Menu

BSA Membership Fee to Increase, Rechartering Delayed, Additional Authorizations Required

We want to share some recently released information from the National BSA organization. We were informed in late September that the national member registration fee will likely be increased for 2020. Although we have not been informed what the new fee will be or of the full details behind the change, it is a move to put the fee more in line with actual costs versus those subsidized by philanthropic efforts. This is a change happening in many organizations to reflect shifts in the giving community and consumer preferences (paying full costs up front rather than coming back for additional, optional requests). We have been piloting a version of this fee model in one of our districts for the past few years.

This will obviously affect our rechartering and new member registrations in the near future. We apologize for the challenges this creates but are committed to do our best to minimize the disruption as we support sustainable Scouting operations. This will include increasing the amount and availability of our current registration scholarship funds to help ensure all children can gain the benefits of Scouting.

As we continue to seek answers, we believe the best path forward is to delay Unit Charter Renewal until we know what the new fee is and we can effectively communicate it. Recharter trainings scheduled for October are now delayed. As soon as we receive information on the fees, timelines and process, we will share it directly with unit leaders.

Leaders will also receive new, required authorization paperwork for criminal background checks from National BSA that will need to be submitted (including options like scanned/emailed or third party electronic signatures) in as part of the rechartering process.

See This Bryan's Blog Entry for More Information

We will share membership fee details here as soon as they become available, which we have been told will likely to be in late October. Please continue to watch this website and our council communications for updates.

Even though we face challenges, our strong focus is, and continues to be, welcoming youth and families to join Scouting. Thousands of new youth and families will join our program over the coming days and weeks, Scouts BSA camp attendance was up, and we’re excited to share with everyone the fun, adventure and life-enriching experiences of Scouting.

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is 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.

Please complete the process listed below at your earliest availability 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 annual registration can be processed.

  1. Review the separate disclosure document linked below that is being provided to you separately for your review. It is titled “Background Check Disclosure.”
  2. Once you have reviewed that, print the separate document titled “Additional Disclosures & Background Check Authorization.” Review the additional disclosures on that form, then complete and sign the Authorization using an ink/wet signature. Note: A print signature is required for this document. Electronic signatures will not be accepted.
  3. Turn in the signed “Additional Disclosures & Background Check Authorization” form promptly to your unit leader or local council service center.

If you choose to decline the background check, or if you do not complete the Additional Disclosures & Background Check Authorization form and return it to your unit leader or local council service center, your 2020 annual registration will not be processed. We are truly grateful for your continued commitment to keeping youth safe and for helping them learn, grow, and thrive through Scouting programs.

Background Check Disclosure Additional Discolsures and Background Check Authorization
  1. Is the BSA doing credit checks on volunteers? No. The BSA will only use these signed authorization forms for approval to obtain a criminal background check. State and federal laws regulating background checks and consumer credit checks require that both items be mentioned on the form since a full background check includes both parts. Again, the BSA is only using this form for authorization to obtain a criminal background check.
  2. Why is this being done now? Starting in 2020, rechecks will be performed every five years. Unfortunately, technical limitations and changes in the law over the last five years prevent us from using existing authorizations from older applications. As such, new disclosure had to be sent and new signed authorization forms obtained. Rechartering provides the best window to collect and verify they have been received before the council processes the recharter application.
  3. How do I turn in my form?
    • Unit Volunteer- If you are registered with a unit please turn your form into your unit leader. The unit leader will turn-in all forms with the charter renewal documents for the unit during charter renewal time.
    • Non-Unit Volunteer- If you are not registered with a unit but with a district or the Council please turn your form into the council service center. You may drop the form off at the office, mail it in, or email it to our registration department.
    o Registration Department
    6202 Bloomington Road
    Fort Snelling, MN 55111
    o Registration@northernstar.org
  4. What about those with multiple registrations? Only one authorization form per person needs to be collected and retained by the council.
  5. What happens if a unit leader does not provide an authorization? Leaders who do not provide new authorization will not be able to renew their registration, or serve as a volunteer. Council registrars are instructed not to renew any adult without first confirming that a new signed authorization form is on file at the council service center.
  6. Can the council accept a faxed copy or scanned copy sent via email of the signed authorization? Yes, so long as it is legible and is sent by the individual who signed it. It must be printed and saved, by the council, the same as an original.
  7. Can the council accept an electronic signature? Digital signatures from third-party providers are acceptable. E-mail confirmations, permissions or typed names on the form are not acceptable substitutes for wet signatures.

Contact for issues

Please contact the council registration department, registration@northernstar.org, 612-261-2304, if you have any questions.

Contact Us

Need more help or information? Try our site search and staff directory.

Printable Version Printable Version

Email to a friend Email to a friend