FROM: Chief Scout Executive Wayne Brock
Subject: Membership Fees
Over the last few days, professional Scouters from across the nation gathered in Washington, D.C., for our annual Top Hands meeting. Whether or not you were able to join us, I want to share with you upcoming changes regarding membership fees that were announced during Top Hands.
First, I want to make clear that the Boy Scouts of America maintains a strong financial position. In order to continue to deliver the nation’s foremost youth program, it is occasionally necessary to increase membership fees so that we can offset rising administrative costs. For this reason, the Boy Scouts of America is increasing its membership fee from $15 to $24 per year for all registered Scouts and adults effective January 1, 2014. For those who join after the beginning of the year, the fee will be prorated at $2 per month. This does include units with a December 31, 2013, expiration date.
The Boy Scouts of America last increased fees in 2010. Since that time, we have taken additional steps to control and reduce costs, but administrative costs have continued to rise faster than projected. The National Executive Committee began discussions about increasing membership fees in 2012. During our May meeting, the executive board appointed a committee comprised of board members, Scout executives, and regional volunteers to examine this topic further and make a recommendation. This week, the executive committee approved the recommendation to increase membership fees. It is important to note that this process began well before the decision was made to change the membership standards policy for youth.
While we believe the increase in membership fees is the best way to continue serving today’s youth, we understand it will affect many of our councils. For councils with a large number of Scouts on scholarship, a temporary fund is being established to provide one-time assistance. However, the fund will not be large enough to offset the fee increase for all Scouts currently on scholarship. The Membership Impact Department will serve as a resource to help in the management and rollout of this program.
Additionally, we’re pleased to announce that in 2014, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will pay the registration fees and unit liability insurance fees directly to the National Council. The Church of Jesus Christ unit charters and individual member registration forms will continue to be processed as normal, but registration and unit liability fees will no longer be collected or processed by the local council. This change will provide the Church, local councils, and the national office greater efficiencies in the administrative process.
As always, our focus is to build the future leaders of this country by combining adventure, educational activities, and lifelong values. The fee increase is a step we must take in order to continue providing the services you and our members expect and need. With your help and that of each of our volunteers and Scouting parents, we will continue accomplishing incredible things for young people and the communities we serve.