The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has worked to keep the membership fee as low as possible. As you know, costs continue to rise, and the annual fee must be increased to address the fiscal realities we face to deliver a safe and quality Scouting program.
New Annual Membership Fee Process Announced – BSA Will No Longer Prorate Fees for New Members beginning August 1, 2023.
Beginning August 1, 2023, all new youth and adult members who join Scouting will be enrolled in a 12- month membership cycle and BSA will cease prorating fees. Both youth and adults will pay the full annual membership fee and will renew their membership on the anniversary date of joining Scouting. All proration of membership fees will be eliminated. Each registered member of the BSA will receive an email notice with a registration renewal link beginning 60 days before the anniversary month they joined Scouting. Unit leaders will receive a copy of the email and should stay engaged in the membership renewal process just like rechartering.
Effective August 1, 2023, the BSA will implement the following national membership fees which were approved by the National Executive Committee:
- $80 for Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouting participants ($5 increase)
- $60 for all adult volunteers ($15 increase to provide general liability insurance and enhanced background checks)
- $25 one-time joining fee for new program participants in Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouting (Not prorated and no change in fee)
- $30 for Scoutreach (Not prorated)
- $25 for Merit Badge Counselors (New Fee applies only for Merit Badge Counselors not already registered as leaders)
- $50 for Exploring participants Youth & Adult ($5 increase)
- $100 for a unit charter/affiliation fee (no change in fee)
- $15 for Scout Life magazine
The national membership fee helps cover the cost of essential services, including program resources, liability insurance for those participating in approved Scouting activities, criminal background checks, youth protection, and the development of intellectual property for national, council, and unit programs. As we move forward, we will continue to look at the membership fee structure and how we deliver the Scouting program for future generations.
See below for an infographic explaining these updates and more info on Frequently Asked Questions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How much of the National Fee stays with the Central Georgia Council?
A: None of it – 100% of the money your unit turns in for new members and recharter goes directly to the National office. In fact, though the National office allows it, the Central Georgia Council has never chosen to add on its own fees in addition to the National ones. Our staff and outstanding teams of volunteers raise necessary funds through the generous contributions of our community via donations, grants, and fundraising all year long. It is their efforts and yours – through selling Popocorn, Camp Cards, and your unit’s participation in Friends of Scouting campaigns – that make Scouting the most affordable youth activity in our area.
Q: Why are the fees increasing?
A: The national annual membership fee is increasing by $5, less than 50 cents per month because organization is not able to subsidize the increased costs as it had in the past.
Q: When will this increase take effect?
A: The updated membership fees will take effect August 1, 2023, for new members in the 2023-2024 program year.
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 participants, the new national membership fee amounts to under $7.00 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: Does the fee increase apply to the council-paid memberships of the Scoutreach program?
A: Council-paid memberships will not change for youth members of Scoutreach, the in-school and after-school programs designed for low-income communities.