Individual Youth Accounts

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Individual Youth Accounts teach Scouts to be Thrifty as they save for their future in Scouting.
Individual Youth Accounts teach personal management not by a lecture but through life experiences.

Individual Accounts
Paying your own way is a fundamental principle of the Boy Scouts of America. It is one of the reasons why no solicitations (requests for contributions from individuals or the community) are permitted by units. Young people in Scouting are taught early on that if they want something in life, they need to earn it. The finance plan of any unit should include participation by the Scouts.
Annual Budget Plan

Individual Accounts are bookkeeping accounts, not separate bank accounts. Units "..using this method have traditionally had stronger programs with less turnover of youth..." -

The BSA suggests that a Scout's earnings be applied first to his annual costs with remaining money going into the Scout's Individual Youth Account. Some units instead take the boy's earnings and divide them up.


Benefits of Individual Youth Accounts

Here are some of the benefits in using the BSA Individual Youth Accounts program:

  1. Scouts learn self-reliance. Scouts learn that success come from from their own hard work, not by taking from someone else.
  2. Scouts learn to plan for financial goals such as summer camp, trips, equipment, and uniforms.
  3. Scouts learn life skills of personal management through life experiences not lectures.
  4. A Scout is more likely to attend if he paid for the event through his own work.
  5. A Scout is more likely to stay in Scouts if he has earned the funds he needs for the activities he wants to do.

Basic Expenses

Annual expenses for a Scout typically include:

Participation Fees Do Little to Teach Responsibility

An annual unit participation fee, too often completely contributed by parents, does little to teach a boy responsibility. The unit's entire budget must be provided for by the families, either through fund-raising or other means such as dues or fees.
Annual Budget Plan

A Scout is Thrifty

A Scout works to pay his way and to help others. He saves for unforeseen needs. He protects and conserves natural resources. He carefully uses time and property.
Scout Law
Men who were Scouts credit Scouting with helping them be more financially responsible.
The Value of Scouting Harris Survey

Importance to Packs

Packs using this method have traditionally had stronger programs with less turnover of youth (Cub Scouts are retained). Individual Cub Scout accounts, whereby the pack keeps track of how much a Cub Scout or his family has raised toward his "ideal year of Cub Scouting" goal, are critical to the success of this program. When individual Cub Scouts are credited for their efforts, they develop a sense of personal responsibility and participation.
Annual Pack Budget Plan

Importance to Webelos

Individual Youth Accounts are critical for Webelos Scouts to make the Webelos Transition into Boy Scouts. A boy who has learned to work towards his goals will be able to participate in more activities and is more likely to stay in. Plus many Webelos Scouts earn enough to take their savings with them to Boy Scouts to pay for new uniforms, equipment, and their first year at Boy Scout Summer Camp. Packs send the boy on not just with money, but with personal management skills. Some units instead take the boy's earnings and divide them up.

Importance to Boy Scouts

Boy Scout Leaders have the greatest obligation of all to encourage Fundraising and Individual Youth Accounts. The expenses for Boy Scouts include National Council Registration, Boys' Life, and Accident Insurance as in Cub Scouts. But there is so much more a Boy Scout can do. You will need backpacks and equipment and merit badge books. Your activities are better now: Climbing, Hiking, Canoeing, and so much more. Summer Camp adds Rifle Shooting, Shotgun Shooting, Snorkeling, and Wilderness Survival. The bigger the fun, the bigger the price, and the more important Individual Accounts become.

A Boy Scout leader has an even greater obligation. You set the example. You need to help the Packs you work with have Individual Accounts so that Webelos bridge with money in their accounts. Otherwise new Scouts may not be able to participate and may drop out. Scouts who learn self-reliance will go far.

See also

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