PITTSBURGH, PA – The Boy Scouts of America has announced several new important changes coming to the Scouting program. Below is a recap of what was shared:
- The BSA membership fee will increase to $33 for all registered youth and adult leaders, effective December 1, 2017. This fee goes towards services including primary liability coverage for all volunteer leaders and chartered organizations, ongoing advances in technology, fundraising support, new program development and membership recruiting strategies, and support materials. In 2016 alone, the BSA served 2.3 million youth members through approximately 270 local councils across the United States and its territories.
- Effective September 1, 2017, Youth Protection Training will be required for all adult leaders at the time of registration. Paper applications from new leaders must be accompanied by a Youth Protection Training (YPT) completion certificate, which must be filed with the application.
- Effective for the 2018 BSA summer camp season, any adult accompanying a Boy Scout troop to a residence camp or other Scouting activity lasting 72 hours or more must be registered as a leader, including completion of a criminal background check (CBC) and youth protection training (YPT), even if he or she is the parent of a youth on the trip.
- The protection of youth is the primary obligation of every individual involved in the Boy Scouts of America – including leaders, parents, members and professionals. As part of the BSA’s “Scouts First” approach to the protection and safety of youth, the BSA has established “844-Scouts1,”(844-726-8871), a dedicated 24-hour helpline to receive reports of known or suspected abuse or behavior that might put a youth at risk. The helpline’s goal is to provide immediate assistance to ensure that the victim, unit, and council are fully supported and the actions taken are properly documented.
- With the news that the LDS Church will no longer utilize Varsity Scouts, the Varsity Scout program will sunset on Dec. 31, and Scouts will be transferred into a troop. The Varsity program was originally created for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.