Council Program Fee

Why a Council Program Fee (CPF)?

While costs to the Scouting program have increased from year to year, Friends of Scouting (FOS) and other donations have not kept pace with inflation. This budget gap has led to ongoing subsidization of core costs, including local council insurance necessary for all Scouting activities. Similarly, professional staff cuts occurred and council level services have been reduced. You may recall that the annual membership fees charged by the National Council remain with the National Council and are not returned to the local council. With the recent council merger, we knew that these issues were going to need to be discussed in the new council.

The shelter in place mandate has not only put a strain on our Scouting families and our communities, it has also accelerated the need for the discussion regarding the merged council’s revenue streams, thus the new Council Executive Board has taken action accordingly. As a result of the restrictions, the vast majority of our council’s 2020 activity revenue has been eliminated. Our district leadership rightfully asked for a postponement to our usual FOS efforts. Council leadership has had to reassess how we fund our program needs in order to support our districts and units. We aspire to be a sustainable and enduring council for generations to come.

GGAC couldn’t anticipate that the lasting effects of COVID-19 would result in the mandatory closure of all of our summer camps in 2020. Resident camps are the main income stream for the council. The loss of these camping opportunities comes as a blow to not only our Scouts, but also to the council budget.

It has become clear that a family entering into Scouting today has different expectations; most would rather pay an up front cost of engagement instead of being solicited for donations. Units may choose to subsidize the annual fee through additional fundraising. There is an online application available below for unit leaders to apply for registration financial assistance for those Scouts who demonstrate a need.

Annual Registration Fee Structure

National New Member Fee:  Youth – $25  (effective 8/01/2020)

This is a one-time fee for new program participants in Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouts. 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.

National Membership Fee:  Youth – $66 | Adult – $42  (effective 8/01/2020)

This fee is for Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing, and Sea Scouts. The fee helps to pay for the cost of essential services, including program resources, national 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 online registration, Scoutbook, and national initiatives.  The Exploring National Membership Fee is $42 for BOTH youth and adult.

Council Program Fee:  Youth – $66 | Adult – $42  (effective 1/02/2021)

The CPF is designed to support the basic services that a unit receives from the council, (see “How We Invest in Youth” graph), the vast majority of the fee – 85% -is intended to support program and activities. It is an anchor that allows the council to build on those services with additional income from fundraising streams, activity fees, popcorn sales, and endowment revenue.  Exploring members are not currently required to pay the CPF.

Scout Life Magazine:  Youth – $12 

The optional Scout Life magazine is still $12 per year.

Council Program Fee

  • Allows the council to maintain camping and activity fees at the lowest possible level for Scouts and their families.
  • Increases stability in family giving and allows the council to collect a single registration fee at a unit’s annual rechartering.
  • Improves field staff contact with units and districts by increasing their availability to provide direct support to units and districts.
  • Provides supplemental medical and accident insurance coverage as well as local liability insurance for all registered members.
  • Let us be clear, the Council Program Fee provides the means to ensure that no Scout will be left behind from the Scouting program in the GGAC due to financial constraints

GGAC Funding

The CPF is just one part of GGAC funding, supplying just 15% of the budget. Other sources cover 85%.

Advantages of the CPF

  • Shifts council fundraising efforts and resources from being family focused to being community focused
  • Less necessity for camping & activity fees as a percentage of budget
  • Consistency of overall funding to ensure sustainability of program & district staffing
  • All families participate in funding a small part of local program support


Sea Scouts




Shooting Sport


Scouting for Food

Order of the Arrow