Parents of Fort Stockton Cub Scouts have expressed concern regarding a perceived lack of activities and communication within the dens, their leaders, and those in charge.
According to one individual, who spoke under condition of anonymity, there have been many instances that caused parents to worry. To date, these have included missing awards, belt loops, and trips that never happened.
“My son has been a Cub Scout for years,” the informant said. “I’ve noticed that we’ve only gone on one trip this year, despite having sold the popcorn and participating in other fundraisers. The parents don’t know where that money went. Parents also paid out of pocket to attend a camping trip, but it never happened and the money was never refunded.”
The individual described more events that raised red flags, specifically concerning former Cubmaster Valerie Waters.
“Since my child and I have begun participating in Cub Scouts, Waters has been in charge,” the individual explained. “Waters stated that she was going to retire, but the new leaders have yet to be able to get the account information from her.”
The individual stated that parents have attempted numerous times to contact Waters, but were unable to reach her.
“Waters said she was going to give out the account information to the proper people, but that she was still in possession of some checks that had not yet been deposited,” the individual disclosed. “Right now, Waters is the only person who has access to the money. She is supposed to go this Friday to turn in the account information, her keys, and what she has purchased out of pocket.”
The individual also expressed concern regarding the new Cub Master, saying the new official was unaware of their duties for a while and had yet to be able to access the Cub Scout account.
Waters stopped into the Pioneer offices to tell her side of the story, and said she hasn’t been contacted by any parents.
“I haven’t heard from any parents about this,” Waters said. “If anyone had questions, I’d be glad to answer them.”
Waters stated the money from selling popcorn and fundraising was used, and has been used, to pay for registration fees and books for the start of the new Cub Scout season.
“We only get a percent of what is made during the popcorn sales,” Waters explained. “That goes toward future books, registration in February, supplies for dens, and awards and prizes for the boys. Any loops that the boys earn have paperwork to go along with it that the den leaders were supposed to submit; if any were missing, I believe it is because I didn’t get the paperwork. But if that’s the case, I will work with them to get the awards caught up.”
As for the checks in question, Waters stated she found the undeposited checks in the back of her safe after they had already expired. According to bankrate.com, most banks will not accept personal checks that are more than six months old, but it is at each bank's discretion.
“I made a mistake there,” Waters said. “But I deposited the amount of the checks from my own pocket so the Cub Scouts lost no money.”
Waters also stated the camping trip cited by the parent was the Cub Scout Council’s responsibility, not hers.
“The council sponsors those camping trips,” said Waters. “I have no part in that. In the past, though, if the parents paid for a trip that didn’t happen, the funds weren’t refunded; they were just saved and rolled over to be used for another future trip.”
Waters stated she had announced her plans to retire last year, and that she never intended for parents to remain in the dark.
“All that I’ve done, I’ve done for the boys,” Waters said. “None of this was for myself. I did make some mistakes, but I never did anything to take away from them. If parents have any questions, they can always come to me.”