BSA membership fee to change beginning Dec. 1, 2017

Effective Dec. 1, 2017, the Boy Scouts of America membership fee will be $33 a year for all registered youth and adult members.

Scouting remains an incredible value. Where else but in Scouting can young people acquire hands-on leadership skills, become more comfortable in nature, and learn to make ethical and moral decisions throughout their lives?

Not bad for just $2.75 a month.

As with every major decision affecting the BSA, this decision was made in concert with the volunteer-led national executive board of the BSA.

This change will affect Cub Scout packs, Boy Scout troops, Venturing crews and Sea Scout ships. However, it will not apply to LDS-sponsored units, nor to those units with council-paid memberships.

All November and December 2017 charters will renew at this new rate. November is included because November charter renewal actually spans from Dec. 1, 2017, to Nov. 30, 2018.

What your BSA membership fee covers

So what are you getting for that $33 a year?

In short, your membership fee pays for the operation of the BSA National Service Center, which supports approximately 270 local councils that administer the Scouting program.

The National Service Center develops program enhancements, covers liability insurance costs and much more.

For adult leaders, the fee also pays for the communications resources that keep Scouters informed. That includes online resources, like this blog, and printed publications, like Scouting magazine.

Additionally, the National Service Center:

  • Provides training to local council volunteers and staff
  • Maintains a national training center at Philmont Scout Ranch
  • Develops and maintains four year-round national high-adventure bases and executes national events (jamborees, National Eagle Scout Association and Order of the Arrow conferences, and National Council meetings)
  • Continues our leadership role in protecting our youth by providing Youth Protection resources, training, and criminal background checks for all registered volunteers and staff
  • Provides local councils with program as well as tools for camp and office planning and evaluation, extensive financial counseling, planned giving and fundraising information, and professional personnel support
  • Coordinates a communications network through printed literature (handbooks, merit badge pamphlets, brochures, training materials, and professional development training)
  • Makes available uniforms, equipment and program supplies
  • Maintains and develops new relationships with chartered organizations that use the Scouting program (religious institutions, civic organizations, labor unions, professional organizations, business and industry)
  • Serves in a leadership role with Scouting associations in other countries as a member of the World Scout Conference
  • Sets and maintains program standards (e.g., advancement, health and safety, etc.) to ensure consistency of the brand throughout councils across the country

How BSA’s fee compares to other youth-serving organizations

Scouters know that the $33 fee doesn’t cover it all. There are also costs related to uniforms, personal equipment, and the activities of individual members like outings and field trips, camporees or summer camp. Even when you add all that up, membership in the BSA costs less than other youth-serving organizations.

I did some research online to find just how good of a value Scouting really is.

Each of the activities below offers a great experience for young people. In fact, research has shown that youth who participate in both Scouting and sports do really well in life.

This list is simply meant to put into perspective the BSA’s membership fee:

  • Youth football, $250 per year: In Phoenix, a season of Pop Warner football for participants ages 5 to 14 costs $250. On top of that, parents must pay $65 per season to rent equipment (helmet, pads, jersey and more).
  • Boys basketball, $500 per year: The Amateur Athletic Union’s boys’ basketball season typically runs from March through June. Fees include uniforms but not travel, meals or hotels. Combined, these can raise the costs to more than $4,000 a year.
  • Youth orchestra, $225 per year: These vary greatly, but here’s one example. Members of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Youth Ensembles pay $20 to audition and a tuition of $225 per school year. This does not include instruments; a good violin, for example, can easily cost $650 to $850.
  • Competitive swimming, $165 per year: In North Carolina, competitive swimmers pay a $165 registration fee, plus $181 a month after that, for a total of about $2,000 a year.

216 Comments

      • LDS has also been threatening to discontinue the affiliation with Scouts as a result of the recent transgender policy.

      • It actually had nothing to do with insurance either. The church is pulling out all boys 14 and over starting next year, and will probably completely pull out by the following year. They realized that this would be a massive financial blow that the BSA probably could not handle, so they made an agreement that despite having a much smaller enrollment, the church would pay the same amount as the previous year. Out was after this agreement was made that the BSA decided that they needed to increase registration fees.

        • No problem with a few increase. BIG problem with a few increase AFTER WE’VE ALREADY COLLECTED DUES FOR 2018. Once again, BSA is screwing up.

        • At least they got a heads up. It was out one day and suddenly the rest of us knew, after we made our budgets back over the summer.

      • Isn’t insurance a separate charge not included in the $33? I was told it was $33 for registration and $6 for insurance

        • Every registered adult has liability insurance with BSA. Any extra one might pay would be something else … maybe the chartering organization

        • $33 + $6 is my understanding as well, +$12 for Boys’ Life = $51 per youth. I am not disputing the cost or that an increase is justified. What angers me is that, once again, BSA announced this in September. Most Cub Scout Packs and many Troops are already recruiting/have recruited new members with the start of school, which is prior to Sept 1 in many areas. In many cases, we roll BSA costs in with our own and charge one amount. When you have already told parents the cost and accepted a check, you really don’t want to go back and ask for more funds. So units eat this expense. Some units simply cannot afford this, already operating on slim amounts of funding. Give us some notice!!!! June or July 1 would make the whole thing far more palatable.

        • Generally, BSA covers LIABILITY insurance. For approximately $6/year, a separate company offers secondary MEDICAL insurance for adults while at scouting events that assists with medical costs beyond what your primary insurance will cover, for injuries incurred at scouting events. It is an optional insurance, but in order to be covered, every registered adult on your roster must buy in. So, your unit may require adults to pay the additional $6 for the insurance if they subscribe to the plan.

    • The LDS church is pulling out of scouting. Starting next year, the LDS church will no longer sponsor troops for boys 14 and older. Eventually, the church will completely pull out.

      • Not sure where you are getting this information. Doing something else is not for the thousands of those who firmly support and participate in Scouting. The pull out was from the Varsity Program. Those young men’s memberships were transferred into the existing troop August 30th and that is where they will stay. Re-organization of the troop occured with the formation of four patrols under one Scoutmaster with 2-3 Assistant SM’s in each patrol. If anything, the LDS Church is returning to the organization and format that Baden-Powell envisioned. Declaring the Church is abandoning Scouting is incorrect, fostered by those few who have a dislike of Scouting for whatever reason.

        • Exactly. The LDS has wanted one worldwide youth organization for its teenage youth for sometime, hence the decision to stop the Varsity program as it’s US based.

          They are fully committed to the Cub and Boy Scout programs. The LDS Church pays for its youth registration fees on s National basis.

        • Bill is absolutely correct. LDS is not pulling out of Scouting. All boys 14 and over have been rolled back into the Troop from the Crew. Those young men will continue to participating in Scouting. In addition, LDS pays one lump sum fee for its entire Scouting program directly to National. I suspect that you will find that it is a significant amount of money. In addition, LDS in some Councils is a significant source of income and district and council level volunteers.

        • •Beginning January 1, 2018, young men from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will no longer participate in the Varsity and Venturing programs offered by the Boy Scouts of America.”

          •The Church continues to look for ways to meet the spiritual, physical, emotional and intellectual needs of young men around the world. The current decision is consistent with those efforts. The Church will continue to use the Cub Scout and Boy Scout programs for boys and young men ages 8 through 13.

          http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/questions-answers-changes-young-men-program

          Yes they at least by there own paper state that venturing and varsity are ending any scout 14 years or older wishing to finish his eagle can do so.

          I have never understand the special rules* and understand that boy scouts had with the LDS , The Methodist church or catholic church never got smooch special buddy deals.

          *easy membership numbers, numbers = contributions

      • Hi Clator—-you neglected to mention that the CEO National Executive makes 1,061,595 to 1,351,724 (DEPENDING ON YEAR). No that is not a typo, that is million. Now to set your mind at ease, the 12 top executives make almost 7,000,00.00. (PER CHARITY NAVIGATOR) Yes, that is 7 million. Of course they need to raise dues. How else do you expect them to get a raise next year. I guess those wages are competitive with the leaders of all the sports in grade schools & high schools which use volunteers.

      • Hi Clator—-you forgot to mention that the CEO National Executive makes 1,061,595 to 1,351,724 (DEPENDING ON YEAR). No that is not a typo, that is million. Now to set your mind at ease, the 12 top executives make almost 7,000,00.00. (PER CHARITY NAVIGATOR) Yes, that is 7 million. Of course they need to raise dues. How else do you expect them to get a raise next year. I guess those wages are competitive with the leaders of all the sports in grade schools & high schools which use volunteers.

    • I don’t have a problem with the increase, but I’m always amazed at the disconnect between the people at the top and the people working with the kids. Leadership has set expectations for when committees make their annual plans. That includes recruitment. News flash – school starts in September. They create a whole “Blast off” recruitment event, we make flyers and stand at tables at schools then have to go back AFTER and say “we need more money”. How can they be such poor planners?

    • The LDS made up 20% of the National enrollment of the BSA. They were the oldest financial supporter/contributor to the BSA. With their separation from the BSA in the next two years, the BSA is passing off the lose of LDS to our kids. Maybe they should consider cutting their saleries since they suck at making moral and ethical decisions which used to be the foundation of scouting.

      • I forgot to point out that they had already ran off the second largest supporter which was the Southern Baptist’s, which left and created their own style of scouting called, “Trail Life”. Which is growing more and more in popularity.

        Does anybody also realize that the BSA should have raked in approximately $30 to $40,000,000 from the 2017 Jamboree. What happened to that money? $1,000 per scout, leader, volunteers, etc., to be at National Jamboree. 40,000 in attendance x $1000 per person…math doesn’t lie, but the BSA will!!! My calculations don’t include the visitors passes sold to the general public, merchandise sales, and food sales for the event!!!!!
        I thought this was for the boys…but it’s so much about money.
        Summer camp was $125 for a week at our area camp in 2016. Jumped to $300 last summer 2017…most units stepped away from council organized events. At $300 per boy, we can put on a camp of our own, with a better experience.

  1. Hiking to local parkland, foraging on plants (identified by researching at your local library or talking to your forest agent), protein from dried/canned goods from mom, tarp based on found items … well less than $20.
    BSA is not competing with sports or band (which most scouts will pursue anyway). It is competing with every boy who figures he can become a first class scout in short order at his family’s cabin/farm or neighborhood park.

    • National provides the training materials and all online trainings. Local councils set their own fees for trainings and other events.

      • Michael, while agree on the development of training materials, have you tried to purchase the latest, newest training course at your local Council office Scout Store?? No, they are no longer printed, in bulk, to us Trainers who needed. The New BALOO syllabus, while long needed an update since 2001 introduction, is 150 colored pages in length. That document alone will burn one set of black/white, CMY cartridges which cost $70 at local Staples, online order. I do not see any savings here!!

      • So the increased fee will help Nationals provide training materials? That’s excellent news! Maybe now they’ll be able to update the Venturing youth training materials that were created in 1999 (which was before all of my Venturers were born)…. but I’m not holding my breath.

    • Absolutely!!!
      Parents and Leaders volunteer much more then time for Scout meetings. There is so so so much that we all do for the Scouts, we invest lots of time, money, organization, planning trips, coaching, mentoring, teaching, so much. But yet we are asked to pay money to get taught, not sure how this makes any sense. This should be our perk, to be taught by the BSA for free. It is the least that BSA can do for us. I think it is actually insulting, and then we wonder why some parents and leaders don’t continue with scouting. It is almost a full time job, with no benefits. So charge $50 a year and assure all required training to parents and leaders are included for free. In the grand scheme of things $50 is a joke for any type of organized adventure. Then design optional advanced training that you would pay for, if you wanted, that are not required but interesting to offer and take, kind of like a Master Degree level. A discount program should also be developed so that kids can work towards their goals, and earn BSA points that can go towards buying uniforms items cheaper, as all that is a bit over priced as well.

    • You are right if I am a volunteer then why should I pay for training, especially now since the increase of fees. That is one reason that we don’t have volunteers, or they figure if they are willing to cough up the money they should be great volunteers. Guess again.

  2. I have no compliant with raising the fees. Scouting remains a good value. I do, however, think the timing could not have been worse. This fee increase was announced just AFTER most units completed their Fall recruiting and had begun collecting fees. They will thus face a gap between what they’ve collected and what they budgeted to send on to BSA. It frankly astounds me that BSA could be so far removed from the day-to-day functioning of Troops that they would make this timing error.

    • My council sent email to the key three on Aug 29.I also received an email from another council on Sep 14. The thing I wonder is why they wait until they need a big jump in fees instead of more steady smaller ones.

    • They raised it last time, the same time of the year. Don’t get me started, they have no idea how to help councils, when it come to these type of situation. @former employee.

      • That is not how many packs work. All the ones I know of ask new recruits for a set amount in the fall, which is generally enough to pay for BSA registration & Boys Life for 1 year. Then everyone has a popcorn selling goal. Because BSA waited so long to inform us, all advertising of $$ amounts had already been finished, so we either need to go back and ask for more money, or find a way to cut expenses in our budgets.

      • Doesn’t matter when it is for, most of our units will cover the cost of enrollment between now and January, but will collect dues and fees for next year now. If we’ve already had our recruiting drive, national is asking for 9 more dollars than what we collected, which doesn’t account for us paying for our new scouts to cover them for the remainder of this year.

        If we get 10 new Tigers and have 40 returning scouts, that’s an outlay of $440 when we only budgeted $40.

        We don’t ask for money now (to cover dues for everyone and registration forothe new scouts) and then again in a couple of months to cover registration fees for next year. We ask everyone to pay now for the year (dues and registration). If we waited until December to ask for next year’s money, it’d be May before everyone paid (been there done that).

        Even my scout Troop does it that way to keep it on the Cub Scout’s schedule. The math is much simpler.

        • We collect next year’s membership dues when parents turn in their popcorn money. Many folks have sold enough popcorn that it’s covered, and we don’t scare people off with sticker shock. If they don’t pay, they don’t get rechartered. Really not complicated, and no chasing people around. No pay, no play, as they say.

          But yeah, the timing is awful since we have already given everyone the info about how much will be due, even though we have not actually collected the money yet!

      • That is not how our packs and troops work. We all operate on a school year schedule. So whatever increase in dues is not disclosed by the end of August beginning of September our budgets for the year can be blown up. Why is the national organization not operating on or at least disclosing this information on the schedule 99% of their members operate on?

    • I completely agree–the timing was poorly thought out and the % jump was quite a surprise. If any company (other than Apple) raised their prices this much, they would alienate their customer base. This took our Council and our troop by surprise. Seems to indicate poor planning and poor executive management at the National Level.

    • I absolutely agree with those that have expressed their dismay at the timing of this decision and its announcement. Most districts have executed their fall recruiting activities including the School Night to Join Scouting. Within that process new parents and young boys were told what the fees would be for the remainder of the year and going forward into the next succeeding year.

      And now because of the ill-timed announcement, none of that is true. As such our credibility with these new parents is now suspect. This isn’t how you win friends and influence people.

      Very poor timing for this announcement.

    • I agree with this. It’s not the fee increase, it’s the timing. National just ate close to a quarter of my pack budget. How do I go back and ask those that I have already too what the prorated 2017 and 2018 fee is? I don’t, so I guess I just have to sit down with the rest of the committee and decide which events to cancel. We are a 46 Scout Pack in a rural area. We planned our budget in July, some notice before Fall recruitment started would have been a bit more respectful.

  3. The BSA is pricing themselves out of business. Trail Life USA is charging $26 for membership and Royal Rangers is only charging $11 per boy and $13 for adults. Royal Ranger summer camp fees for Discover, Adventure, and Expedition Rangers is under $125 per week. The average summer camp for the BSA is $400 per week. You need to compare apples with apples and not oranges. District and council event fees have doubled in price over the past five years. The BSA needs to wake up since they are not the only scouting group out there anymore. Scouting should be affordable to ALL youth and adults and not to the rich people. I do not think that BP would approve of these fees.

    • BSA is a separate, privately organized organization. Royal Rangers is church sponsored/subsidized. BSA camp is still less expensive (dare I say cheaper? ) than any privately owned camp (Adirondacks?) I’ve ever come across. As to value, that’s a personal experience thing. Each BSA camp is “owned” by the staff they hire. “Your mileage may vary”. Scouting is still the biggest youth organization/brotherhood/sisterhood around the world.
      Yes, prices go up. Yes, BSA has issues, dealing with them. Who else is going to teach ANY KID (!) how to camp/hike/do first aid/be prepared? Your kids gain from your experience. Can other “future citizens” gain from your experience?

      • Just because a group is a ministry of a church does not mean that the church is a fountain of funds. Most of the Outpost I worked with had fundraisers to purchase unit equipment. The concept of “earning your own way” is present in all three mentioned groups. Most Outposts will not allow the church to use their equipment since they know it will not be returned in good condition.
        With regards to membership fees, uniforms, travel expenses, food, and etc., it is up to the individual to come up with the money to pay for their own way.

        I did meet one Royal Ranger Senior Commander that was a PAID position for the church. How do you think it would be if the scoutmaster wastes a paid position! I bet most SM put in at least 10 hours a week volunteering for the troop. Of course we are not involved in scouting to earn a paycheck.

      • If at the local level troops and packs are expected to plan out 12 months for their programs per BSA guidelines, then the BSA should be leading by example. National should be planned out 30 months so councils can plan out 24 months. Then districts can plan out 18 months allowing troops and packs to plan out one year.

    • Kelly, I agree that fees have gone up, but would you please provide some sourcing on the average cost of a BSA summer camp being $400 per week? The few councils I am most familiar with are staying around $225-$250, with a few that I am less familiar with pushing into the $250-$300 range. That means there would need to be several councils at the $500-$600 range to offset the lower camps.

      My local district set the policy a few years back to charge $15 per camporee unless it needed to be higher (i.e. program materials, held at a special location) to allow troops to budget. Are you seeing district camporees commonly higher priced? I know for us $15 is pretty maxed out unless it’s a great program being offered.

      Not trying to question credibility or anything, but rather am curious to learn from fellow Scouters across the country.

      • Not sure on average, but our local camps were just under $400 this year (with discount for having attended in the past) and will be a bit over next year.
        On the other side, they do include everything you need for whatever you are doing, so no extra charges that some will do (like so much for ammo at the rifle range, for the materials to make baskets for Basketry and such).

      • Fees for any of the 3 camps our council here in NJ were $399 if paid by April, otherwise $435 per week after that date. Special weeks like STEM, etc. are even higher. https://ppcbsa.org/wp-content/uploads/Fees-2017-Somers.pdf . They only offer a $50 discount per week if you attend more than 1 week or as a sibling discount for more than 1 child – also with ‘restrictions’ 🙁
        Last year when when my oldest went on a canoe Trek at council’s Sabattis Adventure camp, which was $440+, we were informed even though it was a council camp & council trek that since it was not regular summer camp it did not count towards the sibling discount so I still had to pay full price for my middle son and only got a single $50 sibling credit for my youngest when paying for their regular summer camp. Even though the boys did fund raise over $300 to be applied to camp by the time you buy all the extras & gear they may need it was still over $1000 for me to send them to camp.

        When my oldest first went to summer camp 5 years ago the early reservation price was $275. I would expect the 2018 prices all be over the $400 mark.

      • NWLM116425, we paid $525 for our son to go to summer camp here in Southern California. The cost for week long summer camps range from $460- $550.

      • We are at $23 per person for camporees. Pack used to eat all but $10 of the cost but with the dues increases everyone pays the full amount if you want to camp.

      • Del-Mar-Va scout camps-
        Food Service/Program
        All Inclusive Discount Fee (paid in full on or before May 1)

        All Inclusive Regular Fee (paid in full after May 1)

        Dining Hall $455 $475
        Heater Stack
        (Rodney only
        by campsite) $455 $475
        Provisional $455 $475
        Encore Camper (2nd week at either Rodney or Henson)

        $405 $425
        With 10 Scouts the first two leaders are FREE! Additional adults pay $125 each based on Scout attendance. 1 additional free adult for each additional 10 Scouts.

        Tom

    • Kelly, what cracks me up even if comparing “apples to oranges” they don’t give an estimate total to be in a Boy Scout troop. In my area summer camp is $350 that does not include weekend campouts which even if you keep cheap at say $20 a weekend X 10 months is another $200 and again this is being “conservative” in my area so that’s $550.00 which does not include your membership fee/dues for the year.

      • Our treasurer did an analysis of each boy and how much we paid as a family to do acivites over the year. Last year for my first son it was $660 and for my younger lion it was about $250. The younger was less really because he wasn’t permitted to do all activities(like sleeping on the intrepid). This is only money that came from me to the pack. This does not includenthe $400 for 1 week of summer camp for the older one, nor the trainings I attended which I paid for out of my own pocket, new gear and books for each year of advancement, or the supplies I purchase out of my own money for my den to use. I’m probably in excess of $1500 for both boys when all is said and done. And this is before a $50 increase in our local dues this year to pay for the bsa dues increase, council dues increase and a small slush fund per child for all the belt loops, patches and advancements they will earn, which we figured out averages to about $50 per child throughout the year.

    • What’s funny is that I can buy any of these scout books online. Study, learn, and execute the “programing concepts” with my kids and their friends and enjoy everything that Scouting has to offer on a private campout without ever mentioning the “BSA”. The difference between having a family and friends camping event and the Registered Member BSA event, is money and awards. I can save lots of money and create fun generic awards for the kids.
      We may never be “Eagle Scouts” this way, but we would still have wonderful memories to share. Which is more important? Memories or an award? Still learn Basic Camping Skills that have been around for centuries, and uphold the Strong Ethics and Values that made Scouting what it was! Not what it is today! Just a thought…

  4. I do not have a major issue with the 9 dollar hike in fees. What I am upset with is the timing. We are asked to plan a budget, to plan a program for the boys that is so loud and to plan on how much popcorn you need to sell to help fulfill these dreams. Per JTE this should be done in May-July range. Our schools start around Aug 15th in our area, therefore recruiting starts then.We advertise to our old scouts what next year’s fees are and what we would like them to sell. We go into schools showing our fee structure and sign them up. Then on Sept 1st we start to hear rumbles, on new fees. It takes another 2-3 weeks before we hear that yes, we will have a price increase. Who is hurt, all the troops and packs that either have to eat the 9 dollars (ours is more due to council insurance hikes) this year at recharter or have to go to the families and increase fees now. If this would have been announced in June, we would have increased our fees and not look stupid. Rant over. . Sell more popcorn!

    • Check with your council. Some may be allowing you to pay next year on the newest registrations if it’s in before 12/1.

      Others might be more strict.

      And at least two I know of have added their own fee ON TOP OF the national fee…one was only $3 more but the other is collecting what appears to be the amount they expect per person from FOS to the national increase, putting their recharter fee at about $150/scout or scouter (sorry I can’t recall the exact amount).

      But in my lifetime we’ve gone from having to bring a dime to the weekly meeting and collecting enough to recharter that way so the unit could set up its own fundraising to rather large fee (and I’m still wondering why units don’t collect .75 or $1 a week to allow scribes and scouts to learn about handling money) and formalized fundraisers that are overly structured.

      • Make that at least three – ours did the same. They had always collected the $3 (or originally $1) which was to cover the insurance that covers Scouts/adults if something happens on an activity, but recently added to that (luckily no where near the amount you quote, closer to making it similar to the old National fee).

  5. price changes happen, however this is the second time that a rate has been raised after the program year started for local units and dues were already set with collection started. it sabotages that unit’s budget for that year. couldn’t these things be announced in june, july, etc?

  6. While I agree that Scouting is good value for the money, it’s not Honest for National to say it’s just $33 a year. Yes, that’s National’s cut. But in order to make it go, every unit has to add their own dues on top. And uniforms, and trip fees and so on. Our past Pack it was $85/year + uniforms + outing fees.

    Our Troop just had a budget meeting. Registration for the year almost went to $300 for the year (we kept it at $170 for the year due to a donation + some careful budget manipulation). And then there’s $200 that a new Scout is spending on a uniform. Monthly Scout dues at $5/month ($60/year) and then monthly trips that can run anywhere from $30 to $400 (like summer camp). First year in our troop could easily be $1,500+ if one attends all activities, not $33.

    I know there’s some units that do everything based on fundraising or the largess of their charter org. Let’s not forget that time spent fundraising is equivalent to money being paid. Other units are less active or do less expensive events in order to save money. I imagine our troop is above the 50 percentile in expenses.

    I love our Troop. I love Scouting. I love the BSA. I have been involved for 20 active years over the past 35 years. I think it _is_ an incredible value.

    And, let’s be Honest: it’s never just $33 no matter how you choose to fund Scouting.

  7. Bryan – your examples re fees isn’t really applicable across all 50 States.

    Try pulling the fees for your examples from the largest states per capita (California, New York, Texas, Florida, Illinois, Ohio, Massachusetts) – you’ll find the fees you quote for other activities dramatically different. Use those numbers and show the real value that BSA provides.

    You failed to mention that Troop Scout fees are not the only fee increases across BSA (we learned last night that OA fee increase is about 75-80%, or almost doubled). BSA Summer Camp fees have noticibly increased each year of the last five.

  8. I also agree the fee is reasonable. Our annual Troop dues cover both the boys registration and also covers all the adult registrations. However, timing is horrible as it was 4 years ago when it was also raised by a similar amount. Both times, the news came to me via scouting blogs/emails – not from Council or from my DE. This news should be announced AT LEAST 6-12 months ahead of time for budgeting reasons as it’s mentioned in the other replies. It seems like BSA National runs out of money and then decides to raise the fees at the last minute and doesn’t put in a communication plan. Our Scouts plan out a program for 12-18 months out and our budgeting maps to the program (and vice-versa to some degree).
    We didn’t raise our Troop dues 4 years ago when the last increase was put in place at the last minute, but will most likely have to do it now after we already notified families what the dues are for this year.

    • Yes, thanks for jogging my memory accurately. I had thought that it had been 4 years ago when we experienced the last increase with the same exact poor timing. I’ve discovered the pattern! After the Jamboree in July when National has realized that they overspent or that corporate donors didn’t come through sufficiently, they have to address the sucking chest wound in the National budget. And it’s enough that apparently it’s always URGENT to address it with an immediate change regardless of budgeting guidance for us minions promulgated via the JTE guidelines. So here we are again where National probably blew their budget (good leadership demonstrated through being thrifty?) on the Jamboree at mid-late July and realized it when the bills came due in August, followed by yet another rate increase of 37.5%! National should learn how to live like their Cub Packs and Scout Troops, within their means!

  9. Is there a reason this comes out after most units have already done their budgets for the year? This would be something that should have been addressed in July or August so units could budget for the 32% increase.

      • Probably doesn’t matter when it is done, since registrations are different everywhere – for instance in our area they now run March-Feb for re-chartering. So no matter when it’s announced, it won’t be convenient for some.

        • True, but recruitment nights are a major part of our schedule and we have materials printed with all the information. We look like we don’t know what we are doing when we have recruitment events in August and Sept. then come back and say the information we gave them was wrong. It starts families off with a poor impression.

  10. Two of my concerns have already been raised, but I want to echo them so that the folks at National realize what they’ve done.

    1) Why are there separate rules for LDS? Are they part of BSA (and therefore should follow the same rules) or does BSA just license our brand to them?

    2) It’s unfair to issue a 37.5% rate increase without warning after the scout year has started. It would actually have been more fair to have a higher increase with more lead time. For example, announcing now that effective January 2019 the rate would be $35. That way budgets could be adjusted accordingly. I cannot believe that this is a financial shortfall that the BSA just noticed and needs to fill with two months of lead time. I fear that some units will reduce their budget shortfall this year by not registering adult volunteers (and thereby not submitting their applications for background checks).

  11. I agree that the fees are reasonable, but have to agree with others that comparing the $33 to the other programs is not Trustworthy. It violates the very first point of the Scout Law and we can’t teach what we don’t live.

    I do agree that it is a good value. But you need to include all the normal program costs into the equation and what is provided. Whether to include the cost of the uniform will vary with the program. When my son played baseball we had to buy some but not all of his uniform. But unlike Cubs, his uniform was only good for a single season. I think they came pretty close.

    As for the cost of camps, none of the examples given by Bryan would include a week of camp. And I thought my son’s camp cost was high until my daughter went to Girl Scout camp. And then I priced camp at several other places and decided even Girl Scouts was a good value.

    • Kirk – I totally agree. I love Scouting and my son participates in all activities, but it’s the most expensive thing he does each year. (and don’t get me started on camp costs)

  12. Cut the BS. Scouting does not cost only $2.75 per month. That’s just what it costs to buy your name onto a list but doesn’t allow you to play that Game with a Purpose (Green Bar Bill). That doesn’t mean that it is not a good value. I would just appreciate not being treated as stupid.

  13. I agree with the others – comparing only the national registration fee to all in pricing for other activities is totally bogus. If you’re going to do the recommended 9+ camping trips and summer camp too – you’re easily looking at $550 and up per Scout per year. And then add on costs to maintain/replace troop equipment and camping fees if you go somewhere that charges, maybe even covering gas for the adults driving it would easily balloon from there.

  14. So does this mean that a new Scout/Adult Leader joining on October 1 pays for October and November at the $2.00/month rate and December at the $2.75 rate? Or is it just $6.00 for the rest of the year? It seems that it would have made more sense to make the change effective 1/1/2018 since there is “supposedly” a move afoot to get all recharters to begin on January ….
    :-(>

  15. Our council is considering a $100-150 assessment per scout per year. Has this been discussed at other councils? Increasing dues by $9 isn’t terrible, but $150 more would represent a 500% increase to BSA.

    • If my council attempted the $100 – $150 fee, on top of everything else. I and my sons are GONE! I cannot afford $400-$600/ year on top of camping trips, troop and pack dues, activities, gas for the trips, etc. And in my neck of the woods, many are in my financial situation, or worse.

    • I heard a similar number several years ago, but it was in a Friends of Scouting presentation. The council person was basically saying that it costs the council approximately $200/scout/year to run its programs, which is how the council sets its troop/pack goals for FoS. These contributions are voluntary. The councils will be the first to tell you that none of that $33 comes directly back to them.

      • Until they make them mandatory, then they aren’t voluntary any longer. It has already been done (though not the amounts you mention, more like an amount similar to the National fee as an addition for each person being chartered).
        The explanation was that they weren’t getting it voluntarily, so doing this was the easiest solution – and they have stopped doing the FOS presentations to Troops so in that sense it may not be the worst option.

  16. Packs like ours start planning in summer and have a fees ready for parents when our school year starts in August. By the time we heard about this increase- our dues deadline had passed and we have already had multiple Pack Meetings.

    Want to increase dues? Fine- but do it over the summer so that packs can just integrate it into our fee schedule. We now have to come up with an extra 600.00 at Re-Charter. (11.00 per scout in Tennessee). Recharter early? Nope. I asked. New fee still applies.

    It saddens me to think this- but Scouting at the Cub level seems to be just a money grab at every turn.
    Now lets get those membership number up so they can sell more popcorn!!
    And don’t forget to host FOS each year!

  17. The framing of the increase is nearly identical to the last couple of times they raised fees. It’s a script.
    1) I agree with those that feel comparing it to sports cost is not apples to apples (strawman).
    2) I see no effort at keeping costs down by the BSA bureaucracy.
    >> from 2011 to 2013 the Chief Scout Exec’s pay went from $815,000 + $165K in additional compensation to $1,036,000 + 236K in additional compensation.
    >> Most in this whole lot of execs pull in $300K+ – $500K+ each.
    >> 13 BSA execs taking out over $5 million in pay and another $1Mil + in “additional compensation.”
    If there were 2.5 Mil scouts (I think there are only 2.3 mi scouts) that’s $2+ a piece of the fees… hmmm….? http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/2011Form990.pdf, http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/990_BSA2013.pdf
    Ohhh yea, and then there is that nice pretty building….. and the IT Service Co they paid $2+million to, have to wonder how transparent that deal is/was.
    If the number of scouts is shrinking, then shrink the bureaucracy and their pay.
    I am a bit too annoyed to look at that any further or search for more recent years’ info.
    SDR

    • Agree with the minimizing bureaucratic costs. When is BSA going to look at realigning the number of councils and flattening the paid professional portion of the organization to reduce overhead costs?

      • Up in the Northeast we’ve merged several councils. The council locations are now becoming geographically undesirable for the volunteers that have to get badges and attend various meetings. It’s a self destructive cycle. The time it takes to travel 20 miles here can be over an hour, meeting, and back, is just too much effort to volunteer anymore.

        • Back in the day…. we could go to a local department store to get Scout uniforms and patches, etc.
          I think it might have been JC Penney’s but it was years ago. Make the effort to get local economies connected back into BSA, hmm now there’s a thought for the merged councils that need more convenient locations for certain services.

  18. As a Pack leader, this is very frustrating. We set our fees for the year in May, and have already collected registration fees for the program year in late July and Early August. This is about a $400 hit for the pack. While we can probably absorb this, many packs are not as fortunate. These changes need to be planned by December of the previous year. National and council harp about unit planning and budgeting, and make unilateral decisions after the program year has started. This is the second time in three or four years this has occurred.

  19. Zippy is right about the popcorn as well. I had several parents tell me our council event turned them off because it was a high pressure sales event for kids. We shouldn’t be sending kids to the equivalent of pyramid scheme marketing meetings or high pressure time share type sales meetings. Fund raising in Scouts and other youth programs has become a cottage industry. it is unseemly and not in.keeping with aims and values of Scouting.

  20. Exactly Brent. I tell our scouts that they are not required to sell popcorn in any way shape or form. If a scout wishes to – then great. But our pack isn’t here to sell popcorn. We are here to try to install positive values, leadership and outdoor skills.
    The big sales push from the district is disturbing to say the least. Plus the fact that they pressure leadership to attend the initial popcorn meetings.

    I made the decision 2 years ago to only allow Door to Door and not allow our pack to sit in front of a busy grocery store to sell. We have packs from other towns come over to our Kroger to sell- with their kids running around in the parking lot on a busy Saturday. The sad part is that the patrons think they are actually helping a local Cubscout troop.

    More and More Scouting feels like a very large an inefficient corporation. And it saddens me greatly.
    All of you folks in leadership positions know exactly what I’m talking about. My son is a 3rd generation scout. I don’t know if one day his son will be a scout- but I can’t imagine what scouting will look like.

    Off my soapbox now. Thanks to all the leaders on this board for all you do. It is worth it. Even in the face of poor decisions like this one.

  21. Timing of this announcement sucks. I can’t believe no one at National could see this. Just proves how out of touch National is. If there are people at National that care about units, I don’t believe they are listened to. Sad.

    • Don, National has not listened to the parents and volunteer leaders since they brokered in the membership policy. Frankly, it appears the move to Texas was a disaster for Boy Scouting in America — they are too far from 9/10 membership and will never have to face the wrath of their Cash Cow families! That and employee competency is suspect, although there seem to be at least a few traditionalists/realists fighting hard against the red tide.

  22. National is clueless, this will ruin programming for a lot of units this year. And shut up about how great a value it is: you’re not including the cost of the uniform, insignia, camping gear, monthly trips, etc.

  23. As an adult Volunteer approaching 40 years, $30 is FOUR TIMES the registration fees 40 years late.

    Timing is lousy, Agreed. I wonder how many members, youth and adult, will not register due to this latest increase. Good way to thin membership… I wonder also, why the increase? more retirement allocations??

  24. For an adult leader in a troop and a father of 2 boys in a pack and troop this fee increase isn’t horrible but what’s next? So we need to pay $100 a year just to be part of this business. And have pressure to sell popcorn and other items to raise money to cover the cost of scouting for their pack and troop (I belong to a different troop than there’s in a different council so what I hear from one area is different than that I hear from another). Camp this year was $330 and $180. The youngest needed a uniform and book so there was another near $100. Yes I understand that the BSA program is “less expensive than other extracurricular programs” but when should those of us volunteering here say enough is enough. I pay to volunteer 400 hours of my own time in my troop. Drive nearly 1000 miles on my own dime. This increase is small but add up the rest of the costs of scouting and families are going to think before they say yes to yet more fees.

    I think the entirety of the BSA needs a huge look at what it is spending money on and learn to thin the books. And speaking of books. Why are the books so much money? Is someone using the “textbook pricing schedule” and applying it to the small not quite perfect and constantly updating scoutbooks? These books should be under $10. Same goes for our training materials. Stop passing the expenses off to those volunteering to run your program.

    Just my 2 cents. I could be wrong. Just doing my best.

    • Agree with you.

      Scoutstuff.org lists:

      Cub Scout Uniforms from $84.99 – $135.95
      Handbooks from $12.99 – $18.99

      Webelos Uniforms from $87.23 – $215.92
      Handbooks from $12.99 – $18.99

      Boy Scout Uniforms from $78.25 – $246.92
      Handbooks from $12.99 – $18.99

      Of course this is an initial cost – cause we all know

      Tack on $33 for Registration
      Tack on $16 for Boy’s Life

      Factor in the variable costs of camping that may not be covered by fundraising – food, registration fees, gas

      Then add the cost of having to go out and purchase needed camping equipment – tents, sleeping bags, etc.

      The approach of stating that it is only $33 a year is like telling an adult leader that it is only 1 hour a week.

      I also echo the thought that National has poor timing announcing this for the second time immediately after Packs have completed their major recruiting effort. We train unit leaders to get the prorated registration fees for the current year and the fees for the following year all at one time. This way we aren’t constantly nickel and diming the parents. Now many Packs have found out that they have asked for $9 to little (according to their budgets that they have already developed).

      I can understand the need to raise prices seeing how the BSA will be loosing the majority of the 14+ group of Scouts from LDS Units. But it appears in an effort to expedite this, the BSA has made it easier for Scouts to make Eagle by 14 by reducing the Camping Requirements needed to get to First Class and then creating the insta-palm program so that Scouts won’t have to stick around to get their Eagle Palms. Accelerating the whole process.

      Having to implement immediate pricing changes without providing customers any real notifications is just a sign of poor financial management.

  25. Why couldn’t there have been a years notification that the fees were being raised? That way units could budget for it. Our council raised the insurance fee $5.00 per member at the same time. So now $39.00 per member at recharter, That is an extra $700.00 for our Pack that wasn’t budgeted for. No, it’s not $2.75 per month. Units have annual dues plus there are the camp fees and everything else. Last year we were told by our District Director that if you didn’t pony up $250.00 for FOS that you weren’t paying your “fair share”. My FOS decision is going to be easy this year.

    • My first pack meeting this year required me to lay out $325. Dues for 2 boys and fall camping. For many families in my area that is too big of a financial burden.

  26. As with other posters here, our troop has now increased our Scouter’s fees almost 5X the $33 National fee – $150 per Scout. Honestly, that’s just not in my wheelhouse, especially in December.

    In addition, they pushpushpush the kids to sell popcorn, and kids that don’t are frowned upon by the others. Sorry – I don’t have the time or the connections (military for example) to get my HS scouts interested in selling popcorn. Especially when so many people balk at the price points.

    I’ve got one more boy in the troop (The other three have already earned their Eagle.) And with this and the other internal politics, he’s about done…and so am I.

    Can a kid become a Lone Scout when local troops exist?

  27. I don’t see the BSA trying to create any efficiencies. The arguments being made for increasing the registration fee just does not meet the smell test. It is unfortunate that many units, including my Pack, will just have to absorb the additional cost which is unfortunate. Increasing the fee over time at say $2.00 per year would have been easier to absorb.

  28. I agree that the timing of the fee increase was not ideal. But unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that the National Council had much of a choice.

    According to the BSA’s 2016 financial statements (here: http://www.scouting.org/filestore/annualreport/2016/2016_TreasurerReport.pdf, page 5 and Note 7 on page 21), the BSA lost almost $71 million on its insurance programs, which are operated primarily for local councils. Losses on insurance programs have grown dramatically in recent years, and, at 62% of fees collected, are unsustainable at current growth rates.

    These costs are the tail that is wagging the dog at this point. If they are not brought under control, they will swallow everything else.

    • Exactly. And a lot of that goes to pay the contingency fees of lawyers from one law firm in the Northwest who go trolling for people who claim they were abused over 40 years ago.

  29. What was the price 3 years ago?
    Over e years, the rate has increased each year WELL above the inflation rate.
    Who elects our leaders?
    They are lost in what their group stands for and believes in.
    The decisions made by that clueless group have alienated its members. So, they have voted with their feet and pocketbooks.
    Boy Scouts is no more.
    I am an Eagle Scout.
    Now, I am embarrassed to say that in public.
    I have been a Scout Leader for 6 years.
    In that time, all of my training was from a different council since Pine Burr Council has no idea how to support anyone.
    In order to save money, I have asked for them too close and/or assign us to a council that cares.
    Don’t believe me? Find out the last Wood Badge they conducted.
    There is one this March….but….it is being run by the SELA council.

    Sad ‘former’ Scout

  30. Perhaps we need some volunteers on the National Volunteer Board that actually deal with scouts in scouting units Or scouting professionals at the national office that actually work with scout units. If anyone in any of these positions actual dealt with delivering the program to actual youth, they would have know the timing was horrible.

    • At the Council level, the executives/staff AREN’T ALLOWED to have membership in a local unit. ?!?!? The excuse is they’re afraid of favoritism. If the same is true at the national level, well, there’s your answer for how all this “stuff” keeps happening and boggling the mind of the true volunteers. I nearly choked when I read, “As with every major decision affecting the BSA, this decision was made in concert with the volunteer-led national executive board of the BSA.” “Volunteer-Led”??? ROFLMBO Not volunteers in the same way most Scouters are volunteer, let me tell you. Not even in the same area code.

  31. We all understand costs may rise overtime. Your price comparisons however are really not applicable. No Scout or Cub only pays $33 for a year of program. To make a fair comparison, add the costs of uniform, books, camping fees, troop/den dues etc. Let us always be honest with each other.

  32. While some of what is said may be true, the real cause of this increase is to help pay off the many multi-million dollar judgements that have been brought against the BSA. BSA has been a great program for 100 years, but unfortunately I don’t think it will be around much longer.

  33. This is terrible I feel like I am being used here. I have to pay to volunteer, to run a program to make money for some overpaid executives at the national level.

  34. Last year our council added a $26 resource fee and the insurance fee increased from $1.80 to $10 on top of the $24 national registration fee bringing the total to $60 to register – with the new increase it will be $69 next year. This without Boys Life or unit dues.

    From what I have been hearing from units is that because of these fee increases recruiting is way down. Schools where we would recruit 15 new cub scouts from in the past only got 2 or 3 from this year

    This is the first time since my son crossed over to the Troop that there were not 8-12 new Boy Scouts recruited. This year 0 so far.

    this is all on top of the major cuts we are seeing
    Since the first of the year 2 DE’s left and weren’t replaced.
    The council registrar, and one full-time camp ranger positions were eliminated.
    The full time ranger at our other camp retired and no word if he is going to be replaced or not.

    The council was invited to recruit at a Halloween event at one of those mega car dealerships….if we can come up with the $600 fee to participate. I got a email (and facebook posts) asking to donate money to raise the fee.
    With all the cuts and the new “resource fee” I would expect this fee would be something our council would pick up

  35. The BSA answer was pure worthless boilerplate. It deflected instead of answering. Here’s the question:
    Why specifically did dues go up over $35%. What is National providing for that increase and/or what has gone up that caused National to need a 35%+ increase. No deflectio, just a simple answer please.

  36. You say the Registration fee covers insurance, which I agree it should, but our Council (Seneca Waterways) adds an additional $6 per person and says it’s for insurance. I will never understand that. In addition, when we register for District events, we are told again that we are paying in part for, you quessed it, more insurance! How much insurance do we really need? Then factor in that the families insurance is billed first anyway? Very confused after 36+ years…..

    • There are two types of insurance at play:
      1. General liability for chartered orgs and volunteers. This is primary, pays first. Covered by National. Payment goes to National.
      2. Accident for participants. Provided by the Council. Payment goes to Council. This is secondary, pays after individual policy, and I believe will cover your deductible. It has been a while since I filed a claim on the accident policy, so don’t quote me on this. This policy is primary if the individual has no medical insurance.

      In the Northern Lights Council, we pay the National fee, and council fees to the Council. The council submits 1 check to National.

  37. We see how much it is for football/orchestra per year, like membership is the only expense with scouting. We can’t forget the monthly outings and summer camp expense, plus what a troop needs to do for fund raising to keep their equipment and expenses funded. Staying in scouting for sure, but the “pot of gold” is only so big so any donations to the Council will drop. But that’s ok, they can get the funds from National to make up the difference.

  38. If National would stop paying ridiculous salaries for only their highest positions we wouldn’t be in this financial mess. More and more boys are dropping out because of where BSA costs have skyrocketed over the past few years and many see no end in sight including me. We get no assistance from our local council/district except when they contact us for FOS or popcorn sales and national is continuously cutting back council staff while still paying exorbitant salaries at the national level. Your running this great organization in to the ground all for the almighty dollar. Good Luck!

  39. I think BSA is wrong on this. Their fee is just one that the scouts have to pay to join. Their is also a council fee and then whatever the pack costs are. The timing is also terrible. Most Packs have their budget planned for the year over the summer. $9 a scout and leader is granted not a huge jump per one scout but you are not talking about 1 scout you are taking about how every many scouts and Leaders are in the pack. This would have been better communicated before September when the Cub Scout year goes into full swing.

  40. $1.6 million
    The fifth highest-paid charity CEO in America was Roy Williams, left,chief scout executive with the Boy Scouts of America National Council, according to a new study by nonprofit watchdog Charity Navigator. Compensation: $1.6 million

  41. I would like to know how Scouting justifies the fee increase when some of our top executives make well over $1 million a year?

  42. You all crack me up! Still a good value – period. I think I can find the extra $9 for each of our family members (x4) to enjoy the outdoors and learn positive and moral lessons. Boy Scouts will be around for a long time and my sons and daughters will be involved with Scouts and/or Venturing to help with our community. If $9 is gonna make or break you, then consider giving up a pack of smokes for a day or giving up a 12-pack of soda/beer for a week.

    • I think quite a lot of people are upset about the timing. But the point about the top people’s salary is a good one. It doesn’t pass the straight face test to make that kind of money each year and literally pass the cost of it onto families. (and, you may want to try to remember that a Scout is Kind)

    • The $9 is not the issue as I see it. It is more a poor timing thing combined with the fact that there was a
      Major raise just a few short years ago. Where will it end because you know there will be another raise in just another couple of years

  43. I have over 50 years in scouting, 4 as a scout and 46 as a leader with some non scouting in between. I agree with every one about the timing of the increase. The exe’s pay, the professional scouters, are getting rich at our expense. They don’t seem to be doing their job. At least in our council here in Michigan. The Michigan Crossroads Council has four Field Service Councils and we don’t seem to have much control with district events within our FSC. Don’t get me wrong, scouting is still great but we need to go back to simple basics of scouting. They forgot that it’s a youth organization, not an adult organization. Above the right pocket on the uniform it says “Boy Scouts of American” not “Adult Scouts……..” Nuff said before I get really upset.

  44. Through years of Cub and Boy Scouts I received my Eagle in 1964. To this day I am a volunteer Troop Committee Chair, so my scouting expertise goes back over 60 years. This is the first time I have expressed my shame of BSA actions. National has completely lost touch with the program, local units, and the scouts they are supposed to SERVE. My FOS donation will go to pay for the increased membership for members of our troop instead of disappearing into the abyss of BSA funds.

  45. Maybe they can use the extra money to print handbooks that don’t fall apart after 2-3 months of use. My handbook from 40 years ago is still in one piece, but my son’s book has pages falling out after a few months.

    • The new books are not a high quality product. Period. The tone is condescending, especially in the cub scout series. Worse, they attempt to micromanage every detail. “School, after school” is not fun! There are many of the classic handbooks available and it was a superior program in most regards. Necessary updates can be worked in for less effort than it takes to manage the accumulated burdens of the present program.

  46. So lets see, from the point of view of a Cub leader who saw a council imposed activity fee of $20/person last year, something that is getting more and more common. Most of us at the round table refer to it as the Cub Scout tax as the few benefits that were offered with it are weighed to the Boy Scout program/activities.

    The registration cost not including books and neckerchiefs, which change every year except AoL:

    2016 – $24
    2017 – $44
    2018 – $53

    Some cost increase curve and right on the heals of buying all new Leader manuals as the program changed.

    Seems like they are trying to make up for declining membership.

    • Sean, we call that the fee fee. No one at council can tell us exactly what activities we are getting for out “activity fee” especially when you consider every council run activity costs us between $10 and $25 per person and they are entirely run by volunteers, Usually in council owned facilities.

  47. Well they did say National executes the national events like NOAC… why does it cost me $525 just to register for the 2018 NOAC? Between this price hike, OA price hike and my Council hitting me up for money all the time. I may not be doing this much longer.

  48. Capitalism will take over, just like with the NFL. Scouting is an outstanding organization for youth, but they are going to price themselves out of existence. A shame. How can a chief executive be worth that much?

  49. I think the biggest problem with this (and one that the article ignores) is not the expense for a boy in scouting (which is not a bad deal). This fee increase also is for leaders, making it harder to get people to sign up to help. I’ll bet for those other examples listed the coaches or other adult leaders are not paying those fees.

    I would suggest instead that youth fees go up more (say to $50) but leaders register for free (or maybe $12 per household to pay for Scouting magazine). Saves money for those households that have adult volunteers, covered by households who do not; maybe that will lead more adults to volunteer.

    Otherwise I fear that there will be fewer and fewer volunteers left trying to keep the units and other local/council programs running, until they get burned out and we are left with nobody to provide the program to the youth who need it.

    • We can’t get any parents to volunteer officially. They will help out in Den meetings as needed, but they won’t register because they don’t want to pay money to volunteer. It is ridiculous that they have volunteers pay the fee.

  50. I got a copy of some FAQ’s regarding the fee increase and here is the follow up questions I asked?

    The document provided definitely represent some of the FAQ’s I have; its unfortunate that the BSA did not adequately answer their own FAQ’s. I think my two “favorites” are:

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

    BSA Answer – 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.

    My response ***Rising costs do not adequately explain a 37.5 percent increase. If the argument is that fees haven’t been increased since 2010, that is a valid argument. To check this data I checked national inflation/buying power data. Based on the CPI inflation calculator on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website, (US GOVERNMENT AGENCY), $1.00 in 2010 (the date of the last BSA increase) has the same buying power of $1.13 today. This indicates an annual percentage rate increase of 1.75 percent (compounded annually). The increase asked for by the BSA represents a 4.65 annual percentage rate increase (compounded annually). Effectively, the increase in costs accounts for only about $3.00 (or about 1/3) of the increase. Clearly there is other stimuli at work accounting for the additional $6.00 per scout increase. ***

    BSA FAQ 2. What is directly contributing to the need for this increase?

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

    My Response *** this sounds similar to my parents typical answer of “because I said so”; again, painfully inadequate answer; pretty sure I laughed when I read the “answer”. The question even stated “what is DIRECTLY contributing”. Avoiding answering your own FAQ’s is not a good policy. I just creates distrust…

  51. I was told by Council Executive increase due to the cost of ligation. Apparently BSA is being sued on liability issues due to negilent adult leaders. BSA has double the registration fees in the past 48 months. My understanding that small amount is actually goes for program upgrades. I wish that BSA was more transparency with fee increase. As for the LDS that made sweet deal with BSA since they dropped Varisty and Venturing.

  52. I have been a leader for 3 decades. We were always trained to set our program and budget in t he spring for the following year. Now my budget has a shortfall because of the fee increase, just like the last one. Also, we now have to pay for all the paper that BSA no longer provides (charter renewal, Eagle Workbooks, Eagle Applications, and who knows what else).. Where is the “keep it simple, make it fun” that my Cubmaster Fast Start taught me.

    • “Keep it simple, make it fun” was a terrible slogan from the start, trivializing important business. Worse, it gave us the spectacle of grinning moppets wondering where they are and what they are doing … and cartoon animals. Read the handbooks from a century ago. Sixty years ago. Thirty years ago. Serious business — and scouting was taken seriously. Satisfied customers mean fat bottom lines. Former customers mean bankruptcy. Scouting has too many former customers!

  53. The timing is poor at best. Our budget is set in July. Our recruiting is in August. The notification of the increase comes in September.

  54. First, I have no direct information; however, I’d bet the timing of the increase has to do more with a rise in an expense — most likely insurance. Insurance companies do not care about annual budgets, they just want their increase now. National has no choice but to raise dues to cover that expense as it comes in.

    • The fee increase is due to the massive exodus of families from the BSA due to their continued pursuit of political correctness. When my son started 7 yrs ago, it was $10. Since then thousands of families have left the program because 1 gay kid wanted to be a scout. Thousands more left when they allowed gay leaders, more left when it was ok for the sexually confused kids and parents to join and even more will leave if they allow girls in the cub scouts as they are currently contemplating. They will cave in and next will be duty to God, because Atheists will want to be scouts but not reverence to God. This all plays well for Trail Life USA which in less than four years has grown to over 27K families,

      I’ve been a Tiger, Wolf, Bear, W1, W2, AOL Leader, Pack Trainer, Cubmaster, founder of a pack and troop, Pack Committee Chair, Cub Scout Day Camp Director, Leave No Trace Trainer, Unit Commissioner, Wood Badge (Bear) and current Scoutmaster and merit badge counselor in 16 subjects. The day my son makes eagle will be my last day in what was once a great American organization ruined by a leadership unwilling to stand for the values that Scouting has stood for 100 years.

      • Hear hear. The worst of it leveraging the boys’ love of scouting to extract concessions from their fathers in the finances and especially the morality. We have avowed atheists in our unit and they will absolutely squeal in delight when girls replace the boys. By the way, such convergence to social justice absurdities never pays off. Institution after institution listened to the siren call of “inclusivity” only to founder on the rocks anyway, dashed to pieces and left for shark bait!

        • Why do you have atheists in your unit? How do they justify doing their duty to God, if they are atheists. If they can’t meet the Declaration of Religious Principle, why were they allowed to join?

  55. I still have not received a good explanation why LDS units are not increasing like the rest of us. I always thought that as Scouts we were all equal and this does not feel equal. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m starting to wonder if I can make my 44th year in scouting.

  56. I believe that the real issue is not about value but about values. Our nation is in dire need of people and programs that instill everlasting values in our citizens. People need to ask themselves where their values lie and what they are willing to pay for them. If you values lie in Hollywood, Sports, entertainment, etc, you may feel little pain in paying exorbitant amounts to attend and who gets rich from the amounts spent? Actors, Actresses, Sports figures etc. Not the best examples of the values we all need to cherish and live. People should take a look at what they value and spend their hard earned dollars on those values. If you value the attributes Scouting instills in our youth and future generations, then cut out something and vote with your dollars. Will Scouting price itself out of existence? It will probably price itself out of the existence in many peoples lives. But, those you place value in future generations will find ways to invest in those generations.

    And, let’s not forget that we should not pay for everything a child wants. Our youth need to learn to pay their own way for obtaining the values Scouting instills. Set an amount your youth will have to provide and then you make up the rest. Use your freedom of choice. Each family has full opportunity and responsibility to teach our youth those things that are important and putting our money where our mouths are is the price of building future generations.

    Just my personal view. I would give up a latte here and a movie there to see my grandchildren have the experiences I had while in Scouting. The leaders that devoted time to me have helped make me who I am. We need to do the same. Pay it forward not backwards.

    • Earnestly David, I do not have “youth” I have “sons” and I want them to grow into good “men.” The Boy Scouts of America are extremely confused about their target market segment and what they buy at any price-demand curve.

    • Some of us don’t have lattes or movies to give up, as those were wiped out of the budget some time ago just to pay bills. To know that the Chief Scout Executive is making $1.6mil off a VOLUNTEER organization just rubs salt in the wound.

  57. I hate to ask, but they haven’t explained why they raised the fees to$33. They only explain that ita still cheaper to be in scouting. I get that. I also get that it was a decision by the executive council. What I still didn’t get is why the increase? The coat for all the scouting facilities are in the cost analysis. But they haven’t explained why.

  58. Our council has also tacked on an “operations fee” of $32 per scout and leader, add $12 insurance and the total will be $77. And we only charge $20 annual dues for troop expenses, the rest we fund raise. The paid council/district execs couldn’t meet their fundraising goals from our economically depressed area, so they “voted” to force families to pay more. We lost 10 of our 17 adult leaders in one year, and the number of active boys has dropped by almost half. Our attempts at recruiting are met with “It’s too expensive” by parents. Several troops in our area have already folded.

    • This is the exact position we are in.

      Because we can’t get parent volunteers, my husband and I are running three Dens and the Pack. It is ridiculous.

  59. Why does my opinion not count? Because it’s not the same as yours? Comments deemed not in line with the party line will be “moderated” I have paid the BSA good $$ to be a “Trained Leader” and I pay by registration fees, does that not entitle me to opine on a subject that affects my son and I? Then you wonder why the BSA is loosing so many families year after year? Ask the million $ CEO

    • Since they only seem interested in the opinions of those not in Scouting already (see Bryan’s article on letting in girls), I’m afraid many current Scouters are going to vote with their feet. BSA will surely hear them then. Although, by then it will be too late.

  60. You tell me it going cost $33 a year but they don’t tell you want it cost to go to high adventure camp cost
    over $600. and the jamboree cost $900 and noac cost $550 were all this money going is this going up
    too. We can’t get leader now at $24

  61. I’m with Antonio…it’s still a great program, and a great value, but no one has made any effort to explain to me why the increase is necessary or why the timing is so abysmal. As a Scoutmaster, I don’t feel I am treated with any respect by BSA National. I do have to say that Mike V’s tale of a $32 Council fee makes me feel better about our $2 Council insurance and their decision to require YPT annually to ease their tracking burden…

  62. So in the last 7 years since my first son joined cubscouts the recharter fee has gone from $35 to $100. Cant wait to find out the boyscout recharter fee. I guess like everything else some kids gets screwed out of stuff they like doing or would of liked doing because it makes it harder for lower class families or single parents to have kids in scouting.

  63. What century did you get the numbers for orchestra and swimming. You can’t get a good violin for $850..a good bow alone costs over $1000. Private lessons and a good orchestra can easily run $5000. And as far as swimming goes it costs over $100 for a 45 minute lesson for 8 weeks at the local YMCA!! Scouting for 4 years won’t cost as much.

  64. Although I do get that prices will increase from time to time the above list of what we get from nation BSA is a misrepresentation at its best –half the items they list as benefits we have to pay additional fees for including every activity our Council hosts , any in person training , our uniforms of course and the belt loops they changed to for Cubs are incredibly cheap looking and quality–they don’t even fit in the belt loop holders that the Scout store sells. I honestly see BSA working itself if a business . I love what Scouts stand for and the skills they acquire from interpersonal to life skills to hands on and survival /outdoor skills but lest us not forget it is the volunteers that also have to pay , who do all of the Scout lessons , day to day activates etc .

  65. See “Boy Scouts of America National Council” IRS Form 990, last filed December 2015, on Charity Navigator on line (you might have to create an account). Page 77 of the 92 page pdf. Whip out your calculator and see how much the folks at National are getting paid (feeding from the trough). Make your own judgement after you see the numbers.

    • There are some hefty salaries at the top but the field execs better be working because of commitment because for the hours, nights, weekends and holidays that they work generally on top of ‘normal’ workdays the comp is pretty bad. Internally there is still a lot of the ‘good old boy’ network and while some of that has been rectified, it still has a way to go. I would encourage volunteers to support their district staff and do everything they can to strengthen the program…

  66. True, the timing is bad… we encourage units to plan over the summer for their budget and program. However out of touch the National Leadership may seem to be (moderator probably won’t like that last part but will probably leave it in)… one hopes that they are doing their best… Understand that the BSA has been under attack for years (decades actually). There are law firms that specialize in sueing the BSA and many of the cases go back 30, 40 or more years. Membership has been in decline for over 4 decades as society shifts. No longer is it just Scouts and Baseball… Try to count up all the various sports/martial arts programs in your community. Now consider the consequences of video gaming and the internet and the fact that roughly 1 in 3 children are in single parent households and a significant additional number are in ‘blended’ households. For those fortunate enough to live in an intact two parent home half or more may have two working parents and be in daycare or after school programs. Many school districts seem to be cutting off access to recruiting kids for enrichment programs like scouting because it might interfer for a few minutes with the school day once or twice a year. The truth is that Scouting, a time tested family values program, is and has been under attack for a long time. Where do you honestly see character, citizenship and leadership taught today? Where do you find values being taught such as helping others or accepting responsibility for your actions or having a clear moral standard such as the Scout Oath and Law to live up to? $9 really isn’t much… The real cost of Scouting is measured in the many hours that parents and volunteers contribute because they believe that kids need this program and they the kids will be better adults, citizens, parents, spouses, enployees/employers if they were part of Scouting. God Bless the Volunteers and let’s do all we can to get a quality program to as many kids as possible…

  67. 1. National to give a one year notice for all fee increases.
    2. They need to add the fees that scouts pay for dues, uniforms, district events, books insignia, etc,… in there comparisons.
    3. For leaders, they need to use an average distance for mileage to district and council meetings, camps and other events. then take add the cost for a high adventure camp every 4 years.
    4. this still doesn’t count in the cost of travel to a local meeting and monthly campout. Are we getting the picture Oh yes, don’t forget about 10% of us or more are active in the OA and that is another 2-4 events per year plus dues.
    5 Just remember as leaders “Its only an hour a week” and we pay for it.
    6 National camp school, National scout Jamboree, World Scout Jamboree, Philmont, Seabase, Summit, Northern Tier minimum $500, the rest are over 1000 plus the gear needed.
    You’re right, the BSA needs to look at cutting costs and salaries.
    Councils and districts need to look at using technology for meetings when the time it takes to get to the meeting is more than 30 minutes.
    A scout is thrifty

  68. What no one is mentioning are the donations, grants and trusts that neither National or the Local Councils talk about. Quapaw Area Council cries poverty all year long when you ask them for 6 new BB guns that cost $20 a piece and have not been replaced in 15 years. But when our Chief Executive gets on his high-horse about his fundraising efforts, he claims to have enough money raised in the trust accounts to last the next 50 years! That coming from a man whose salary and bonuses of $300k are directly tied to his fundraising success and not the huge decease and turnover of youth and leaders.

    I have seen similarities at the National Office but their salaries are tightly guarded secrets.

  69. Some school districts may still wait until September to start…but many are moving from the fourth to the third week in August. While National may work on a calendar year, most scout units work on a program year that runs from school start through summer camp. All Scouting is local. Sure would be nice to have our National leadership return to the bottom-up leadership model that got our program off to a successful start, rather than the top-down approach that has been gradually strangling the program for the last half-century.

  70. Why not increase the fee by one more dollar, and thus pay for every scout and scouter to be enrolled in scoutbook, the BSA owned record keeping system.

  71. If National is really SCOUT concerned, why is the 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 annual unit standards the same? If SCOUTING is so important to National, why do they charge for their services? If national is truly interested in SCOUTING and not their paycheck, why do continue to lose major sponsors? If National really cared about SCOUTING they would streamline their operation, and increase their sponsors and partners, but they can not. The only thing that will save SCOUTING from costing more is to open the program to girls of all ages that are outdoor interested. National could about double their enrollment with the addition of girls, and create a program similar to YMCA Family Programs, This would get the entire family involved, all going camping at one time, brothers and sisters working on ranks and merit badges together. National is pricing the program out of reach of many families, and local councils can only provide so many annual scholarships. I predicted that the cost would go up so National would continue to receive their six digit paychecks, bad a some politicians. I would not be DE today, because too much of my time would be fund raising, begging for money for my paycheck. I told my Troop Leaders over the summer that it would cost more and get less from National. The cost does matter, for a leader with three scouts I will be paying $132.00 for one year, plus what we spend as leaders to support our troop operation, the little things, that add up over the year. Without the girls, scouting will continue to decline for economic reasons, families will not be able to afford it. Have you priced uniform items with the BSA logo, made in China? Dues of $33.00 are the first step, optional Boys Life, cost of physicals, uniforms, expenses for campouts – figure 6 a year at $10.00 per for food, entry fees for parks and special camp areas, cost of driving to meetings and activities, merit badge academy costs, and cost of summer camp, Add all that up and you will find the true cost of scouting. If it is a volunteer organization, why do so many people get paid well? No one thinks of the single parent family, the family living pay check to pay check, that desire that scouting adventure for their son. What about grandparents on fixed income that are raising grandchildren and the economic impact upon them. NATIONAL, wake up to your continuing decline in membership. Think about this, the dollar movie house makes a fortune, not from the movie but the food Scouting could become a nominal fee, if the leadership marketed it properly and made it all inclusive. Yes, a family may pay $100.00 a year for the family, but you get the entire family. Membership goes up, costs come down, basic economics.

    • Your flawed assumption is that by changing membership standards, membership will go up. We’ve already been fed that promise, along with promises of increases in corporate financial support. And the result? Their moral capitulation, rationalized largely with the “but everyone’s doing it!” argument, did not result in either the promised increases in membership or funding. It did, however, put the BSA in the position of accepting (and make no mistake: the next step is encouraging) lives of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex. For some executives (and the fish rots from the head), the best interest of the boys (note my use of the gender-specific noun) is no longer a significant consideration. Sound organizational and fiscal management? Focus on your existing market? Virtuous leadership? Play to your strengths? These principles have been foreign concepts to many in National leadership positions, and particularly those in the role of BSA president, for the past decade.

  72. Face it, in most communities and schools, sports is a big draw, with businesses supporting various teams and tournaments. Scouting, not so much. If we, in rural central Washington state, are tasked with improving our membership diversity to reach many youth who do not currently participate in scouting, raising the membership fee only serves to increase the likelihood we won’t be successful. Because, yes, the membership fee is raised to $33, but the cost of the handbooks just increased dramatically, too.Add in uniform costs, dues, etc. And we have just priced ourselves out of a market that was tenuous, at best, before all the increases.

    • Google ‘youth sports in decline’ and see what is happening there… today’s kids tend to be far more homebound than ever before. Computer gaming and othe ‘online’ activities eat up a huge amount of time for the average kid. True, there is a lot of competition from sports but most extracurricular activities are suffering. Having said that, there are many scout units that are thriving because they are providing a top flight experience. Local volunteers need to go beyond the basics, be creative and build a program that excites, challenges and motivates not only youth but their parents. I’ve seen it, lived it and yes, it takes work and commitment but it is well worth it.

  73. With the decisions the executives have made in the past few years and the resulting loss of membership
    fees will continue to increase until the cost will drive even more boys from scouting

  74. One of the other reasons for the membership fee increase is to help pay the the Summit balloon note due in 2018. Since the Becthel Summit opened it has not met expectations and has not generated enough revenues, unlike our other great high adventure sites. There is hope that the 2019 World Jamboree will help increase revenues and that scouting units from other countries will want to come back to the Summit in the future. Many of our scouting professionals have taken pay reductions, and work very hard to provide a high quality program. As membership has reduced each year there has to be a tightening of the belts. In my own recruiting experience, it is easy to recruit the boys. Getting the parents involved and keeping the units healthy is an ongoing challenge. But at just 33 dollars what a great program with so many volunteers across the country giving their time and talents. While Girl scouts and many other youth organizations struggle, we are lucky, despite our own challenges, and maybe don’t appreciate it.

  75. I have no objection to the membership fee increase. My overall reaction to the article is that the author contributes to the continuing disconnect between the council and the unit. When we speak of the cost of Scouting we need to start incorporating the Family Friends of Scouting (voluntary fees) that are so necessary to support councils. Without those fees, councils have to raise more money through camping activities, Community Friends of Scouting, and more. National needs to help us break the disconnect. Councils are the means by which we gain access to national services like those outlined in the article.

    Scouting fees should not be viewed by anyone as simply national and the unit. I think an article written about the role of councils is long overdue. We would appreciate the support!

    • Our council raised millions over the years and we saw little improvement but the Council laways had enough money left ove each year to give their staff bonuses.

  76. A 33% increase in fees is extreme and there is no way you can convince me that this is not done simply so the “professional” scouters can maintain their salaries. Let’s be honest and tell the truth, it is because of BSA losing membership because of their shift from morality to political correctness. This increase will definitely keep many boys (I guess we will continue to be a boys organization and not a anything that pays can join) from joining as we have many families who are already struggling to give their boys the scouting experience. I am sorry but I DO NOT buy your explanation. This keeps up and soon BSA will go the way of the dinosaurs.

    • BSA is experiencing what many churches are experiencing. They change their rules to allow more members, but what they have unconsciously said is that public opinion is more important than their actual beliefs, in our case, our own Oath and Law. While most people think lessening the “discrimination” is a fantastic idea, it seems that appearing to “sell out” is much more detrimental in their minds, whether consciously or unconsciously. In other words, if we aren’t sincere about our own Oath (and being morally straight, etc.), then what are we really sincere about? From the numbers I have seen, the churches with the biggest declines are those that have backtracked on their historical foundations. If I’m looking for a values-based organization and you’ve proven that your values are fluid, then you are probably not the values-based organization I thought you were. Appearance is everything, even if it is unconsciously perceived.

  77. Just another example of the exec’s sitting in their ivory tower and don’t really know what it takes to run a great pack or troop. Same as their van change a few years back. Timing is everything! The total expense a volunteer has each year in addition to the “fee” really add up. But if your an exec, I guess you have a expense account. After 34 years, I’m out.

    • Well, let’s face it. If you’re making $500K a year, what’s a $9 a year raise in fees? Even if you have six kids?

  78. Well it’s hard to understand why the cost are running so out of control on the national level. Around 2010 dues where $12 a year. Then it went to $15. Then we went to $24 and now we are going to $33. So I wish they would tell us what is really going on. Are numbers that far down they are looking for money to cover the cost to keep the staff the same. But are we paying for all these lawsuits and this is the way they came up to pay for it. But are they making a fund to ease the loss of scouts from the LDS. But the funny part is they comparing to all these other youth activities. Off course the they look cheap compared to it. But. If a boy joins what does he get for it? The only thing i think of for his $33 is a membership card. If. He was to want to work on requirements. He still needs to buy a book so he knows what he is to work on. So everything they compaired scouting to for cost had to offer a location to practice or have meets.

    So please follow the scout law. Why is this much of an increase needed in under 10 years time.

  79. The committee that chooses to announce the fee increase after recruiting has begun, need to change their ways. Or Packs dues for 2018 were 60% paid by the time the fee increase was announced. We approved our budget in July, already had two roundups with 20 new scouts paid before the announcement. When I heard the previous increase was in October I was even more angry. I have tried to get emails or contact info for the committee who decides the timing for the increase announcement decision with no luck. Poor business practice plain and simple!

  80. Wow, I mean, I am not always happy with what the BSA have done, but I did not think that this organization is made up of a bunch of whiners. I admit that going from $24 to $33.00 is a steep increase, but it is still less than $3.00 a month! One of my boys is an Eagle Scout, the other one joint Venturing. I have been volunteering since 2001. They got much more out of it than the $24.00 they paid. They learned leadership, teamwork, and responsibility. And they had fun doing it. Yeah, you can work around in the woods by yourself, but if that is all you get out of Scouting, you need to find a different Pack, Troop, or Crew. And, please, cut out he whining! There is no whining in Scouting.

    • Andreas, it’s not whining. It’s wanting to know where $32,850,000 in additional fees collected are going.
      3,650,000 scouts and scouters re-chartered last year. Multiply that by $9.00 and you have $32,850,000.

    • It is not “whining”, it is complete frustration with a governing entity that does not live by the rules it wants us to live by. BSA publications say units should plan a year in advance. How can we plan a budget a year in advance when they change the fees on us at a moment’s notice? How does that look to new parents (and old ones) when we come with our hand out after we just told them what the fee was? Also, why can’t National learn to operate by the 12 words we all are required to live by? A Scout is TLHFCKOCTBCR? There has been nothing Trustworthy, Helpful, or Courteous in their behavior lately. They are completely out of touch with the volunteers and units “down in the trenches” and I’m afraid many are going to finally vote with their feet this time.

  81. Like many here, my only compliant is the timing. I’m Committee Chair for both a Pack (67 boys) and a Troop (22 boys). At the Pack Committee in May was when we sat down and hammered out a budget and recruiting plan (we had already talked with Kindergartners and their parents in April to plant the seeds for fall. In early August we met with incoming Kindergarten parents to recruit for the new Lions program. So we had a good idea of our recruiting class for both Lions and Tigers. Our school does a “Welcome Back” Ice Cream social 2 days before school began on 21 August, and picked up a few more who had missed our earlier outreach and meetings. We did our Popcorn Kick-Off in late August, so that everyone knew the pack’s expectation when it came to selling popcorn. So by “Blast Into Scouting” night in mid-September we had already completed our recruiting, and parents knew what the dues for the year would be along with fund raising expectations to meet the budget goals we had set back in May.

    Poor timing on the part of the BSA. Many units (including ours) are going to have to relook at the budget, as you can’t go back to the parents and say “Haha, only kidding about the dues and fundraising goals…we now need more.”

    As an Army Officer many years ago, I was taught that if you have a complaint, you better have a solutions(s).

    1) This announcement should have been at least a year in advance. Give units a chance to perhaps increase fundraising a year prior to have financial reserves to meet the increase. Waiting until 3 months prior to the start of the re-charter year leaves unit with no chance to adjust.

    2) Change the Re-charter timelines. Since Packs generally operate on a School Year planning and budgeting timeline and Troops on a more Annual Timeline. Have Packs Re-Charter NLT 1 October and Troops Re-Charter NLT 1 Dec. That also helps to smooth out the recharter process at the Council level where the registrar is overwhelmed with work all around the busiest (Thanksgiving and Christmas, et al) time of year. At least half, if not more, of that work is completed in October.

    And yes, your comparisons are not telling the full story, with uniforms, handbooks, gear, and other expenses (camping, food, etc) the true cost of Scouting is on par with those other activities. “A Scout is Truthful.”

  82. National is very deceptive. I believe they are hiding something. My questions to national are answered very vaguely, much like a politician would evade answering a question. It’s a shame local council top people are unwilling to demand transparency from national. 3,650,000 scouts and scouters re-chartered last year. 3,650,000 x $9.00 dues increase = $32,850,000 additional going to national next year ! Fees were just raised from $16.00 to $24.00 in 2014. Who’s pockets are being filled?
    Please call me if you want to help uncover the truth.
    John Arndt (414) 881-6308

    • What your BSA membership fee covers
      So what are you getting for that $33 a year?

      Yes lets look at this.
      So as a Scouter I get to pay to volunteer to use my time and expertise to run a program that makes money to pay the salaries of the professional staff of the BSA?

      For adult leaders, the fee also pays for the communications resources that keep Scouters informed. That includes online resources, like this blog, and printed publications, like Scouting magazine.
      Scouting Magazine and Boys Life are filled with ads which I am sure weren’t given away, why do we pay for a magazine that has been paid for by the advertisers?

      Additionally, the National Service Center:
      • Provides training to local council volunteers and staff
      • I do not think this point is accurate, I have had to pay for training that I have attended. How does my $33 cover this?

      • Maintains a national training center at Philmont Scout Ranch
      • Don’t Scouts pay to attend trips and functions at Philmont? How does my $33 cover this?

      • Develops and maintains four year-round national high-adventure bases and executes national events (jamborees, National Eagle Scout Association and Order of the Arrow conferences, and National Council meetings)
      • Same as above don’t Scouts pay to use these facilities? How does my $33 cover this?

      • Continues our leadership role in protecting our youth by providing Youth Protection resources, training, and criminal background checks for all registered volunteers and staff
      • OK

      • Provides local councils with program as well as tools for camp and office planning and evaluation, extensive financial counseling, planned giving and fundraising information, and professional personnel support
      • This is goobly gook what does this mean?

      • Coordinates a communications network through printed literature (handbooks, merit badge pamphlets, brochures, training materials, and professional development training)
      • Last time I checked these printed materials were for sale in the Scout Shop. And they are not inexpensive. How does my $33 cover this?

      • Makes available uniforms, equipment and program supplies
      • These are also for sale in the Scout Shop and also not inexpensive. How does my $33 cover this?

      So why do Scouters have to pay $33.00, as a renewal I could see $15.00 I already have my training, and uniforms, plus I run the program for my troop When I think about it my scouts also, they are already in the program and are advancing.

      Let’s face it the National is raising the prices because the can, Scouting has so lost it’s way.

      John

  83. By my calculation, being an LDS unit would save our troop $600/ year. That’s a lot of cash. Who’s to say we’re NOT LDS? Is there now going to be someone from BSA approving how & whom we worship? Is there an even cheaper denomination out there? Pastafastian is a recognized religion.

  84. Our council announced 10/9/17 that we will also have an additional $20 “local” fee. So, in a few weeks, we have to come up with $77 per scout/scouter. This is $33 national fee + $12 insurance + $20 local fee + $12 boys life. We were prepared for the national fee hike and even thought insurance would go up. However, finding out that an additional $20 fee per person was going to be due in the next 45 days is a little too much to handle. Your thoughts????

  85. We have to pay $65 per scout/scouter when we recharter in December. This is $33 national fee + $12 insurance fee + $20 local fee. If we want boys life, it would be $77 per person. This local fee was just levied on us without prior notice (we found out on 10/9/17 that our council is charging this to us because of some shortfall in their fundraising). This does not seem fair and we have no idea how to come up with this money in such short notice. Your thoughts????

  86. In our small council, professional scouters attempt to bridge the council budget gap (a large majority of which is council professional salaries) with “Friends of Scouting” campaigns facilitated by volunteers who are dynamic enough and ingrained in the community enough to get further donations out of usually scout parents at a Court of Honor, or Blue and Gold banquets once a year. The donations are significant.
    I suggest that each unit turn this year’s Friend’s of Scouting money back to the Unit raising the funds to cover the short fall (National’s poor planning/communication and the units’ financial burden created by National).
    Most all affiliated with Scouting understand it is politics, and that politics are associated with BIG money. Most see the truth, however, in the end changes like this impact the youth in the movement as much as the leadership allow it to happen. And from my observations and experience, volunteers/adults mitigate the negative more than not. And will National take to heart what is being said on this blog? Yes, but only to gauge how much they can get away with not piss off volunteers too much and still keep their raised fees to be a member of the “largest youth movement” in the world.
    Did you know most all other countries that have scouting have few paid professionals, far fewer, and usually only pay their head Scouting Executive’s travel expenses…not a salary. Scouting at the professional National level is a lot like a Forbes 500 company, and isn’t going to change in my lifetime reverting back to a professional or two….

  87. While I feel $33 is not bad… I think that is is highly inappropriate to say that youth sports cost $250 to “over a 1000.” That is for travel sports: something we only allowed one of our three sons (now all Eagles) to do – for only 1 season… High school sports run $35 per sport, with uniform included – or students must fundraise to pay for it. My “beef” is when the Troop takes the $33 and jacks it up over double for the year’s dues. Instead, provide fundraising opportunities. Scouts who participate get the opportunity to supplement dues and pay for activities. Those who don’t can pay a higher fee. NOTE: Our sons had to earn a percentage of the costs of all activities – or they didn’t go – even when we had no problem paying. The boys, now age 32 and under, all say this was character building and feel it should be a requirement in all families – even the wealthy.

  88. We struggle to get parental involvement in large part because what parent wants to pay to do volunteer work?

    It is absurd that registered adults are required to pay the fee.

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