The following originated with the Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Mike Surbaugh is the senior-most professional Scouter and co-leads the National Team in their delivery of the Scouting program to America’s families and youth.
"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 recognize this is neither easy information to hear, nor to convey, but we want to be transparent as we have information to share so you can prepare your units appropriately. We commit to providing the new registration fee no later than October 23, 2019, which would take effect on January 1, 2020. The rechartering system will still open on October 1st to allow units to do their roster work.
Yours in Scouting,
Michael B. Surbaugh
Chief Scout Executive"