Last week, you all should have received an email from the Girl Scouts of America about Early Bird registration and having the girls who register earn a fun patch if they do so before July 31st.
There has been an interesting discussion on the Girl Scout Moms forums pertaining to whether or not leaders should pay for Early Bird registration.
For the record, my parents pay the registration fee. It is only $15, and for my families, this amount does not create a financial hardship. Also, being in charge of registration is one more thing that I would have to do, and there is no reason for me to add this responsibility. We also do not sell cookies, so my dues money is very carefully spent on craft materials and badges. I would have to add the $15 fee to our $30 in dues that I ask for each year.
Girls can change their minds about wanting to continue with Scouts, and if the troop funds paid for her, you have now lost that hard earned money. By making the fee a parental expense and responsibility, then they might consider staying with the troop more seriously than if the troop pays for it. No one wants to waste their money.
After school activity schedules often change, so what works in third grade might not in fourth grade, and the girl may have to drop out of Scouts. While registering early is good in theory, many parents do not take advantage of it due to the schedules of all of their children. They need a clear picture of what the next school year looks like before making a new commitment.
How much money you have in your account is also a factor in deciding whether or not you pay for registering your girls. If your cookie money more than covers it, then you can make it work. If it does not, that money should be used for fun activities and other troop expenses.
And for the record-You cannot exclude registering a girl who did not sell cookies if you are planning on registering your entire troop. TROOP MONEY IS TROOP MONEY, no matter how you feel about non-sellers. An angry parent can report you to Council and then you are going to get yourself into trouble.
Personally, I see no reason to take on the parental job of registering my girls for the next year. It is not up to me to decide if she is going to continue in my troop or someone else’s. While we may believe we are making the lives of our parents easier and having the girls commit because we paid for it, in reality,they will stay because they want to, not because you signed them up for next year.
Do you pay for your troop’s registration or do you make the parents pay it?