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Scout, who admitted that he’s normally rowdy, said later that telling the troop to settle down and get to work “had a certain irony to it.” “Pull this over here,” Chris


MOST BOYS in Troop 88 live less than an hour from Mount Rushmore, so the annual trip doesn’t cost much ($10 per participant, plus food pur- chased as a patrol). But costs add up quickly for trips farther from home. To keep each boy’s family

from having to spend too much out of pocket, Troop 88 uses Scout accounts, a popular approach among troops seeking to better manage their finances.

HOW IT WORKS. From Cub Scouts on, each boy contrib- utes to his Scout account through sales of popcorn, candy, wreaths, meat, etc. They use money from these sales to pay for weekend trips, summer camp, uniforms, insignia, or even camping gear—as long as the pur- chases are Scout-related. This lets a boy budget his money and work toward a goal. He’s accountable for his own money-earning performance. Ryan Wright, for example,

wants a new backpack for troop trips and, some day, a Philmont trek. Once he finds a pack he likes, he simply asks the troop treasurer for the money from his Scout account, and the backpack is his.

WHAT’S THE BENEFIT? No one boy can carry the troop. Each Scout is motivated to do his best during money-earning projects. Everybody wins.


told the guys. “Bring that over there.” He called the plays, and the team executed them well. But don’t picture a coach pacing the sideline with a clipboard. Chris chipped in, too. When Scouts struggled to erect the dining fly, he held a corner. When they set up tents, he saved his own for last. And when he saw that fellow Scout Tyler Kuhn wasn’t wearing a jacket, he offered his own. Chris used servant lead-

ership straight out of an advanced youth-leadership course—one he hadn’t even taken yet. But don’t think that Chris grew into a leader overnight; it happened much quicker than that. Scoutmaster Pete Jerzak

watched it all. And though he spent most of his time observing Chris and the other youth leaders, he also offered some motivational advice—as needed. “Hands out of pockets,

guys,” Jerzak said. “It’s a guar- anteed fact that you’ll work faster that way.” Still, Jerzak mostly stayed

hands-off. A distant voice shouted, “Pete, what do you want me to do with this?” A different voice a few seconds later: “Pete, where does this go?” Both queries got the same response. “Don’t ask

Dining flies kept Troop 88’s members dry during persistent rain. But no amount of water could spoil Saturday’s award ceremony for Scoutmaster Pete Jerzak, right, and the rest of his troop.


me. Ask your senior patrol leader.” When Jerzak noticed something missing from the kitchen, he took Chris aside for a chat. “O.K., what else do we

need?” Chris asked. “We’ve got the propane, water, first-aid kit. What else?” “One more thing. Very

important,” Jerzak said, seizing a teachable moment. “I don’t know,” Chris said

calmly. “Chsssshhhhhhhh,” Jerzak

said, waving an invisible prop in front of him. “Um…” “Fire extinguisher.” “Oh,” said Chris, heading

toward the trailer to grab the missing item. “Well, that was a

bad fire-extinguisher sound.” Jerzak’s sound effects

might not have seemed Oscar-worthy, but they dem- onstrated that he understood the concept of a boy-led troop. He patiently observed the troop leaders and stepped in only after noticing a potential safety concern. And in spite of the missing fire extinguisher, Jerzak said he was pleased with what he saw. “I was glad they worked well together from the moment we opened the troop trailer. It’s always good to see that they were paying attention when the older Scouts were instructing them on camp setup tasks.” Bedtime arrived about a

half-hour after the camp setup

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