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National Fee Increase: Effective 1 August 2021

The National Membership Fee is increasing as of August 1, 2021

For the infographic go to: https://41zfam1pstr03my3b22ztkze-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/NewFeesInfographic.2021.pdf

For Exact details go to BSA Membership Fee Increase Details and FAQ - Updated 6/4/2021 - Scouting Wire : Scouting Wire

Thank you Ben.
I can see more poorer units folding because of this increase. Without doing the math it looks lime it may cost us close to $3000.00

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I really hate that BSA keeps raising the costs for a volunteer.

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Hopefully, BSA will use the money to make scoutbook work better.

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I agree. I would rather they raise it by $1 dollar to make the management of units easier. For example: online health forms.

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Online Health Forms would be a great start. I think the most pressing concern though, that will make everything start to work better is a Universal BSA number. Hopefully they can use these new funds to figure out how to implement this faster.

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Very good point. It could almost be described as - on new features, just make what we have work properly (eg bsa id).

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Thank you for expressing your view point.

It would be nice to have online health data, but the reality is can this be done securely and legally?

As to fee increases, BSA has to be able to pay for the services it does provide, for example Scoutbook.

I would be OK with adding another dollar if necessary.

For funds raising, I wonder which is best, national or local.

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They may not be able to meet the requirements internally. Our local Girl Scout council uses Camp Doc, a third party website purpose built for this application.

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I would love online health forms directly integrated into Scoutbook and the ability to incorporate incident reporting in that as well. Scoutbook is where everything should be housed for that.

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Just FYI: This is not going to end with this year. As part of the bankruptcy, BSA had to file a five-year business plan as to how it planned to survive post-bankruptcy. The plan is annual fee increases “roughly corresponding to an inflationary rate.”

See page 302 https://casedocs.omniagentsolutions.com/cmsvol2/pub_47373/213bd53f-b44f-45c9-97fc-246bcb7ca06b_4108.pdf

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I don’t know what to think. They are on the fine line of making more money through these fee increases but they could also lose membership which will decrease the money they make due to the ever-increasing prices.

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@Bill_W
I think it will be very easy to secure. A simple google search will reveal several, reasonably priced, HIPPA compliant servers that can be used to store this information.
Also, I believe they use AWS for some of their cloud computing so they can also upgrade their plan with them to become HIPPA compliant for the part of scoutbook that would store the med forms (The children’s hospital I work for upgraded their AWS account for HIPPA compliance a few months ago, so I know this is an option).

See here for 13 possible options: Top 13 HIPAA Compliant Hosting Servers for Healthcare Apps

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Scouts, Scouters and Radio MB radio operator counselors go places where there is no online data service except via satellite. Some Scouting units also have international requirement to be met when overseas. So any online solution needs to include more than just the BSA health form and provide for paper output and perhaps other document storage.

How to fund these needs? Especially in low income areas where BSA council and national are funding membership dues? This gets complicated real fast and depends in part on government and private funded health services that vary by district and unit.

This appears to require local solutions. BSA national has to draw the line somewhere.

The BSA membership has been in decline for over 4 decades. Recent occurrences, the withdrawal of the LDS church, the adverse advertising by lawyers and their lawsuits, the bankruptcy, the pandemic and the recent registration increases have all been devastating in one way or another. This all on top of the losses experienced from the decade plus long legal battle over the ‘rights’ of the LGBTQ special interests to change the standards of the BSA. As a former professional, seeing the increase in National fees along with the emergence of local council fees leaves me feeling that we are pricing the opportunity to enter Scouting away from many low and lower middle class families, especially in light of the financial issues many face due to Covid-19 restrictions. Councils are providing less service due to reductions in staff and depending upon membership to contribute funds that the professionals and key volunteers used to raise through community campaigns and voluntary ‘Friends of Scouting’ campaigns. We need more members, not fewer. We need to rebuild from the grassroots level. The costs of everything coming out of the National Office and Supply Division is getting out of hand as well as local demands. Concerns about the future of the program are well founded.

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The rate of increase over the last 10 years is astonishing. The bad part is, at the troop level we do not see direct benefits from the increased fees. We can argue semantics until we’ll all blue in the face, but we still need to fundraise, we pay for summer camp, we pay for any costs for trips, fuel, food, etc. We pay for blue cards, scout books, uniforms, patches, awards, and all literature.
Besides all participants paying for training we pay as staff too. This is IOLS, Woodbadge, and NYLT.
I wish there was a true breakdown of how the cost increases are help the troop. I know there are online training and many other benefits, but the additional out-of-pocket for parents is still very high.

Just my quick 2 cents.

-Adam

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Mods, can we close this thread before it becomes another vitriol-filled angst fest about the costs of Scouting like the one for last year’s fee increase?

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OPs [I believe] can erase / end their own threads bu going to original post
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Click 3 dots

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Hi Steve, perhaps you are right… Perhaps we need to stop and remind ourselves that the benefits of the program still far outweigh the costs. Over the years and working with literally hundreds of units and thousands of volunteers I have been blessed to have gained ‘feedback’ from so many leaders and families about how they were impacted and the kids were impacted by Scouting. From lives saved and changed to opportunities presented that would otherwise never have come about the stories stand as a solid testament to the program. Even when you combine National, local and unit costs families can enroll their kids for well under $1 a day. True I’m not counting the cost of Summer Camp or special activities but where else can you get a truly family values program that supports Character Building, Citizenship, Leadership, Fellowship, Recognition, Exposure to potential careers (merit badges), and some pretty amazing personal growth experiences? Perhaps we need to accept that everything just is going to cost more and focus on why the program is worth every penny and how we can insure that financially challenged families can still fully participate.

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I think the National Office is very optimistic on their membership and income estimates. This is a real quagmire. A very sad day for the BSA and going to be a great payday for a bunch of attorneys and law firms.