Dear Scouting Family,

I’d like to share some upcoming fee changes for new and renewing Scouting and Exploring members, as well as some other important membership information.

Effective March 1, the council insurance fee will increase from $3 to $10 per member. The council has kept this fee as low as possible for many years and, even with the increase, the fee is far below what many councils charge on top of national registration fees. Insurance costs have been steadily rising both locally and nationally and this fee helps underwrite just a portion of the valuable coverage for our members. This is the only registration-related fee that stays local in the Cradle of Liberty Council. National registration fees do not directly support the council.

On April 1, national registration fees for youth and adults involved in Scouting programs will increase $5. The new member joining fee of $25 has been eliminated. All other fees remain the same (a complete list is below). Those units that have recently renewed their charters and annual memberships will be charged the new fees at the end of their current 12-month cycle.

  • Youth in Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing, and Sea Scouts: $85/year ($5 increase)
  • Adults in Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing, and Sea Scouts: $65/year ($5 increase)
  • Youth and adult in Exploring: $50/year (no change)
  • Merit badge counselors (not already registered in a unit or non-unit paying position): $25 (no change)
  • Annual unit renewal fee: $100 (no change)
  • 'Scout Life' Magazine: $15/year (no change)

These changes mean that for most youth members in our programs, the National BSA and Cradle of Liberty Council collectively are charging $95 annually, which is less than $8 a month. We realize that local units may charge dues in addition to national and council fees; even taking that into consideration, Scouting is still very much a value for the price, on its own right and when compared to other youth programs.

We never want the ability to pay to be a barrier to joining our great programs. The council offers assistance with turn-key fundraisers as well as support and resources to plan an annual budget and program plan for your unit. If these resources aren’t enough, we’ll also work with units to provide direct registration assistance.

All members are now on a 12-month membership renewal cycle. This began last August, so members who joined that month will begin receiving renewal notices in June. Units have the option to cover these fees for all their members or leave it up to individual members to renew their memberships. This can all be done easily online and we’ll make sure to provide our unit leaders with training and resources over the next several months.

Another important note: In March, there will now be a three- to five-day waiting period for all new adult volunteer applications once they are received and approved by the unit, either through the online registration system (preferred) or at the council service center. This is due to a new National BSA process for criminal background checks (CBC). This CBC is separate from the clearances that our volunteers need to obtain because of Pennsylvania law, which should be submitted to the council before submitting the official BSA application (in addition to completing Youth Protection Training online).

The new adult leader will get an email notice informing them their registration is being processed and they are not to assume any leadership role until the completion of the CBC. The unit key 3 will also get an email.

Please reach out to your unit commissioner, a member of your staff service team or contact our service center if you have any questions. Thank you for all you do for Scouting!


Daniel Templar

Scout Executive & CEO

Cradle of Liberty Council

Cradle of Liberty Council | 610-688-6900

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