To the Volunteers of Twin Rivers Council:
For more than 100 years, Scouting has helped build future leaders by combining educational activities and lifelong values with fun and adventure in the outdoors. At Boy Scouts of America, we are dedicated to developing leaders of character by preparing young men and women for life by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.
Now as we continue the Scouting mission, it is important that we keep pace with an ever-changing world. While costs to the organization have increased every year, the Boy Scouts of America has worked to keep the annual membership fee as low as possible by subsidizing core costs, including liability insurance we must carry to cover all official Scouting activities. Unfortunately, it is no longer possible to subsidize at the level we have in the past, especially as the cost of insurance has increased dramatically. We kept the cost low to make Scouting available to as many young people as possible but keeping the cost artificially low for many years now magnifies the impact of changes.
To ensure we have the resources to fulfill the promise of Scouting despite increasing operating costs, the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America has made the difficult but necessary decision to increase the annual membership fee effective January 1, 2020.
These increases, coupled with local insurance and program fees, will bring the Twin Rivers Council’s annual registration fees to the following levels:
- $87 for youth members in Cub Scouts, Scouts
BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouts,
- $63 for youth members in Exploring, and
- $63 for adult members
It is important to note, that for this year only, there will be a slight reduction in these fees for the membership of Twin Rivers Council due to the fact that we are changing our charter renewal dates. We will get to work on updating all of our charter renewal documents so that units have the correct information. Please be patient as we get this done.
We are sensitive to what this increase will present a challenge for our units and their families, especially with the
timing of this announcement and much of your planning already done. But, we also know that Scouting remains one of the most valuable investments we can make to support young men and women today so they can become the leaders we will turn to tomorrow. That is why we are committed to ensuring that all youth can experience the character-building benefits of Scouting regardless of their financial situation. In addition to our existing council and unit membership assistance, the National Board has established a national Growing Future Leaders Fund, which is funded entirely through donations, to provide additional financial support to those who need it.
As a Council, we are also going to be reviewing every opportunity to ensure that we can support our parents and leaders in the best possible ways. Already for 2020 we are looking to hold our summer camp registration fees, eliminate fees for all required trainings conducted by the Council including the University of Scouting, and continue to evaluate each event and service to ensure it is delivering the best possible program.
Thank you for your continued role in empowering a generation of future leaders of character through Scouting programs.
Yours in Scouting,
Kenneth Clough Drew Chesney Mark Switzer
Council President Council Commissioner Scout Executive
Q: Why are the fees increasing now?
A: While costs increase every year, the Boy Scouts of America has worked to keep the annual membership fee as low as possible to make Scouting available to as many young people as possible by subsidizing core costs, including liability insurance we must carry to cover all official Scouting activities. As the organization’s financial situation has shifted over the past several months, it is no longer possible to subsidize at the level we have in the past, especially as the costof insurance has increased dramatically.
Q: Does this apply to youth members and volunteers?
A: Yes, the new fees apply for youth and adult members. Effective January 1, 2020, the new fees are:
- $60 for youth members in Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouts,
- $36 for youth members in Exploring, and $36 for adult members (includes cost of
background check and Scouting Magazine)
- $60 for unit charter fees
Q: Is Scouting still a good value?
A: Absolutely! While most extracurricular activities are seasonal, Scouting is a year-round program that remains one of the most valuable investments we can make to support young men and women today so they can become the leaders we will turn to tomorrow. For most of our youth members, the new registration fee amounts to $5 a month, which is an enormous value when you consider that many seasonal extracurricular activities often start at $100 for programs that last a few weeks.
Q: Does the fee increase apply to council-paid memberships?
A: No. The cost for council-paid membership, sometimes known as ScoutReach, will continue to be $24 for each youth member.
Q: What will the money be used for?
A: Every dollar of membership fees will go to cover the cost of essential services, including liability insurance for members participating in approved Scouting activities, background checks for adult leaders, program development and training resources, continuously updated youth protection and youth safety training, improved IT/digital experiences and services to our councils nationwide.
Q: Is this increase being implemented to cover the cost of the additional background checks?
A: No, the cost of background checks is not the prompting the fee increase.
Q: Why is this being announced now?
A: We recognize the timing of this fee increase creates challenges as units have already begun collecting fees for their 2020 registration renewal process, and we would not make this difficult decision if it were not absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, the cost of liability insurance we must carry to cover all Scouting activities has increased dramatically over the past several months, and the organization is no longer able to offset the cost of insurance. We are committed to supporting you through this process and are making necessary adjustments to the online
rechartering system to ensure units can carry out the recharter process.
Q: Does this increase cover financial challenges the organization is facing?
A: The increase was prompted because the cost of liability insurance we must carry to cover all Scouting activities has increased dramatically over the past several months, and the organization is no longer able to offset the cost of insurance. The national membership fee also enables us program development and training resources, continuously updated youth protection and youth safety training, improved IT/digital experiences and services to our councils nationwide.
Q: When will this increase take effect?
A: The new membership fees will take effect starting January 1, 2020 for the 2020-21 program year.
Q: Is financial assistance available?
A: We are committed to ensuring that all youth can experience the character-building benefits of Scouting regardless of their financial situation. In addition to the many existing council and unit membership assistance funds, we have established the donor-funded Growing Future Leaders Fund to provide financial support to those who need it.
Q: What measures has the national organization taken to offset the financial challenges?
A: In addition to ongoing efforts to streamline and simplify the organization, the national organization has taken a number of steps in addressing its financial challenges, including the recent elimination of more than 35 positions at the
National Service Center and ongoing consolidation of departments for the most effective utilization of resources in support of Scouting.
Q: Will the national membership fee continue to increase?
A: Although no decision about future increases have been made, the cost of operating our organization and services increases every year. Should it be necessary to increase fees in the future, the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America has agreed to evaluate the needs and make such decisions, whenever possible, at the National Annual Meeting in May or early in the summer so that they can be announced with as much lead time as possible to allow for councils and units to be able to plan accordingly.