Membership Fee Frequently Asked Questions

National Council, Boy Scouts of America Fee Increase FAQ

Q: Why are the fees increasing now?
A: While costs increase every year, the Boy Scouts of America has worked to keep the annual membership fee as low as possible to make Scouting available to as many young people as possible by subsidizing core costs, including liability insurance we must carry to cover all official Scouting activities. As the organization’s financial situation has shifted, it is no longer possible to subsidize at the level we have in the past, especially as the cost of insurance has increased dramatically.

Q: Does this apply to youth members and volunteers?
A: Yes, the new fees apply for youth and adult members. Effective January 1, 2020, the new fees are:
– $60 for youth members in Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouts,
– $36 for youth members in Exploring, and
– $36 for adult members (includes cost of background check and Scouting Magazine)
– $60 for unit charter fees

Q: Is Scouting still a good value?
A: Absolutely! While most extracurricular activities are seasonal, Scouting is a year-round program that 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. For most of our youth members, the new registration fee amounts to $5 a month, which is an enormous value when you consider that many seasonal extracurricular activities often start at $100 for programs that last a few weeks.

Q: Does the fee increase apply to council-paid memberships?
A: No. The cost for council-paid membership, sometimes known as Scouting in Every Neighborhood, will continue to be $24 for each youth member.

Q: What will the money be used for?
A: Every dollar of membership fees will go to cover the cost of essential services, including liability insurance for members participating in approved Scouting activities, background checks for adult leaders, program development and training resources, continuously updated youth protection and youth safety training, improved IT/digital experiences and services to our councils nationwide.

Q: Is this increase being implemented to cover the cost of the additional background checks?
A: No, the cost of background checks is not the prompting the fee increase.

Q: Why is this being announced now?
A: We recognize the timing of this fee increase creates challenges as units have already begun collecting fees for their 2020 registration renewal process, and we would not make this difficult decision if it were not absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, the cost of liability insurance we must carry to cover all Scouting activities has increased dramatically over the past several months, and the organization is no longer able to offset the cost of insurance. We are committed to supporting you through this process and are making necessary adjustments to the online rechartering system to ensure units can carry out the recharter process.

Q: Does this increase cover financial challenges the organization is facing?
A: The increase was prompted because the cost of liability insurance we must carry to cover all Scouting activities has increased dramatically over the past several months, and the organization is
no longer able to offset the cost of insurance. The national membership fee also enables us program development and training resources, continuously updated youth protection and youth safety training, improved IT/digital experiences and services to our councils nationwide.

Q: When will this increase take effect?
A: The new membership fees will take effect starting January 1, 2020 for the 2020-21 program year.

Q: Is financial assistance available?
A: We are committed to ensuring that all youth can experience the character-building benefits of Scouting regardless of their financial situation. In addition to the many existing council and unit membership assistance funds, we have established the donor-funded Growing Future Leaders Fund to provide financial support to those who need it.

Q: My council currently requires members to pay a council fee that offsets insurance costs. Does this change mean that fee is no longer necessary?
A: No, the liability insurance that we need to carry for all Scouting activities at the national level is different from local fees that are collected to address local needs, which can include expenses such as local property and accident insurance, as well as unique local programming costs.

Q: In addition to the national membership fee, my council has implemented a program fee. Is that allowed?
A: Councils currently charging a program fee must ensure that their fee is consistent with new rules for these fees within one year. Councils can choose to charge a local program fee, up to but no more than the national membership fee – up to $60 for youth members in Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouts; up to $36 for youth members in Exploring and up to $36 for adult members. The local program fee can include local insurance costs (i.e., accident, property, etc.), as well as cost to administer unique local programming efforts.

Q: What happens if my council’s program fee is more than the national membership fee?
A: Councils that are currently charging a program fee more than the national membership fee have one year to adjust their fees in order to be in compliance with the new rules.

Q: What measures has the national organization taken to offset the financial challenges?
A: In addition to ongoing efforts to streamline and simplify the organization, the national organization has taken a number of steps in addressing its financial challenges, including the recent elimination of more than 35 positions at the National Service Center and ongoing consolidation of departments for the most effective utilization of resources in support of Scouting.

Q: Will the national membership fee continue to increase?
A: Although no decision about future increases have been made, the cost of operating our organization and services increases every year. Should it be necessary to increase fees in the future, the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America has agreed to evaluate the needs and make such decisions, whenever possible, at the National Annual Meeting in May or early in the summer so that they can be announced with as much lead time as possible to allow for councils and units to be able to plan accordingly.

 

Mayflower Council Registration Fee Increase FAQ

Q: Is this fee increase applicable to units rechartering in December?
A: Yes, all Mayflower Council units are subject to the National registration fees. Unit charters are valid from January 1 – December 31 annually.

Q: Is the council activity fee increasing?
A: The Mayflower Council Executive Board has decided there will be no increase in the program activity fee. It will remain at $30 per youth member. Lions, Venturers 18 – 21 and adults are exempt from the program activity fee.

Q: Can you provide total fees by program for youth & adults in Mayflower Council?
A: Total fees for Scouts and leaders in Mayflower Council will be as follows:
Lions & Venturers 18 – 21:
$60 National registration fee
$12 Boys’ Life Magazine (optional)

Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Sea Scouts & Venturers
$60 National registration fee
$30 Council program activity fee
$12 Boys’ Life Magazine (optional)

Adults & Exploring Participants
$36 National registration fee
$12 Boys’ Life Magazine (optional)

Unit Charter Fee
(Unit Liability Insurance Fee)
$60 per unit

 

Q: Will the council waive the program activity fee in 2020?
A: Because local councils do not receive any funding from National, the registration fee increase will not directly benefit the Mayflower Council. Local costs for insurance and providing program to our participants have not gone down nor are offset in any way by the increase in National registration fees. As a result, the Mayflower Council $30 activity fee will continue in 2020; unchanged from 2019.

Q: Is there a discounted membership fee for families with multiple children?
A: The registration fees are set by the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America. The National Council has not informed the council of any plan to offer a membership fee discount for families with multiple children in the program.

Q: Will the Mayflower Council be able to assist families who cannot afford the council program activity fee because of the National registration fee increase?
A: The Mayflower Council is committed to ensure that no family is turned away due to financial constraints. The Mayflower Council has created the program fee waiver program to provide financial assistance to deserving Scouts who would otherwise not be able to afford participating in Scouting. The Mayflower Council, in administering funds provided by concerned individuals, foundations, and others, will act as good stewards by offering careful judgment in providing program fee waivers and will act in complete confidence. Visit bit.ly/programfeewaiver to begin the application process.

Q: Do adults need to pay the council program activity fee?
A: No, the council program activity fee only applies to youth members with the following exceptions, Lions and Venturers 18 – 21 years old.

 




Entering Wagon Sales

Remember, Scouts (parents) need to register at www.trails-end.com in order to receive their Amazon.com gift cards. It only takes a minute or two, attached are simple instructions.

Trail’s End has gotten questions about how a leader can enter their Scouts Take Orders (Wagon sales) on the website. Attached are some instructions.

Entering Scouts Wagon Sales Orders

How to Register Online

If you are still having problems, please reach out to your district popcorn kernel or Trail’s End support.

District Popcorn Kernels

support@Trails-end.com




New National Registration Fee Announced

Scouting Family,

For more than 100 years, Scouting has helped 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 being 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 Mayflower Council, Scouting serves more than 11,000 youth in 62 cities and towns. 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 the cost artificially low for many years now magnifies the impact of changes.

To ensure we have the resources to fulfill 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 youth members in Exploring, and
– $36 for adult members
– $60 for unit charter fees

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 Mayflower Council, we will continue to bring Scouting to our communities and families through quality programs, delivered through our units, districts, and council volunteers and professional staff.

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 stars 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.




2019 Distinguished Citizens Award Dinner

Donate Here

You are invited to the Inaugural

Distinguished Citizen of The Year Award Dinner

Mayflower Council will be honoring:

Fredrick W. Clark, Jr. Esq

President, Bridgewater State University

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Boston Marriott Quincy

1000 Marriott Drive, Quincy




Online Trail’s End Popcorn Winners

Congratulations to the following Scouts for being the highest online seller in your district!  Great job!

Your drone will be flying to you soon.

Special Week
District Unit Town Name
Sachem Troop 1022 Weymouth Emily W
Cranberry Harbors Troop 1 Hingham Drew V
Headwaters Pack 100 Westborough Cuinn F
Post Road Pack 355 Newton Owen J
Metacomet Pack 113 Medfield Giovanni L
Week 1 – Oct 9 – 15
District Unit Town Name
Sachem Pack 303 Weymouth Liam H
Cranberry Harbors Pack 7 Scituate Jonathan L.
Headwaters Pack 31 Marlborough Bobby B.
Post Road Pack 60 Sudbury Ethan M
Metacomet Pack 200 Medfield AJ H
Week 2 – Oct 16 – 22
District Unit Town Name
Cranberry Harbors Pack 27 Hingham Huck S
Post Road Pack 157 Weston Bennet D
Metacomet Pack 49 Norwood Archer M
Head Waters Pack 42 Marlborough Patrick C
Sachem Pack 303 Weymouth John B




October Roundtable

Below are the event flyers, training newsletters and other information from our October Roundtable.

 

2019 Museum of Science Overnight Flyer

2019 Tread Lightly Trainer Course

District Leadership Summit

Freeze Out 2020

Mayflower training news Oct 19

October P-Bruins Game Tickets

November P-Bruins Game Tickets

Scouting-for-Food-Kickoff-flyer-2019




Finding A Merit Badge Counselor

The Mayflower Council is utilizing the power of Scoutbook to enhance the functionality of our merit badge counselor list.

HOW DO I ACCESS THE LIST
Go to Scoutbook.com and login to your account. If you have the proper rights, you will see it towards the bottom of your troop’s page in Scoutbook (MB Counselor List on your dashboard).  This list is available to adults who are indicated in Scoutbook as adult leaders and committee members in your troop.

If you do not see it, go to My Dashboard > Administration > My Account > My Positions and make sure there is a green shield next to your troop leadership position. If it is missing, one of your unit admins will need to approve your position.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Who will be on the list? 
Registered and council-approved merit badge counselors in the Mayflower Council.

Who will see the list?
Adult leaders in troops who are on Scoutbook will see all the merit badge counselors who have indicated to Mayflower Council that they are willing to counsel within your unit or ones who have indicated they are willing to counsel more broadly.

What does it mean for me?
When adult leaders (including committee members) search for merit badge counselors in Scoutbook, you can be confident that the listed counselors are qualified to counsel on the merit badge, have been approved by the Mayflower Council advancement personnel, and have stated a willingness to work with your unit or units across the council.

Why can’t parents see the list? 
The merit badge process directs the Scout to the Scoutmaster for a recommended merit badge counselor.  That is why the Scoutmaster has access to the list and the Scout and parents do not.  It keeps the Scoutmaster in the process.  The merit badge process is as follows:

  1. The Scout develops an interest in a merit badge and may begin working on the requirements.
  2. The Scout discusses his interest in the merit badge with his unit leader (i.e., Scoutmaster).
  3. The unit leader signs a blue card and provides the Scout with at least one counselor contact.
  4. The Scout contacts the counselor.
  5. The counselor considers any work toward requirements completed prior to the initial discussion with the unit leader.
  6. The Scout, his buddy, and the counselor meet (often several times).
  7. The Scout finishes the requirements.
  8. The counselor approves completion.
  9. The Scout returns the signed blue card to his unit leader, who signs the applicant record section of the blue card.
  10. The unit leader gives the Scout the applicant record.
  11. The unit reports the merit badge to the council.
  12. The Scout receives his merit badge.

How often will the Scoutbook list be refreshed? 
We will be refreshing the list by the seventh of each month.

What do I do if a Scout earns a merit badge at summer camp or with a merit badge counselor not on the list? 
If the Scout earned a merit badge from a registered and approved merit badge counselor, then a troop adult who has the authorization inside Scoutbook to mark merit badges or merit badge requirements as completed or approved will still be able to do so.

Can troop leaders and troop advancement coordinators sign a Scout off on a merit badge? are not authorized to sign a Scout off on a merit badge if they are not also a registered and approved merit badge counselor for that badge.
Troop leaders and troop advancement coordinators are only authorized to sign a Scout off on a merit badge if they are also a registered and approved merit badge counselor for that badge. However, you can record it in Scoutbook as completed and approved after the merit badge counselor has signed off (even if he/she does so outside of Scoutbook) after verifying that the Scout has a signed blue card from a registered and approved merit badge counselor.

Where can units who do not utilize Scoutbook go to find a list of registered and approved merit badge counselors?
Units should activate the Scoutbook account for their troop in order for leaders to be able to see the current list of merit badge counselors. Click here to find out how to get your unit started with Scoutbook.




Merit Badge Counselors

ABOUT BEING A MERIT BADGE COUNSELOR
Share your knowledge with Scouts. Merit badge counselors teach Scouts a variety of skills. From American Business to Woodwork, there’s a badge for everything. All merit badge counselors must be registered with the Boy Scouts of America and approved by the council advancement committee for each badge listed on the Merit Badge Counselor Information form.

REGISTRATION
The Advancement Committee of the Mayflower Council has the responsibility of approving and maintaining a list of current merit badge counselors. A merit badge counselor is a council-level position, not a troop position, which means leaders must submit a new adult leader application even if already registered in another capacity.

There are four steps for a new merit badge counselor to register with the Boy Scouts of America and begin merit badge counseling:

  1. Complete Online Youth Protection Training
    • To become a merit badge counselor, a volunteer must complete youth protection training which can be found on My.Scouting.org. Once complete, you will be offered the opportunity to print a completion certificate. Please print it as you must submit this proof of completion with your application to be a merit badge counselor. It is also a good idea to save a copy to your desktop.
  2. Complete the BSA Adult Leader Application
    • Having completed youth protection training, you need to complete a new adult application. This form is required, even if you hold a current registration with your unit or district. Please pay special attention to filling in the “Council/District Position” as “Merit Badge Counselor” and the “Position Code” as “42”. The signature blocks for the unit committee chairman and chartered organization representative do not have to be signed. Those approvals are for a unit. Do not forget to answer questions 1-6 on the right side of the application. Without answers to these questions, your application cannot be processed. The adult application must be submitted in conjunction with the online Merit Badge Counselor Information Form.
      • NOTE: The entire application form must be filled in and signed, including the Disclosure/Authorization page located at the end of the application form as well as the Additional Disclosures and Background Check  Authorization form.   All applicants and currently registered Scouters go through a background check – as noted and authorized on the Disclosure/Authorization page of the Adult Application form. Individuals who aren’t currently registered will also need to provide a completed CORI form and a copy of their ID as well.
  3. Complete the Online Merit Badge Counselor Information Form
    • This form is used by the advancement committee to know which merit badges you want to teach, to show why you are qualified to teach the listed merit badges, and to approve your request. Merit badge counselors are authorized to counsel anywhere within the Mayflower Council.
Complete Merit Badge Counselor Information Form

4. Turn in all the paperwork

      • Turn in the completed adult leader application, youth protection training certificate and CORI form and photo ID (if not currently registered) to the Mayflower Council Service Center or email to membership@mayflowerbsa.org.

MERIT BADGE COUNSELOR REGISTRATION CONSIDERATIONS

  • There is no fee for registering as a merit badge counselor even if you are only registered with the Boy Scouts of America as a merit badge counselor.
  • You must be current with Youth Protection Training to work with Scouts and this training must be completed every two (2) years. The council may track this requirement but it is your responsibility to remain current. Failure to keep up to date on youth protection training will also result in being dropped from the list. If a merit badge counselor is dropped from the council list the dropped counselor will have to re-register as a new counselor again.
  • Several merit badges involve activities for which BSA has implemented strategies to improve safety, improve the Scouts’ experience, and manage risk. These activities often require supervision with specialized qualifications and certifications. Merit badge counselors who do not meet the specific requirements may use the services of others who do. See the Guide to Advancement paragraph 7.0.1.1 for these merit badges and their requirements.
  • Consider not limiting yourself to only those Scouts in your troop. Many of the less popular merit badges may not have a counselor in their troop and you could help scouts pursue an interest in an area where you have some expertise.
    • This is controlled by the counselor in Scoutbook. Log in to Scoutbook go to My Positions, then Merit Badge Counselor and then select a listing preference between: Council list, District list, Unit list, or Not Listed.

SCOUTBOOK
In October 2019, Mayflower Council transitioned our merit badge counselor list from Doubleknot to Scoutbook.  Once registered with the BSA as a merit badge counselor, your merit badge counselor position will be added to Scoutbook. If you do not already have a Scoutbook account, an account will be created for you and you will be sent login information by email. You can adjust how you display on the list. Sign onto Scoutbook (if you misplace your login credentials, click login then click the Forgot Password link.) Once you login you will be able to adjust your listing preference between: Council list, District list, Unit list, Worldwide or Not Listed.

For detailed instructions on how to use Scoutbook as a merit badge counselor review this resource Scoutbook Merit Badge Counselor Guide.

The merit badge counselor listing in Scoutbook will be updated by the seventh of each month.

If you are a merit badge counselor and your listing is not showing in Scoutbook follow these directions to find out if you are registered as a merit badge counselor:

  1. Log into http://my.scouting.org
  2. Select My Dashboard (upper left)
  3. Then select My Profile. You can edit your contact information there.  Make sure your email address, ZIP  and phone number are there and up to date.  Scoutbook requires a valid email address, ZIP and phone number to be listed.
  4. Make sure your email address is not used by someone else in your family in Scoutbook.  Email addresses in Scoutbook must be unique.
  5. If you are registered as a merit badge counselor it will show there as well.
  6. While your at my.scouting.org, make sure your Youth Protection Training is current.
  7. If you know for sure you are registered with the council, check and make sure your Youth Protection Training is current and sync it inside Scoutbook.  Scoutbook will not show merit badge counselors with expired youth protection training.  The list in Scoutbook is updated on a regular basis.
  8. For information on how to register as a merit badge counselor see above.

USEFUL LINKS FOR MERIT BADGE COUNSELORS

ANNUAL RENEWAL OF MERIT BADGE COUNSELORS
All merit badge counselors must confirm their registration annually. In May of each year, currently registered merit badge counselors will be sent an email to confirm their desire to continue as a merit badge counselor. Failure to confirm this information will result in being dropped from the merit badge counselor list.

If a merit badge counselor who was dropped wishes to continue as a merit badge counselor he/she must register as a new merit badge counselor again using the forms and processes listed above.

QUESTIONS
Reviewed all of this information and still have questions? We’re here to help! Contact us at mbc@mayflowerbsa.or




Youth Protection Update

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) and Mayflower Council are committed first and foremost to keeping youth safe. Part of that commitment includes continually updating our youth protection policies to help ensure we are always on the forefront of youth safety.

As you know, one of the BSA’s many barriers to abuse is a mandatory criminal background check during the adult volunteer application process. The BSA will now also perform periodic rechecks of criminal backgrounds to support the continued safety of youth in our programs.

In order to conduct these background checks, we need a couple things from all registered leaders. Please complete the process listed below at your earliest convenience to help us continue to provide the safest environment possible for our Scouts and leaders. Please note that these steps must be completed before your 2020 membership renewal and unit rechartering can be processed.

  1. Review the Background Check Disclosure.
  2. Then, review the additional disclosures on the “Additional Disclosures & Background Check Authorization” form, then complete and sign it using an ink/wet signature. Note: Digital signatures from third-party providers are acceptable. Email confirmations, permissions or typed names on the form are not acceptable substitutes for wet signatures.
  3. Turn in the signed “Additional Disclosures & Background Check Authorization” form promptly depending on your registration.
    • If your primary registration is with a unit, please give the form with your original signature to your unit leader who will submit it with the recharter paperwork.
    • If your primary registration is NOT with a unit, please give the form with your original signature to your district executive, mail it to the Marlborough Service Center, 2 Mount Royal Avenue – Suite 100, Marlborough, MA  01752 or you may email it to membership@mayflowerbsa.org.

If you choose to decline the background check, or if you do not complete and return the Additional Disclosures & Background Check Authorization form, your personal registration for 2020 will not be processed; this may delay the processing of your unit’s rechartering paperwork. Please note we need a signed authorization form from every registered adult leader.

Thank you for making this investment of time to help protect our Scouts. We are truly grateful for your continued commitment to keeping youth safe and for helping them learn, grow, and thrive through Scouting programs.

FAQ on the background check disclosures & authorization form




BSA Background Check Update – Additional Info

This week the National Council sent out an email about BSA’s efforts to strengthen our youth protection practices by requiring periodic background re-checks for adult leaders. We want to clarify what is needed from you, and how this will be handled in our Mayflower Council.

  • Every registered leader needs to review, sign, and turn in the “Additional Disclosures & Background Check Authorization” form in order to renew their membership for next year.
  • If your primary registration is with a unit, please give the form with your original signature to your unit leader who will submit it with the recharter paperwork.
  • If your primary registration is NOT with a unit, please give the form with your original signature to your district executive, mail it to the Marlborough Service Center, 2 Mount Royal Avenue – Suite 100, Marlborough, MA  01752 or you may email it to membership@mayflowerbsa.org.

FAQ on the background check disclosures & authorization form