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Bay Area CouncilRecharter & Join Scouting Costs

BSA National Annual Membership Fees Announced




To Recharter, the Unit Key 3 (Chartered Org Rep, Committee Chair, Cubmaster/Scoutmaster/Venture Crew Advisor or Skipper should visit

-BAC Recharter Renewal Guide 2024

-2024 Recharter Checklist

-Annual Charter Agreement

-Unit Account Authorization Form

-Specific Assistance Request

-JTE Scorecards


Scouting ForwardBSA’s emergence from bankruptcy represents a pivotal milestone in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA)’s financial restructuring case and solidifies a path forward for survivors and the Scouting movement.


To preserve its mission, the BSA has had to take some extraordinary steps over the past three years to reposition the organization for the future. The BSA has streamlined its professional staff and volunteer structure, reducing costs throughout the movement while maintaining essential services to support the local councils who were critical partners during the bankruptcy.


To position Scouting for the future, the BSA will be required to increase the national annual membership fees for both youth and adults. This has been a difficult decision that involved the engagement of key stakeholders, but is essential to building a strong, safe, and vibrant Scouting program for our nation’s youth.


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 + $25 one-time join fee for NEW participants + $6 Bay Area Council Insurance fee (Updated!)

  • $60 for all adult volunteers + $6 Bay Area Council Insurance fee (Updated!)

  • $50 for Exploring participants Youth & Adult + $6 Bay Area Council Insurance fee (Updated!)

  • $25 for Merit Badge Counselors not registered in a unit

  • $100 Unit Charter fee 

  • $15 for Scout Life magazine (optional)


This increase is to match what National BSA already had in place. It is not per the Bay Area Council.


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 date they joined Scouting. Unit leaders will receive a copy of the email and should stay engaged in the membership renewal process just like rechartering.


It is important to note, existing members will renew their membership during their normal registration/recharter cycle through March 2024. Moving forward all members will renew on their anniversary date.


  • Existing members’ Anniversary date will be their unit recharter month.
  • New members’ Anniversary date will be the month they joined.

This new process will help streamline the rechartering and membership renewal process for units and councils. Additional information on this membership renewal process will be forthcoming in the very near future.


Rules and Regulations - Local Council Annual Registration or Program Fees

Under the Rules and Regulations of the BSA, a local council may charge an annual registration or program fee to youth members, adult program participants and Scouters whose primary registration is with the council in an amount not to exceed the amount of the applicable individual registration fee for their position established by the Executive Committee. In the new Annual Membership fee structure, a local council may charge a maximum of $80 per youth and $60 per adult.


What does the National Membership Fee cover?

The national membership fee helps cover the cost of essential services to the local council and units. Services include expanded liability insurance for those participating in approved Scouting activities, enhanced criminal background checks, a variety of program resources, youth protection and leader-specific training, and the development of intellectual property for national, council, and unit programs. As BSA moves forward, the organization will continue to look at the membership fee structure and how we deliver the Scouting program for future generations.


Across the country and in each of our communities, we know that Scouting remains one of the most valuable investments we can make in youth today so they can become the leaders we will turn to tomorrow. Our dedicated volunteers, staff, and Scouting families make this possible. Thank you for continuing to support one of the most valuable opportunities available to young people today.


Frequently Asked Questions


What is driving the youth and adult membership fee increase?

  • General Liability Insurance costs to protect volunteer leaders, staff, charter organizations, units, and youth.
  • BSA restructuring costs.
  • Enhanced Criminal Background check processes and investments in Youth protection and safety programs.

What steps has the National Service Center taken to manage costs?

  • Completed a new staff structure and streamlined both the professional workforce and the volunteer structure, while maintaining essential services.
  • Reduced the National staff workforce to support essential services.
  • Reduced expenses throughout the National organization.

What is the new membership fee for youth and adults? Will the fees go up again?

  • The new adult membership fee is $60, and the youth membership fee is $80 annually.
  • The BSA will continue to evaluate the membership fees and keep our councils and unit leaders informed of any further changes to the fee structure.

What benefits and services are provided to the local council with the new fee?

  • Expanded GLIP protections for Chartered Organizations and volunteers.
  • Enhanced Criminal Background checks.
  • Investments in BSA safety resources and training.
  • The employment of a new Youth Protection Executive and support staff.
  • The National Council provides the following essential services to councils:
  • The use of BSA Intellectual Property – Youth Safety, Cub Scouts, Scouts, BSA, Venturing, Camp Standards, Training and Program development etc.
  • Legal
  • Human Resources
  • Information Technology – Rechartering, Scout Book
  • Accounting Resources
  • Council Services Support
  • Membership & Marketing Support
  • Crisis Communications and support
  • Safety & Membership Standards Support
  • A variety of training support for youth and adult leaders
  • Health Insurance & Benefits

What benefits and services are provided to the unit with the registration fee?

  • Expanded General Liability Insurance protections for the chartered organization and unit leaders in the event of an incident.
  • Program research and development including, Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Exploring.
  • Access to Youth Protection Training, Incident Reporting and Scouts First Helpline: 1-  844-Scouts1.
  • Access to leadership specific training for adult leaders.
  • Investments in program literature and resource development.
  • Ability to purchase Uniforms, Insignia and Recognition for youth and Adults.
  • Provides access to Membership, Marketing, and Brand Center resources.
  • Provides important technology support including Scout Book, on-line registration, on-line advancement, and rechartering, My. Scouting, BeAScout, and BSA Brand Center for digital assets.
  • Access to the four BSA High Adventure Properties including Philmont Scout Ranch, Florida Sea Base, Northern Tier High Adventure Base, and the Summit Bechtel Reserve.


Q: Why is proration being eliminated?

A: BSA is an annual program and has incredible value for youth and families. By eliminating proration this allows the BSA to keep the annual membership fee low for all families. The annual membership fee went from $75 to the new fee of $80 starting August 1, 2023.


Q: We prorate many of our youth in the Fall every year, will that still be a possibility?

A: No, there will not be any prorated fees. All new members and all renewals will be on a 12-month membership renewal.


Q: When will the new annual membership fee be implemented?

A: Starting August 1, 2023, any new member will pay the new non-prorated registration fee.


Q: We have charter renewal process in our council, how will this change?

A: All scout units will still charter annually, they will need to meet the leadership and members standards of the BSA. Payment of the unit charter fee and COR approval will still be required. All adult leaders must be approved by the COR and the council. Membership renewal is a separate process and done annually by the individual/unit.


Q: How will membership renewal work?

A: All members will be sent an email 60 days out from their anniversary month. Upon joining, the person will be asked to enter their Credit Card information and then in future years the renewal will be an “opt-out” process similar as a subscription or recurring gift. You will be reminded of your membership expiring and you can opt-out, renew your membership or the unit will have the ability to pay for their members.


Q: How will the unit leadership know who is due to renew and who has renewed in their unit?

A: Both youth and adult leaders will be included in email notifications to the unit Key-3 monthly as to who is due to renew and who has renewed. In addition, the roster in Scoutbook and My.Scouting will indicate the registration status of the member.


Q: What happens if someone’s email bounces and is undeliverable?

A: Email notifications are sent to the individual, COR, Committee Chair, and the Key Leader (Cubmaster/Scoutmaster/Advisor/Skipper); the unit should be able to identify that an individual is due to renew and can work with the individual to complete their renewal. Units are encouraged to update email contact information in Scoutbook. Should someone miss this process the council can pull a Non-Renewed Membership Report in My.Scouting.


Q: How will the “Unit Pays” option work and not double collect fees?

A: The unit will have the option to change the setting in My.Scouting which will tell the system that member renewals are due, and the unit will pay for it, like many units do today with recharter. The unit would have a Credit Card or ACH pre-set and each month membership fees are due; they would automatically be paid. A “pay at the council office” option will also be available. This will only be for renewals, not new members. The unit will have an “opt-out” option to not renew a member too.


Q: After the two months of email notifications, a Scout/Adult doesn’t have their registration paid for by the individual or the unit, will the unit leader and individual get contacted stating that they can no longer participate?

A: There will be a one-month lapse period and then the Scout/Adults will be dropped. A notification will go to the individual/parent and the unit indicating that the person is dropped.


Q: Will a Scout be covered by insurance if they still show up to meetings after their registration period expired for lack of payment?

A: It is important that all youth be registered in a timely manner. This ensures coverage for both general liability insurance and secondary accident and sickness insurance. All youth participating in BSA programs are covered by insurance. A Scout must register to continue participation in the program.


Q: If someone needs financial assistance and the Council can help, is there a mechanism for the Council to pay a portion or all of the registration?

A: The Bay Area Council funds Scouts who need assistance through paper applications ONLY. 


Q: A member is a month late with their annual membership renewal. Will they need to complete another application to rejoin?

A: There is a one-month lapse period. Those who fail to register will need to complete a new application for membership.


Q: Are Merit Badge Counselors now required to pay for membership?

A: Yes, Merit Badge Counselors who are NOT REGISTERED in a unit position are required to register, take Youth Protection, and pay an annual $25 fee. Merit badge counselors are not registered in a unit position and therefore are not allowed to attend overnight Scouting activities/events.


Q: Does a Merit Badge Counselor qualify as a unit position?

A: No, the Merit Badge Counselor is not a unit position. If a merit badge counselor wants to participate in unit activities and camp overnight activities, they must be registered in a qualified unit position.


Q: Can someone register as a Merit Badge Counselor for $25, and then multiple as an Assistant Scoutmaster for free instead of the


A: No, an adult must register in a qualified unit position and then they can multiple as a Merit Badge Counselor, the Merit Badge Counselor position is not a unit position and therefore are not allowed to attend overnight Scouting activities/events.


Q: Will there be a guide or tool kit to explain the new renewal for leader?

A: The National BSA is creating a video that will walk leaders and charter organizations through the new charter process.

Summary of Key Updates 

Existing Members

• ALL Bay Area Council Units expire 12/31/2023, therefore, you will complete the recharter cycle the same as last year. (For the 2023-24 year only.)

• Moving forward, unit charter renewal and individual membership renewal will be separate processes.

• Every member will renew their membership on their anniversary month. *Everyone currently registerd will have a membership anniversary date of 12/31. New members joining August 2023 and after, will have a different anniversary renewal month.

• Each member will receive an email renewal notice reminder beginning 60 days before the anniversary month.


New Members

• Beginning August 1, 2023, all NEW youth and adult members will join for a 12 month membership cycle. Both youth and adults will pay the full annual membership fee to join Scouting and will renew their membership on the anniversary month of joining.

• Each member of the BSA will receive an email notice with a registration renewal link beginning 60 days before the anniversary month of joining.


Merit Badge Counselors

• Beginning in August 2023, Merit Badge Counselors who are NOT REGISTERED as an adult leader in a unit will pay an annual $25 fee.

• Merit Badge Counselors are not registered in a unit position and therefore are not allowed to attend overnight Scouting activities/events.


Role of the Unit in Annual Membership Renewal

· Units WILL BE able to choose to pay renewals for all members, this option will block the online payment by the parent.

· Units will be able to opt out of a member so as not to pay for someone who has quit.

·   Units will get notifications via email for members to be renewed and members who have renewed.

· Renewal status will show on the unit roster.

·  Units will have access to reporting in My.Scouting for members due to renew, members renewed, and members dropped (opt-out.)


Unit Role in Charter Renewal

·  Unit Charter Renewal will be simplified and streamlined. The unit will validate the leadership and YPT requirements, validate the membership requirements, and pay the Unit Charter fee. This can be done by one of the unit Key-3 leaders.


*There is a one-month membership renewal lapse period. Those who fail to renew their membership will need to complete a new application for membership.


*You are not covered by insurance if you're not registered. There is no grace period.


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