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NealOnWheels

Membership fees increasing again

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I’ve read this from other places, but maybe is a possibly that National has let councils decide on fees? Or that councils are just releasing it early.

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Clarification on membership fees:

 

The National Council sets the annual Registration Fee for youth/adult members in the BSA. As of December 1st, this will increase from $24 to $33. It is worth noting that it is not prohibited for councils to set their own "program fees", "council surcharge", or other charges above the national Annual Fee to cover local operating costs. Individual units occasionally may also charge their own "dues" to help cover their expenses. The latter two are not required or universal practices, and they are usually collected at recharter/joining time.

 

Just some background information before this post blows up...  :)

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Can someone explain to me why we run bsa registration on the calendar year when all of the units and activities operate on the academic year?  Most units have already collected dues for the Scout year so this $9 per scout/Scouter increase is going to be an unexpected expense that has not been collected.

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If only because most units have already done budgeting for next year, this is poor timing, as noted already.  But, unless we see concrete value back to the unit levels, this is truly poor judgment.  And, if we soon read about more increases for National staff member pay, it could push many to serious revolt.  If anything, the top 2 or 3 tiers of National staff could take a cut in pay to offset this, and they still would easily be more than sufficiently compensated.  Of course, just my opinion, and I am at the level that actually delivers the program, so probably am not well informed or have an opinion that is valued very much.

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It is technically possible to change your rechartering month.

But, I agree that three months is an aweful short time to determine which campout scouts should cut short to meet expenses.

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It could be worse timing. And $33 is not bad considering everything. I'm good with it. I think this isn't such a big deal.

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This is completely irresponsible of National to pull this out so late on units that have already done budgeting and began collecting dues that carry us through next year. As CC, I may have to recommend to our committee that we no longer include a Boys Life subscription in our Pack fees, which was only $50 for renewing scouts.

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It could be worse timing. And $33 is not bad considering everything. I'm good with it. I think this isn't such a big deal.

@@vumbi I'm good with it too, not a big deal. Scouting is expensive but is a great time.

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It's a 37.5% increase. Though if you annualize it since the last increase, it's about 9.4% per year. Which actually makes it sound worse. :)

 

Seriously, I think Scouting is a good value, now it's just a little less good.

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They added a FAQ that made them look particularly dumb. Yes, there have been increases an average of once every 5 years. But in this case it's been twice in 7 years and the total has doubled in 5 years? Didn't it used to be $15 five years ago? And yes, soccer costs $400 some place and that doesn't even include uniforms, but guess what, the $33 doesn't include uniforms either, or summer camp, or any camp, or anything within the council. So the $33 national gets just because is suddenly not so far off the $100 the council wants everyone to donate to FOS. For people that don't have much money this has just lowered the amount of money a lot of people will be giving to their council.

 

Truth be told, if national had less money they might have to focus on what's important so anyone that wants to complain ... go for it. Yes, I'll still pay for it but something about Thrifty is what bothers me about this. What expenses have doubled in the past 5 years? Be honest.

  • Upvote 1

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It's kind of funny (ha ha) that it is on council sites but not on the National site, at least not on the home page or anywhere that I could find it in about five minutes of looking. For that matter, it's not on MY council's web site unless it is buried somewhere. Which I guess shouldn't surprise me since the front page of my council's web site is still urging people to sign up for the Jamboree (the one that already happened.)

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My guess is this is the brunt of LDS not automatically enrolling every male child on its rolls.

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This is the most "official" message I've seen, so far. https://www.facebook.com/CommissionersOfTheBoyScoutsOfAmerica/?hc_ref=ARS7UnPtgmsiMVjgzkPmke6C8ZqWfDJVmjhOEtY-ZwGGJZBnI2cCkQ3qC2DIkDJ59m8&fref=gs&hc_location=group

 

While I think Scouts is still a good value, could someone please enlighten me on what exactly registration fees go towards?  Am I correct that NONE of this money is retained by council?  

 

I found this article on the previous increase to $24 which lists out some benefits funded by our fees (with my comments in red).  Please help me understand this. https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2013/09/03/bsa-membership-fee-increased-to-24-what-does-your-24-get-you/

 

  • Provide liability insurance to registered adult members, local councils, chartered organizations and the national organization (Ok, insurance, but seems like an organization as large as BSA could self-insure.)
  • Provide technological platforms for the Scouting movement (BSA & Technology aren't usually spoken together in the same sentence
  • Provide local councils with program as well as tools for camp and office planning and evaluation, extensive financial counseling, planned giving and fundraising information, and professional personnel support (My mandatory registration fee is used to teach fund raising?  Nothing better for fundraising than mandatory fees)
  • Coordinate a communications network through magazines and literature (handbooks, merit badge pamphlets, brochures, training materials, and professional development training) (We pay directly for handbooks, MB pamphlets, & UofScouting materials, etc..  Why do they need separate fees?)
  • Make available uniforms, equipment, and program supplies (Again, we purchase uniforms & equipment.  Why a fee to "make them available"?)
  • Develop and maintain 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) (High-adventure bases, jamborees, and summits that Scouts pay thousands of dollars to attend?)
  • Maintain communication with chartered organizations that use the Scouting program (religious institutions, civic organizations, labor unions, professional organizations, business, and industry) (Completely comical.  I know of zero instances where National has communicated with a CO.)
  • Maintain liaison with Scouting associations in other countries as a member of the World Scout Conference (Sure, but how much exactly does that really cost?)
  • Set and maintain program standards (e.g., Advancement, health and safety, etc.) to ensure consistency of the brand throughout councils across the country.  (Uh, ok...finally our last bullet actually deals with program development)
Edited by Pale Horse
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