BSA’s National Annual Meeting (NAM) is an event that many in Scouting anticipate to both conduct our Regular Meeting of the National Council (the business meeting) and as an opportunity for other meetings and fellowship. While we had planned to gather in person in May 2022, developments related to the pandemic and BSA’s financial restructuring have required us to be flexible. I’m writing to share the recent decision to postpone NAM 2022 until later this year. 

We had hoped to gather in-person in San Diego, but Covid-19 restrictions necessitated that NAM be transitioned to virtual. We had also expected that BSA would exit bankruptcy by May. With the recent rescheduling of the confirmation hearing to mid-March, that may not be the case. As a result, the Board decided to postpone NAM until after bankruptcy emergence. 

Importantly, hosting NAM after BSA emerges from financial restructuring will also allow us all to clearly focus on our Movement’s future. I am excited about hosting a gathering that plans for BSA’s long-term success and energizes our volunteers, professionals, and young people to drive Scouting’s revitalization. 

The Board decided that the 2022 Regular Meeting of the National Council will be rescheduled within 120 days after the BSA exits bankruptcy and the Plan is effective. Notice will be sent, and the required business be transacted at that meeting. The format of the other events associated with NAM is still being discussed and is dependent on public health and other circumstances at the time. 

On behalf of the National Executive Board, thank you for your patience and ongoing servant-leadership to young people. 

Yours in Scouting, 

Dan Ownby 

Chair, BSA National Executive Board 

Last year, upon the completion of the BSA National Annual Meeting, the BSA announced that its intention would be to hold an in-person National Annual Meeting in San Diego on May 23-27, 2022.

Due to uncertainties connected with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the volunteer-led National Executive Board has made the decision to hold the meeting virtually again this year.

Look for additional updates in the weeks ahead with further details on registration, meetings, breakouts, sponsors, and more.

Anna Marie Moran has been named Supervisor, Alumni Relations Annual Support for the BSA Office of Development effective June 1, 2021. Alumni Relations focuses on increasing and improving alumni involvement, supporting the BSA Alumni Association and members of the esteemed National Eagle Scout Association, and working closely with Alumni and NESA volunteer committees. Program areas under the auspices of the Alumni Relations department include the NESA Scholarship platforms, the many alumni award programs including DESA, NOESA and the Adams awards, as well as Alumni and NESA communications channels, strategic plans and marketing programs.

Anna Marie Moran

Anna Marie has been with BSA since January 2016, when she joined the Office of Development as a philanthropic advisor, working to secure major gifts to benefit the BSA High Adventure Bases and local area councils. She received her Wood Badge in 2018.

Anna Marie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing and business administration from Pennsylvania State University, an MBA from the University of Dallas and a certificate from the Smith Management Program for women in business. Anna Marie worked in the telecommunications industry for many years, managing strategic business units for Verizon and NEC. She was president of the Dallas Chapter of the Society of Women Engineers, and was an adjunct instructor for SMU, the University of Dallas, and the Art Institute of Dallas. Anna Marie first shifted her career toward nonprofit organizations by joining the University of Dallas College of Business Advancement team where she implemented an Alumni Hall of Fame and Alumni Advisory Board.

Anna Marie’s family has been affiliated with Scouting for generations, mainly through Pittsburgh and Lancaster, Pennsylvania–based councils. She is married to David and the mother of Eric, and spends her leisure time dabbling in art, yoga, swimming, traveling and endless hiking with her rescue Belgian Malinois, Tera.

Patrick Sterrett will assume a new role as EVP, Assistant Chief Scout Executive – High Adventure Bases and General Manager of Summit Bechtel Reserve, effective immediately.  

Patrick Sterrett

In this new role, Patrick will accelerate the optimization of the BSA High Adventure Bases as pinnacle Scouting experiences and expand access to these extraordinary programs to new and diverse participants. Patrick will collaborate with the High Adventure Base teams to take advantage of creative opportunities to increase Scout participation, strengthen facilities and program, and attract new people to the programs, such as families and outdoor enthusiasts. Patrick’s leadership in building on the successful high adventure model will be important to growing Scouting’s program and securing its financial future.  

“Patrick is the right leader at the right time, and I am grateful he has taken on this new challenge,” said Chief Scout Executive Roger Mosby.    

Over the last year, we have seen the Scouting community come together, even while being physically apart, to bring solutions, relief and comfort to those in need. Scouting continues to be a vital partner for communities across the country.

The value of Scouting is undeniable for those within the program and the greater public, and the Boy Scouts of America is committed to continuing to offer this unmatched opportunity to young people and families nationwide. It is important that we all reach out to Scouting families who might have left the program due to pandemic reasons and invite them back. We should also be thinking about how to invite new families to join.

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has worked to keep the membership fee as low as possible. Unfortunately, operating costs have continued to rise, and COVID-19 has compounded the need to increase the fee to maintain the program.

To ensure we have the resources to fulfill the promise of Scouting, the updated national membership fee is

  • $72 for Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouts participants
  • $45 for Exploring participants
  • $30 for council-paid memberships
  • $45 for all adult volunteers (includes cost of background check)
  • $75 for a unit charter fee

The membership fees will take effect August 1, 2021, for the 2021-2022 program year.

The one-time $25 joining fee for new program participants in Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouts is still required; however, there is no joining fee for Exploring participants, participants previously registered in any BSA program, those transferring from one program to another, council-paid memberships, or adult volunteers.

See an infographic explaining these updates. 

The national membership fee helps pay for the cost of essential services, including program resources, liability insurance for those participating in approved Scouting activities, youth protection and other local council resources.

National BSA will also continue to develop and improve resources that support our volunteers and youth members through online registration, Scoutbook, and national initiatives that bring us all together.

Across the country and in each of our communities, we know that Scouting remains one of the most valuable investments we can make in young men and women today so they can become the leaders we will turn to tomorrow.

Our dedicated volunteers, staff, and Scouting families make this possible. Thank you for continuing to support one of the most valuable opportunities available to young people today.

FAQ

Q:        Why are the fees increasing?

A:         The national annual membership fee is increasing by $6, about 50 cents per month, because the costs associated with Scouting, including the cost of liability insurance, continue to increase and the organization is not able to subsidize the increased costs as it had in the past.

Q:        When will this increase take effect?

A:         The updated membership fees will take effect August 1, 2021, for new members in the 2021-2022 program year.

Q:        Is Scouting still a good value?

A:         Absolutely! While most extracurricular activities are seasonal, Scouting is a year-round program that 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. For most of our participants, the new national membership fee amounts to $6.00 a month, which is an enormous value when you consider that many seasonal extracurricular activities often start at $100 for programs that last a few weeks.

Q:        Does the fee increase apply to council-paid memberships?

A:        Council-paid memberships will be $30 annually for youth members in fully funded council-paid units for low-income communities.

Q:        What will the money be used for?

A:         The annual national membership fee and new-member joining fee help pay for the cost of essential services, including program resources, liability insurance for those participating in approved Scouting activities, youth protection and other local council resources.

Q:        Is this increase being implemented to cover the cost of the additional background checks?

A:         While the cost of background checks is paid for by the national organization, that is not the driver of this increase.

Q:        Will membership fees go toward funding a victims compensation trust?

A:         No. The national annual membership fee and the new-member joining fee will help pay for the cost of essential services, including program resources, liability insurance for those participating in approved Scouting activities, youth protection and other local council resources.

Q:        What measures has the national organization taken to offset its financial challenges?

A:         In addition to ongoing efforts to streamline and simplify the organization, the national organization has taken a number of steps to address its financial challenges, which include multiple rounds of reductions over the past year. These were in addition to ongoing consolidation of departments and elimination of some significant vendors for the most effective utilization of resources in support of Scouting. 

Q:        In addition to the national membership fee, my council is implementing a council fee. Is that allowed?

A:         Starting August 1, 2021, councils can also choose to charge a fee up to, but no more than, the national membership fee – up to $72 for participants in Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouts; up to $45 for participants in Exploring and up to $45 for adult members. The council fee can include local insurance costs (i.e., accident, property, etc.), as well as the cost to administer unique local programming. Units can continue to assess activity fees.

Q:        Will the national membership fee continue to increase?

A:         Although no decision about future increases has been made, the cost of operating our organization and services increases every year. Should it be necessary to increase fees in the future, the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America has agreed to evaluate the needs and make such decisions, whenever possible, at the National Annual Meeting so that decisions can be announced with as much lead time as possible to allow councils and units to plan accordingly. 

As part of the 2021 BSA National Annual Meeting, the organization held multiple Fireside Chat virtual meetings on a handful of key topics. These included Safety, Membership Growth, Female Board Leadership, and Governance. Governance was the topic for the fourth of these meetings. 

Governance 

The Fireside Chat focused on the ongoing evolution of the governance of the Boy Scouts of America – both at a national level and at the local council level. 

The panel of speakers for this Fireside Chat included former BSA national chairs Jim Turley and Dr. Robert M. Gates, former BSA National Commissioner Ellie Morrison, and BSA General Counsel Steven McGowan. Each panelist offered thoughts on the governance model of the organization. 

The panel began by referencing a previous Fireside Chat about increasing diversity on boards. They cited increasing board diversity as a means to gain greater perspective while bringing together people from different backgrounds with a shared focus on making the Boy Scouts of America the best organization it can be. 

The panel offered thoughts on the evolution of governance in the BSA over the past decade, mentioning that it has been a journey that has seen a shift toward increased input and direction coming from volunteers, rather than BSA professionals. They also talked about the ongoing focus on a separation between operations and governance for the organization. 

The panelists discussed the importance of the future emergence from bankruptcy as a driver in further progress being made on governance, and pointed toward increased engagement and input from local councils being sought. 

Each panelist mentioned the importance of the ongoing journey and evolution of the governance model and that, though there may be differences of opinions and challenges, everyone is keenly focused on open dialogue, respect, and an unwavering commitment to the development of the youth in the program. 

For more information on the Governance Fireside Chat, watch it below:

NAM2021 Governance Fireside Chat from Boy Scouts of America on Vimeo.

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As part of the 2021 BSA National Annual Meeting, the organization held multiple Fireside Chat virtual meetings on a handful of key topics. These included Safety, Membership Growth, Female Board Leadership, and Governance. Female Board Leadership was the topic for the third of these meetings. 

Female Board Leadership 

The Fireside Chat focused on thoughts and strategies for increasing female board leadership as well as increasing the overall diversity of boards for the Boy Scouts of America, both at national and local council levels. 

Led by BSA National Executive Board Member and National Executive Committee Member Thear Suzuki, the panel of speakers also included South Florida Council President Alicia Speight, National Executive Board Member Tanya Acker, BSA Chief Diversity Officer Elizabeth Washka, Crossroads of America Council Scout Executive Jeff Isaac, and BSA Chair-Elect Brad Tilden. Each speaker shared multiple perspectives on the value of increasing female board membership as well as broadening the diversity of BSA boards. 

Panel members cited the importance of having a board that is reflective of the diverse membership the BSA. This strategy seeks to focus on understanding and connecting with moms, many of whom often make the decision on the types of organizations their children join. The panel members discussed how diversity at the board level helps to bring a diversity of thought into problem solving and seeking innovative ways to grow the Scouting movement. 

The panel noted that board members can have a variety of roles, including doers, donors, and door-openers, and that focusing on the strengths of board members of diverse backgrounds can benefit the BSA on many levels while also providing a greater connection to the many communities the BSA aims to serve. 

For more information on the Female Board Leadership Fireside Chat, watch it below:

NAM2021 Female Board Leadership Fireside Chat from Boy Scouts of America on Vimeo.

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