The council has just been notified this week of two important updates that will affect all registered members during the upcoming recharter cycle.
The first update is in regard to an upcoming fee increase to the current registration fee of $33 per registered Scout and Scout leader. The following is an excerpt from the communication we have received from Mike Surbaugh, Chief Scout Executive:
“As we evaluate the growing cost of delivering the Scouting program, a vision team of volunteers and staff from across the country is considering the best way forward that will likely require us to implement a national membership fee increase for youth members and adult leaders as of January 1, 2020. This prospective change is being driven by the significant cost increase of the liability insurance we must carry to cover all official Scouting activities.
We do not know the amount of the increase at this time since this requires National Executive Committee input and approval.
Please know that we are only considering this change out of necessity, and we are committed to ensuring that all youth can experience the character-building benefits of Scouting regardless of their financial situation. That is why, in anticipation of a likely increase, we are working to establish a donor-funded BSA Registration Assistance Fund to provide financial support to those who need it. This fund will be in addition to the many existing council and unit membership assistance funds.
We recognize the timing of this likely fee increase creates challenges as units have already begun collecting fees for their 2020 registration renewal process. We sincerely apologize and hope you understand that we would not be pursuing this path were it not absolutely necessary to ensure the BSA can continue carrying out its mission to serve youth. We are committed to supporting you through this process and are making necessary adjustments to the online rechartering system to ensure units can carry out the normal yearly process with as few issues as possible.
We commit to providing the new registration fee no later than October 23, 2019, which would take effect on January 1, 2020.”
All traditional units in the Sam Houston Area Council have a December expiration for rechartering. Therefore, this fee increase will apply to the upcoming recharter cycle. Please note that this fee increase is in addition to the local insurance fee change from $1 per member/leader to $3 per member/leader that was recently announced by the council. We apologize for the inconvenience that this late announcement will place on your units, and we are committed to communicating the amount of the new national registration fee as soon as we receive that information from BSA.
In addition, we have been working closely with our partners at Trail’s End, and they have agreed to extend our Show-and-Sell Popcorn campaign by two weeks, with additional replenishments, to allow units more time to raise the funds necessary to recharter in December.
The second update from National BSA is that all registered adult leaders must review the Background Check Disclosure and complete the BSA’s new Background Check Authorization. These authorization forms must be submitted with each unit’s recharter this December. No recharters will be able to be processed without this signed form from all registered adult leaders that are being renewed for the 2020 calendar year.
We apologize for the inconvenience that these two announcements will place on your unit and its leadership while you continue to provide a life-changing Scouting program to the youth of Southeast Texas.
If you have any further questions or need additional information, please contact Thomas Franklin, Deputy Scout Executive, at email@example.com.
Thank you for all you do for Scouting!