2017 Membership Fees Increase

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Direct from the Boy Scouts of America, National Office: The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.

To do this — while delivering the nation’s foremost youth development program — the BSA must remain vigilant in controlling costs. Although we have been successful in reducing our expenditures in many areas, it has become necessary to evaluate our annual membership fees.

Based on feedback from both volunteers and employees, the BSA membership fee will increase to $33 for all registered youth and adult leaders, effective December 1, 2017.

Membership fees support the services that are necessary to provide Scouting to youth from 7 to 21 years of age. From education to high-adventure experiences you can’t get anyplace else, the BSA provides unique growth opportunities at a great value.

Services include primary liability coverage for all volunteer leaders and chartered organizations, ongoing advances in technology, fundraising support, new program development and membership recruiting strategies, and support materials. In 2016 alone, the BSA served 2.3 million youth members through approximately 270 local councils across the United States and its territories.

With the help of all of our volunteers and Scouting parents, we will continue accomplishing incredible things for young people and the communities we serve.

Questions and Answers:

  1. Why are you increasing the membership fee? What is the additional money from the fees going to be used for?

To deliver the Scouting program to our 2.3 million youth members, it is occasionally necessary for the organization to increase membership fees to offset rising costs. As a result, the BSA is increasing our membership fee to $33 for all registered Scouts and adult members effective December 1, 2017.

Membership fees support the services that are necessary to provide Scouting programs to a growing number of youth. Services include ongoing advances in technology, council visits to assist in fundraising, program development and membership campaigns, liability insurance costs, and administrative costs. It is important that we continue to maintain a strong financial position in the future to support and grow Scouting.

  1. What is directly contributing to the need for this increase?

There are a variety of factors taken into consideration, all of which have led to an increased cost of doing business.

  1. When will the increase go into effect?

The membership fee change for all registered youth and adult leaders will go into effect December 1, 2017. This change will affect Cub Scout packs, Boy Scout troops, Venturing crews, Sea Scout ships, and Exploring posts/clubs. However, it will NOT apply to LDS-sponsored units, nor to those units with council-paid memberships. Note: All November and December 2017 recharters will have to renew at this new rate (since November recharter renewal actually spans from December 1, 2017, to November 30, 2018).

  1. Does the BSA increase membership fees often?

There have been 10 fee increases in the organization’s history. Since 1969, the BSA has increased our fee, on average, every five years. The last membership increase took effect on January 1, 2014, and, prior to that, in 2010.

  1. How much does it cost to be a Boy Scout?

All youth and adults who wish to become a member or leader of the Boy Scouts of America must pay the annual membership fee. Beyond that, families incur additional costs related to uniforms and the activities of their individual units.

  1. Who gets the membership fee?

Local councils collect — and forward to the National Council — membership fees from each youth and adult who wishes to become a member of the Boy Scouts of America.

  1. How is the National Council funded?

The National Council is funded through membership and service fees, investments, Boys’ Life magazine subscriptions, sales of uniforms and equipment, fees from national high-adventure bases, and contributions from individuals.

  1. With the increase in membership fees, is Scouting still a good value?

The BSA has always taken into consideration the cost of delivering the Scouting program and has worked to keep our fees reasonable.

When you compare the BSA to other youth-serving organizations, we provide unique growth opportunities at a great value. The following are costs associated with other youth activities:

  • Tackle football, $142: In Plano, Texas, second- through sixth-graders who play tackle football pay $140 for a three-month season. That fee doesn’t include equipment.
  • Youth orchestra, $1,000: Members of the prestigious Los Angeles Youth Orchestra pay $100 to audition, $1,000 annually (if accepted), and must buy their own instruments.
  • Select soccer, $400: In Cleveland, select youth soccer players ages 15 to 18 pay $400 a season, plus $180 for uniforms.
  • Youth basketball, $525: In Queens, N.Y., boys ages 8 to 13 pay $525 a year, not including uniforms.
  • 4-H program, $25: Participants of the 4-H program in College Station, Texas, pay $25 a year, not including fees for individual activities.
  • From education to high-adventure, the Boy Scouts of America provides unique growth opportunities at a great value and we want all eligible youth to receive these benefits and participate in Scouting.

For a print out of this statement, please click here.

Author: SKC Marketing

9 Responses to "2017 Membership Fees Increase"

  1. James Borders Posted on 09/25/2017 at 11:56 AM

    Though the timing is very suspect after having just wrapped up the National Jamboree, the larger problem lies in the return on our fees. In the past year we have had registration problems that are unacceptable. Our Venture Crew still is not rechartered after many hoops having been jumped through. We told our DE to just refund the fees that were paid back in December of 2016. That prompted an immediate response that that would not be possible and that the Crew would be registered immediately. That was about 3 weeks ago. Still not chartered.

    Our troop’s charter was not processed until after we went to summer camp in July. When it finally was, one of our leaders were dropped. We were told it must have been the person who did the rechartering. That was me and I would definitely not do that. They are now insisting on a registration fee and new application from this leader. Its been paid already during rechartering.

    Numerous applications for merit badge counselor have been turned in to have a list show up without those counselors on it. They have been told that many of those applications have not been processed. It is almost October!

    Our district is, at best, struggling. It is being used as a social club for certain individuals. The focus is truly askew. If an event or activity is fee based then all effort is given. If it is program it is simply ignored. We are training and recruiting for a program that is non-existent. The youth see this as well.

    There is simply no accountability for these higher fees. I’d call and ask about them, but its not likely I’d get through to anyone and forget getting a return call.

    I love this program. I believe it is needed in today’s society. My volunteers believe in the program and support it. They are very disillusioned with the organization, however.

    It’s time for a change!

  2. Marty Reinhart Posted on 09/06/2017 at 3:38 PM

    I would agree with Scott on the timing as well. We have already prepared all materials and starting recruiting on the assigned date. Now our Pack has to pay the increase with pack funds or look horrible to new parents.

  3. Jeff Leach Posted on 09/06/2017 at 11:25 AM

    We have already posted our fee schedule and started collecting fees for the 2017-2018 scouting year.

    Like many, if not most units, our Scouting year begins in September, when school starts. AND, you, at the Council, push us to get Scouts signed up on the spring. That means, we collect fees in the spring through the next year.

    In addition, we are required to have planning meetings in the summer as part of the unit commissioning efforts. These planning meetings must include financial planning.

    These decisions must be made18 months in advance. For our unit, this amounts to a $957 hit on our budget. We have a zero budget this year. This means that we will have to cut back on our program.

    Whether SKC shared it with others immediately or not is irrelevant. What is relevant is that it is too late for our Unit to recover.

    With whom at National can we make our case?

  4. Jack Abele Posted on 09/05/2017 at 8:56 PM

    I agree with Joe. My next question is will Boys Life also go up soon? May have to consider dropping Boys Life to pay for the increased membership fees. A lot of our parents have reduced incomes. Several are grandparents on fixed income or single parents.

    Pack & Troop 613 CC

  5. Roger Webb Posted on 09/05/2017 at 3:04 PM

    Well let me make it simple.
    1. I told my parents that dues where going to be $24 dollars this year 2 weeks ago.
    2. We will pay council $24 per leader and scout, sell your popcorn, run events for you, work long hours to volunteer for you or,
    3. You can tell me now if that’s not good enough and we will shut down the popcorn sale, the events the troop and I run, dissolve the unit and just go have fun together as we always have.
    Yelp its only $9 per year that’s not the point, the point is it’s at the last minute and tell me oh please tell me National didn’t know they where going to do this several months back.
    I am personally fed up with the people who do the work (Volunteers) getting crapped on all the time.

  6. All Leaders Posted on 09/05/2017 at 1:50 PM

    Agree with Joe – Most of our pack have already paid for the year. We won’t be able to go back and collect again.

  7. Delmar Posted on 09/05/2017 at 1:02 PM

    I find it simply ridiculous that the price of scouting has increased form $12 to $33, it the seven years Me and my son have been in scouting. Sounds to me like you guys need to drain the swamp. Because from where I sit, our district is falling apart. We receive no help from the district and want none. We live in one of the poorest counties in Ohio and this is going to keep a lot of boys out of the scouting program. Family’s can’t afford these increases. 4H and FFA are more relevant to the people in my area. And scouting overcharges for everything, A uniform shirt, made in china that cost 44 dollars, the same shirt at Walmart is less than $20, uniform pant, made in china, $44, same OD green pants at Kohl’s, less than $20. You are operating the Scouts like a for profit company, non profits wouldn’t charge almost $3 for a merit badge, when the cost is under 50 cents because of the volume you buy them in.

  8. Joe Scott Posted on 09/05/2017 at 11:45 AM

    Why can’t you people get your act together and make these annoucements BEFORE we start recruiting new scouts. We just set our budget for the upcoming year and annouced the fees to new scout.

    QUIT MAKING DELIVERY OF THE PROGRAM HARD FOR YOUR VOLUNTEERS.

    • Cassie Ferguson Posted on 09/05/2017 at 1:48 PM

      We apologize for the timing of this information. The Simon Kenton Council shared this information with its families and volunteers as soon as received it from our national organization.

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