There was a Monthly Scout Chat live video in May 2021 to answer some of the most common questions we received when the current system went into effect. Find that video here or you can see just the presentation
Annual Program Registration/Renewal
See below for Q&A on General Questions, Financial Assistance, Fundraising and Friends of Scouting
YEARLY PROGRAM REGISTRATION/RENEWAL GENERAL QUESTIONS
Q: What is the yearly program registration/renewal process?
A: Northern Star Scouting is working to support our families and our units in having a single point in time for new and returning youth and adults to register and/or renew their membership and have the process in sync with the Scouting year. Volunteers and parents, for years, have been asking that the annual program registration/renewal process follow the school year and program year. Units no longer need to recharter their youth and adults at the end of the calendar year.
Q: How will families and individuals complete their program registration and/or renewal?
A: Everyone will complete their yearly program registration/renewal and pay through an online registration system. Registration and renewal links can be found on the Get Started tab on this page. If you need to find a unit, use the unit locator tool at www.adventureiscalling.org.
Q: What is the yearly program registration/renewal cost?
A: The cost for the 2023-2024 Scouting year will be $205 per youth and $60 per registered adult leader. The registration/renewal system will be opened on July 5, 2023 for the 2023-2024 Scouting year.
Q: Why did the program registration/renewal amount increase in 2020?
A: Northern Star Scouting wants to ensure that Scouting is sustainable now and into the future for local scouts. Scholarships are available for families in need. Our goal was to hold these amounts stable through the program year ending in 2023 and shield families from the national registration fee increases that took place.
Q: What does the program registration/renewal fee pay for?
A: The program registration fee supports keeping the Scouting program strong for local youth and adults. Included in the fee is $20 to be transferred to the unit account for each youth who is paid in full by October 31, National BSA registration fees, and insurance coverage. The net revenues from the new program fee will be equal to the historic levels of funding that came from Family Friends of Scouting contributions.
Q: Do all youth members pay the same fee?
A: Yes. All youth members - Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA and Venturing - will have the same fee.
Q: Who can register and pay online?
A: Everyone! All youth and adults, new and returning, can register or renew their registration online.
Q: New adult leaders can pay and register online?
A: Absolutely! This is a value-added benefit of the current process that we are now able to offer.
Q: Can a family register multiple family members at one time?
A: Yes, all family members can now pay online within the same registration! There is an option to select different units for individuals during the registration process.
Q: Can Scout Life be paid for online?
A: Yes, when completing the participant information, you will be asked if you would like Scout Life. Scout Life has always been available to members and will continue to be available as an option.
Q: Can I choose to donate additional funds to support a Scout in need?
A: Yes. When completing the participant information, there is a question at the end of the registration process with an opportunity to give additional dollars for a Scout in need. Any amount can be given, and this donation is tax deductible.
Q: Do all fees need to be paid at once?
A: No, there is an option for youth to register and pay in two installments. You can choose to pay half when completing the registration, and the remainder will be due to following month. Your unit account will still be credited with $20, as long as you are paid in full by October 31.
Q: What if I can't pay all of my yearly program registration/renewal fee?
A: Financial assistance is available at the individual level for those families in need. When completing the participant information there is a link to the financial assistance application.
Q: As a Committee Chair/Cubmaster/ Scoutmaster/ Crew Advisor of a unit, how will I know which families have completed their yearly program registration/renewal?
A: Every week you will receive an email reminder to check your Unit Membership Charter Report in the Scouting Events system. This report will include a list of all youth and adults who have paid online to register/renew with your unit.
Q: Can unit leaders go into the site for a NEW youth or adult to complete the registration and make a payment?
A: No. Registrations for new youth and adults are at the family level and only they can access their registration. Units have the option to pay for current youth and adults when making their unit renewal payment.
Q: If a youth is planning to cross over from a Pack to a Troop, which unit do they register with in the fall?
A: They should register with the unit they are currently participating in. In the spring the Scoutmaster will work with families to help them cross over into the Troop.
Q: Do youth or leaders transferring from one unit to another need to go online and complete the program registration process?
A: Yes. To move from one unit to another, you should register as a New Youth/Adult Transfer with the unit you are moving to. There is no additional cost to transfer between units.
Q: If a youth or adult is planning to switch units for the upcoming program year, which unit do they register with in the fall?
A: When moving from one unit to another, the transfer will take effect immediately after being approved by the unit. All transfers are processed either before or after unit renewal. If you are moving into a new unit prior to making your 2023-2024 payment, you will pay in the new unit after you have transferred (once you have moved you will be considered a Current Youth/Adult in that unit). If you are moving after you have made your 2023-2024 payment, we will move the existing payment to your new unit.
FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE QUESTIONS
Q: Who can request financial assistance?
A: Any youth with a financial need who is unable to register and/or renew for Scouting without assistance.
Q: How do I request assistance?
A: Financial assistance requests are part of the online program registration/renewal system. Follow the links to sign up and select “Are you applying for Registration Financial Assistance?” when filling out your Scout’s information. Complete the form that pops up and click Submit. Be sure to check the financial assistance box and complete your registration, paying the amount that you specified.
Q: Do I need to wait to hear back before registering?
A: No, you continue with the online program registration/renewal process. The amount of assistance requested is automatically removed from your balance due after you have completed the application and checked the financial assistance box in the registration. Once Northern Star receives the electronic financial assistance request and your program registration/renewal, then they are submitted for approval.
Q: I filled out the Financial Assistance Request form, do I really need to go through the program registration process?
A: Yes! The program registration is needed in order to process your request and get you registered and/or renewed for Scouting.
Q: How much can I request?
A: Assistance requests can be up to 50% of the total cost, based on your need. This is like the practice we use with support to attend camp (Campership process). It is important to pay what you can, as we will not be conducting Family Friends of Scouting fundraising asks in the future.
Q: Does the financial assistance cover unit dues?
A: No, the financial assistance only covers the Northern Star Scouting yearly program registration fee. We ask all units to communicate their budget and fundraising plans to new families, but to not collect unit fees until later in the fall.
Q: Do I have to pay upfront?
A: The amount of assistance requested is taken off your total before you check out. You only pay the amount you have specified you are able to, up front or in two payments.
Q: What if I can’t pay 50% of the fee?
A: You can still join! Give a brief description of your circumstances in the online financial assistance request form and complete your registration. Someone will contact you if more information is needed. We will never turn away a youth due to an inability to pay.
FUNDRAISING TO SUPPORT COSTS QUESTIONS
Q: Are units allowed to charge or collect unit dues?
A: We do not encourage units charging additional unit dues. We encourage units to set their budget and include fundraising opportunities for youth to earn their way. If a unit chooses to charge unit dues those dues will need to be collected directly at a unit level.
Q: Can popcorn sales or unit fundraisers be used to cover costs for registration and other Scouting costs?
A: It is up to your unit. We encourage all our Scouts to “earn their own way” through selling popcorn. Popcorn sale commissions can be used to pay unit dues, camping fees and anything else Scouting related, and the unit can develop practices for reimbursing families for such costs.
Q: Is the popcorn sale all about money?
A: No! Scouts learn valuable skills such as budgeting, communication, salesmanship, working with others, goal setting and more.
FRIENDS OF SCOUTING QUESTIONS
Q: Will the annual program registration fee be tax deductible?
A: No, the program registration fee is not considered a charitable donation, it is a registration cost.
Q: Will units be expected to conduct a Friends of Scouting unit fundraising presentation?
A: No. Units are no longer asked to conduct a Family Friends of Scouting unit presentation. Units may choose to continue holding a Friends of Scouting presentation on their own if they would like, but the council will not be asking you to schedule them.
Q: Since my matching gift and volunteer hours are not going toward my unit’s Friends of Scouting goal, can those dollars go to our unit’s bank account?
A: Only 501c3 non-profit organizations like Northern Star Scouting can accept these contributions. Matching gifts will remain an important source of support for families who may need scholarships to participate in Scouting and we ask for your continued support to leverage your employer’s generosity for Northern Star Scouting.
Q: Did Friends of Scouting go away?
A: Scouting is funded by generous individuals, families, corporations and community organizations and we continue to need this support moving forward to keep local Scouting strong. The Friends of Scouting campaign now focuses on different ways to raise dollars to support local Scouting programs, rather than through Family FOS (unit presentations).
Q: How are scholarships funded?
A: Through generous Friends of Scouting donations from Scout families, community partners, and foundations, as well as the program fee itself, as we absorb National joining fees and fee increases.
Please see the above tabs for additional information. If you have questions, you may contact your District Executive.