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MEMBERSHIP FEE UPDATE

The Dan Beard Council was recently informed that there will be a BSA National Council Membership fee increase.  Please find below the official communication from the BSA National Office. 

Released by the National Office 6/7/21

Over the last year, we have seen the Scouting community come together, even while being physically apart, to bring solutions, relief and comfort to those in need. Scouting continues to be a vital partner for communities across the country.

The value of Scouting is undeniable for those within the program and the greater public, and the Boy Scouts of America is committed to continuing to offer this unmatched opportunity to young people and families nationwide. It is important that we all reach out to Scouting families who might have left the program due to pandemic reasons and invite them back. We should also be thinking about how to invite new families to join.

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has worked to keep the membership fee as low as possible. Unfortunately, operating costs have continued to rise, and COVID-19 has compounded the need to increase the fee to maintain the program.

To ensure we have the resources to fulfill the promise of Scouting, the updated national membership fee is

  • $72 for Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouts participants
  • $45 for Exploring participants
  • $30 for council-paid memberships
  • $45 for all adult volunteers (includes cost of background check)
  • $75 for a unit charter fee

The membership fees will take effect August 1, 2021, for the 2021-2022 program year.

The one-time $25 joining fee for new program participants in Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouts is still required; however, there is no joining fee for Exploring participants, participants previously registered in any BSA program, those transferring from one program to another, council-paid memberships, or adult volunteers.

See an infographic explaining these updates. 

The national membership fee helps pay for the cost of essential services, including program resources, liability insurance for those participating in approved Scouting activities, youth protection and other local council resources.

National BSA will also continue to develop and improve resources that support our volunteers and youth members through online registration, Scoutbook, and national initiatives that bring us all together.

Across the country and in each of our communities, we know that Scouting remains one of the most valuable investments we can make in young men and women today so they can become the leaders we will turn to tomorrow.

Our dedicated volunteers, staff, and Scouting families make this possible. Thank you for continuing to support one of the most valuable opportunities available to young people today.

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.

The national annual membership fee is increasing by $6, about 50 cents per month, because the costs associated with Scouting, including the cost of liability insurance, continue to increase and the organization is not able to subsidize the increased costs as it had in the past.

In addition, 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.

No. The national annual membership fee and the new-member joining fee will help pay for the cost of essential services, including program resources, liability insurance for those participating in approved Scouting activities, youth protection and other local council resources.

While the cost of background checks is paid for by the national organization, that is not the driver of this increase.

Absolutely! While most extracurricular activities are seasonal, Scouting is a year-round program that remains one of the most valuable investments we can make to support young men and women today so they can become the leaders we will turn to tomorrow. For most of our participants, the new national membership fee amounts to $6.00 a month, which is an enormous value when you consider that many seasonal extracurricular activities often start at $100 for programs that last a few weeks.

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 current membership fee is $66 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 fall of 2021, will be:

  • $72 for youth members in Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouts,
  • $45 for youth members in Exploring, and
  • $45 for adult members (includes cost of background check)
  • $75 for unit charter fees

In addition to ongoing efforts to streamline and simplify the organization, the national organization has taken a number of steps to address its financial challenges, which include multiple rounds of reductions over the past year. These were in addition to ongoing consolidation of departments and elimination of some significant vendors for the most effective utilization of resources in support of Scouting. 

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. 

Product sales can help offset the cost of this increase and there is no easier way than through selling popcorn. Dan Beard Council is dramatically increasing it storefront system and opportunities for local units this year and online sales are as easy as sending a link to friends and family.

Benefits of popcorn include:

  • Logistics handled
  • Free returns
  • New sales management dashboard to track and manage your sale online.
  • Storefront access
  • Awesome Amazon prize program to incentivize and reward your Scouts
  • Point of Sale mobile App for Scouts to record sales
  • Accept credit cards and free credit card processing. 

To learn more visit www.danbeard.org/popcorn

The new membership fees will take effect starting August 1, 2021 for the 2021-2022 program year.

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 has 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 so that decisions can be announced with as much lead time as possible to allow councils and units to plan accordingly.