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BSA Membership Fee Increase Details and FAQ

From Scouting Wire 6/4/21

Over the last year, we have seen the Scouting community come together, even while being physically apart, to bring solutions, relief and comfort to those in need. Scouting continues to be a vital partner for communities across the country.

The value of Scouting is undeniable for those within the program and the greater public, and the Boy Scouts of America is committed to continuing to offer this unmatched opportunity to young people and families nationwide. It is important that we all reach out to Scouting families who might have left the program due to pandemic reasons and invite them back. We should also be thinking about how to invite new families to join.

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has worked to keep the membership fee as low as possible. Unfortunately, operating costs have continued to rise, and COVID-19 has compounded the need to increase the fee to maintain the program.

To ensure we have the resources to fulfill the promise of Scouting, the updated national membership fee is

  • $72 for Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouts participants
  • $45 for Exploring participants
  • $30 for council-paid memberships
  • $45 for all adult volunteers (includes cost of background check)
  • $75 for a unit charter fee

The membership fees will take effect August 1, 2021, for the 2021-2022 program year.

The one-time $25 joining fee for new program participants in Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouts is still required; however, there is no joining fee for Exploring participants, participants previously registered in any BSA program, those transferring from one program to another, council-paid memberships, or adult volunteers.

See an infographic explaining these updates

The national membership fee helps pay for the cost of essential services, including program resources, liability insurance for those participating in approved Scouting activities, youth protection and other local council resources.

National BSA will also continue to develop and improve resources that support our volunteers and youth members through online registration, Scoutbook, and national initiatives that bring us all together.

Across the country and in each of our communities, we know that Scouting remains one of the most valuable investments we can make in young men and women today so they can become the leaders we will turn to tomorrow.

Our dedicated volunteers, staff, and Scouting families make this possible. Thank you for continuing to support one of the most valuable opportunities available to young people today.


Q: Why are the fees increasing?

A: The national annual membership fee is increasing by $6, about 50 cents per month, because the costs associated with Scouting, including the cost of liability insurance, continue to increase and the organization is not able to subsidize the increased costs as it had in the past.

Q: When will this increase take effect?

A: The updated membership fees will take effect August 1, 2021, for new members in the 2021-2022 program year.

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 participants, the new national membership fee amounts to $6.00 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: What will the money be used for?

A: The annual national membership fee and new-member joining fee help pay for the cost of essential services, including program resources, liability insurance for those participating in approved Scouting activities, youth protection and other local council resources.

Q: Is this increase being implemented to cover the cost of the additional background checks?

A: While the cost of background checks is paid for by the national organization, that is not the driver of this increase.

Q: Will membership fees go toward funding a victims compensation trust?

A: No. The national annual membership fee and the new-member joining fee will help pay for the cost of essential services, including program resources, liability insurance for those participating in approved Scouting activities, youth protection and other local council resources.

Q: What measures has the national organization taken to offset its financial challenges?

A: In addition to ongoing efforts to streamline and simplify the organization, the national organization has taken a number of steps to address its financial challenges, which include multiple rounds of reductions over the past year. These were in addition to ongoing consolidation of departments and elimination of some significant vendors for the most effective utilization of resources in support of Scouting. 

Q: In addition to the national membership fee, my council is implementing a council fee. Is that allowed?

A: Starting August 1, 2021, councils can also choose to charge a fee up to, but no more than, the national membership fee – up to $72 for participants in Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouts; up to $45 for participants in Exploring and up to $45 for adult members. The council fee can include local insurance costs (i.e., accident, property, etc.), as well as the cost to administer unique local programming. Units can continue to assess activity fees.

Q: Will the national membership fee continue to increase?

A: Although no decision about future increases has 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 so that decisions can be announced with as much lead time as possible to allow councils and units to plan accordingly. 


Scouts in the News

On May 19, the Cub Scouts in Perham had some fun doing a STEM project. The Scouts had made water rockets back in April and finally got the chance to launch them.

Photos by Elizabeth Vierkant, Perham Focus



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15 Hidden "Gems" in the Scout Handbook (for adults)

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New Feature in My.Scouting
Posted 4/13/21

A new "Position Manager" tool, found on the Organization Manager page of My.Scouting, will be rolled out in the next few days. This new tool updates and replaces the current Organization Security Manager and gives any currently chartered unit the ability to change leader registrations without having to fill out applications and take to the office. This process does follow all registration rules.
Position Manager will allow Chartered Organization Representatives and their designee to change any leader positions, except the Chartered Organization Representative, with the drag of the mouse. It will require an overnight sync, and then the new leadership position will be updated in the unit.
The assignment of functional assignments like Key 3 Delegates and Membership Chair can be done in Position Manager too. The Position Manager Job Aid PDF illustrates the new tool and its features.


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19 Cub Scout Elective Adventures to be Retired Effective May 31, 2022

Posted 5/11/21

Every year, Cub Scout Adventures are reviewed to identify trends and determine interests of our youth, den leaders, and Cub Scout families. In our ongoing efforts to keep the Cub Scouting Adventure program relevant to today’s families, Cub Scout elective Adventures are reviewed for both content and popularity. The most recent review has identified 19 elective Adventures that do not meet the standards of youth and den leader engagement, with the lowermost being earned by less than 3% of eligible youth. They will be retired effective May 31, 2022. The retiring of these adventures allows Cub Scouting to be more agile as we make continuous improvements to the program. 

We know that some families may want one last chance to earn these Adventures. Some den leaders may have already made plans for the upcoming program year. To help with transition, these Adventures will be available until the end of the 2021-2022 program year. 

The elective adventures to be retired are as follows: 

  • Family Stories, Rank: Tiger, SKU: 619922
  • Earning Your Stripes, Rank: Tiger, SKU: 619925
  • Tiger Tales, Rank: Tiger, SKU: 619930
  • Tiger Theater, Rank: Tiger, SKU: 619931
  • Collections and Hobbies, Rank: Wolf, SKU: 619940
  • Grow Something, Rank: Wolf, SKU: 619944
  • Hometown Heroes, Rank: Wolf, SKU: 619947
  • Motor Away, Rank: Wolf, SKU: 619950
  • Beat of the Drum, Rank: Bear, SKU: 619958
  • World of Sound, Rank: Bear, SKU: 619960
  • Make it Move, Rank: Bear, SKU: 619963
  • Robotics, Rank: Bear, SKU: 619968
  • Looking Back Looking Forward, Rank: Webelos/AOL, SKU: 619978
  • Maestro, Rank: Webelos/AOL, SKU: 619979
  • Project Family, Rank: Webelos/AOL, SKU: 619997
  • Build My Hero, Rank: Webelos/AOL, SKU: 619992
  • Adventures in Science, Rank: Webelos/AOL, SKU: 619989
  • Fix It, Rank: Webelos/AOL, SKU: 619975
  • Movie Making, Rank: Webelos/AOL, SKU: 619982



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Message from Scout Executive, Rich McCartney:

It is with mixed emotions that I announce the retirement of Darin Steindl, effective August 31, 2021.

Darin was raised in Bagley, MN where he participated in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, attaining the rank of Eagle Scout in 1983. Beyond Scouting, Steindl was selected as a representative to American Legion Boy's State and was captain of the high school hockey and golf teams. Upon graduation from MSUM, he started a distinguished 33-year career in the BSA.

In 1988, Darin joined the Northern Lights Council as a DE in the Roughrider District where he served for 7 years. Since then, Darin has served in four different councils: 1) The Voyageurs Area Council (1991-2001); Tecumseh Council; Springfield Ohio (2001-2004); Dan Beard Council, Cincinnati, OH (2004-2009); The Crossroads of America Council in Indianapolis, IN. (2009-2015); The Northern Lights Council (2015-2021). During his 33 years as a BSA professional Darin has excelled in every position and made a tremendous contribution to the Boy Scouts of America, truly living up to the Eagle Charge that he took in 1983 to “… take upon (himself) the obligations … of the rank of Eagle Scout…to do (his) best to make (his) training an example, (his) rank and (his) influence count strongly for better Scouting and for better citizenship…in (his) community; and in (his) contacts with other people.” To this (he) pledged (his) sacred honor. “

There will be a retirement celebration later this summer. The details have not yet been confirmed; however, details will be sent out in a later communication. Please join me in Congratulating Darin as he begins this new chapter in his life!

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