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MEMBERSHIP FEE INCREASE

The Dan Beard Council was recently informed that there will be a BSA National Council Membership fee increase.

For more than 100 years, Scouting has helped build future leaders by combining educational activities and lifelong values with fun and adventure in the outdoors. We care passionately about what is happening to kids and our communities – and are dedicated to supporting an exciting, quality program that builds better young people and our future leaders.

Here in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area, Scouting continues to improve families and our community by serving more than 30,000 families and led by over 6,000 volunteers in five Ohio counties (Butler, Warren, Hamilton, Clermont and Brown) and seven Kentucky counties (Boone, Kenton, Campbell, Gallatin, Owen, Grant and Pendleton.)

Now as we continue the Scouting mission, it is important that we keep pace with an ever-changing world.  On October 23, 2019 the BSA National Council board of directors made a difficult decision related increasing membership fees, and a new fee structure has been announced.  Effective January 2020, the fee structure will be:

·         $60 for youth members in Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing, and Sea Scouting

·         $36 for youth members in Exploring

·         $36 for all adult members

·         $60 for unit charter fee

Every dollar from membership fees goes directly to the BSA National Office to fund program curriculum and safety standards, training, youth protection resources and criminal background checks, technology upgrades, insurance coverage, and many more investments to sustain Scouting. Costs continue to increase, especially at a substantial rate for insurance coverage. 

FAQ’s

Membership Fees go directly to BSA National Council to fund program curriculum and safety standards, training, Youth Protection resources and criminal background checks, technology upgrades, National insurance coverage and many more investments to sustain Scouting.

Costs continue to increase to fund program curriculum and safety standards, training, Youth Protection resources, criminal background checks, technology upgrades, and especially insurance coverage.

There are significant costs for BSA National Council to serve 2.2 million children, and as an organization we have seen a lot of positive changes that have taken significant investment. Much of this is related to youth protection which includes the new periodic rechecks of criminal backgrounds, the new youth protection training including new modules on bullying and hazing, protect yourself rules training, Personal Safety Awareness Training for our older programs, and National insurance coverage. Furthermore, BSA National Council has released in recent years a simplified and upgraded Cub Scout program curriculum, Scoutbook, online registration, among other assets to further our impact and provide helpful tools for leaders.

This increase will get the BSA National Council fee more in line with the true cost of Scouting.

The fee increase is mostly related to a substantial increase rate for National insurance coverage, but it also covers program curriculum and safety standards, training, Youth Protection resources, membership processing, and technology upgrades.

No, the cost of background checks is not the prompting the fee increase.

Families enjoy Scouting because of its high value and reasonable price. Even with an increase in the membership fee, Scouting will remain less expensive than most youth programs in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area, and certainly more impactful long-term.

For reference, the fees below are for other children’s programs in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area.

  • 3 months of sports $165
  • 3 months of dance $400
  • 12 months of music lessons $1,800

It is also important to note that while there will be an increase in the BSA National Council membership fee, the remaining costs of Scouting should remain the same.

A BSA National Council vision team of volunteers and staff from across the country worked to identify viable options and closely considered the best way forward as they evaluated the growing cost of delivering Scouting.

The 2019 membership fee was $33 which goes directly to BSA National Council to fund program curriculum and safety standards, training, Youth Protection resources, criminal background checks, technology upgrades, National insurance coverage and many more investments to sustain Scouting.

The new fee effective January 1, 2020, the new fees are:

  • $60 for youth members in Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouts,
  • $36 for youth members in Exploring, and
  • $36 for adult members (includes cost of background check and Scouting Magazine)
  • $60 for unit charter fees

Costs continue to increase to fund program curriculum and safety standards, training, Youth Protection resources, criminal background checks, technology upgrades and especially National insurance coverage. Since our units recharter in December and our schools start in early August, we understand that the timing of this announcement is difficult.

While costs increase every year, the Boy Scouts of America has worked to keep the annual membership fee as low as possible to make Scouting available to as many young people as possible by subsidizing core costs, including National’s liability insurance we must carry to cover all official Scouting activities. As the organization’s financial situation has shifted over the past several months, it is no longer possible to subsidize at the level we have in the past, especially as the cost of insurance has increased dramatically.

The online rechartering process opened October 1. The process will go forth as usual with the exception of the “calculate fees” portion, which won’t be functional until November 1.

Yes, the new fees apply for youth and adult members. Effective January 1, 2020, the new fees are:

  • $60 for youth members in Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouts,
  • $36 for youth members in Exploring, and
  • $36 for adult members (includes cost of background check and Scouting Magazine)
  • $60 for unit charter fees

Locally, a committee of experienced Pack and Troop leaders put together suggestions to help assist with challenges a fee increase may cause. Units will still need to submit the additional fees during the recharter process.

Locally, a committee of experienced Pack and Troop leaders put together suggestions to help assist with challenges a fee increase may cause. 

  • Continue to sell Popcorn. Talk with your district professional if you would like to replenish your order.
  • We are working to have Camp Cards available earlier in January for unit fundraising.
  • Determine if a quarterly dues structure for your families might be more convenient.
  • Revisit your unit budget to make sure fees align with actual costs.
  • Inform families now an additional fee will be due, and you will notify them in early November of the amount.

The BSA National Council will continue to take every measure to reduce operational expenses, and locally the Dan Beard Council will continue to focus on increasing revenue streams to support our program. Here in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area, it costs over $5.6 million a year to have Scouting in our community and our four beautiful camp properties. None of that revenue comes from the BSA National Council. All is a result of direct local fundraising and revenue to keep the cost of Scouting for families as low as possible.

There are many benefits of Scouting: leadership training, character development, values-based learning, life and work skill training, the list goes on and on. The best way to sum it all up is that the Scouting ideals are found in the Scout Oath and Law. Individually, the words are simple, but collectively they become words to live by. These principles make Scouting more than what children do—but rather who they are—and what they will be. There is no other children’s program available that has the same impact as Scouting.

Based on financial needs, registration assistance will be available. Please contact your District Professional for more information.

We are committed to ensuring that all youth can experience the character-building benefits of Scouting regardless of their financial situation. In addition to the many existing council and unit membership assistance funds, we have established the donor-funded Growing Future Leaders Fund to provide financial support to those who need it. 

Product sales can help offset the cost of this increase and there is no easier way than through selling popcorn online. Online sales are as easy as sending a link to friends and family.

Benefits of online sales include:

  • FREE SHIPPING!
  • No handling of the product
  • Product delivered directly to your buyer’s doorstep
  • No handling of money
  • 35% commission directly back to your unit

Exclusive online products may include:

  • Trail Mix
  • Chocolate Caramel Peanut Clusters
  • Coffee
  • K-Cups
  • Slim Pop
  • Movie Theater Butter (Microwavable)
  • Military Sales (various donation levels)

To learn more and to register your scout, please view this fun and informative link below: https://discover.trails-end.com/popcorn-academy/

The new membership fees will take effect starting January 1, 2020. This change is in effect for the unit recharter, which units are working on now.

In addition to ongoing efforts to streamline and simplify the organization, the national organization has taken a number of steps in addressing its financial challenges, including the recent elimination of more than 35 positions at the National Service Center and ongoing consolidation of departments for the most effective utilization of resources in support of Scouting.

Although no decision about future increases have been made, the cost of operating our organization and services increases every year. Should it be necessary to increase fees in the future, the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America has agreed to evaluate the needs and make such decisions, whenever possible, at the National Annual Meeting in May or early in the summer so that they can be announced with as much lead time as possible to allow for councils and units to be able to plan accordingly.