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2020 National Membership Fee Increase

June 4, 2020

The volunteer members of the national Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America have voted to increase the annual national membership fee for youth and adult members and the annual unit charter fee. They have also added a new member fee that is paid only once, upon joining Scouting for the first time. Both these changes start with our upcoming fall recruiting season. For existing members, the first time this change will affect you will be at recharter in December.

Here are the new national fee amounts:

  • $66 for youth in Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing, and Sea Scouting
  • $42 for youth in Exploring
  • $42 for adult members in all programs
  • $75 for a unit charter fee

Note:

  • Youth who cross over from Cub Scouts to Scouts BSA do not have to pay the new member fee
  • Youth who transfer from one unit or program to another do not have to pay the new member fee
  • Youth who are new members joining Exploring do not have to pay the new member fee
  • Adults who are new volunteers (in any program) do not have to pay the new member fee
  • Everyone still pays the $1 fee for our council’s local insurance coverage during recharter (we chose not to increase this because you’re already paying enough)
  • Our council will not implement a council program fee that was approved by the national organization

Here are real-world examples of how these fees will impact our members (new member amount assumes joining September 1):

  • New Cub Scout/Scouts BSA/Venturer/Sea Scout – pay $47 to join (pro-rated $22 membership fee for the final four months of 2020 + $25 one-time new member fee) and then $67 (national membership fee + $1 for local insurance coverage) at recharter in December for 2021
  • New Explorer – pay pro-rated $14 membership fee for the final four months of 2020 and then $43 (national membership fee + $1 for local insurance coverage) at recharter in December for 2021
  • Scouts BSA youth staying active in a troop but also joining Exploring – pay pro-rated $14 membership fee for the final four months of 2020 in Exploring and then, in December with recharter, $67 (BSA national membership fee + $1 for local insurance coverage) for your Scouts BSA registration AND $43 (national Exploring membership fee + $1 for local insurance coverage) for your Exploring registration
  • New adult member (all programs) – pay pro-rated $14 membership fee for the final four months of 2020 and then $43 (national membership fee + $1 for local insurance coverage) at recharter in December for 2021
  • Existing Cub Scout/Scouts BSA/Venturer/Sea Scout continuing in the same program – pay $67 (national membership fee + $1 for local insurance coverage) at recharter in December for 2021
  • Cub Scout crossing over into Scouts BSA – pay $67 (national membership fee + $1 for local insurance coverage) at recharter in December for 2021 (you already paid the 2020 membership fee with your pack)
  • Scouts BSA youth staying active in a troop but also joining Venturing or Sea Scouting – pay $67 (national membership fee + $1 for local insurance coverage) at recharter with your troop in December for 2021 (you don’t pay again with the crew or ship)

Our council does not believe money should prevent any youth from participating in Scouting. We realize these higher national fees, especially combined with economic hardship suffered from COVID-19 disruptions, will put added pressure on some families’ budgets. Our council offers financial assistance to help families who need help with Scouting expenses. Please visit www.bsacac.org/financial-help to learn more and apply.

We know some volunteers heard about these new fees through social media posts on unofficial accounts before today. We waited to communicate this information to you until now because we wanted a chance to give our feedback to BSA leadership about this decision (which we have done).

On that topic, some communication nationally mentions the possibility of local councils adding an additional “program fee.” Our council is not doing this, thanks in large part to our Friends of Scouting, James E. West, Tom Wooten Society donors and units participating in our fall popcorn campaign. Their contributions help provide the necessary support to keep Scouting operating in Central Texas. We are grateful for our donors’ generosity and our units’ participation.

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why did these national fees increase?
Costs for essential services – including program resources, liability insurance for those participating in approved Scouting activities, youth protection, and more – have all risen year over year. Membership fees are one of the Boy Scouts of America’s only sources of annual operating revenue.

Will these fees go toward funding a victims compensation trust?
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 resources.

What has the national organization done to cut costs?
In addition to ongoing efforts to streamline and simplify the organization, the national organization has taken several steps to address its financial challenges, which include recent furloughs and three 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.

Will these national fees continue to increase?
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.

Is there some way to share my opinion on this with BSA?
You may contact the national Boy Scouts of America organization at 972-580-2000 or by email at [email protected].