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NEW: Membership Fee Increase and Check Authorization Information

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Important Changes Regarding Registration Renewal


Buckeye Council, Boy Scouts of America serves more than 8,000 youth in 12 counties. Now as we continue the Scouting mission, it is important that we keep pace with an ever-changing world. While costs to the organization have increased every year, the Boy Scouts of America has worked to keep the annual membership fee as low as possible by subsidizing core costs, including liability insurance we must carry to cover all official Scouting activities. Unfortunately, it is no longer possible to subsidize at the level we have in the past, especially as the cost of insurance has increased dramatically. We kept the cost low to make Scouting available to as many young people as possible but keeping the cost artificially low for many years now magnifies the impact of changes.

To ensure there are enough resources to fulfill the promise of Scouting despite increasing operating costs, the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America has made the difficult but necessary decision to increase the annual membership fee effective January 1, 2020 to:

  • $61 ($60 National + $1 local insurance) for youth

  • $37 ($36 National + $1 local insurance) for adults

  • $37 ($36 National + $1 local insurance) for Explorer youth

  • $60 recharter fee


An additional $1 per member will continue to be charged by the Buckeye Council for local Accident and Sickness insurance coverage. Over the next few months as you prepare to renew your registration during recharter, this new membership fee will be in place. Begin preparing and collecting fees now to ensure an on-time recharter.

Every dollar of the national membership fee will go toward the cost of essential services, including liability insurance for those participating in approved Scouting activities, program resources, safety standards, youth protection and personal safety training, and services to councils nationwide to sustain Scouting. The National organization will also continue to develop and improve resources that support our volunteers and youth members such as online registration, Member Care and Scoutbook, which now includes the Den Leader experience to ensure the safe and consistent delivery of Cub Scouting; as well as improvements aimed at simplifying the annual renewal process.

Additionally, the National Council will begin running periodic Background Checks on all leaders rather than only at the time of joining. This policy will help further ensure the safety of youth in our programs and is an important step as we continue to make youth safety a primary focus. In order to make this process possible, all currently registered leaders must submit a new Background Check Authorization Form before renewing their registration for 2020. Completed authorization forms must be turned in to the Buckeye Council prior or during the recharter process. All leaders have received an email regarding this change from the National Council on 10/6/19.

Again, thank you for volunteering your time to serve youth in our area. The Buckeye Council has programs of the highest quality because of our dedicated leaders and volunteers. You make a difference!

Fee Increase & Background Check FAQ

Background Check Authorization Form

 


 

Membership Fee Increase FAQs 

 

Q:  Why are the fees increasing now?

A: While costs increase every year, the Boy Scouts of America has worked to keep the annual membership fee as low as possible to make Scouting available to as many young people as possible by subsidizing core costs, including liability insurance we must carry to cover all official Scouting activities. As the National organization’s financial situation has shifted over the past several months, it is no longer possible to subsidize at the level we have in the past, especially as the cost of insurance has increased dramatically.

 

Q:  Does this apply to youth members and volunteers? And when will it take effect?

A:  Yes, the new fees apply for youth and adult members. Effective January 1, 2020, the new fees are:

  • $60 for youth members in Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouts,
  • $36 for youth members in Exploring, and
  • $36 for adult members (includes cost of background check and Scouting Magazine)
  • $60 for unit charter fees

 

Q: What about the Buckeye Council’s additional $1 accident insurance fee?

An additional $1 per member will continue to be charged by the Buckeye Council for local Accident and Sickness insurance coverage. Over the next few months as you prepare to renew your registration during recharter, this new membership fee will be in place. Begin preparing and collecting fees now to ensure an on-time recharter.

 

Q:  Is Scouting still a good value?

A:  Absolutely! While most extracurricular activities are seasonal, Scouting is a year-round program that remains one of the most valuable investments we can make to support young men and women today so they can become the leaders we will turn to tomorrow.  For most of our youth members, the new registration fee amounts to $5 a month, which is an enormous value when you consider that many seasonal extracurricular activities often start at $100 for programs that last a few weeks.

 

Q:  How will this impact the current rechartering process?

A:  The online rechartering process will officially open as planned on October 1, 2019 for our December recharters. The process will go forth as usual with the exception of the “calculate fees” portion, which won’t be functional until November 1st. Units will not be able to recharter any adult volunteers who do not sign the Background Check Authorization Form.

 

Q:  What should units do if they have already collected 2020 membership fees?

A:  Unfortunately, units will need to collect the additional funds from families once the new amount is known or use popcorn sales to generate funds to cover the difference.

 

Q:  When are Unit Charters due to the Council office?

A:  All charters are due to the Council office no later than the following:

  • Netawotwes / Johnny Appleseed Trail / Harding Area / Tuskegee = December 13
  • Sandy Beaver / Killbuck = January 10
  • Hetuck = February 14

 

Q:  What will the money be used for?

A:  Every dollar of membership fees will go to cover the cost of essential services, including liability insurance for members participating in approved Scouting activities, background checks for adult leaders, program development and training resources, continuously updated youth protection and youth safety training, improved IT/digital experiences and services to our councils nationwide.

 

Q:  Is this increase being implemented to cover the cost of the additional background checks?

A:  No, the cost of background checks is not the prompting the fee increase.

 

Q:  Why is this being announced now?

A:  The National Council recognizes the timing of this fee increase creates challenges as units have already begun collecting fees for their 2020 registration renewal process, and we would not make this difficult decision if it were not absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, the cost of liability insurance we must carry to cover all Scouting activities has increased dramatically over the past several months, and the organization is no longer able to offset the cost of insurance. 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 recharter process.

 

Q:  Does this increase cover financial challenges the organization is facing?

A: The increase was prompted because the cost of liability insurance we must carry to cover all Scouting activities has increased dramatically over the past several months, and the organization is no longer able to offset the cost of insurance. The national membership fee also enables us program development and training resources, continuously updated youth protection and youth safety training, improved IT/digital experiences and services to our councils nationwide.

 

Q:  Is financial assistance available?

A:  We are committed to ensuring that all youth can experience the character-building benefits of Scouting regardless of their financial situation. In addition to the many existing council and unit membership assistance funds, we have established the donor-funded Growing Future Leaders Fund to provide financial support to those who need it.

 

Q:  What measures has the national organization taken to offset the financial challenges?

A:  In addition to ongoing efforts to streamline and simplify the organization, the national organization has taken a number of steps in addressing its financial challenges, including the recent elimination of more than 35 positions at the National Service Center and ongoing consolidation of departments for the most effective utilization of resources in support of Scouting.

 

Q:  Will the national membership fee continue to increase?

A:  Although no decision about future increases have been made, the cost of operating our organization and services increases every year. Should it be necessary to increase fees in the future, the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America has agreed to evaluate the needs and make such decisions, whenever possible, at the National Annual Meeting in May or early in the summer so that they can be announced with as much lead time as possible to allow for councils and units to be able to plan accordingly. 

 

Background Check Authorization Information FAQ

 

Q:  What happens if my unit cannot receive the Authorization Form from an adult volunteer during the recharter process?

A:  Units are recommended to make the decision to drop the adult from the recharter if they cannot receive the Authorization Form. Any missing Authorization Forms will cause a recharter to be defective. Any defective recharters are not considered “complete” and will not receive the recharter incentive of Free Rank Advancement for a year.

 

Q:  What if someone declines the background check?
A:  If someone chooses to decline the background check, or if you do not complete the Additional Disclosures & Background Check Authorization form, your 2020 annual registration will not be processed.

 

Q:  What about multiples? Do they have to sign a second Authorization Form?

A:  Only one authorization form per person needs to be collected and retained. However, it is a best practice to fill out one for every unit and non-unit position held.

 

Q:  Can I scan/fax a copy of the Authorization Form to the Buckeye Council?
A:  Yes, so long as it is legible and is sent by the individual who signed it. It must be printed and saved the same as an original. Scans are to be sent to buckeye.council@scouting.org or faxed to 330-580-4283.

 

Q:  Can I pick up blank copies of the Authorization Form from the Buckeye Council?
A:  Individuals are encouraged to print and make blank copies of the form.
 

Q:  What about adult volunteers who were recently registered as a leader?
A:  Everyone who registers as a leader prior to recharter must complete the authorization form.

 

Q:  What about volunteers that are not registered with units
A:  All currently registered adults are to sign the Authorization form. This includes all unit, district, and council volunteers and staff. This also includes Merit Badge Counselors.   

 

Q:  Can I just reply to the original e-mail from the National Council and attach the signed authorization form?

A:  No. Signed authorization forms are to be turned in to the Buckeye Council. Volunteers can turn in the form in through the following methods:

  • Mail the signed form to Buckeye Council (2301 13th Street NW, Canton, OH 44708)
  • Bring the signed form to any Buckeye Council Service Center
  • Scan a copy of the signed form to the Buckeye Council at buckeye.council@scouting.org
  • Fax a copy of the signed form to 330-580-4283

 

Q:  What about unit renewals that have already been processed or will not recharter until after January 1?

A:  For unit renewals that have already been posted because the unit renewal date was prior to the email notification or the unit renewal date is after January 1, authorization forms still need to be collected as soon as possible. All new authorization forms should be received by December 31, 2019.


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