What Can Be Done to Ensure That Unit Finances Are Handled Correctly?

A reader asks:

My boys just joined or local pack in our area last August. This pack has like 60 kids. The 1st thing I noticed was that everything was very very unorganized, but I didn’t want to be one of those parents that gripes and does nothing. So I took a seat on the committee as the Fundraiser chair. Since doing that I have witnessed some things that are disturbing to me and I know cant be right. One of these things is that the old Fundraising chair and the Cubmaster’s wife both have debit cards to the scout account and they hold them in their regular everyday wallets. Another thing is that the Cubmaster’s wife does not let anyone handle any money or do any reporting, she does it, the Treasurer does nothing. And I have never seen a bank statement, I thought that was suppose to be shown to us. Im not going to list everything but I would like to know how do we get things going in the correct direction. What can I do to make sure that money is not being stolen.

Thanks for the question. It has always been my understanding that the unit resources are to be administered by the Pack Committee. In my experience there is usually a Treasurer, who reports to the Committee about the financial health of the unit, either on a regular basis at meetings or upon the request of the Committee members. It seems like this information should be provided to the whole Committee.

I’m not sure what the “official” policy is. But the Committee does have an obligation to ensure that the unit resources are being used appropriately and for the benefit of the youth. So given your level of concern, I recommend you contact your local council and find out what the official BSA policies are.

You did not mention the Committee Chair. If the Chair is active, maybe approach him or her with your concerns. But it sounds like the Chair might be a more passive position in this unit with the Cubmaster and his wife taking a more active role in the Committee.

It can be a delicate situation. The Cubmaster has probably put in a lot of hours and he and his wife feel strong ownership of the program, which could make suggesting a different way result in them feeling like they are not being appreciated. On the other hand, a Cub Scout pack really works well if responsibilities are spread among all of the parents and supporters. Some people find it difficult to share authority, but it is a good thing for the health of the unit. I suggest talking to the other Committee members and seeing how they feel about the situation. If there is an agreement that it is a problem, it could be discussed at a Committee meeting, but it has to be done in an open, friendly, and non-threatening way.

Readers, what do you think? Add your comments below.

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