We have an important update for you. A memo about BSA National fee updates was released to Council Key 3s during the National Annual Meeting of the BSA early this month. This change is typically announced in mid-July.
As you might expect, information has quickly made the rounds via social media, and we are aware that many of our volunteers have heard portions of the message, if not the whole message. While we’d like to have all of the answers for you today, the changes that are coming will take time for our council to understand how they affect our units. Rest assured that the Council Executive Board and Staff are working to define the scope of the changes. We want to present our frontline volunteers and parents with the right information rather than speculation.
For a summary, click here.
So, what do we know?
1) Some fees are increasing, and some are staying the same. In the setting of economic inflation and the National Council exiting from bankruptcy, this is an unfortunate but necessary consequence of ensuring that Scouting will continue. New fees and the changes below will take effect on August 1.
2) The adult fee increase is directly related to the cost of the new enhanced background check. California AB 506 rules do not supersede the BSA check and remain requirements for volunteers in all youth service organizations in the state.
3) There is a new fee of $25 for newly registered Merit Badge Counselors (MBC). This fee applies to those only serving as an MBC and no other role. For those currently only serving as an MBC, this fee will apply at recharter time for the 1/1/24 to 12/31/24 time frame.
4) Our local council annual insurance fee will increase to cover rising insurance costs for the council. Our local insurance fee will be $16 per person, a $4 increase starting August 1. Merit Badge Counselors will continue to benefit from insurance but not pay into our insurance program.
5) New member fees will no longer be prorated. Both youth and adults will pay the full annual membership fee and will renew their membership on the anniversary date of joining Scouting. The current recharter process will change. We are unsure of the exact changes, but we expect that the onerous recharter process will be simplified by this change.
6) Because member fees will no longer be prorated, the SVMBC insurance will also no longer be prorated.
7) 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.
In summary, 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 National Council membership fee and will renew their membership on the anniversary date of joining Scouting. All proration of membership fees will be eliminated.
Below are our updated fees:
We will update you with additional information as we learn more. This information will be sent via email and will be updated on the council website.
We hope to better understand these changes in the next few weeks and appreciate your patience as we learn more.
Yours in Scouting,
Chris McGugan, Council President
Jeff Thompson, Council Commissioner
Eric Tarbox, Scout Executive