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New fees for 2020 - Membership Fees

You have not answered my question, you have merely dodged it. What mistake was made? What should have been done differently? What are the problems that should have been addressed and managed better and how would they have done that?

You blame them for the problems but admit you have no idea what they could have done differently.

Where else could the “blame” possibly be? Here’s some suggestions:

  • The legislatures that extended the statute of limitations back to infinity which is far outside the range of the insurance structure that was put in place
  • The cost of substantial increases in insurance coverage rates
  • To continue to support and improve YPT and ongoing criminal background checks
  • The general increased cost of operations over time
  • The massive call for technology upgrades and overall system improvements

Since most of those line items are actually what they have told us are behind the membership increase, I see no reason to not take them at their word. If you’re looking for someone further to blame, how about the people who put on a scout uniform and did illegal, immoral, and harmful things in the past?

Yes, we need to make changes. It stinks that it costs more. It stinks that a lot of people were not prepared for this change (although we found out months ago it was coming). Timing is terrible. All agreed, even by those making the decision.

Slinging blame does not work toward a solution of any type. I would love to know what could have been done differently.


Bottom line, it is the job of the national executive leadership to prevent these situations and to communicate appropriately. These things did not happen and it is a gross failure on their part that will hurt the organization for years to come. We may never know exactly how the mismanagement occurred due to the secretive nature they have had during the entire process. This again speaks to a need for us to reorganize at the highest levels, and in the process reorganize the pay structure. I am sorry if you disagree that the Chief executive is not responsible for the failure of the organization. It is a rare occasion a company fails without it being the result of leadership. With the 9M we paid our executives I would expect better.

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First and foremost: this organization has not failed.

I also have not witnessed any “secretive behavior” – instead, I have seen national and council be open and frank. All through this process, national and council have been letting us know that a change is coming, why it is coming, and even gave a date well in advance of when they would make a final decision. And they stuck to that date, providing details and information.

What I do see is people making accusations that are not true or at least that they have no evidence to support.

Leadership is doing what they can to navigate through difficult waters. It’s not smart commit mutiny because of a storm.


I can’t speak to every detail of this, but I can speak to the insurance side (as an insurance professional with no inside knowledge of the BSA’s insurance):

  1. How much advance notice do you get when your auto or home insurance rates increase? In most states it’s around 45 days. The BSA’s insurance is likely no different.
  2. The insurance industry is really struggling with the impact of the removal of statutes of limitations. The BSA has no chance of quantifying that with any precision.

I understand the frustration with this, and I suspect the National executive committee shares your frustration.


I can also add that spending many years as an insurance producer or agent as most would be familiar with, there are factors that determine rates for an insured. In the liability market especially if your contract is written by a carrier in excess and surplus lines, the rates are not market driven but rather than that on a claims reserves basis. There is little negotiation on the part of the insured party. The protection of the insured and insurer are the determining factor.


Here’s my input: The increase is a huge deal that is make or break for a lot of families. Fundraising isn’t a great answer because everyone in the community has given as much as they can already to the infinite overlapping fundraisers every child is doing. I’m a single, disabled mother. I don’t have any extra money. I made myself physically sick doing popcorn sales with my children and ended up in the er from pushing myself past my ability because fundraising is the only way we had a chance for camp. The increase ate up the money we earned so we will be sitting out a lot of activities/go and sees/camp unless there’s a magic change. I and the rest of our Pack leadership have tried multiple times to find out info and get scholarship applications for me and the 7 other families in our pack that can’t pay and we haven’t gotten any response. Our pack has cut out paying for elective loops, patches, t-shirts, trophies for pinewood and rain gutter regatta, snacks and decorations for camp, food for Blue and Gold, and multiple other items from our budget that make the program memorable. I have volunteers shovel my driveway because I can’t. I can’t spend my weekends wrapping gifts or sacking groceries. If I could, I could get a job and pay my own fees. This isn’t about people whining or being lazy. I’m heartbroken at the thought of my children not being able to cross over on the bridge my father built our pack for my brother to cross over on 20 years ago. My family has put our heart and soul into our pack for decades now. National and Council needs to be coming to us with resources to help, not already overworked free volunteers to scramble and beg for. They say no scout will be left out because of inability to pay, but they aren’t giving any concrete way to receive those funds that put any of our minds at ease.


I agree that more information needs to come out quickly with national’s commitment to provide support to those in need.

I recommend that each unit determine what level of immediate financial impact can be quantified and come up with a number… “we are $X short” or something that simple. That’s how we can best help units in need.


Here’s another’s perspective (in this case a bishop in the Catholic Church) that highlights what has happened outside of our control and how other organizations are in the same struggle:

“The removal of the statute of limitations does nothing to protect children. But it does allow schools and other public entities to be sued and ultimately brings an unreasonable and unbearable burden on taxpayers, school systems and municipalities as well as the Church. Factually, in those dioceses in the United States that have faced the removal of the statute of limitations or similar legislation, the results have been catastrophic. The archdioceses of Portland and Milwaukee, the dioceses of Tucson, Spokane, Davenport, San Diego, Fairbanks, Wilmington, Duluth, Ulm, Gallup, Helena and Santa Fe all have gone bankrupt. And, the result? The financial resources for the good work of the Church are drained. Programs no longer function. Parochial schools as well as the Church’s much needed social and charitable services to the poor no longer have the resources to continue.”


At this point though who would you even submit that to? There doesn’t seem to be any set person or office dealing with anything directly.

Hi Shelley! If you’re talking about submitting “that” “to” someone and you mean the dollar amount that your unit is short, I would start with submitting it to your unit committee and charter organization. At least be prepared with a quantified amount. It’s not much for sure, but step one is to calculate how much you need so that when the information rolls out of who to ask you have it ready to go.

You may find that the charter organization will pitch in. You may find that some parents in your pack will pitch in. There’s magic in quantifying the need.

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Seriously, and I mean this with no due respect at all, [REDACTED] the Catholic Church. And before anyone tells me to watch my language because youth reads this board, save it, because they should read this with the graphic intention intact.

The Catholic Church still shelters pederasts and refuses to turn them over to authorities in a way that the BSA has worked very hard to change it’s own policies to correct. It’s still an enormously wealthy organization, that constitutes it’s own sovereign country characterized by Caligulan decadence the BSA could only dream of. We have no idea how much “good works” these Archdiocese actually fund vs how much money they just send back to further line the Vatican coffers, because (like all religious organizations in the US) they have special exception to keep closed books and have tax exempt status anyway.

It disgusts me that you use the Catholic Church as your comparison for the BSA, and if the organizations are truly analogous then BSA deserves this bankruptcy and all that follows. However, I don’t for a second believe the BSA is on the same level. The BSA has been reforming itself for years, and trying to make itself better for youth, and better for communities. The Catholic Church has just been trying to circle the wagons and protect it’s own at whatever the cost. This is a why the BSA has a case for extending the statute of limitations being unfair, but the Catholic Church has no leg to stand on.