LHC + National fee
The LHC Fee went into effect August 1, 2023. The LHC Fee replaces the “Program Fee” moving forward and provides a more equitable funding method for our Scouting families. Scouting members will pay for the new LHC Fee annually along with the National BSA membership fees and will receive services and support to include, but not limited to, the following outlined below. In keeping with local policy, our Executive Committee met on March 14, 2023 and voted to approve the following fees for the 2023/2024 program year:
Youth Scout LHC Fee: $53.00
Adult Volunteer LHC Fee: $15.00
What does the LHC Fee Cover?
Medical, liability, accident, sickness, and driver insurance for members participating in approved Scouting activities, program development, training resources, youth protection training, PA state clearances and background checks, required adult leader training (BALOO & IOLS), fee-free event registration systems, access to the LHC flag rental program, professional Scouting staff support, access to the Merit Badge Counselor directory, adult leader awards and recognition, member rate access to our 6 LHC properties, coordination of 100+ Scouting activities each year, Eagle Scout Project paperwork processing and recognition at the event, plus so much more!
Why is there a change?
We want to ensure that Scouting costs are fairly distributed across all members. This equitable fee will ensure that all families are funding the Scouting program, instead of just the current 20% of families contributing to the Scouting 365 Campaign.
2024 BSA National Council Fee
BSA’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 April 1, 2024, the BSA will implement the following national membership fees which were approved by the National Executive Committee:
- $85 for Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouting participants ($5 increase)
- $65 for all adult volunteers ($5 increase)
- $30 for Scoutreach
- $25 for Merit Badge Counselors (Applies only for Merit Badge Counselors not already registered as leaders)
- $50 for Exploring participants (Youth & Adult)
- $100 for a unit charter/affiliation fee (no change in fee)
- $15 for Scout Life magazine
These fees are sent directly to National BSA & are not used to support local programs.
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.
What is my investment?
Scout Fee(New Scouts and Scouts already members of BSA)
- Paid yearly at anniversay joining month
- National Fee ($85)
- LHC Fee ($53)
- Scout Life Magazine ($15 additional)
Adult Member Fee(All Registered Adults)
- Paid upon joining and anniversary renewal
- National Fee ($65)
- LHC Fee ($15)
- Scout Life Magazine ($15 additional)
*National Membership fees renew annually on the anniversary of the joining month. For those members who are already registered in the Scouting program, membership renewal will occur in December during the charter renewal cycle.
Frequently Asked Questions
When did the LHC Fee start?
The LHC fee, like the National fee will be an annual fee, payable in the anniversary month of joining. For those already in the program, those fees are due prior to the end of December 2023.
What is the cost of the LHC Fee?
Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturers, and Sea Scouts: $53 per calendar year. Adult volunteers and Explorers: $15 per. This is in addition to National Membership Fees.
Is the LHC Fee Required?
Yes, all youth and adults in the will be charged for the LHC Fee upon registration.
What if my family has more than 1 Scout plus adults who are registered?
All Scouts and registered adults are required to pay the LHC Fee. However, if families are in need of financial assistance they may apply for Membership Assistance through the Laurel Highlands Council.
What if my family cannot afford the cost of the LHC Fee and National Membership Fee?
All Scouts have the opportunity to participate in the annual Popcorn Fundraiser to offset the costs of Scouting. Families also have the opportunity to request assistance through our Membership Assistance Program which has limited resources to assist families with participation fees.
Does the United Way fund the Scouting program?
Local United Way allocations continue to decrease year after year. In 2022, United Way funding represented only 1% of revenue.
Will the LHC hold a Scouting 365 Campaign?
Yes. The Scouting 365 Campaign raises funds to help families that need assistance. We will invite all families to contribute to the annual campaign through mail, email, social media. In addition, we will conduct an annual Community Campaign to invite alumni, businesses, and other groups to contribute to support a strong Scouting program in the Laurel Highlands Council.
How will this change the popcorn sale?
The LHC Fee will not effect the popcorn sale as this annual fundraiser helps Scouts and units fund their Scouting program. Profits from the popcorn sale can also help to increase the membership assistance fund and its ability.
How can Scouts fund their own adventure?
Scouts can participate in the annual popcorn sale to fund their own adventure. By selling Trail’s End popcorn, 70% of costs come back to local Scouting units.
How will the LHC Fee be collected?
It will be collected via the internet recharter system when units pay their annual charter in Fall for the following calendar year. Units will collect the fees when collecting the National BSA Membership Fee. For new Scouts or adults register after August 1, they will pay their fees through the reregistration system during their anniversary month. Families will receive notification of the membership fees being due 60 days prior to their membership renewal date.
Do adults serving in district and council positions also pay the LHC Fee?
Yes, all registered adult leaders are required to pay the LHC Fee.
Do Merit Badge and NOVA/Super Nova Counselors pay the LHC Fee?
Merit Badge and NOVA/Super NOVA Counselors do not pay the LHC Fee. These registered counselors will only pay the National Fee.
Do transfer adults and youth pay the LHC Fee?
Yes. All adults and youth registering in the Laurel Highlands Council will be required to pay the LHC Fee.
Can we request a refund if we transfer our of LHC?
No. The LHC Fee has many benefits, many of which may be used prior to your transfer.
What is driving the youth and adult National 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 National Membership Fee for youth and adults? Will the fees go up again?
- The new adult membership fee is $65, and the youth membership fee is $85 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 National 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.
- 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 new National 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.