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TO: Baltimore Area Council Volunteers and Scout Families

FROM: William “Trey” Shupert, Council Commissioner, Manny Fonseca, Director of Field Services/COO

DATE: September 5, 2013

SUBJECT: Membership Fees

We want to inform you that a decision was made last Friday, by the Executive Committee of the National Council, to increase the registration fee for membership in the Boy Scouts of America.  The membership fee increases by $9.00 (nine dollars) for all registered Scouters. The increase affects all members and all units, including units with a charter expiration date of December 31, 2013.  

With this increase, the total registration fee for youth and adult members of the Baltimore Area Council will be $26.00 (twenty-six dollars), of which $24.00 is paid to National Council and $2.00 covers the cost for Accident/Sickness Insurance which is provided to all registered leaders and youth members within Baltimore Area Council. 

The new national fee of $24.00 is a 60% increase of the prior registration fee of $15.00 and is, quite honestly, substantial.  Although we were just informed of the increase the other day, we do want to share what information we know, thus far. 

The National Boy Scouts of America last increased their membership fee in 2010.  The national organization has taken actions to control and reduce costs, however many administrative and infrastructure costs continue to increase at significant annual rates.  For example, liability insurance premiums have increased dramatically over the past four years.  This insurance is essential providing coverage for all BSA chartering organizations, volunteer leaders and Scouting families. 

We want to emphasize that this fee increase is not being charged by the Baltimore Area Council.  Further, it is important to note that the Council receives none of the proceeds from the fee increase. Membership fees are set exclusively by the national organization and the fees collected are sent directly to the National Council. 

While we realize that the fee increase may present hardships for scouts and scouters within our council, it is nonetheless necessary for the National Council to continue to provide resources and materials to scout councils and units throughout the U.S. 

More specifically, the following are the key functions of the national council of the BSA which are funded directly through the $24 membership fee:

  • Provide liability insurance coverage for registered adult members, local councils, chartered organizations and the national organization
  • Provide information technology infrastructure and platforms for the Scouting movement
  • Provide local councils with program and tools for camp and office planning and evaluation, extensive financial counseling, planned giving and fundraising information, and professional personnel support
  • Coordinate a comprehensive communications network through magazines and literature (handbooks, merit badge pamphlets, brochures, training materials, and professional development training)
  • Make available uniforms, equipment, and program supplies
  • Develop and maintain four (4) year-round national high-adventure bases and execute national events (Jamborees, National Eagle Scout Association and Order of the Arrow conferences, and National Council meetings)
  • Maintain communication with chartered organizations that use the Scouting program (religious institutions, civic organizations, labor unions, professional organizations, business, and industry)

As always, our focus within the Baltimore Area Council is to provide the very best quality scouting program for youth throughout Central Maryland. 

We encourage you to distribute this communication to parents and volunteers throughout the council. 

Thank you for your consideration and for your support of scouting’s mission.