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
Scouting’s Barrier to Abuse is getting stronger this fall. As part of our ongoing commitment to abuse prevention, the Boy Scouts of America is updating the adult supervision requirements for overnight activities. This update enhances the minimum “two-deep leadership” requirements by additionally requiring every adult present on overnight activities to be a registered member of the Boy Scouts of America. A limited exception is for parents and legal guardians of Cub Scout youth attending overnight with their children.
All other adults staying overnight in connection with a Scouting activity must be currently registered in an adult fee-required position as listed or as an adult program participant starting September 1, 2023. In addition, these adults must submit an adult application and registration fee, complete the Live Scan criminal background check and complete the required Youth Protection and Mandated Reporter training.
Simply put, starting September 1 all adults who attend an overnight activity must be fully registered in Scouting. The only exception is for parents or legal guardians attending with their Cub Scouts.
This new policy will protect our Scouts by improving adherence to Youth Protection policies at camps and adding more uniform screening of adults interacting with our Scouts. We recommend all units use this summer to work with your families to explain this new policy and start registering anyone planning to go camping with the unit.
More information can be found in Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse and Youth Protection and Barriers to Abuse FAQs. Click here to watch our Informational Meeting we held on Zoom. Below are answers to some common questions and scenarios.
Thank you for your commitment to keeping our Scouts safe.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does a Cub Scout parent or legal guardian have to be a registered leader to participate in a Cub Scout overnight program with their own child/ward? A: No. However, they cannot serve as unit or den two deep leadership or supervision.
Q: I am an adult attending a pack, troop, crew, or ship overnight activity, do I have to be registered?
A: Yes, if you participate/stay overnight, you must be currently registered in an adult fee required position or as an adult program participant. Exception for legal guardians attending with their Cub Scout.
Q: When does this change take effect?
A: All Cub Scout Packs, Scouts BSA Troops, Venturing Crews, Sea Scouting Ships, Exploring Posts, council, and district overnight programs will be required to comply with this update by September 1, 2023. We encourage early adoption prior to the effective date to get your families ready for this change.
Q: Why is this change being made?
A: For decades the BSA has evolved its Barriers to Abuse to better protect youth from abuse. This new measure is a continuation of this commitment by the BSA to prevent abuse in our program and adds a new layer of protection for our Scouts.
Q: What is an adult fee required position?
A: Adults may select from the list below of adult leader position options provided in the “Registration Guidebook of the Boy Scouts of America” that is available for their unit, district or council position. For example, registration as a Merit Badge Counselor, Lion Cub Partner, Tiger Partner does not meet this requirement.
Q: An Arrow of Light den is camping with a troop for their Scouting Adventure pin. Do all the adults need to be registered?
A: Parents who are attending with their Arrow of Light Scout do not have to register and will camp alongside their den. Reminder the den must still have registered two-deep leadership. All adults camping with the troop must be registered.
Q: A Cub Scout pack is having their unit campout. A grandpa wants to bring his grandson to the pack campout because the Scout’s parents will be out of town. Does grandpa have to register?
A:Yes. The Cub Scout exception is limited to a parent or legal guardian. A grandparent or other family member who is not the legal guardian could attend overnight but must register. Reminder, the Scout and grandpa cannot share the same tent.
Q: Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse states “All aspects of the Scouting program are open to observation by parents and leaders.” Does this update change that policy?
A: No – Parents are still able to attend any program within Scouting; however, to observe programs and stay overnight, they must register with the BSA.
Q: A merit badge counselor wants to attend a troop overnight activity. Can they?
A: Maybe. Merit Badge Counselor is a council position that would require another multiple registration from the list of approved positions. An adult registered only as a merit badge counselor would not qualify. Reminder – only adults registered in one of the positions on the approved list of “fee required positions” may stay overnight.
Hooked on Scouting was a huge success this year! So successful that we’re introducing the next phase: Hooked on Scouting with Friends!
Beginning October 15th, the first 100 Scouts to recruit a new friend to join Scouting will receive 2 Kunnan Blackwater spinning combo reel fishing poles ($80.00 value). One for the new Scout and one for the Recruiter!
Terms and Conditions
- Promotion will run Oct 15th to Nov 20th, or while supplies last.
- New Scout must be registered After October 15, 2022 to qualify.
- If registering online, application must be first approved by the unit.
- If filling out a paper application, all fees must be paid in full.
- Poles must be picked up at either the San Jose or Salinas Offices.
Thank you for all you do for the youth of our council and community.
We received notification on June 29th that the National Council plans to increase membership and charter fees starting August 1st, 2022. These specific fees are necessary to support National Council services such as liability insurance, criminal background check process, program development, and more.
Please see the attached graphic with updated membership and charter fees, and reach out to your Unit Commissioner, District Executive, or us with any questions. We know that costs continue to rise for everything we do and we appreciate your efforts to help Scouting grow and thrive in our community.
Yours in Scouting,
National Territory Director