Earlier this week, the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America notified all local councils that a membership fee increase for youth members and adult leaders is likely. These new fees would take effect as of January 1, 2020.
This anticipated change is due to the significant cost increase of the liability insurance the BSA must carry to cover all official Scouting activities.
At this time, the National Council has not yet determined the amount of the projected membership fee increase. A team of volunteers and staff from across the country is currently working on specifics to identify viable options and determine the best way forward. Also, any change in fees requires the National Executive Committee’s input and approval. The National Council has committed to providing the new registration fee specifics to local councils no later than October 23, 2019.
Since this likely membership fee increase will take effect as of January 1, 2020, it will have an immediate impact as units begin the rechartering process for 2020. The on-line rechartering system will officially open as planned on October 1, 2019, for December recharters to allow units to do their roster work. This process will go forth as usual except for the “calculate fees” portion, which won’t be functional until November 1, 2019.
“We recognize the timing of this likely fee increase creates challenges as units have already begun collecting fees for their 2020 registration renewal process,” Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh said. “We sincerely apologize and hope you understand that we would not be pursuing this path were it not absolutely necessary to assure the BSA can continue carrying out its mission to serve youth.
“We are committed to supporting you through this process and are making necessary adjustments to the on-line rechartering system to ensure units can carry out the normal yearly process with as few issues as possible.”
The National Council also announced that the organization is working to establish a donor-funded BSA Registration Assistance Fund to provide financial support to those who need it. This fund will be in addition to any local council or unit membership assistance funds that currently are in place.
100% of youth member and adult leader registration fees go to support the operations of the National Council, Boy Scouts of America. The New Birth of Freedom Council also pays a membership fee to the National Council and purchases at an additional cost, many services from National, including employee benefits, training for staff and volunteers, and a variety of computer services.
There will be no change in the amount of the New Birth of Freedom Council’s $3 insurance fee collected at recharter time for 2020.