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Can we switch Packs?

Hello- My son’s pack has lost membership left and right this school year prior to recharter date but our Cubmaster encouraged me to stay and not jump ship because we had so much potential blah blah blah (I am also secretary). We have had zero Den meetings since like October I think it was and a few Pack meetings. Since COVID-19 we have had zero Pack meetings as well as the obvious no Den meetings. I am feeling super frustrated that I paid yearly dues for what amounts to one or two Pack meeting no Den meetings, a pinewood derby car and participating in our Packs Pinewood Derby. I am not sure how that would even work during this time but my son is homeschooled so BSA WAS his main source of socialization and it is insanely frustrating to not be meeting at all. I imagine I would lose out on my above the base rate dues but is recharter fee “transferable” if you will?

Yes, you and your son can join more than one pack at the same time (multiple membership) or transfer to a different pack.

At the bottom of the BSA youth application, there is a place where you can select “Transfer application” or “Multiple application”, whichever you choose. Please include the BSA membership number.

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Isn’t multiple intended for dual membership with Scouts BSA and Explorer?

Not necessarily. A Scout can be a member of more than one pack (unusual, but can be done) or more than one troop. A Scout can also be a member of a combination of units like: troop / crew / ship / post (this would be for older youth).

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My recommendations: ID numbers and records

Try to keep multiple ID numbers from being assigned in the same council.

  • If youth member is in multiple units, choose one unit to be the primary one for recording advancement and training for an awards program.
  • If youth member has active multiple membership ID numbers (for example in different councils), Choose one to be primary. (In same council, the member should have only one membership number assigned.).

Then there is the lone scouting plan option (in Cub Scouts and Scouts BSA) which can impact how a youth member is registered,

You absolutely can change packs and you shouldn’t feel bad about doing so. It took us a couple of tries to find the right troop for our older son and we are finding that our current pack is not the right place for our youngest.

When you transfer units your old unit should transfer your registration fees to the new unit and I would be surprised if your new unit asked for anything beyond that with where things are at and where they are likely to be for the remainder of the program year.

Before switching to a new unit I would suggest that you reach out to a few in your area and see if they will let you attend a (virtual) den meeting or other event.

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As noted above, you can always switch units… When completing the youth application, simply note on the bottom that it’s a transfer application, and include your scout’s existing BSA number, which can help the registrar keep the records straight.

Typically, Cub Scouts aren’t usually a member of more than one unit. But many adults belong to 2 or more units (and perhaps a few district/council positions too :wink: ), and older scouts can be multi-registered between Troops, Ships, Crews and Posts. Regardless, you only have to pay 1 BSA registration fee, so (as noted above) pick one unit for your primary registration (i.e. the one that will pay your fee at recharter) and the other registrations will be “free”.

All that said, BSA membership fees (which are charged annually) are only part of the financial equation. Many units and councils have fees on top of that. So, while transferring your registration shouldn’t incur any national (or council) fees until the next recharter date (which is 12/31 for many councils), a new unit may have their own dues.

And all that said… I think many Packs at this time are really in a holding pattern, hiatus, hibernation, or whatever you’d like to call it. Many units haven’t figured out effective ways to deliver the program… especially to Cub Scout aged kids… or the volunteer leaders are just stretched too thin by other family, work or health obligations. Plus, given the time of year, many packs may already be done or close to done (hopefully) with their rank advancement program, so the urgency to meet might be less.

These are very unique circumstances, where even the strongest units are struggling to adapt. So while I wish you luck finding a unit with a stronger program, please recognize that might be an extra challenge right now. The good news is, as a parent, you can work on your Scouts’ advancement and pretty much everything can be done at home. So even if the Pack isn’t meeting, your Scout can still advance, and maybe a few other families will follow your lead.


You can change to any pack you would like. But no packs are really meeting at this time. They may be only doing virtual meetings. Local councils and National are also providing virtual activities your cub can particpate in. National has it’s Virtual Camp in this weekend. In Connecticut our Council is having a Pillow Fort Competition this weekend right before Virtual Camp in. If you have concerns, try to address it or even better, lead. I created a series of activities and more for my pack, and I’m not a cubmaster or chair. I’m heading the hiking challenge and Good Deeds challenge.

For our Pack our dues only cover the costs of awards, patches, pins and a Pinewood Derby car. It really doesn’t pay for ‘activities’. Meeting dues help pay for materials and activities for den meetings. So the fees remain the same because the cubs earn all the same awards regardless of when they earn it.

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