Dear Lake Erie Council Scouters,
As you have likely heard, today the volunteer National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America made the difficult but necessary decision to increase the annual membership fee effective January 1, 2020.
The new fee structure, which did not reflect the Lake Erie Council insurance fee rolled out in August ($12.00 per member), was communicated as follows:
$60 for youth members in Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing, and Sea Scouts
$36 for adult members
Therefore, we are proud to announce the Executive Board of the Lake Erie Council met tonight and approved the one-time subsidy of the national registration fee increase for youth members in Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing, and Sea Scouts on your unit roster/charter by December 31, 2019.
With this subsidy, the new one-time fee structure, reflective of the Lake Erie Council insurance fee rolled out in August ($12.00 per member) is as follows:
$45 ($33 registration and $12 insurance) for youth members in Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing, and Sea Scouts on your roster/charter by 12/31/2019
$48 for adult members ($36 registration and $12 insurance)
This means that youth members in Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouts (adult leaders fee will increase by $3.00 as released by national) who are renewing their registration with the BSA for 2020 will only need to pay the current $33.00 national registration fee (along with the $12.00 council insurance fee), and the Lake Erie Council will subsidize the balance for the 2020 charter renewal period through its endowment fund.
To make this subsidy work with the current national registration system, it is imperative that your unit completes its charter renewal accurately and on-time. The internet rechartering system will open on November 1 and we need all units to complete the process and submit the necessary paperwork by end of year. Any applications or charters that are received by the council after December 31, 2019 will be charged the full national registration fee for 2020. New members joining after January 1, 2020 will pay the full national registration fee. Please visit the LEC Charter Renewal page for steps you can take now to prepare for your unit’s charter renewal.
It is of the utmost importance that you review the FAQs and resources about the national registration fee increase and the Lake Erie Council fee increase subsidy. Going forward we encourage Units, Scouts, and their families to take advantage of the spring Scout's Own sale and the fall popcorn sales. These funding initiatives provide a great opportunity for Scouts to help fund their membership fees and to provide resources that allow Lake Erie Council to continue to put our Units at the Center.
We believe this move not only underscores our commitment to our families, but also sets the stage for the Lake Erie Council to continue delivering the promises of Scouting moving forward. In addition, be assured that the Lake Erie Council remains committed to continuing to provide exceptional experiences at our camps and over 200 well-run Scouting activities each year, high level support and resources from our field and unit service center team and will continue to build strong relationships that benefit our Scouts like the millions of dollars in tuition assistance and scholarships at ten (and counting) colleges and universities in the Northeast Ohio area.
On a personal note, I understand the timing and level of this change is difficult and evokes strong emotions. That said, as an active leader and parent of three scouts myself, I am committed to focusing on why my family chose Scouting for our children and continuing to move Scouting forward.
Like many of you, my wife, Kelly, and I have enrolled our children in many other extracurricular opportunities they had an interest in as they grew. It would be hard to add up just how much we spent on each of those activities. Like so many of you, we did this to give our children different experiences and not because we thought they would be professional athletes. That said, what I can tell you is that in just one weekend camping trip, my wife witnessed our 12-year-old daughter’s natural leadership abilities shine through as she motivated her fellow scouts and helped create a memorable adventure. In one week of summer camp, I personally saw our 11-year-old son’s maturity improve exponentially as he was challenged to work with his patrol to complete often difficult tasks and address issues. In just one afternoon of service to local veterans, we saw our 8-year-old son recognize the importance of helping other people at all times, especially those that sacrificed and served our great nation.
At any price, Scouting would remain a true value and important part of raising healthy, well-adjusted and centered young people. Scouting teaches leadership skills, gives youth the opportunity to learn new things, provide service to others, build self-confidence, and reinforces ethical standards. These opportunities not only help Scouts when they are young but carry forward into their adult lives. As I have gotten to know many of you, we have also talked often about the absence of these attributes in society today.
I believe strongly in our great movement and am honored to serve it as both a unit level volunteer and as your Scout Executive. I believe that a world with the BSA is much greater than one without it.
Finally, please be reassured that the Lake Erie Council’s commitment since our inception in 2017 has been and remains that we will ensure that all youth can experience the character-building benefits of Scouting regardless of their financial situation.
If you have any immediate questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me at Marc.Ryan@Scouting.org.
Thank you for all you do for Scouting. I look forward to continuing to serve the families and communities of the Lake Erie Council alongside each of you.
Yours in Scouting,
Marc J. Ryan
Lake Erie Council, Boy Scouts of America