p12 - Registration Fees and National Items
For October 4th, 2019
To: Cubmasters, Scoutmasters, and Committee Chairs
CC: District Committee Members and Commissioners
As Scouters, our work impacts the lives of young people. Leading is not always easy, but it is important. The Istrouma Area Council, Boy Scouts of America commits to be transparent and open regarding communication from National BSA to assist you. We also ask you to continue to stand by the BSA and advocate for Scouting.
Families today have many options, but we are confident there is no other program providing the leadership training and character development Scouting provides. Please review these notes and consider sharing appropriate information with Scout parents and other leaders in your unit.
National BSA Membership Fee Increase
The Istrouma Area Council was recently informed that there will be a National BSA membership fee increase. We anticipate learning the amount in late October and we understand that the timing of this announcement is difficult.
The current membership fee of $40 goes directly to National BSA to fund program curriculum and safety standards, training, Youth Protection resources and criminal background checks, technology upgrades, insurance coverage and many more investments to sustain Scouting. Costs continue to increase especially at a substantial rate for insurance coverage.
Families enjoy Scouting because of its high value and reasonable price. Even with an increase in the membership fee, Scouting will remain significantly less expensive than most youth programs in Louisiana, and certainly more impactful long-term.
National BSA will continue to take every measure to reduce operational expenses and the Istrouma Area Council will continue to fundraise locally to support our program and provide assistance when needed.
Locally, a committee of experienced Pack and Troop leaders put together the following suggestions to help assist with challenges a fee increase may cause.
- Continue to sell Popcorn. We have ordered additional product for units that wish to replenish their order.
- We are working to have Camp Cards available late in January for unit fundraising.
- Determine if a quarterly dues structure for your families might be more convenient.
- Revisit your unit budget to make sure fees align with actual costs.
- Inform families now an additional fee will be due, and you will notify them in early November of the amount.
We encourage you to share this message with your unit’s leaders and decide how you would like to communicate this to your parents. Click here for a template that may be helpful for your parent communication. Once the membership fee amount is shared with the Council, we will update you.
Elevation in Youth Protection Policies
A positive change associated with the fee increase is an elevation in our Youth Protection Policies. One of the BSA’s many Barriers to Abuse is a mandatory criminal background check during the volunteer application process. The BSA will now also perform periodic rechecks of criminal backgrounds to support the continued safety of youth in our programs.
All volunteer leaders will need to sign a background check authorization form and these forms be returned to the Volunteer Service Center before your charter renewal. Authorization is a state requirement and volunteers without a form will not be able to be a registered leader.
We expect an email to go out to all volunteer leaders from National BSA by October 23rd. We will also re-send this communication from www.iacbsa.org to registered leaders and we ask that you share this information through your unit communication channels as well in order to meet this new requirement.
Possible Financial Reorganization at the NATIONAL BSA level
Hopefully, by now, you have seen the communication regarding a possible financial reorganization at the national level of the Boy Scouts of America.
The BSA is outraged that there have been times when individuals took advantage of our programs to abuse innocent children. The cases you are seeing in the media are decades-old situations and we are grateful that our organization has put into place strict Barriers to Abuse to help keep children safe today, including the addition of periodic background rechecks.
The BSA believes victims, supports them and National BSA is considering financial reorganization in order to establish a fund for victims of abuse. Please note, the Istrouma Area Council is a separate 501(c)3 so a possible financial reorganization would not interrupt local programs or effect the Council’s facilities, funds, or program support.
We commit to providing additional information as it becomes available on all three topics. If you have any questions, please reach out to your District Professional.
On behalf of the Istrouma Area Council thank you for your leadership in Scouting and for standing by the Boy Scouts of America.
Yours in Scouting,
Gary S. Mertz
Istrouma Area Council, BSA
The Istrouma Area Council, (IAC) serves 13 parishes in Louisiana and Wilkinson County, Mississippi. We provide a quality Scouting program to more than 5,000 co-ed youth. Over 3,000 adult volunteers support 285 Cub Scout Packs, Boy Scout Troops, Venturing Crews and Exploring Posts.
It is the mission of the Istrouma Area Council, Boys Scouts of America, to build character, citizenship and total fitness while preparing young people to make ethical and moral choices over the course of their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.
Istrouma Area Council
Pennington Scout Service Center
9644 Brookline Avenue
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70809
Istrouma Area Council Service Center: M-F 8:30 AM-5:30 PM
Istrouma Area Council Service Center: Closed on Saturday