Comments about ‘Scouts may be thrifty, but some leaders are well paid’

Return to article »

Many professional Scouters earn 6-figure salaries across the U.S.

Published: Sunday, Nov. 11 2007 12:00 a.m. MST

  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended

Well this article just killed Friends of Scouting. Bummer.


This is absolutely absurd.

The level of compensation exceeds what is available in most private corporations of similar size.

I have two boys in Scouting. But I will not be making further Friends of Scouting donations. I am appalled.

Diusgruntled Scout Master

I am a scout master in our area. I have a master's degree and about 15 years in Scouting. I spend about 9 hours a week for the boys, yet I am paid nothing for *my* time. To say that my time and experience are worth nothing while theirs is worth over $200,000 is an insult to me.
Let them pound the pavement doing Friends of Scouting from now on.

Never liked Boy Scouts

I never liked Scouts when I was that age because I was forced to go. All I heard for years was 'Eagle Scout, get your Eagle Scout.' I do agree that this article has killed the Friends of Scouting campaign. My ward has been beating the streets for 2-3 weeks. Maybe now the LDS Church will see they have been duped.

Numbers game

You should note that in every Mormon ward, EVERY boy aged 8 through 18 is registered in Scouting whether they're interested in Scouts or not. Many (a majority in the wards I've been in) have no interest in Scouting. So it becomes a weekly babysitting day where boys, who don't care for Scouting, just hang around and often get into mischief.

And then once a year, the poor Scout leaders have to figure how to pay for expensive camps, buy expensive badges and feed hungry Scouts. And then go door to door and beg for funds.

I've wondered how many boys would register if a) the program was voluntary and not mandated by the LDS church and b) parents ( or boys ) had to pony up the registration costs now 100% paid for by the LDS church.


I have been "called" to be a scout leader several times. I have to manage kids who don't want to be there, beg parent involvement of parents who don't care if their kids participate, use my own truck to haul gear and pay my own gas. I get the "opportunity" to raise funds. Let's see....I have to figure out how to get funds for camps -- oh, and I have to take my vacation days to take kids camping because parents will not go with their kids. So every time I get "called" I figure on a big family budget hit, my truck gets damaged, and I have no vacation to spend with my own family. And for this, my pay is.....

1968 Eagle

Maybe the scouging "big business" is what's killing scouting?
When I was an avid scout kid in a state to the East of Utah, the boys in the troop wanted to be there and our parents were the leaders and TOOK us to camps. I remember time spend with my dad!
The only (ONLY) paid scout person was a lady who ran the office and managed the paperwork. The scout exec was a local business person who VOLUNTEERED as a way to help the community. His time was DONATED to the program and he was a very influential business leader and community leader -- and he cared enough to volunteer and use his community skills to help the program.

Scouting has become a BIG business -- and it seems, all about money and not about youth.

I need to find an all-volunteer community program to donate to. A group with focus toward people and not toward making money. (Have you ever priced scout uniforms and patches? It's costly)


Scouting is no different than any other business.
Most CEO and presidents make huge sums of money and pay employees little. The boss gets the free trips to watch the Jazz or the Cougars. The boss gets the free dinners in the Jazz Sports Club. When the boss goes to lunch, it's on an expense account. When the boss visits his kids in Colorado, he stops in a related business so he can write off or expense the trip. The boss' cell phone is company paid. The company pays the boss parking space. The boss has little idea how his product is produced (in most cases). When the boss promises something to his board of directors, he is NEVER held accountable. If he leaves, he gets a LARGE bonus, no matter the performance or promises. The boss ALWAYS gets a huge annual bonus -- and usually never contributes to the product.
Scouting is no different. It's a business and it's big bucks.


My boys did not like scouting, but they were registered anyway. Most of the boys didnt want to be scouts and the poor scoutmaster only lasted a year just herding boys each week. it was a waste of time and money and did very little to build character. i took my kids to camp and it was a horrible week trying to keep all the kids out of trouble because they had no interest in the "program" and were upset they "had" to go.

The local council may have big numbers, but the boys are not there because they want to be. If it were volunteer only, the numbers would be 100th of what they are now.


Powell, the retired executive from the Utah National Parks Council, said, "When people asked what I do, I said name any 10 careers and a Scout executive touches them."

He said that includes being an educator, human relations director, salesman, promoter, organizer, disciplinarian "and sometimes a security guard, a plumber, a custodian or a garbage man if that is what the job requires."

Sounds like about half of what a teacher does yet the teacher makes about one fourth of the salary.

I, too, stopped giving to friends of scouting this past year.

I just became disillusioned with the whole scout office. They keep dishing off their work on to us. Now they don't even do the merit badge paper work for us. We have to go online and try to navigate their horrible website while doing our "volunteer" work. My goodness what do the people in the office do?

By the way, I am a former scout master and our ward met the FOS quota each year. I have never heard of the 10% gold level discount. Where do they keep that secret?

Other programs?

The News could do a great service by letting us know what other youth programs are out there without high-priced leaders. I feel that if everyone involved cares enough to volunteer, the primary purpose is the youth. When you care enough to give your very best -- your time -- the outcome is a better product. If the purpose is to make a buck, you don't care about the end product. Kids are not "products" or "programs"!!!

FOS Trailblazer

It seems to me that Scouting has the same executive inflation which many have noted in industry. Their salaries, over time, have increased dramatically vis-a-vis the salaries of entry-level employees.

It is time for both industry and Scouting to bring their executive salaries down out of the stratosphere. There is no reason the chief executive's salary should be more than three times the entry-level employees'.

gutsy story

My bishop is going to be really upset! For the News to write about a LDS church program, this is going to hurt the volunteer collection program. I'm going to say no this year when they ask me to help. I bet this story gets yanked!

Open Minded Thinker

There is so much whine in here, where people are getting drunk on self pity.

Of course the scouting has aspects of it that are like a corporation. Would you really want a volunteer working 60+ hours per week at Paul Moore's professional Scout executive?

Steven says "The level of compensation exceeds what is available in most private corporations of similar size." Which survey did you read? I know a company of 13, in which three of them make more than Paul Moore does.

If you all complain loud enough, maybe you can force Paul Moore from his job and the Great Salt Lake Council can get a "real volunteer" to come in and screw up the job. Your whining, if successful, would only make scouting go backwards.


I have been a Cub Scout Committee Chairperson, Den Leader, and Cub Master. I put 150% into these "callings". You reap what you sow. Those years were a blast!!! Other volunteer positions were poorly staffed, so I planned the summer day camps, too. The spirit of scouting was alive in our little area. High attendance and constant advancements. Enthusiasm and preparation go a LONG way. I am a huge supporter of scouting. Someone has to be "on top", though. That is their career. Of course they need to be compensated. My husband was a DE (district executive) for a while. However, he made more money teaching, still with children, and he didn't have to spearhead fund raising! Yes, the popcorn is good, BUT....


Now it makes sense. I've always wondered why so we had to send so much money to the the BSA with little or zero return on investment. Although I had some nebulous idea of how much was wasted, I had no idea it was this bad.

There is absolutely no way that I will ever participate again in the form of donations. What a joke. I guess anybody can rationalize anything if they try hard enough.

Japan BSA

I agree the salaries are out of line. But after looking at the comments, I am surprised. I too have experienced the frustration of uninterested youth and parents. But the problem is not scouting the program. It is us. We have let out youth get too interested in TV, Games, Internet etc. Scouting provides balance and teaches important gospel principles to YM through its activities. It is easy to blame a system or others for the problems. When you think the problem is out there or someone else, you become the problem. Push for positive change, but do not criticize the program.


Very said disclosure indeed. If this guy lived in NYC, then perhaps his six figure salary could be justified. But, in SLC, this salary is way above the norm. It's ridiculous and irresponsible on the part of the BSA


The Boy Scout program is no longer effective in helping boys to stay out of trouble or learn skills that apply to life. Kids no longer need sheepshanks or half-hitches, they need to know about amortization and how to speak intelligently in a job interview.

Forcing kids to go to scouts doesn't help them in any way. It's time for the LDS Church to do the inevitable and transfer its resources to a program that is less bloated and more in tune with what kids need today. Let kids who want to be in scouts do so, and let the other kids learn life lessons other ways.

Bye Bye Boy Scouts Inc.

Every year I faithfully write a substantial check to support the Boy Scouts. After reading this article, I will NEVER donate another dollar to Friends of Scouting.

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments