5 Tips for Boy Scout Parents

Many parents who are extremely excited about enrolling their children to the Cub Scouts often become less enthusiastic as the years go by and they become less supportive of their kids. While there will come a time when they will truly need to learn to be independent in handling their various activities in the den, it is still very important for parents to remain consistently supportive. Otherwise, the child may simply lose interest in this endeavor.

Boy scouting is a worthwhile activity for many children – it gives them a sense of achievement and it keeps them busy from various unfavorable habits, helping them make ethical and moral choices. However, without the guidance of parents, kids may have trouble furthering themselves as scouts. Here are some things that every parent should know in order to help their kid attain the highest scout rank:

Boy scouting requires financial commitment from parents. Expenses on requirements, such as uniforms, handbooks, registration fees, regular dues, and activity fees, often spring up on a yearly or month basis. However despite all this, as a parent, you can rest assured that your money is invested on the well-being of your child.
The role of the parents is very crucial especially during the earlier stage of scouting. As a cub scout, the child would still need his parents to actively participate in activities designed for both parent and child, and to attend in meetings set for all parents or guardians.
As the child advances to higher ranks, he would require less adult supervision. However, it would still matter a lot if a parent regularly asks the child about how his scouting career is going. Being supportive about your child’s activities can make him feel more encouraged about what he is doing. Offer guidance and assistance once in a while but avoid violating his aim to become more independent.
There are certain events, particularly pack activities, which may require parents to participate. These occurrences do not come too often so it wouldn’t hurt to keep yourself posted on these dates and take them as bonding experiences for you and your kid.
If you’re interested in becoming an adult volunteer, you may be required to take the adult protection training. This can help you understand the scouting career better and train parents to identify and report possibilities of abuse. It requires the parent to renew the training every two years and a certificate of completion will be awarded to successful participants.

Understanding Mandatory Fees and Dealer Fees

Buying a new car can be stressful, especially if you haven’t done it in over five years. There’s the issue of choosing a colour, make, extra features (if you want them), and of course the messy business of negotiating a price. If you don’t do the research before heading to the dealership, you could fall into a trap many buyers before you have succumbed to and leave the dealership with much more than you bargained for, and not in a good way.

Before you even start talking to a salesperson, arm yourself with enough knowledge about the car to reduce the likelihood of you getting taken for a ride (no pun intended). The first thing you need to do is the research on the car cost. Canada dealers get their units at wholesale prices. You can find out more about this via invoice price reports. Companies like Car Cost Canada offer invoice price reports at $39.95 while Unhaggle.com lets you access it for free. Once you get the factory price of the car, factor in what the dealer needs to make in profit and you can start benchmarking your price for negotiation.

Next, it is also important to understand which fees are mandatory and which fees are optional dealer fees that can be negotiated out of your purchase. The more information you have, the better your chances are of getting a reasonable price, and one that you can be happy with.

Here’s a quick rundown of the mandatory fees you’ll need to pay when purchasing a car according to the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry:

1. HST or Harmonized Sales Tax – 13% on car price
2. Air tax – Air conditioner excise tax of $100 for cars with air-conditioning
3. OTS tax or Ontario Tire Stewardship fee – For passenger vehicles and light trucks the fee is $5.84 per tire
4. OMVIC fee – A transaction fee to support OMVIC’s (Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council) dispute resolution activities
5. PPSA fee – If you finance/lease a car, the bank/leasing company will charge a fee for setting up the loan and registering the lien $50 to $75.
6. Licensing – Most dealerships will take care of this for you and will charge an admin fee of $50 to $75.

If it’s not listed above, consider it a dealer fee. An important thing to remember is that mandatory fees should not be added to the car’s price after you’ve negotiated it, it must already be included. The same goes for advertisements that include the price of a car – whatever is advertised should be the all-in price.

Don’t be pressured into buying additional products or features you don’t believe have value. If you’re being made to believe that a certain add-on is compulsory because it’s already been installed, you have the right to report them to the OMVIC for deliberately misleading you.

Dealer fees and add-ons like security packages which include a police traceable code in case of theft could already be part of your insurance coverage so make sure you do the due diligence and read your contracts before signing them.

A great way to avoid paying for more than the car is worth is to do extensive research online and see what other people are paying for the same car. Find out also if there are any on-going Canadian dealer incentives that you could take advantage of.