Lake Erie Council Fee Increase Statement

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
Scout Executive
Lake Erie Council, Boy Scouts of America

National Council Fee Increase Statement

In anticipation of the news on the national fee increase, the Lake Erie Council planned a series of meetings with our key leadership. Tonight, the Executive Board of the Lake Erie Council will be meeting and reviewing information released today to explore different paths of options on the new fee increase and the effect it has on our families and communities. We ask for your patience while we plan the best course for our council to take moving forward. You can expect an official letter from our Council following tonight’s meeting.

BSA Fee Increase National Statement

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.

Lake Erie Council,  Scouting serves more than 15,000 youth in seven counties. 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

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.

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. 

You can find the FAQs here.

Adult Leader Development Conference

You’re invited to participate in the second edition of the Adult Leadership Development Conference on Saturday, November 16th from 8AM-1PM at Loran County JVS in Oberlin. During this conference, you will receive a wealth of information that will make your life as a volunteer easier. This is a free event that is geared toward Cub Scout, Scouts BSA, and Venturing leaders. Participants will learn about Succession Planning along with up to three other helpful training sessions.

Breakout Sessions:

Each session will be well-structured and engaging, with participants receiving relevant materials that can be immediately utilized to improve unit health. Each session will provide leaders with a call-to-action and timeline for success.

  • Scoutbook: Getting Started

  • Scoutbook: What can it do?

  • Better Budgets Create a Better Program

  • Calendar Planning and Your Unit’s Ideal Year of Scouting

  • 365 Days of Recruiting New Scouts

  • Making Outdoor Adventures a Breeze

  • Lions, Tigers, and Wolves… OH MY!

  • Bear, Webelos, AOL’s: Knives, Fires, and Sharp Things

  • Is the End of the Program Really the End? What’s Next?

  • It’s All About the Journey

Registration is LIVE Now

In addition to the Merit Badge University coinciding with the conference, there will also be activities for younger Scouts. We will also have information available about upcoming events.

Background Check Authorization

Providing a safe and secure environment for our youth members is the greatest priority of the Lake Erie Council. We work every day to protect our children through our Youth Protection policies including mandatory youth protection training for all registered leaders, leadership selection policies and mandatory criminal background checks for new leaders.

As Scouting and the Lake Erie Council look to strengthen our youth protection policies, we have instituted a periodic criminal background recheck of existing leaders. In order to do this, a new signed Additional Disclosures & Background Check Authorization form must be collected for every registered adult leader this year prior to your unit’s charter renewal. Detailed instructions are below.

Thank you for all you do in Scouting and for your commitment to ensure that we provide the safest environment for the 15,000 Scouts and families we serve.

The steps below must be completed before your 2020 annual registration can be processed.

Please complete the process 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 prior to your units annual registration can be processed.

Step 1: Review the separate disclosure document linked below that is being provided to you separately for your review. It is titled “Background Check Disclosure.”

Step 2: Once you have reviewed the documents, print the document titled “Additional Disclosures & Background Check Authorization.” Fill in and sign the Authorization form. Note: A hand written signature is required for this document. Electronic signatures will not be accepted.

Step 3: Turn in the signed “Additional Disclosures & Background Check Authorization” form promptly to your unit leader by November 15.

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, your 2020 annual registration will not be processed.

Membership Fee Increase

Dear LEC Scouters,

I want to make you aware that late yesterday we were informed that the National Council, Boy Scouts of America, is considering a fee increase for 2020. While the fee increase would be effective beginning this recharter process, unfortunately, the amount of any increase will not be known until approximately November 1, 2019.

We recognize the timing on this likely fee increase creates challenges as units have already begun communicating and collecting fees for their 2020 registration renewal process. As soon as we know more, we will share it.

As the father of three Scouts, an active parent in all of their units and a registered leader myself, I appreciate concerns and ask for your patience while we work through this together.

Finally, please be assured that finances will never be a barrier to membership for our families. Our council is proud to provide registration assistance to those in need. Information will be shared in follow up communication.

Thank you again for your commitment to delivering the life-changing programs of Scouting to the youth and families we serve and those who will soon join our ranks!

Yours in Scouting
Marc Ryan

BSA Insurance

The safety of our youth, volunteers, staff, and employees is the most important part of the Scouting experience and continues to be our number one priority. For the past several years, insurance costs have been subsidized in the general operating budget at one dollar ($1) per registered member and leader (approximately $14,000) versus annual insurance costs in excess of $150,000 dollars. Just as you may have experienced with your own health, auto and property insurance, our insurance costs continue to rise.

Lake Erie Council continues to seek and bid for the best insurance rates; however, Scouting has seen increased costs to protect our most valuable assets, our Scouts! Because of this, the Lake Erie Council can no longer continue to subsidize these costs and remain fiscally strong and relevant. In the 2019-2020 chartering cycle, insurance premiums will be one dollar ($1) per month per registered Scouter to equal an annual fee of $12.

Cub Scout Fall Events

Cub Scouts! Kick-off your fall Scouting season right with an overnighter at Firelands Scout Reservation! Cub Scouts can attend camp with their parents and siblings, or with their Pack! Bring your tent–we're sleeping under the stars!

Webelos! Are you looking for an exciting weekend out at camp? Join the Lake Erie Council for Webelos Woods! Your Scouts can attend this event on November 2-3, 2019 at Firelands Scout Reservation.

Visit our Council calendar for more information!


2019 Great Scout Luncheon

The 2019 Great Scout Luncheon is a unique opportunity to share and celebrate the Scouting story with business leaders, alumni and friends. This is also a special occasion to honor an individual in our Scouting community for being an example to others. The goal is to raise over $400,000 from the local community to continue our efforts in forming the next generation of community leaders.

Ken Schmidt is one of the business world’s most outspoken and provocative thought leaders on topics such as competitiveness, marketplace advocacy and loyalty. His philosophy on driving business growth -- by leveraging basic drivers of human behavior -- will change the way you see the world. It might even make you want to buy a motorcycle.

Ken’s best known for his work with Harley-Davidson, the legendary American motorcycle manufacturer. As its former director of communications, he shaped the company’s competitive positioning and served as its primary spokesperson to the media and financial communities in the 1980s through the mid ‘90s. His success in helping rebuild the company’s brand played a vital role in its against-all-odds turnaround from the brink of ruin to global dominance.

Since that time, he’s been a highly demanded consultant who works with leaders of many of the world’s best-known businesses -- as well as smaller businesses looking to improve their competitiveness. 

In late 2018, he released a best-selling book called, “Make Some Noise, The Unconventional Road to Dominance,” which businesses of any size can harness to become market dominators. He also co-wrote a book, “100 Years of Harley-Davidson,” which is the best-selling motorsports book of all time. He has appeared on network television numerous times and has spoken to more than one thousand audiences around the world. Ken is an strong supporter of the Boy Scouts of America. He is a Life Scout and former assistant Scoutmaster.

Contact Pete Biltz (Pete.Biltz@scouting.org) at 216-458-8934 or Jason Setser (Jason.Setser@scouting.org) at 216-458-8923 with questions.

Scouts BSA Fall Camporees

Join us for the Top Shot Camporee to see if you have the best shot for the Weekend of September 13-15, 2019 at Beaumont Scout Reservation. Scouts can come out and enjoy everything shooting sports. Plus the zip line will be open!

If that doesn’t fit your schedule, join the Lake Erie Council to celebrate Camp Stigwandish for its 90th Camping Season. Join us September 20-22, 2019 for our Fall Camporee. Events include canoe races, fishing, shooting sports, metalworking and more. Reserve your campsite now by contacting Anthony at the email below.

And wait we still have one more fall camporee for our Scout to attend this fall and that’s the Firelands 24! Join us October 4-6, 2019 out at Firelands Scout Reservation for 24 hours straight of program.

Visit our calendar to sign up!