From the Office of the Chief Scout Executive — As we evaluate the growing cost of delivering the Scouting program, a vision team of volunteers and staff from across the country is considering the best way forward that will likely require us to implement a national membership fee increase for youth members and adult leaders as of January 1, 2020.
This prospective change is being driven by the significant cost increase of the liability insurance we must carry to cover all official Scouting activities.
We do not know the amount of the increase at this time since this requires National Executive Committee input and approval.
Please know that we are only considering this change out of necessity, and we are committed to ensuring that all youth can experience the character-building benefits of Scouting regardless of their financial situation. That is why, in anticipation of a likely increase, we are 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 the many existing council and unit membership assistance funds.
We recognize the timing of this likely fee increase creates challenges as units have already begun collecting fees for their 2020 registration renewal process. We sincerely apologize and hope you understand that we would not be pursuing this path were it not absolutely necessary to ensure 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 online rechartering system to ensure units can carry out the normal yearly process with as few issues as possible.
We recognize this is neither easy information to hear, nor to convey, but we want to be transparent as we have information to share so you can prepare your units appropriately. We commit to providing the new registration fee no later than October 23, 2019, which would take effect on January 1, 2020. The rechartering system will still open on October 1st to allow units to do their roster work.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Who is guiding the process regarding membership fee changes?
A vision team of volunteers and staff from across the country is identifying viable options and considering the best way forward as we evaluate the growing cost of delivering the Scouting program.
What do you expect the new fee to be in 2020?
We do not know the amount of the expected increase at this time since this requires National Executive Committee input and approval.
Why is this happening now?
The expected membership fee increase is the direct result of a significant increase in the cost of liability insurance we must carry to cover all official Scouting activities.
How will this impact the current rechartering process?
The online rechartering process will officially open as planned on October 1, 2019 for our December recharters. The process will go forth as usual with the exception of the “calculate fees” portion, which won’t be functional until November 1st.
What should units do if they have already collected 2020 membership fees?
Unfortunately, units will need to collect the additional funds from families once the new amount is known.
When will the organization make a decision about the 2020 membership fee increase?
We commit to providing the new registration fee no later than October 23, 2019.
Additional information will be available as details are confirmed.
Yours in Scouting,
Chief Scout Executive