Dear Scouting Families and Leaders,
For more than 100 years, Scouting has helped to build future leaders by combining educational activities and lifelong values with fun and adventure in the outdoors. At Boy Scouts of America, we are dedicated to developing leaders of character by preparing young men and women for life by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law. The timeless ideals of the Scout Law, such as be trustworthy, helpful, kind, and brave, make up the foundation young people need to address and overcome challenges in their lives and the issues facing their generation.
Here in the Mount Baker Council, Scouting serves more than 6,000 youth in five counties. Now as we continue the Scouting mission, it is important that we keep pace with an ever-changing world. While costs to the organization have increased every year, the Boy Scouts of America has worked to keep the annual membership fee as low as possible by subsidizing core costs, including liability insurance we must carry to cover all official Scouting activities. Unfortunately, it is no longer possible to subsidize at the level we have in the past, especially as the cost of insurance has increased dramatically. We kept the cost low to make Scouting available to as many young people as possible but keeping costs artificially low for many years now magnifies the impact of changes.
To ensure we have the resources to continue the promise of Scouting despite increasing operating costs, the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America has made the difficult but necessary decision to increase the annual membership fee effective January 1, 2020 to:
- $60 for youth members in Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing, and Sea Scouts
- $36 for adult members
Every dollar of the national membership fee will go toward the cost of essential services, including liability insurance for those participating in approved Scouting activities, program resources, safety standards, youth protection and personal safety training, and services to councils nationwide to sustain Scouting. The National organization will also continue to develop and improve resources that support our volunteers and youth members such as online registration, Member Care and Scoutbook, which now includes the Den Leader experience to ensure the safe and consistent delivery of Cub Scouting; as well as improvements aimed at simplifying the annual renewal process. In the Mount Baker Council, we will continue to bring Scouting to our communities and family throughout Snohomish, Skagit, Whatcom, Island, and San Juan counties.
Across the country and in our own community, we know that Scouting 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. From once-in-a-lifetime adventures to merit badges that spark interests and future careers; from campouts under the starts to service projects that leave a lasting impact on our communities; Scouting’s year-round program expands horizons and provides young people with a safe and welcoming place to learn, grow, and thrive.
That is why we are committed to ensuring that all youth can experience the character-building benefits of Scouting regardless of their financial situation. In addition to our existing council and unit membership assistance, we have established a national Growing Future Leaders Fund, which is funded entirely through donations, to provide additional financial support to those who need it.
Thank you for your continued role in empowering a generation of future leaders of character through Scouting programs.