Dear Northern Star Scouting Family,
We hope you and the other families in your group are staying safe and well in these challenging times. All of us are learning to do things in new and different ways, and we’ll continue to do so in the months ahead.
We are writing today to share the final plan for one of the big Scouting changes that was underway well before the Covid 19 pandemic emerged. Our annual program registration/renewal process has been called rechartering in the past, but for four years now we have been testing a new registration fee model with 1,000 Scouting families in our core Minneapolis district.
Beginning on August 1, 2020, the start of our new program year, every family will pay their children’s annual program fee online, rather than asking unit volunteers to collect and submit these fees. This fee is inclusive of the next increase in national registration fees to $66, the newly announced $25 new member joining fee, and we anticipate that we will be able to shelter our families from the increases that are planned for 2021 and 2022. This fee will also more closely reflect the full cost of Scouting in Northern Star Council, thus eliminating Family Friends of Scouting group solicitations.
This new approach:
- Provides an easier, fully online registration and payment process for all new and returning youth and adults. (Yes, new adult leaders can now register online, no paper applications needed)
- Enables Scouting volunteers to focus their time and energy on program delivery by reducing time spent on registration and Family Friends of Scouting fundraising.
- Ensures quick and confidential access to scholarship assistance for families that need it.
- Delays the need for collecting unit fees at the time of joining. For each youth member fee that is paid in full August through October, $20 will be transferred to your unit’s account, for use as needed to pay for rank advancements, handbooks, camp fees, etc.
- Responds to family requests to “just tell me what it costs up front”, rather than collecting a low fee that requires a labor-intensive follow-up fundraising ask.
- Creates a process that leads to sustainable Scouting for years to come, but no more revenue than Family Friends of Scouting historically provided.
The annual youth registration fee will be $180, covering the costs of delivering Scouting locally, the national membership fees, and insurance. Adult fees will increase to $42 and will be payable online for the first time.
You will receive an email and/or letter in late July with a link to a secure registration page on our website to register for the 2020-21 program year and pay these fees in full, or in two installments, as well as request scholarship assistance if needed.
We wish Scouting could be available to all at zero cost, but high-quality programs require sustainable funding. Our volunteer task force, board, and staff believe this new approach makes that possible.
More information, including frequently asked questions, can be found on our website, as well as contact information for the staff and volunteers who serve your specific families. They would be glad to answer questions and provide additional details.
We hope your family is having a great Scouting experience, and we are committed to ensuring that Northern Star Scouting programs continue for your children today and tomorrow.