Membership Fee Increase for 2020

October 23, 2019

Important letter from the National Council, Boy Scouts of America to all members:

To ensure we have the resources to fulfill the promise of Scouting despite increasing operating costs, the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America has made the difficult but necessary decision to increase the annual membership fee effective January 1, 2020 to:

  • $60 for Youth Members in Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouts,
  • $36 for Youth Members in Exploring
  • $36 for Adult Members

Thank you for your continued role in empowering a generation of future leaders of character through Scouting programs.

*All members will pay a $12 insurance recovery fee and unit charter fees will increase to $60 January 2020.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why are the fees increasing now?

A: While costs increase every year, the Boy Scouts of America has worked to keep the annual membership fee as low as possible to make Scouting available to as many young people as possible by subsidizing core costs. As the organization’s financial situation has shifted over the past several months, it is no longer possible to subsidize at the level we have in the past.

Q: Does this apply to youth members and volunteers?

A: 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
  • $36 for Adult Members (Includes Cost of Background Check and Scouting Magazine)
  • $60 for Unit Charter Fees
Q: Is Scouting still a good value?

A: 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 youth members, the new registration fee amounts to $5 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.

Q: Does the fee increase apply to council-paid memberships?

A: No. The cost for council funded membership, sometimes known as ScoutReach, will continue to be $24 for each youth member.

Q: What will the money be used for?

A: Every dollar of membership fees will go to cover the cost of essential services, background checks for adult leaders, program development and training resources, continuously updated youth protection and youth safety training, improved IT/digital experiences and service.

Q: Why is this being announced now?

A: We recognize the timing of this fee increase creates challenges as units have already begun collecting fees for their 2020 registration renewal process, and we would not make this difficult decision if it were not absolutely necessary. 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 recharter process.

Q: Does this increase cover financial challenges the organization is facing?

A: The national membership fee enables us program development and training resources, continuously updated youth protection and youth safety training, improved IT/digital experiences and services.

Q: When will this increase take effect?

A: The new membership fees will take effect starting January 1, 2020 for the 2020-21 program year.

Q: Is financial assistance available?

A: We are committed to ensuring that all youth can experience the character-building benefits of Scouting regardless of their financial situation. In addition to the many existing council and unit membership assistance funds, we have established the donor-funded Growing Future Leaders Fund to provide financial support to those who need it.

Q: What measures has the national organization taken to offset the financial challenges?

A: 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.

Q: Will the national membership fee continue to increase?

A: Although no decision about future increases have 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 in May or early in the summer so that they can be announced with as much lead time as possible to allow for councils and units to be able to plan accordingly.