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National Membership Fees
June 9, 2023
The national Boy Scouts of America organization sets the fee amounts to register as a member of Scouting. In order to preserve the mission of Scouting, the BSA has increased the youth membership fee by $5 and adult membership fee by $15 (both effective August 1, 2023) in all programs for the 2023-2024 program year. Here are the current national fee amounts:
- $80 for Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouting participants ($5 increase)
- $60 for all adult volunteers ($15 increase to provide general liability insurance and enhanced background checks)
- $25 one-time joining fee for new program participants in Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouting (not prorated and no change in fee)
- $30 for Scoutreach (not prorated)
- $25 for Merit Badge Counselors (new fee applies only for Merit Badge Counselors not already registered as leaders)
- $50 for youth and adult Exploring participants ($5 increase)
- $100 for a unit charter/affiliation fee (no change in fee)
- $15 for Scout Life magazine
In addition to these increases, the BSA has streamlined its professional staff and volunteer structure, reduced costs throughout the movement while maintaining essential services to support local councils.
Notes about fees:
- As before, youth who cross over from Cub Scouts to Scouts BSA do not have to pay the new member fee
- As before, youth who transfer from one unit or program to another do not have to pay the new member fee
- As before, youth who are new members joining Exploring 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 has chosen not to levy a council program fee approved by the national organization
New Annual Membership Fee Process Announced
Beginning August 1, 2023, all new youth and adult members who join Scouting will be enrolled in a 12-month membership cycle and BSA will cease prorating fees. Both youth and adults will pay the full annual membership fee and will renew their membership on the anniversary date of joining Scouting. All proration of membership fees will be eliminated. Each registered member of the BSA will receive an email notice with a registration renewal link beginning 60 days before the anniversary date they joined Scouting. Unit leaders will receive a copy of the email and should stay engaged in the membership renewal process just like rechartering.
It is important to note, existing members will renew their membership during their normal registration/recharter cycle through March 2024. Moving forward all members will renew on their anniversary date.
- Existing members’ Anniversary date will be their unit recharter month.
- New members’ Anniversary date will be the month they joined.
This new process will help streamline the rechartering and membership renewal process for units and councils. Additional information on this membership renewal process will be forthcoming in the very near future.
Our council does not believe money should prevent any youth from participating in Scouting. 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.
As mentioned earlier, local councils have been given the option of charging its members an additional “program fee.” Our council does not do 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:
What is driving the youth and adult membership fee increase?
- General liability insurance costs to protect volunteer leaders, staff, charter organizations, units, and youth
- BSA restructuring costs
- Enhanced criminal background check processes and investments in youth protection and safety programs
What steps has the National Service Center taken to manage costs?
- Completed a new staff structure and streamlined both the professional workforce and the volunteer structure, while maintaining essential services
- Reduced the national staff workforce to support essential services
- Reduced expenses throughout the national organization
What is the new membership fee for youth and adults? Will the fees go up again?
- The new adult membership fee is $60, and the youth membership fee is $80 annually
- The BSA will continue to evaluate the membership fees and keep councils and unit leaders informed of any further changes to the fee structure
What benefits and services are provided to the local council with the new fee?
- Expanded general liability insurance policy protections for Chartered Organizations and volunteers
- Enhanced criminal background checks
- Investments in BSA safety resources and training
- The employment of a new Youth Protection Executive and support staff
- The National Council provides the following essential services to councils:
- The use of BSA intellectual property – youth safety, Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing, camp standards, training and program development etc.
- Human Resources
- Information Technology – rechartering, Scoutbook
- Accounting resources
- Council services support
- Membership and marketing support
- Crisis communications and support
- Safety and membership standards support
- A variety of training support for youth and adult leaders
- Health insurance and benefits
What benefits and services are provided to units with the registration fee?
- Expanded general liability insurance protections for the Chartered Organization and unit leaders in the event of an incident
- Program research and development including, Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing, and Exploring
- Access to Youth Protection Training, Incident Reporting, and Scouts First Helpline: 1- 844-Scouts1
- Access to leadership specific training for adult leaders
- Investments in program literature and resource development
- Ability to purchase uniforms, insignia, and recognition for youth and adults
- Provides access to membership, marketing, and Brand Center resources
- Provides important technology support including Scoutbook, online registration, online advancement, rechartering, My.Scouting, BeAScout, and BSA Brand Center for digital assets
- Access to the four BSA High Adventure Properties including Philmont Scout Ranch, Florida Sea Base, Northern Tier High Adventure Base, and the Summit Bechtel Reserve