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NealOnWheels

Membership fees increasing again

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2.2m memebers x $9 increase just about covers shortfall of 180,000 LDS kids not registering. What I object to most is 1) the steep increase (last time we went from $18 to $24 with the same excuses), 2) no notice (should we really give money to an organization that has no clue they need to boost fees until now?), and 3) the patent lying about the justification for the rise.

 

I'm about fed up with BSA's inability to be honest with its members.

 

BTW, a $9 increase IS a big deal to some families. $33 is the ante in to the game. I want to see what has gone up so much that it requires BSA to rise rates THAT much. If you take their excuses and go back and read the last seven years of financial reports their excuses don't add up!! @@Pale Horse hit the nail on the head with his review. We're being lied too by BSA. Why can't they just tell us the truth...for once?

 

EDIT: I was wrong, we went nationally from $15 to $24. The excuses then listed below.

 

http://www.scouting.org/Home/Commissioners/newsletter/bsa_news/10_2013_fees.aspx

Edited by Col. Flagg
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A 37.5% increase is HUGE. On top of that, some councils like mine add an insurance fee. And other councils are charging a surcharge. For those of us on a tight budget, it adds up FAST.

 

At one time all 5 in my family were supposed to be registered. $9 x 5 = $45 extra, That may not seem like a lot, but for some of us it is.

 

And in the manner national has been making these pronouncements, that is extremely troubling. Yes, I drink the company's bug juice from time to time. I am a former pro and understand some of the things they do. But this is ridiculous.

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I'm not that opposed to this. That national has felt the need to more than double the fee in recent years is the more worrying part.

 

It would be nice to see the adult fee drop -

even if the youth fee had to rise a little more. At some point it will be hard to ask adults for the money to volunteer.

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I'm not that opposed to this. That national has felt the need to more than double the fee in recent years is the more worrying part.

It would be nice to see the adult fee drop -

even if the youth fee had to rise a little more. At some point it will be hard to ask adults for the money to volunteer.

@@ParkMan I completely agree with you, (I’m still a youth) but VOLUNTEERS (empathized) shouldn’t have to pay a fee to volunteer. If they can keep residing the youth dues now, why not just factor in adult dues instead of wasting it on the stuff @@Pale Horse has mentioned above. Edited by ItsBrian

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$34 to join

$12 for Boys' Life

$xx unit join fee

$xx council add on fee

$30/month for camp outs ($300/year)

$200 for summer camp

$87-$134 for Scout uniform

$74-$357 for adult inform

 

When BSA actually adds up all the costs to be a Boy Scout and compares that with select sports, they are actually just as expensive as many sports. So their logic for raising fees is a lie. Supply doesn't operate at a loss, it's paid for through cost recovery and profit from sales.

 

http://www.scoutstuff.org/bsa/uniforms-insignia.html

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It isn't the cost that bothers me so much, it's the disdain for the members demonstrated by a complete lack of transparency. Show us some respect by just honestly answering your own first two FAQs:

"1. Why are you increasing the membership fee?

2. What is directly contributing to the need for this increase?"

 

The need to do this cannot be some small change or just across the board cost increases. This is nowhere near any kind of inflation rate. Just tell us honestly: here are the big cost increases that have occurred, and/or here are the big revenue decreases --- even and especially if these changes may seem a little embarrassing or off message. If the costs of lawsuits and insuring against them has gone up (as I've heard) then tell us. If the LDS membership changes are going to result in big revenue declines, tell us. If it's just been bad forecasting and there are cost overruns for things like the Summit or technology tell us that.

 

But simply being opaque solves none of those problems, does nothing to reassure the members of the quality of stewardship, and frankly strikes me as violating the Scout Law to be Trustworthy. Courteous, and Brave. Probably especially violative of Brave.

Edited by T2Eagle

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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.)  The BSA could self-insure but that would be a fools errand.  The majority of claims against the BSA is small scale stuff - a few thousand here, a few thousand there - but enough to add up to significant money.  When there is a claim, of any size, the insurance company takes over - they evaluate the claims, the decide if the claims have enough merit to offer a settlement, they negotiate the settlement terms.  If they decide to deny the claim, they are the ones that go to court if neccessary.  As part of that process, they incur all the costs to evaluate, settle and litigate.  Only in very large losses is it likely that the BSA would have to pony up additional cash.  Most will come from the insurance company whose goal is to keep the payments and expenses on claims lower than the amount of the premiums they've collected.  If the BSA were to self insure, then the BSA is going to have to hire people who have the expertise that the insurance company has to process, settle, negotiate, litigate, etc.  The BSA will have to pay all the settlement amounts out of their operating cash.  Do you really think the BSA could reduce their fees if they self-managed?  They'll still be charging those same fees for insurance - just keeping it so that they can administer it on their own without a loss to operating expenses.
  • Provide technological platforms for the Scouting movement (BSA & Technology aren't usually spoken together in the same sentence   The BSA has a number of web sites - but more importantly, it does training online as well - just about everyone on this board has done at least the online youth protection training.  Perhaps you're still laboring under the assumption that the BSA is still maintaining it's registrations in paper ledgers?  Maybe you're under the impression that the BSA is still doing their banking the old fashioned way?  Ok - maybe you don;t like the tech platforms that you are seeing (and a lot of folks are 20/20 hindsight tech gurus in here it seems) but this is a modern world, and the BSA is part of that - what you see is just the tip of the iceberg that is technological platforms.
  • 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)  I have no problem with National training people in the local councils how to do their jobs - including fundraising - do you think a DE right out of college has any real clue how to ask a philnthropist for money?  How to write a grant?  Heck, half of them can barely ask parents effectively for money at FOS presentations.
  • 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?)  To keep the costs of the books lower by sharing staff instead of having a separate publishing arm. 
  • Make available uniforms, equipment, and program supplies (Again, we purchase uniforms & equipment.  Why a fee to "make them available"?)  Same again - to keep the costs down by sharing staff as much as possible - we already complain about the high cost of uniforms - do you want them to be even higher?
  • 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?)  The biggest reason that Councils aer closing Boy Scout Camps - because they don;t have the money to both operate and maintain the camps.  A summer camp season may barely break even, let alone raise enough money to maintain the camp for an additional 10 months.  The same goes for the high adventure bases - think the costs are out of control now?  Imagine what they woul be if they to into account the annual maintenance budget.
  • 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.)   National is rarely going to communicate with local CO's - thats one of the jobs of Councils.  But they are going to be communicating with the national organizations.  They don't talk to individual VFW posts, they talk with the national VFW guys.  When they say they are in talks with the Mormons, that means they are talking to the national leadership in SLC, not the Stake President of Boise.
  • 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?)  Fair enough question - I imagine it fluctuates depending on what's on the radar - with the BSA sponsoring an International Jamboree, I imagine its going to be much more than it has the past few years.
  • 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)

 

Could the BSA be more transparent? Sure - I'd especially like it if they would make it easier to find their annual report. 

 

For me, the biggest flag here is that LDS units are exempt.  Why?  Why should they be exempt from the increase? 

 

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  • The BSA could self-insure but that would be a fools errand.  The majority of claims against the BSA is small scale stuff - a few thousand here, a few thousand there - but enough to add up to significant money.  When there is a claim, of any size, the insurance company takes over - they evaluate the claims, the decide if the claims have enough merit to offer a settlement, they negotiate the settlement terms.  If they decide to deny the claim, they are the ones that go to court if neccessary.  As part of that process, they incur all the costs to evaluate, settle and litigate.  Only in very large losses is it likely that the BSA would have to pony up additional cash.  Most will come from the insurance company whose goal is to keep the payments and expenses on claims lower than the amount of the premiums they've collected.  If the BSA were to self insure, then the BSA is going to have to hire people who have the expertise that the insurance company has to process, settle, negotiate, litigate, etc.  The BSA will have to pay all the settlement amounts out of their operating cash.  Do you really think the BSA could reduce their fees if they self-managed?  They'll still be charging those same fees for insurance - just keeping it so that they can administer it on their own without a loss to operating expenses

 

 

 

The BSA is self-insured. That's the reason for this proposed increase: the insurance fund is depleting.

 

Here is the text of what our council sent out regarding this proposed increase:

 

This increase is due to the number and the size of claims made against the General Liability Insurance Plan (GLIP). As a movement we are self-insured, so every time there is claim or litigation the GLIP takes a hit.

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The BSA is self-insured. That's the reason for this proposed increase: the insurance fund is depleting.

 

Here is the text of what our council sent out regarding this proposed increase:

 

This increase is due to the number and the size of claims made against the General Liability Insurance Plan (GLIP). As a movement we are self-insured, so every time there is claim or litigation the GLIP takes a hit.

 

Thanks Cleveland. Good to know.  And that's fair, if the actual litigation/settlements are driving increases vs. cost increases of carrying insurance.

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Thanks Cleveland. Good to know.  And that's fair, if the actual litigation/settlements are driving increases vs. cost increases of carrying insurance.

Ideally, that info would be made directly known to all up front.  Since our council adds an insurance fee onto the charter, what is the difference?  Is it simply additional, or does it cover something not covered on the national level?

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Ideally, that info would be made directly known to all up front.  Since our council adds an insurance fee onto the charter, what is the difference?  Is it simply additional, or does it cover something not covered on the national level?

Maybe the extra fee your Council is charging will be gone now due to the National rise?

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Many councils have insurance in addition to National's that they charge extra for. On another forum I read someone say that their council charges an additional $25/year for their insurance.

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Many councils have insurance in addition to National's that they charge extra for. On another forum I read someone say that their council charges an additional $25/year for their insurance.

Wow.. that's a lot. I don't see the need for that if National has insurance built into the dues?

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Many councils have insurance in addition to National's that they charge extra for. On another forum I read someone say that their council charges an additional $25/year for their insurance.

 

That sounds like the amount they charge an individual unit. Our council charges $1 per registered youth toward their insurance.

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