
- They are doubling the weekly den dues. Okay, that doesn't bother me a whole lot, but still... it's one more nickel and dime thing right now. And if they both go next Monday, honestly, that means I now have roughly $1.50 to spend on groceries Monday (I spent $12 last night). I thought I'd have enough to purchase eggs, maybe a cantaloupe, and possibly a loaf of bread.
- They are changing which awards they will pay for out of the pack, and which the parents need to cover. As in, more stuff will be the responsibility of the parents. I assume that is going to hit Webelos the hardest (Thomas, in other words).
- And the advancement person will be buying all the awards, then billing us for our portion. Which means I can't recycle things from big brothers (and uncle!) and will actually have to PAY for them. And with Webelos, who have to re-earn belt loops, is it going to mean that I'm having to pay for belt loops that Thomas has already earned and been awarded, but is forced to earn a second time? I don't WANT to pay for things we already own. These two will way more than double what we have to pay for awards. Or, more likely, it means I can't allow the boys to earn anything more than the bare minimum.
- Finally, they are increasing the number of activities happening, which obviously is going to increase costs as well. Pretty dramatically, it sounds like.
I sat down with my older scouts last night and had a serious talk. Connor understands that he cannot attend summer camp going forward. Both boy scouts know that we are going to have to start being picky about which events they attend. And Thomas knows that just because his pack is going skating or bowling or whatever, doesn't mean he will be. So far, our approach has pretty much been -- if they are open, we are there. But even if we don't let Richard join, the cost increases for Thomas are going to mean less for my Boy Scouts.
I think scouting is fantastic. You know that if you've read my blog for any length of time. But I just don't know if Cubs is going to continue to be possible for us.