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BSA Membership Fee to Increase, Rechartering Delayed, Additional Hard Copy Authorizations Required

(Reposted from Northern Star Council eNavigator:  http://www.northernstar.org/news/bsa-membership-fee-to-increase )

We want to share some recently released information from the National BSA organization. We were informed in late September that the national member registration fee will likely be increased for 2020. Although we have not been informed what the new fee will be or of the full details behind the change, it is a move to put the fee more in line with actual costs versus those subsidized by philanthropic efforts. This is a change happening in many organizations to reflect shifts in the giving community and consumer preferences (paying full costs up front rather than coming back for additional, optional requests). We have been piloting a version of this fee model in one of our districts for the past few years.

This will obviously affect our rechartering and new member registrations in the near future. We apologize for the challenges this creates but are committed to do our best to minimize the disruption as we support sustainable Scouting operations. This will include increasing the amount and availability of our current registration scholarship funds to help ensure all children can gain the benefits of Scouting.

As we continue to seek answers, we believe the best path forward is to delay Unit Charter Renewal until we know what the new fee is and we can effectively communicate it. Recharter trainings scheduled for October are now delayed. As soon as we receive information on the fees, timelines and process, we will share it directly with unit leaders.

Leaders will also receive new, required authorization paperwork for criminal background checks from National BSA that will need to be submitted in hard-copy form as part of the rechartering process.

We will share membership fee details here as soon as they become available, which we have been told will likely to be in late October. Please continue to watch this website and our council communications for updates.

Even though we face challenges, our strong focus is, and continues to be, welcoming youth and families to join Scouting. Thousands of new youth and families will join our program over the coming days and weeks, Scouts BSA camp attendance was up, and we’re excited to share with everyone the fun, adventure and life-enriching experiences of Scouting.

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     kyork@northernstar.org

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