Local Council Service Fee

Wednesday, July 1, 2020
 
Dear Scout Leaders & Parents,
 
Thank you for the important leadership you provide to the youth of the Washington Crossing Council, Boy Scout of America. Your efforts have a positive impact on the youth of our community and your support is greatly appreciated.
 
Our outstanding program takes place in every corner of the Council. We provide support to all programs from pack, troop, crew, and ship meetings to our Council camp, summer camp, and Day Camps. There are countless activities taking place all year long including training opportunities such as roundtable and many other live leader specific trainings.
 
How are funds spent in our Council? We just completed our 2019 audit. It shows 87.5% of our operating budget is spent on program, 9% on fundraising and 3.5% on administrative support. We are incredibly fortunate to offer opportunities that youth in other parts of the country can only dream of, but the current Council funding model is not sustainable. Unlike BSA National to which we all pay dues when we register, our Council is entirely dependent on donations, popcorn sales, and camping fees for our operating budget.
 
For years, the Council has avoided charging a Local Council Service Fee but due to the downward trend in the Family Friends of Scouting participation, we are forced to change how our Council will be funded or future Scouts in Washington Crossing Council will not enjoy the great Scouting opportunities that we have today.
 
While we serve over 6,000 youth in our year-round program, less than 23% percent of our families donate to the Family Friends of Scouting Campaign to support the program of our Council. There are 233 traditional units (packs, troops, crews) in the Council, but only 77 sell popcorn. Our Council maintains Ockanickon Scout Reservation, but only 36 of 122 troops attend our summer camp. Camping, popcorn sales, and Friends of Scouting encompasses seventy-three percent of Council income.
 
To close the funding gap, a Local Council Service Fee of $60 for each youth member will be implemented beginning this re-chartering period for 2021. This is in addition to BSA National’s annual registration fee; please see the Q&A, for details.
 
The Local Council Service Fee will replace the annual Family Friends of Scouting unit presentations campaign. To ensure that no Scout will be denied access to our program due to inability to pay, we have incorporated mechanisms for members to cover this charge either with popcorn sales and financial assistance through a Council fund. Details of the Council Program Fee roll-out are available on the Q&A sheet.
 
We ask for your support and that you embrace this new council service fee and help be part of the solution to delivering great Scouting programs as we move forward into 2021.
 
Thank you for your understanding and continued support of Scouting in the Washington Crossing Council!
 
 
Sincerely,
 
Blair T. Rush                   
Council President/ Board Chairman
 
Michael L. Cunniff           
Council Commissioner 
 
Magne G. Gundersen
Scout Executive/CEO  

 

BSA National: All fees go directly to National BSA
$66
 
Local Council: ($60) All fees stay Local
$12 Supplemental Insurance
$48 Service Fee
 
Total registration fees
for one year of Scouting
$126

 

BSA National: All fees go directly to National BSA
$66
 
Local Council: ($60) All fees stay Local
$12 Supplemental Insurance
$48 Service Fee
 
Total registration fees
for one year of Scouting
$126

 

BSA National: All fees go directly to National BSA
$66
 
Local Council: ($60) All fees stay Local
$12 Supplemental Insurance
$48 Service Fee
 
Total registration fees
for one year of Scouting
$126

 

BSA National: All fees go directly to National BSA
$66
 
Local Council: ($12) All fees stay Local
$12 Supplemental Insurance
 
Total registration fees
for one year of Scouting
$78

 

BSA National: All fees go directly to National BSA
$42
 
Local Council: ($12) All fees stay Local
$12 Supplemental Insurance
 
Total registration fees
for one year of Exploring
$54
BSA National: All fees go directly to National BSA
$42
 
Local Council: ($5) All fees stay Local
$5 Supplemental Insurance
 
Total registration fees
for one year of Scouting
$47
$25 one-time National joining fee for all new Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturers, and Sea Scouts.
 
Same flat fee no matter when you join during the year. (no prorating) New members pay joining fee in addition to membership fees.
 
No joining fee for adult volunteers, Exploring participants, participant previously registered in any BSA program, or those transferring from one program to another.

BUILDING A FINANCIALLY SUSTAINABLE PROGRAM THROUGH AN ANNUAL COUNCIL PROGRAM FEE

The Local Council Service Fee will replace the annual family FOS campaign. To ensure that no scout will be denied our program due to inability to pay, we have incorporated mechanisms for members to cover this charge either with payment at the time of recharter, through product sales, or filing a Financial Assistance Application.
 
 

What will be the total cost per registered youth member?

The total cost at the time of this year’s recharter:
National Registration Fee: $66.00
Council Service Fee & Supplemental Insurance:      $60.00
Boys Life Magazine:        $12 (Optional)
New Scout Fee:              $25.00 (For any new Scouts enrolling in the program after August 1 st )
TOTAL: $151.00 (New Scouts without BL) / $126.00 (Returning Scouts without BL)*
 
*The previous $5 insurance fee was supplemented by the council. The actual cost is $12.78 per registrant.
 
 

Doesn’t the $66 National Annual registration fee cover the needs of the Council?

No. The $66 National Annual fee goes directly to National Council. No portion of the annual national registration fee stays with the Council to support program.
 

How will the Local Council Service Fee be used?

The Local Council Service Fee provide support for unit registration, advancement, membership, insurance, and to maintain our Council Camp, Service Center, and store. Basically, all program features that were originally supported by Friends of Scouting contributions are now covered by the Council Service Fee.
 

How will the Local Council Service Fee be collected?

The Council Service Fee will be collected at the time of the unit’s re-charter on an annual basis. In addition, a pro-rated National Registration and Local Council Service Fee will be collected at time of registration for new Scouts during the year.
 

What about families in need? An additional $60 is a lot to ask.

The Washington Crossing Council is committed to ensuring that no boy or girl will lose the opportunity to be a Scout based on finances. The Council will actively work with families and units to help develop funding strategies for those in need. Please contact your District Executive if you need further information.
 

What happens to the Friends of Scouting campaign?

While our annual community campaigns, fundraisers, and special events will continue, the Family Friends of Scouting presentations at the units will cease. But, if a unit or individual chooses to, there will still be opportunities to support the annual giving campaign.
 

Are we the only council with a Council Service Fee?

No. With the decline in Family FOS Nationwide more and more local councils are instituting or have already instituted a similar Service Fee.
Liability Insurance
 
Program Resources Development (books, badges, etc,)
 
Online Resources (training, Scoutbook, registration)
 
Safety & Youth Protection Standards (background checks, etc,)
Supplemental accident & sickness insurance
 
Direct support to units (training, processing registration, advancement and recruitment support)
 
Maintenance of camp and the Council Service Center
 
Subsidize program/camp fees
 
IT Support
 
Membership and Registration Support
 
Other Insurance Coverage