Frequently Asked Questions
Why are we adding Council fees?
The council executive board wants to ensure the financial viability of the council for years to come. It has become clear that a change was needed in our funding approach, as it was no longer possible to subsidize core costs at past levels through voluntary donations to Friends of Scouting/Compass Point. As a result, effective January 1, 2023, the NEIC—like a number of other local councils—must implement an enhanced individual youth fee in order to ensure the consistent delivery of its support, programs, and camps.
What is the amount of the new fee, and how can it be paid?
The Annual Youth Registration Fee is a total of $240 per registered youth member. It can be paid in two ways:
- Families can set up monthly $20 online payments that automatically debit their credit card or debit card. The online payment system will be available on January 1, 2023.
- Families can make a one-time payment of $240 in January 2023, payable by check, cash, credit card or debit card.
- Please note that all credit card charges result in a 3.0% fee charged by the payment platform vendor.
The payment platform for the Annual Youth Registration Fee can be accessed via the button below.
To which Scouting programs does this new fee apply?
The Annual Youth Registration Fee will apply to youth members (i.e.¸ age 17 or under) in Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing, and Sea Scouts. It will not apply to Exploring or to the in-school Discover Scouts program.
For the fees that apply to 18 to 20 year olds, see the FAQ below that begins, “What annual fees will be payable for unit registered adult leaders, and when?”
Is there financial assistance for families who need it?
Yes. We realize that there are families that have financial situations that could prevent them from benefiting from Scouting. We are helping with a confidential financial aid program that is providing substantial assistance to such families. NEIC will not turn away any youth for an inability to pay.
An explanation of the financial aid program, as well as the application itself, can be accessed through the button below. The site has been open since mid-November; please do not hesitate to visit it. Those who intend to apply for financial aid need to do so before they seek to make payment of the Annual Youth Registration Fee.
By what date do I need to start making payments for a renewing youth?
For families of renewing youth—those youth who initially registered in Scouting prior to 2023—the date by which they need to start making payments (or have a pending application for financial aid) is February 28, 2023. This date matches the date by which units need to finish 2023 rechartering: BSA will, on March 1, remove from its membership rolls any registered youth and adults whose unit has not rechartered by then.
Please be advised that there is generally no benefit to waiting to commence payments for a renewing youth. The aggregate amount that must be paid for the year on behalf of a youth will not decrease by reason of waiting, and the monthly payment amount will increase because there are fewer payment periods to spread it across, as shown below.
First Payment Month
Annual Agg. Amount
No. Payment Periods
Does not include the 3% processing charge.
What does the new fee include?
The Annual Youth Registration Fee will:
- Include Accident and liability insurance coverages;
- Provide a proportionate amount to the council to pay for existing programs, facilities, and staff;
- Include the annual national BSA membership fee that will be due for each youth when a unit recharters and which the NEIC must pay to BSA National in late 2023 or early 2024. This will relieve units of the need to collect those fees from families over the course of the fall each year.
Does this new fee include BSA membership fees for 2023 that are due when a unit recharters in late 2022 or early 2023?
No. A unit will still need to pay $75 per Scout and $45 per registered adult, along with a flat unit recharter fee of $100, at the time it submits a new charter to replace the one that expires on December 31, 2022.
How will Scout Life magazine be handled?
Units will need to collect from individuals wishing to receive Scout Life and pay that amount separately.
Does this new fee include unit-specific fees?
No. If your unit collects fees for its programming, those monies will need to be collected separately.
Why will we have to pay a 2024 National BSA membership fee in 2023?
The Annual Youth Registration Fee is designed to collect the BSA membership fee for the upcoming year, which—as in prior years—will typically be paid to BSA following the end of the current year. And instead of paying in one lump sum, families will have the option of setting up automated monthly payments to spread out the impact on their budgets.
What additional value do we get for the new fee?
In addition to supporting Council programming, the Annual Youth Registration Fee will provide units and members with the following benefits, effective January 1, 2023:
- Free campsite rentals at Camps Sol R. Crown and Oakarro
- A set of free Council- and District-organized Scout activities
- Free rank advancement patches
- Free basic Adult leader training
- 10% in-store discount off Scout uniforms in September and October of 2023
- Elimination of Family Friends of Scouting/Compass Point unit presentations
What are the free Council- and District-organized Scout activities expected to be?
This list of activities includes:
For Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing, Sea Scouts
- Free campsite rentals for packs, troops, crews, and ships at Camps Crown and Oakarro
- Free supervised program areas at Camp Crown on select weekends (starting Fall 2022, and continuing in Spring and Fall 2023) (see the heading “Camp Crown Open Program Spring 2023” at this link)
- Air rifle or BB gun
- Climbing wall
- Pump track
- Fat tire cycling (inside camp)
- Many other free “self-serve” activities will be available at Camp Crown at all times
Just for Cub Scouts
- Pinewood Derby (Winter 2023)
- Car building workshops
- Races hosted at Kasperson Center for Scouting
- Note: car kits must still be purchased
- Cub Camporee (Spring 2023)
- Cubmobile Races (Spring and Fall 2023)
- Boo Camp (Fall 2023)
What if a youth is registered in multiple Scouting units?
A Scout who is registered in multiple units (e.g., a Scouts BSA troop and a Venturing crew) will need to pay just one Annual Youth Registration Fee. There is no incremental charge for being registered in two or more units.
How does it work for Scouts crossing over?
A Scout crossing over from Cub Scouts to Scouts BSA will continue to be part of the council and the BSA, so either their lump payment would still apply, or if paying monthly, payments would continue.
What annual fees will be payable for unit registered adult leaders or adult participants, and when? What if an adult or adult participant is registered with more than one unit?
Individuals aged 18 to 20 in Venturing and Sea Scouts are considered “adult participants” in those programs. Individuals aged 18 to 20 in Cub Scouts or Scouts BSA, along with individuals in any program who are 21 or older, are considered “adult leaders” in their programs. References to “registered adults” cover both adult leaders and adult participants.
Neither adult leader nor adult participant membership fees will be collected in advance or in installments. At the time a unit recharters, it must pay the BSA membership fees—currently $45 per adult leader and $75 per adult participant—for its registered adults. The separate $15 NEIC insurance fee will be discontinued, effective with a unit’s 2022 rechartering. The unit of an adult’s primary registration will pay the BSA membership fee; any other unit with which such an adult is registered will not be assessed a separate fee. If an individual registers as an adult participant in Venturing or Sea Scouts and also as an adult leader in Cub Scouts or Scouts BSA, the adult participant membership fee must be paid, but no adult leader fee will be owing.
What is the council’s refund policy?
If a youth leaves Scouting, the family can stop payment at that time by calling the council and requesting termination of payments, which will occur the following month. The ratable portion of the Annual Youth Registration Fee that has accrued toward the 2024 BSA membership fee ($8.33 of each standard $20/month payment, plus a variable portion of the upfront fee for 2023 joiners) will be refunded to the applicable unit upon request.
The following amounts are non-refundable:
- Any amounts that the council has paid to BSA for membership fees (currently $75 for a full year or a pro-rated amount for a youth joining partway through a year) or for joining fees ($25 at all times)
- The NEIC’s share of the Annual Youth Registration Fee paid to date ($11.67 of each standard $20/month payment), which is the portion that has not been accrued toward payment of the BSA membership fee for the next year
How will fees be handled for a youth who will turn 18 in 2023?
When a registered youth turns 18, that individual becomes an adult in the BSA’s eyes. No Annual Youth Registration Fee needs to be paid for an individual who is 18 or older.
We recommend that families of youth who will turn 18 in 2023 and who wish to remain registered through their 18th birthday take the following steps:
- On the payment platform, elect to make 12 monthly payments of the Annual Youth Registration Fee
- In the month of the Scout’s 18th birthday, call the council (847.433.1813) and ask to have the monthly payments discontinued effective as of the next month and have a refund issued to the unit constituting the accrued portion of the fee that represents the BSA membership fee for 2024
- The council will cancel the credit card withdrawals going forward and will refund to the applicable unit the portion of the Annual Youth Registration Fee that has been accrued for payment of BSA membership fees in the next calendar year.
At this time, the council does not have the ability to automate this process. We hope to be able to automate it in the future so that phone calls will not be needed and the process will automatically suspend payments after the Scout’s 18th birthday.
When does NEIC have to pay all fees to BSA National?
BSA membership fees for 2024 collected by NEIC as part of the Annual Youth Registration Fee will be paid to BSA National early in 2024. BSA National does not offer councils a monthly payment option, and so NEIC must collect the BSA membership fee upfront from members on behalf of BSA National and remit that payment at the time NEIC submits a unit’s charter to BSA in 2024. Once the BSA membership fee is paid, BSA will not refund any portion of the amount.
BSA membership fees and joining fees for 2023 collected by NEIC as part of the “one-time joining amount” for a youth who joins Scouting in 2023 are paid to BSA National soon after the youth joins Scouting. BSA National does not refund joining or membership fees once paid.
How will the Annual Youth Registration Fee help keep insurance in force and leaders covered?
After NEIC collects your fees by the end of the year, BSA National collects those fees from all councils at the beginning of the next year to ensure leader and member insurance coverage is paid. Extreme delays in recharter have caused some units and their members to actually be in arrears well into the following year, and in some cases, uninsured. Second only to youth protection, we strive to maintain uninterrupted insurance coverage which the Annual Youth Registration Fee will provide.
What are the recharter difficulties the Annual Youth Registration Fee will address?
In past years, NEIC has tried to complete recharter by Dec. 1. But unit leaders and council staff have had to repeatedly ask member families for fee payments and inquire whether the family plans to continue in Scouting for the following year. Both factors greatly delay recharter and increase distractions.
How will the Annual Youth Registration Fee make recharter better for unit leaders?
The Annual Youth Registration Fee will ensure the fees are in place for unit rechartering of youth. The Annual Youth Registration Fee will eliminate the substantial time spent asking families for youth fees. Rather, the Annual Youth Registration Fee will free unit leaders to focus on critical fall leadership tasks, such as the unit’s planned events and matching parents to the right leadership and volunteer roles. Also, council professionals can focus on delivering excellent programs, camps, and unit service.
How will payment status give unit leaders insight into their membership roster for recharter?
Simply put, a family that continues to pay is continuing with membership. NEIC will be able to provide ‘continuing member’ information to unit leaders during recharter so leaders have better insight into their recharter membership roster.
How will the Annual Youth Registration Fee help with youth retention?
Especially in monthly installments, the Annual Youth Registration Fee is a convenient, positive approach that assumes families want to continue Scouting indefinitely. Contrast that with our current fairly negative approach which assumes families are done after a year, and we have to ask them to continue.
What action will the council take if a family never starts paying, or stops paying, the fee?
If a family of a renewing youth makes no payment (or application for financial aid) by February 28, 2023, the council will seek to notify the family and the unit leader of the delinquency shortly thereafter. If no response is received within a short time, the council will treat the youth as having quit the program. Youth who have quit the program will be ineligible for council programs and will cease to be eligible for advancement or other recognitions.
When a family that started making payments subsequently stops doing so for reasons other than aging out, it will be a signal that month, rather than many months later, that we should take action in some way to retain the youth. Membership Team and council professionals plan to use monthly non-payment lists to reach out to ‘dropped scout’ families with possible solutions, like financial aid or meeting times that fit their schedule, etc.
If the family does not ultimately rejoin the Scouting program within a reasonable time, the council will treat the youth as having quit the program, with the consequences described above.
Are other local councils charging a similar annual fee?
Yes. Many other local councils have begun charging annual registration, program or membership fees. The amount varies from one council to the next, as do the features of each council’s fee arrangement.
How much will a youth who joins Scouting in 2022 be required to pay in 2022?
The Annual Youth Registration Fee is effective in calendar 2023, so it will not affect payments due in 2022. A Scout who joins in 2022 will pay the following amounts for 2022:
- $25 one-time BSA joining fee
- Pro-rated portion of $75 BSA membership fee for 2022
- Pro-rated portion of $15 NEIC insurance fee for 2022
- $75 BSA membership fee for 2023 (if joining after September 30, 2022)
How much will a youth who joins Scouting in 2023 be required to pay in 2023 as the Annual Youth Registration Fee?
A Scout who joins any time in 2023 will need to agree to pay the following fees:
- Starting in the joining month, $20 per month for the remainder of 2023 (or a one-time lump sum equivalent)
- An additional “one-time joining charge” (meaning that it will be charged only in the joining year and not thereafter), which will cover:
- the flat $25 BSA joining fee
- the pro-rated portion of the 2023 BSA membership fee (currently $75) for the rest of 2023, and
- a portion of the BSA membership fee payable for 2024 membership.
This one-time amount will increase somewhat from month to month, reflecting the difference between the current BSA membership fee and the anticipated BSA membership fee for 2024.
For a Scout who first joins Scouting in 2023, the 2023 fees will be the amount set forth in the row of the joining month in the table below:
If Joining This Month
Agg. NEIC AYR Fee
One-Time Join-ing Charge*
Aggregate Lump Sum**
Monthly Pay Amount (# of months)**
$28.33 (for 12 months)
$29.28 (for 11 months)
$30.42 (for 10 months)
$31.81 (for 9 months)
$33.54 (for 8 months)
$35.77 (for 7 months)
$38.75 (for 6 months)
$42.92 (for 5 months)
$49.17 (for 4 months)
$59.58 (for 3 months)
$80.42 (for 2 months)
$142.92 (for 1 month)
Assumes the BSA membership fee remains $75 for all of 2023. If it increases effective at some point in 2023, the one-time joining charge will increase in turn.
Does not include the 3% processing charge.
Is there a family discount rate for multiple youth members?
No. The Annual Youth Registration Fee will be the same for all youth members.
Was the new fee put in place to replace revenues that the council lost as a result of its contribution to the settlement of the BSA bankruptcy?
No. The council did not use any operating revenues (e.g., donations to Friends of Scouting, Compass Point or other annual campaigns, camping fees or popcorn proceeds) to fund its contribution to the settlement trust. The council’s contribution to the settlement trust came from three primary sources: our undertaking to put Camp Oakarro up for sale and transfer the net proceeds to the trust when Oakarro is sold; the proceeds of the separate sale of the cell tower leases at Camp Oakarro; and several contributions to the board-designated endowment fund made for that purpose. A fourth and much smaller source was the liquidation of a portion of pre-existing board-designated endowment funds. While there was some impact on operating revenues from the sale of the cell tower lease in late 2021, that impact was already factored into the NEIC’s 2022 budget, and it was not a consideration in establishing the Annual Youth Registration Fee.