BSA Announces Membership Fee Increase for 2014

The BSA is increasing its membership fee from $15 to $24 per year for all registered Scouts and adults effective January 1, 2014. For those who join after the beginning of the year, the fee will be prorated at $2 per month. This does include units with a December 31, 2013, expiration date.

The BSA last increased fees in 2010. Since that time, we have taken additional steps to control and reduce costs, but administrative costs have continued to rise faster than projected. The National Executive Committee began discussions about increasing membership fees in 2012. During our May meeting, the executive board appointed a committee comprised of board members, Scout executives, and regional volunteers to examine this topic further and make a recommendation. This week, the executive committee approved the recommendation to increase membership fees. It is important to note that this process began well before the decision was made to change the membership standards policy for youth.

While we believe the increase in membership fees is the best way to continue serving today’s youth, we understand it will affect many of our councils. For councils with a large number of Scouts on scholarship, a temporary fund is being established to provide one-time assistance. However, the fund will not be large enough to offset the fee increase for all Scouts currently on scholarship. The Membership Impact Department will serve as a resource to help in the management and rollout of this program.

As always, our focus is to build the future leaders of this country by combining adventure, educational activities, and lifelong values. The fee increase is a step we must take in order to continue providing the services you and our members expect and need. With your help and that of each of our volunteers and Scouting parents, we will continue accomplishing incredible things for young people and the communities we serve.


15 Responses to BSA Announces Membership Fee Increase for 2014

  1. James Smeltzer says:

    That’s quite a jump for a year, we set aside so much a month during the year to cover fees and at this late date that puts us behind. Trying to keep the program affordable for youth and run a good program just got a little harder.

    • Brian Shore says:

      I would like a clearer reason that (Administration Costs) Why has administration costs almost doubled in 4 years??

    • Eunice Thixton says:

      To jump $9 in one year is way too much. Scouting is getting to be an exclusive organization for only those who have wealthy parents or resources. Yes, we could raise money to assist but even popcorn is too expensive. Too many parents don’t commit to helping their sons sell anything particularly this time of the year. I’ve been a registered Scouter for 35plus years and this breaks my heart when I think of those less privileged boys who will not be scouts because of the expense.

  2. Susan Cheever says:

    As far as I know, our Council doesn’t have any youth on scholarship. We do have some little units that struggle so to fund raise to make it possible for lower income boys to participate. As a Council employee I feel like an Egyptian taking away their straw and telling them to keep making those bricks.

  3. John Engelhardt says:

    Whoa! 60% increase. And I find this out just after we developed and passed the budget for our fiscal year (September-August). The last increase was from $10 to $15, or 50%. If previous increases averaged 68%, we need to understand that those high % increases on small amounts don’t amount to that much $. When we look at the two previous raises, we are moving from $5 increase to $9 increase- almost double. Just saying…

  4. Travis Taylor says:

    If the BSA determines that a fee increase is necessary, that’s fine. It’s still a great deal. However, the timing on this is terrible. Our Cub Scout Pack began its recruitment and re-enrollment drive 4 weeks ago. Ninety percent of our families have already paid their dues for Scouting based on the previous rate. Now I have to go back and ask them for $9 more? Why couldn’t this announcement have been made before the program year started? Shame on you, BSA.

  5. Charles George says:

    The cost of membership now excedes the cost of a weekend in the woods with your buddies. From the perspective of our youth (the 95% who don’t go to Jamborees), that’s a steep calculus.

    Moreover, what about the scout with two “Scout Parents”? The cost to stay registered more than triples!

  6. hgilson says:

    I do not debate whether or not the increase from $15 to $24 is too much or whether or not it is needed. The issue that I have is BSA Nationals ignorance of the Scouting program schedule for units. For all units, it is standard good practice for all units to establish their working budgets by Aug 31st of each year (This was even a 2012 Journey to Excellence scoring criteria). With this increase, BSA National is forcing all units to re-evaluate and adjust their budgets according. But even worse than this, this is the time of the year that many Cub Scout Units are conducting their school recruiting. For many units part of the registration process is to collect the prorated registration fee for the current year and then the fee for the following year. Many units across the country had already done this prior to BSA National making the change. BSA National made this change with no warnings our indications that the fee was going to change. All the paperwork still indicates a $15 registration fee. Cub Scout Units that had just completed their School Nights for Scouting registration prior to the change are now finding out that they are going to be short $9 per Scout. They are either going to have to find a way to make up this difference or go back to the parents and ask for them to pay the difference (very bad form). For my Pack this is over a $600 shortfall (to be made up by 12/31/13).

    How many months has BSA National been advertising that Cooking is going to be an Eagle Required Merit Badge? They couldn’t give units a little warning of a 62% rate hike being inacted during the prime Cub Scout recruiting period – What IDIOCY.

  7. Peter Mullaney says:

    All good comments. Sometimes I wonder about National’s planning capability.

  8. Mark Nicolussi says:

    I agree with the above comments. A really big increase for 1 year announced too late for units to plan accordingly. Ouch.

  9. Chris Mike says:

    My biggest concern is the timing. We are already dealing with the concerns that the change in the membership standards created, not to mention the flogging in the press that we took at the same time, plus the additional beating we took in the middle of the summer when it was reported that we were turning kids away at Jambo due to BMI. (Granted the BMI standards were released over 2 years ago, but this was not reported). Now we are adding a 62% rate increase on top of the pile. It just seems that we should have been given a little time to work out the other issues first.

  10. Craig Buschur says:

    I’m really disappointed in the leadership, what sort of people are leading our group? To make such large increases is terrible planning on their part, the previous increase crippled our budget. And now another giant leap? Isn’t this a yearly report? I wonder the reason, that if truly needed, could it have been rolled out in smaller increments? Your lack of planning creates a lot of emergencies for big packs like ours!

  11. Chris Underwood says:

    It seems fishy that the increase comes directly after the “Gay” decision. The BSA must have lost funding by major supporters and now passes it onto everyone. Shame on You!!!!

  12. Scoutmom says:

    Even with the increase, scouting is still a very affordable activity. Compare it to the local recreation departments that charges $60 for one sport that lasts 3 months, and the child participates in 3 sports a year. Plus, scouting offers many more positive character traits and values in its program than the sporting activity of “win, win, win”. $2 a month to participate in scouting is not too much.

  13. Cub Scout Treasurer says:

    We’ve survived the huge cost increase with the BSA! Cutting that $1200 check for roughly 25 scouts and a number of adult volunteers was tough, knowing it was half that cost last year. I am not privey to the financial stability of the BSA, and I still believe it is a very good program, but this means less funds for our pack and associated pack activities. Going forward, we probably will have to limit the number of adult volunteer members, saving the pack $24 for each surplus member each. We will limit the members on our Pack committee to the minimum. We as a pack have always covered the charter fee for all adults. It is enough for us to get someone to volunteer their time, let alone ask them to pay for it as well. The only non-paying adult now is the Tiger Adult. No such role as just a “Scout Parent” any more, even though we have quite a few parents that just stick around for the meetings to end. I hope that we have seen the last of the increases, as this one has been a tough pill to swallow.

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