Three Harbors Council, BSA
330 South 84th Street
Milwaukee, WI 53214-1468

New BSA Annual Membership Fee Process


Frequently Asked Questions

What does the annual membership fee cover?

The national BSA membership fee helps cover the cost of essential services to units and local councils.  Services include expanded liability insurance for those participating in approved Scouting activities, enhanced criminal background checks, a variety of program resources, youth protection and leader-specific training, and the development of intellectual property for national, council, and unit programs.


What is driving the BSA membership fee increase?

Enhanced Criminal Background Check processes and investments in new Youth Protection and safety programs.  The membership fees cover increased General Liability Insurance costs to protect volunteer leaders, staff, charter organizations, units, and youth.  The fees will also cover BSA restructuring costs.


We want all our members to renew in December each year, can we still do that?

No, the membership renewal will be in the month the person joined. In the first few years of this new process, most of the renewals will be in the month you historically rechartered your units in (December), but over time we expect that will shift to the August – October period as these are the month’s most new members join.


How will the charter renewal process change?

All Scout units will still charter by December 31st each year; they will need to meet the leadership and members standards of the BSA. Payment of the unit charter fee and Chartered Organization Representative (COR) approval will still be required. All adult leaders must be approved by the COR and the council. Membership renewal is a separate process and done annually by the individual/unit.


How will membership renewal work?

All members will be sent an email 60 days out from their anniversary month. Upon joining, the person will be asked to enter their Credit Card information and then in future years the renewal will be an “opt-out” process similar to a subscription or recurring gift. You will be reminded of your membership expiring and you can opt-out, renew your membership or the unit will have the ability to pay for their members.


How will the unit leadership know who is due to renew and who has renewed in their unit?

Both youth and adult leaders will be included in email notifications to the unit Key-3 monthly as to who is due to renew and who has renewed. In addition, the roster in Scoutbook and My.Scouting will indicate the registration status of the member.


What happens if someone’s email bounces and is undeliverable?

Email notifications are sent to the individual, Charter Organization Representative (COR), Committee Chair, and the Key Leader (Cubmaster/Scoutmaster/Advisor/Skipper); the unit should be able to identify that an individual is due to renew and can work with the individual to complete their renewal. Units are encouraged to update email contact information in Scoutbook. Should someone miss this process the council can pull a Non-Renewed Membership Report in My.Scouting.


Will the Council Registrar be notified when someone’s membership has ended due to lack of payment?

The council can run a Non-Renewed Membership Report and see expired youth and adults.


How will the “Unit Pays” option work and not double collect fees?

The unit will have the option to change the setting in My.Scouting which will tell the system that member renewals are due, and the unit will pay for it, like many units do today with recharter. The unit would have a Credit Card or ACH pre-set and each month membership fees are due; they would automatically be paid. A “pay at the council office” option will also be available. This will only be for renewals, not new members. The unit will have an “opt-out” option to not renew a member too.


After the two months of email notifications, a Scout/Adult does not have their registration paid for by the individual or the unit, will the unit leader and individual get contacted stating that they can no longer participate?

There will be a one-month lapse period and then the Scout/Adults will be dropped. A notification will go to the individual/parent and the unit indicating that the person is dropped.


Will a Scout be covered by insurance if they still show up to meetings after their registration period expired for lack of payment?

It is important that all youth be registered in a timely manner. This ensures coverage for both general liability insurance and secondary accident and sickness insurance. All youth participating in BSA programs are covered by insurance. A Scout must register to continue participation in the program.


A member is a month late with their annual membership renewal...will they need to complete another application to “rejoin”?

There is a one-month lapse period. Those who fail to register will need to complete a new application for membership.


As of August 1, 2023, all new youth and adult members who join Scouting will be enrolled in a 12-month membership cycle and the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) will cease prorating fees.  Both youth and adults will pay the full annual membership fee and will renew their membership on the anniversary date of joining Scouting.  All proration of membership fees will be eliminated.  Each registered member of the BSA will receive an email notice with a registration renewal link beginning 60 days before the anniversary month they joined Scouting.  Unit leaders will receive a copy of the email and should stay engaged in the membership renewal process just like rechartering.

Current Scouts and adult volunteers will renew their membership during their normal registration and recharter cycle this fall.  Moving forward, all members will renew on their anniversary date.  The anniversary date for currently registered members will be their unit recharter month (December for all Three Harbors Council units).  Effective August 1st, new members’ anniversary date will be the month they joined.

Effective April 1, 2024, the BSA will implement the following national membership fees:

  • $97* for Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouting participants 
  • $62* for Exploring participants Youth & Adult
  • $77* for all adult volunteers 
  • $25 for Merit Badge Counselors (New Fee applies only for Merit Badge Counselors not already registered as leaders)
  • $100 for a unit charter/affiliation fee (no change in fee)
  • $15 for Scout Life magazine subscription
  • * Includes National fee plus $12.00 Council fee

Council Membership Fee

  • Three Harbors Council’s membership fee will remain unchanged at $12.00 per registered youth and adult member.
  • Starting on August 1, 2023, new members will pay this additional $12.00 fee when they join Scouting, and existing members will pay when they renew their registration for 2024.
  • Please click here to view an infographic showing the new BSA and council membership fees.

Charter Renewal Changes

  • This fall, all units in Three Harbors Council will renew their charter and memberships in the same manner as past years with no changes.  Starting in the fall of 2024, units will renew charters and membership under the new system.
  • To simplify the unit charter process, membership renewals will no longer be tied to the unit charter process; beginning in the fall of 2024, units will renew their charters separate from their membership.
  • The recharter process will be much simpler as the system will validate the unit leadership and verify the unit has the minimum required youth and adults.
  • The unit’s Charter Organization Representative (COR) and council will approve the leadership, the unit will approve the charter, and the unit will submit the annual unit charter renewal fee of $100.

Membership Renewal Process

  • All membership in the BSA will be renewed on a 12-month membership cycle.
  • Each youth and adult member will renew their membership on their anniversary month. Many will have an anniversary that is the month their unit renewed last, and any new members will renew 12 months after they joined.
  • Membership renewals will be completed either by credit card with a 12-month renewal payment from the individual, by a Scout unit that has elected “Unit will pay all our members renewals” option, or by a manual payment at a Council Service Center.

New Members

  • Beginning August 1, 2023, all new youth and adult members will join for a 12-month membership cycle. Both youth and adults will pay the full annual membership fee to join Scouting and will renew their membership on the anniversary month of joining.
  • New members joining after July 31, 2023, will begin their annual membership renewal in July 2024. This will be tied to the anniversary month of joining.
  • Each member of the BSA will receive an email notice with a registration renewal link beginning 60 days before the anniversary month of joining.

Existing Members

  • Beginning August 1, 2023, all youth and adult membership renewals will be for a 12-month membership cycle.
  • Charter Renewal will remain unchanged for units due to charter this fall (recharter due date of December 31, 2023).  Charter Renewal change will take effect for units starting in the fall of 2024. 
  • Renewing members will renew their membership on their anniversary month.
  • Each member will receive an email renewal notice reminder beginning 60 days before the anniversary month.

Merit Badge Counselors

  • Beginning in August 2023, merit badge counselors who are not registered as an adult leader in a unit will pay an annual $25 fee.
  • Merit badge counselors are not registered in a unit position and therefore are not allowed to attend overnight Scouting activities/events.

The goal of these changes is to streamline the rechartering and membership renewal process for units and individual members.  If you have questions about the new process, please contact your District staff member who can be reached here.



Three Harbors Council, BSA  I  330 South 84th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53214-1468