Fast Offering Funds for Scout Camp?

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
john.orme
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Fast Offering Funds for Scout Camp?

Postby john.orme » Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:33 pm

Is it appropriate to use fast offering funds to pay the scout summer camp fees for a young man in a family that is currently receiving fast offering assistance?

jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:51 pm

If the ward is going to pay the camp fees the only sources are the unit budget (the primary source) or one group fund-raiser (the tertiary source). The secondary source is the participant - which, in this case, does not appear to be an option. See Handbook 2, 13.2.8. Note the fifth paragraph that states
If funds from participants are not sufficient, the bishop may authorize one group fund-raising activity annually that complies with the guidelines in 13.6.8.
Summer camp is a church activity. Fast offering assistance does not pay for church activities.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

jaj78
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Postby jaj78 » Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:07 am

Bishops have the responsibility of discretion when it comes to the use of fast offering funds. It's tough to just give a sweeping statement on what should and should not be approved, when the Handbook 1 section 5.2 details are not very specific.

There are a few good nuggets, like
"The bishop provides basic life-sustaining necessities. He does not provide assistance to maintain an affluent living standard."


Other specifics don't really talk about how to dispense Fast Offering funds, or what bills are approved except in the case of failed business ventures:
Do not use fast offerings to pay members’ consumer debt or obligations incurred in business failures or speculative ventures.


I have seen fast offering funds used to pay a portion of Scout Camp fees for families who did not have the ability to pay, and fundraising efforts were insufficient. Perhaps going to camp is a part of an affluent lifestyle, rather than a life-sustaining necessity, and the boys should not have gone. Perhaps another way to attend camp could have been found via sponsorship. While its outside the realm of housing/utilities/food, the bishop working with the family needs to use his discernment. Counsel from the Stake President can also help.

Edit: I think I'm convinced from the other responses that camp is not consistent with Fast Offerings for the activity funding reasons mentioned above and below, and that it falls more into a "consumer debt" category that is a prohibited expense.

TinMan
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Postby TinMan » Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:41 am

I would find a way for him to earn it. Perhaps there is someone, or several people, in the ward who could be asked to hire him to do some chores and earn the necessary fees.

Gary_Miller
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Postby Gary_Miller » Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:14 am

When it comes to funding activities the guidelines are really specific on what a unit should be doing. Using Fast Offerings is not one of the ways for funding activities. The family being on FO assistance does not justify the use of FO for attending camp. There are only three options for funding camp.

1. Unit Budget allowance.
2. Participants Pay for part or all (this is not family its the individual earning their way)
3. Group fund raiser (Not usually approved and is exception)

The principles behind youth activities is that the Unit Budget Allowance is to be used first and for most. However, the church recognized that the cost for camps can be very expensive and that the Budget Allowance may not be enough to cover the costs. At which point the participant maybe asked to fund part of all of the cost, this is part of a scout learning to pay their own way.

There are many things a youth can do to earn their share, most councils have a yearly popcorn fund raiser in which if a young man puts forth some effort he can earn all of his cost of camp with in a short time period. There are also many people who more than are willing to help a young man earn his way to camp if he would just ask them and tell them he is trying to earn his way to camp. The problem is units have a habit of thinking that participants share is to come from the family budget when it not intended to do that at all.

So what usually happens if units tend to skip step one and two and go straight to step three which is suppose to only be done as an exception. At which point they are failing to help the young men grow by having to figure out how to pay their own share.

The bottom line to the original question is "NO". Fast Offerings is not to be used for paying for a youths way to summer camp. FO is intended to help sustain an individual or family with the bare essentials, shelter, and food. While at the sometime working to help one become self reliant.

TinMan
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Postby TinMan » Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:12 am

Gary_Miller wrote: The bottom line to the original question is "NO". Fast Offerings is not to be used for paying for a youths way to summer camp. FO is intended to help sustain an individual or family with the bare essentials, shelter, and food. While at the sometime working to help one become self reliant.
I disagree.

If there was absolutely no other way for a boy to go to scout camp, I would not tell him "no" because his parents could not afford to send him. A bishop has pretty wide discretion when it comes to using Fast Offering funds.

dannykos
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Postby dannykos » Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:18 am

I might consider increasing the families FO contributions for a month or two so they could divert sufficient funds to pay for his camp costs?

Gary_Miller
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Postby Gary_Miller » Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:31 am

TinMan wrote:I disagree.


That's OK.

TinMan wrote:If there was absolutely no other way for a boy to go to scout camp, I would not tell him "no" because his parents could not afford to send him.


And Handbook 2 will back you up, "Nor should the lack of personal funds prohibit a member from participating." However, in this case the principle is that Budget Allowance money should be used.

TinMan wrote:because his parents could not afford to send him.


The great myth of funding for camps. You will not find anywhere in the handbooks where the parents should provide the money. However, it seems that its always interpreted that way.

The Handbook says participant. The principle is a Scout earning their own way.
"If the ward budget does not have sufficient funds to pay for the following activities, leaders may ask participants to pay for part or all of them:"

TinMan wrote:A bishop has pretty wide discretion when it comes to using Fast Offering funds.


Yes they do. However, there are specific policies and principles that should be followed that are often overlooked or ignored by some Bishops. Ether because they don't understand the policies and principles or because they just don't know how to say no to certain requests.

Sometimes the hardest thing I do as a clerk is to bite my tongue when it comes to some of the things that gets approves using FO money.

But I understand the Bishop has the mantel, the knowledge of the situation, and its his decision to make.




Some good articals from the brothern to help one understand the principles behind the Budget Allowance are.

Teach Them Correct Principles Boyd K. Packer
https://www.lds.org/ensign/1990/05/teach-them-correct-principles?lang=eng

The Lord’s Way Thomas S. Monson
https://www.lds.org/ensign/1990/05/the-lords-way?lang=eng

Rise to a Larger Vision of the Work Gordon B. Hinckley
https://www.lds.org/ensign/1990/05/rise-to-a-larger-vision-of-the-work?lang=eng

These are all from a training meeting held shortly after the new budget allowance for activities was announced. The principles taught are still true today.

One more

The State of the Church Gordon B. Hinckley
https://www.lds.org/ensign/1991/05/the-state-of-the-church?lang=eng

See Question Number 8.

TinMan
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Postby TinMan » Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:52 am

Gary_Miller wrote:The great myth of funding for camps. You will not find anywhere in the handbooks where the parents should provide the money. However, it seems that its always interpreted that way.

The Handbook says participant. The principle is a Scout earning their own way.
I believe you are splitting hairs. The handbook uses exactly the same language for 8 year olds going to cub day camp. Are you saying it says that 8 year olds should earn their own way as well? I would be even more inclined to allow Fast Offering funds to pay the way for an 8 year old to go to day camp as a last resort. I wouldn't tell him "no" because his parents couldn't afford to send him.

Gary_Miller
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Postby Gary_Miller » Wed Oct 24, 2012 11:06 am

TinMan wrote:I believe you are splitting hairs.


Not at all its all about teaching the principle of earning ones own way. I think you will find President Monson feels the same way.

From the above artical "The Lord's Way"

"One of our objectives has been to insure that all budget costs be funded either through the 100-percent reimbursed items or the per-person budget allowance and that there be no separate assessments or fund-raising activities to support the programs of the Church. An exception would be that relating to our affiliation with the Scouting program, which has as a basic tenet that a boy earns his own way. Permitted under the budget allowance program is the financing of prescribed Cub, Scout, Varsity, and Explorer activities. This same exception is made for Young Women for camping activities outlined in the Young Women Handbook. It is the desire that restraint be used in programming youth activities and that consistency between Young Women and Young Men programs be achieved."

TinMan wrote:The handbook uses exactly the same language for 8 year olds going to cub day camp. Are you saying it says that 8 year olds should earn their own way as well?


Yes! Having worked within the Boy Scout program as an adult for 27 years. I know that an 8 year old is just as capable of earning his way to camp as older boys. All they need is some guidance and a little help from leaders and parents. Here again "Pop Corn" sells is a good place start.

TinMan wrote:I would be even more inclined to allow Fast Offering funds to pay the way for an 8 year old to go to day camp as a last resort. I wouldn't tell him "no" because his parents couldn't afford to send him.


As a Bishop that's your call. However, I would hope as a Bishop you would be more concerned with teaching the principles of being "Self Reliant" and paying your own way.


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