Previous Discussion Topics
Fundraising for Chaperone Trips

November 23, 2001

Hi all

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. This has been discussed here before, but it's never hurts to discuss it again. When a band takes a trip, there is always chaperones needed. 

bulletHow does your band handle this? 
bulletThe kids can fundraise for the cost, but what do your chaperones do? 
bulletDon't they have to pay the same as the students?
bulletCan money in a student's account pay for the chaperone too?
bulletCan a chaperone fundraise for their cost? 
bulletI thought if a parent agreed to chaperone, they still had to pay the cost of their trip not fundraise for it, or take it from their child's account?
bulletDoes the fact that a booster organization is a 501(c)3 have anything to do with what fundraised money can be used for?

Thanks for clearing this up for me. Even though I don't have a child in band anymore, I still talk to band parents here and in other states.  I hope you "lawyer types" can clear this up for me.

Cheerio
Jean Firkey, S. Oldham parent alumni

Normally, the band trip packages come with some "free" trips. We always use one for the band director and maybe one for the guard and drum instructors. Any remaining free packages are divided up amongst the chaperones to defray their cost. We always let this be a surprise instead of an expectation -- each trip is different. 

Thus, if the trip is $500 per person, there might be 10 chaperones.....if we have two free trips left over, each chaperone's trip is reduced by $100. It may not be much, but it helps!

Dan Collins 
Northwest Guilford Viking Band
Greensboro, NC

I think it was handled two different ways here, Jean, but in neither case did the chaperones pay. Our feeling was that you were contributing enough already by going.

On two in-state trips we had no "package". The kids cost was calculated to include the estimated number of chaperones taken, so the kids fund raising covered the cost. On two out-of-state trips the cost was covered in part by the package our travel agent came up with, i.e. they included so many chaperone fares/rooms etc based on the number of kids going, and the cost to the kids covered any shortfall (which would have been any chaperones we took over the number of those included in the package). Our handout to the kids and parents clearly stated this would be the case up front.

Hope this helps,

Bill Gremillion
Next Year Reagan Band Dad
San Antonio

As Dan mentioned, our "free" trips go to the directors. Beyond that, chaperones have gone at "half price," with the balance coming out of the Boosters general fund. The rationale is that although chaperones do have fu, it is not a vacation, there are responsibilities and chaperones are not left to their own devices. If there's a sick kid, a chaperone will have to take care of him/her. Likewise, there's the whole keeping track of 8 to 12 kids. Disney, also as an example, has a requirement that chaperones check in with the park at certain intervals to make sure that they don't have the kids in "custody"--ill or otherwise. Parents without chaperone responsibilities don't have to do that. So it's not unjustified.

Who gets to chaperone? We start with the officers, and from there on it sometimes gets a little murky. For example, a mom who's a nurse and has a diabetic daughter (and who's a nice person) was a chaperone... I don't remember if we allowed student accounts to offset parental travel as chaperones.

For the record, we chartered an airplane to go to Florida last year. There are several advantages, including being able to travel together instead of on different planes (making chaperoning easier). We were also able to fly out of a more local airport--Allentown for us--rather than having to go down to Philadelphia, a big savings in time... We also "sold" seats we didn't use for our kids to non-chaperone parents (although they had to sit in the front of the plane). It also beats bus travel hands down. Another local band went down by bus, and it cost them a day at each end of the trip (not to mention the interminable travel time, cranky kids, cranky chaperones, etc) and they only saved about $30 per kid. Depending on the length of your trip, it's worth looking into.

John Matras
Pocono Mountain HS bands dad emeritus (Swiftwater, PA)
West Chester University Marching Band dad (West Chester, PA)

The rationale is that 

> although chaperones do have fun, it is not a vacation, there are responsibilities and chaperones
> are not left to their own devices.

"Not a vacation." Very true, John. We ran two hour shifts at night...all night...to make sure nobody was running loose after curfew. She Whose Decision Is Final and I once drew the dreaded one to three a.m. shift.

> Who gets to chaperone? We start with the officers, and from there on it sometimes gets a little
> murky.  For example, a mom who's a nurse and has a diabetic daughter (and who's a nice person)
> was a chaperone...

Ditto here. Officers had first choice, and we always tried to have a nurse go. I think we always had a nurse on contest trips, too, like BOA. There's always somebody who gets something sprained, stomach problems, flu etc.

Bill Gremillion
Next Year Reagan Band Dad
San Antonio

Bill Gremillion wrote:

> The rationale is that although chaperones do have fun, it is not a vacation, there are
> responsibilities and chaperones are not left to their own devices.
>
> "Not a vacation." Very true, John. We ran two hour shifts at night...all night...to make sure nobody 
>  was running loose after curfew. She Whose Decision Is Final and I once drew the dreaded one to 
>  three a.m. shift.

There's a solution for that, too. We had a hired gun. The cost was minimal. Of course, we had to be the last to turn in, and there's always something, some dire problem that just HAS to be solved tonight, and we also collected their room keys as an added hurdle (as well as making it an equal crime to let someone in as it was to sneak out in the first place) to anyone bent on mischief. So we really needed a vacation after our "vacation."

>
> There's always somebody who gets something sprained, stomach problems, flu etc.

And there was on our trip, too. One of our girls had an allergic reaction to something, so I and the tour guide had to go back to her room to get her specific antihistamine to treat it while the rest of everyone went on to the next attraction... Plus I had to leave the park early on the last day to return the rental car. (Having a car for chaperone use is a good addition to any trip. It allows you flexibility that you wouldn't otherwise have. We only used it once, but it was worthwhile for that as well as the peace of mind of having it).

John Matras
Pocono Mountain HS bands dad emeritus (Swiftwater, PA)
West Chester University Marching Band dad (West Chester, PA)

Unfortunately, our chaperones have to pay the same amount as the students. The school contributes nothing toward the trip except permission to go. I realize that this seems like cruel and unusual punishment to make someone pay and chaperone, but our trips are good enough that no one complains. We go each year and the normal list is Hawaii, a Bahamas cruise, Mexico, or Vancouver, Canada. We even have teachers who volunteer to go even if they have to chaperone. They know that a trip with the band is always fun. The band director is the only person who doesn't pay. His cost is absorbed by the rest of the group. It's roughly $5 per person. No one complains about it because without him, there is no trip.

We allow the kids to use the money in their student account for anything related to the band. That includes spring trips. We have had cases where the parents worked for the PTSA Bingo and earned enough into their student's account to pay for not just the student but for both parents to make the trip. We've never had a trip that costs less than $475 or more than $750 in the 7 years I've been here. We've had some parents and students work hard enough to earn over $2000 in a year to their student account. We allow one fundraiser, such as a march-a-thon, to put 100% of the student sales into their account. The rest of the fundraisers net them 10% or 25% of gross sales to their account. The lower percentage is for fundraisers that have overhead, such as a catalog sale or Christmas trees. The higher percentage is for events with insignificant overhead, such as a car wash.

As far as the legality of allowing the student account funds to pay for the chaperone, I don't know. Personal logic suggests that if the parents and students raised the money, they should be allowed to use it in almost any way that is band activity related. Any lawyer types want to chime in?

Mark Roach
Oxnard High Marching Yellowjackets
Oxnard, CA

Mark

> the parents worked for the PTSA Bingo

So parents are allowed to fundraise and the money they earn goes into their student's account to be used for a trip? This is what you are saying, right? How do they determine, if you know, what a person that works at PTSA Bingo gets paid.

Thanks in advance
Jean Firkey, 
S. Oldham parent alumni

Parents and students over 18 are the only people who may work bingo due to the age requirement of state laws. The PTSA determines the amount paid per worker. The bingo callers are paid $60/night and floor workers are paid $35 for a roughly 5 hour shift. PTSA regulates the number of workers and their rotation. Bingo is one night a week. PTSA keeps track of the worker's organization (band, cheerleading, football, etc.) and the student for whom the person worked. An adult does not have to work for the same student or organization every time. Some alumni boosters work for kids who have a hard time affording the fees and trip and some grandparents work because the parents can't. Some parents work for multiple organizations because they have students in other school programs. The booster's get 25% of the payment into the general fund. So someone with a bingo caller parent, if they can get to call every week, can raise $60 for the band and $180 for the student per month. Other organizations have the money paid into the school ASB account for the student, but since we are a 501(c)3 organization, PTSA pays the money to the boosters.

Mark Roach
Oxnard High Marching Yellowjackets
Oxnard, CA

Mark

You've provided a wealth of information. What day do they have the bingo at our school? What is the enrollment at your school. Our's may seem small to some. We only have 1300. I'm 20 miles east of Louisville, KY in a rural area, but growing fast.

Do you know how involved it is to get a "Bingo Game" started? Would it be possible for you to contact the PTSA "Bingo Person" and share with us how they got started?

One more question, do you have any idea the revenue the PTSA receives from having BINGO?

Thanks again
Jean Firkey, 
S. Oldham, alumni parent

Wow,

On all of our trips at the old school, the chaperones had to pay full price. As far as I know the free trips went to the director, his assistant, the colorguard advisor, and the director's family.

Really makes me wonder. I think all of your ideas are amazingly appreciative of your volunteers. Any way that you can lower the cost of the chaperones really shows how important your chaperones are to you.

Susan Plack
Grossmont Band Mom
La Mesa, CA

"Mark E. Roach" wrote:

> As far as the legality of allowing the student account funds to pay for the chaperone, I don't know."
> Personal logic suggests that if the parents and students raised the money, they should be allowed
> to use it in almost any way that is band activity related. Any lawyer types want to chime in?

Mark,

The big "No, no" as far as the IRS is concerned is earning credits through non-profit fundraisers, then paying out actual cash to anyone. So long as that's not the case, I don't see why a band fundraiser can't pay for students and chaperones alike to go on a band trip. :)

Raymond Myers, A Lawyer Type
John Overton HS Band Boosters & Lawyers Club
Nashville, Tennessee USA

Bill Gremillion wrote:

> "Not a vacation." Very true, John. We ran two hour shifts at night...all night...to make sure nobody
>  was running loose after curfew. She Whose Decision Is Final and I once drew the dreaded one to
>  three a.m.  shift.

Actually I have found those shifts to be among the most fun and/or productive times on Band Trips. I remember when we took a cruise to the Bahamas after performing at Disneyworld. The late night/early morning shifts in the halls of the ship got to be big chat parties for the adults. The ones being "relieved" of duty wanted to sit and yak instead of getting some shut-eye. There was a continually turning-over group yakking away all night.

Another occasion I had that duty in a hotel by myself, but got a bunch of post cards written, addressed, stamped, and in the hotel mail box.

And yes, we have taken up keys, taped doors like some detective agency might do, and generally told stories to scare the kids.

I will admit getting burned once in Chicago. I dutifully checked the room "my" four boys were in, when I checked to make sure they were up the morning we were to leave. However, I failed to go back and double check after they actually moved out of the room. In the meantime, they had trashed the room! :(

John Matras mentioned renting a car. We always have one or more parents with cars. That morning I had left something in my room (oops) and radioed to the car immediately on pulling out of the hotel parking lot. By the time they got back to the front desk to ask for someone to open my room, housecleaning had discovered the trashed rooms and told that Band Mom.

Those poor (?) boys were nailed within 15 minutes. I'm sure they gained new "respect" for the powers of Band Directors to know things!!!

Raymond Myers
John Overton Band Boosters
Nashville, Tennessee USA

Bill Gremillion wrote:

> Jean Firkey wrote:
> > When a band takes a trip, there is always chaperones needed. How does your band handle this?
>  The kids
> ----------
> I think it was handled two different ways here, Jean, but in neither case did the chaperones pay.
> Our feeling was that you were contributing enough already by going.

You are right, Bill, about Chaperones contributing. However, to my knowledge our chaperones have always paid full fare, usually a little more than students (due to getting fewer in a room). Traveling with our Band has always been popular, so we don't have the kids underwrite the adults travel, but rather the other way around. Different strokes. :)

Raymond Myers
John Overton Band Boosters
Nashville, Tennessee USA

Raymond

Thanks for clearing this up. I knew you set us straight. I think the Bingo held by the PTSA would be good for all schools, if they get the support from the community. Does any other school have Bingo similar to what Mark in Oxnard has? Is it run by a Booster group or the PTSA?

I hope everyone has a great week.

Jean Firkey, 
S. Oldham, band parent alumni

Raymond Myers wrote:

> > Bill Gremillion wrote:
> > >
> > > "Not a vacation." Very true, John. We ran two hour
> > > shifts at night...all night...to make sure nobody was
> > > running loose after curfew. She Whose Decision Is
> > > Final and I once drew the dreaded one to three a.m.
> > > shift.
>
> Actually I have found those shifts to be among the most fun and/or
> productive times on Band Trips. I remember when we took a cruise to the
> Bahamas after performing at Disneyworld. The late night/early morning
> shifts in the halls of the ship got to be big chat parties for the adults.
> The ones being "relieved" of duty wanted to sit and yak instead of getting
> some shut-eye. There was a continually turning-over group yakking away all
> night.
>

Heh, heh... That's why we've always had a special chaperone hospitality suite, to keep the rowdy chaperones out of the hallway. Wouldn't want to keep the kids awake, and there are no bathtubs full of, um, ice in the hallways!

> And yes, we have taken up keys, taped doors like some detective agency might
> do, and generally told stories to scare the kids.

In the past--before my time--we taped doors, but not the most recent trips. I think the "scarlet letter" fear of Being The Person Who Had The Band Banned Forever From Disney (or wherever) is a big motivator for good behavior. That and the possibility of being put on a plane with the bill for a one-way ticket mailed to Mom and Dad...

John Matras
Pocono Mountain HS bands dad emeritus (Swiftwater, PA)
West Chester University Marching Band dad (West Chester, PA)

"J. Firkey" wrote:

>
> Does any other school have Bingo similar to what
> Mark in Oxnard has? Is it run by a Booster group or
> the PTSA?
>

I know that Princess Anne HS in Virginia Beach has a booster run bingo operation that has been around for years, and it funds their whole operation and then some. It runs year 'round, and rakes in profits in the six figure range. It takes a lot of booster time contribution--that's an ongoing business--but it pays handsomely. I don't know, after Princess Anne was split this year, whether just PAHS is doing it, or whether it's shared with the new booster group.

I don't think we could get bingo approved. With the pressure from the tourist industry to bring professional gambling into the area--which the local residents overwhelmingly don't want, regardless of potential tax largess--games of chance are not allowed on school grounds, just to keep the nose of that camel out of our tent. Of course, when we have our competition off of school grounds--and even outside the county--we do have a 50-50 raffle! ;-)

John Matras
Pocono Mountain HS band dad emeritus (Swiftwater, PA)
West Chester University Marching Band dad (West Chester, PA)

John Matras wrote:

>
> In the past--before my time--we taped doors, but not the most recent
> trips. I think the "scarlet letter" fear of Being The Person Who Had The
> Band Banned Forever From Disney (or wherever) is a big motivator for
> good behavior. That and the possibility of being put on a plane with the
> bill for a one-way ticket mailed to Mom and Dad...

This was motivation for our kids too. They were told they'd be on one way ticket home paid my the parents, if they got out of line, (no pun intended). I don't know of any kid being sent home, now our boy's baseball team is another story. LOL

Have a good day.

Jean Firkey,
S.Oldham alumni parent

"J. Firkey" wrote:

> I think the Bingo held by the PTSA would be good for all
> schools, .....

Jean, my dear friend, I'm gonna disagree with you strongly on this one. I see no way that government- sponsored gambling can possibly help society mold its youth into hard-working, productive adult citizens. Unless, of course, we want citizens with get-rich-quick mentalities. We might as well sell alcoholic drinks for a fundraiser, IMHO.

Anyway, you can see the hurdles school-sponsored gambling would run into in some school districts. :)  As you can tell, I'm agin it. A victim of _my_ upbringing. :)

Raymond Myers
John Overton Band Boosters
Nashville, Tennessee USA

Well, one last note on the bingo.

For some reason, bingo in some states seems to enjoy the distinction of not being considered gambling, or has special privilege. (Ya pays ya money, ya takes ya chances. Sounds like gambling to me.) Personally, the game doesn't interest me.

Bingo used to be held in the cafeteria at the old high school. A "replacement" school was built and the old one shut down and turned over to the city police department as a training site (classes and physical exercise only). Since the old cafeteria had all of the bingo equipment wiring in it, the PTSA decided to make arrangements to continue it there. No sense in giving the bingo players a reason to complain more than they do already. ;-) Since they are no longer holding bingo on a school campus, they kept the main dining area smoke free and turned the teachers dining room into the smokers area. That's how they got around the no smoking on campus rule. Non-smokers drastically outnumber the smokers anyway.

As for the bingo teaching the kids to gamble, NO children under 18 are allowed inside. Great rationalizing, huh? ("Don't gamble, son. Mommy's going to be at bingo for the next 5 hours trying to win that $500 prize".) Funny thing about the bingo crowd though. The majority seems to be well over 50 and most of the parent age people don't have kids in our school. All the parents from our school I recognize are there to work.

Departing shot. How do you get 100 little old gray haired ladies to cuss at the same time? Yell BINGOOO!!!!!!!!!

Mark Roach
Oxnard High Marching Yellowjackets
Oxnard, CA

  

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