Dear Scout Leaders & Parents,

Thank you for the important leadership you provide to the youth of the Greater Los Angeles Area 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 from beaches to mountain-tops and we provide support to all programs from the Unit Meetings to Council Camps. There are countless activities taking place all year long. Including training opportunities such as Roundtable and many other live leader specific trainings. 

Despite our high volume of activities, we are one of the leanest Councils in the country. Eighty-three percent of our operating budget is spent on program. We are incredibly fortunate to offer opportunities that youth in other parts of the country can only dream of, but the current model is not sustainable. Unlike the national organization to which we all pay dues when we register, our council is entirely dependent on donations, product sales and camping fees for our operating budget. 

While we serve over 19,000 youth in our year-round program, less than 6% percent of these families give/donate to the Friends of Scouting Campaign to support the work of our council. There are 490 traditional units (packs, troops, crews) in the council, but only 145 of them sell camp cards and only 135 sell popcorn. Our council maintains five camps, but only sixteen percent of eligible Scouts come to our summer camps. Camping, Product Sales, and Friends of Scouting encompasses fifty-seven percent of council income. 

For years, the Council has tried to avoid charging program support fees, the kind you normally pay for in AYSO, Little League, etc., but due to the downward trend in Friends of Scouting participation we have to make a change in how our families participate financially in our council, or future Scouts in Greater Los Angeles won’t enjoy the great Scouting opportunities that we have today. 

To close part of the gap, a program support fee of $50 for each member, up to $100 per family, will be implemented beginning this re-charter period. This is in addition to the annual registration fee; please see Q&A for details.

The Program Support Fee will replace the annual Family Friends of Scouting 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, or with product sales. Details of the Program Support fee roll-out are available on the Q&A sheet. 

We ask for your support and that you embrace this new program and help be part of the solution to delivering great Scouting programs as we move forward into 2020.

Thank you for your understanding and continued support of Scouting!
Yours in Scouting, 

Tim Greenleaf
Chairman of the Board &
Council President

The Program Support 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, or through product sales.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q1. What will be the total cost per registered member?
A . The total cost at the time of this year’s recharter:
National: $ 33.00
Insurance: $ 24.00
Program Support Fee: $ 50.00
TOTAL: $107.00
Please note that the Program Support Fee is capped at a maximum of two members per household.

Q2 . Doesn’t the $57 annual registration fee cover the needs of the council?
A. The $57 annual fee includes $33 for national registration and $24 for insurance. The $33 national registration fee goes directly to national. No portion of the annual national registration fee goes toward council program support.

Q3 . Why is this additional Program Support Fee necessary? 
A. In truth, it costs GLAAC $450 to keep one scout in our program for a year! We have implemented significant cost cutting measures starting in 2015, to be one of the leanest councils in BSA. Unit dues and national registration do not support this cost. Our Board must raise over eight million dollars to balance our annual budget. So, of the total cost of $450, we need our families to contribute the first $50 and we will raise the other $400.

Q4. How will the Program Support Fee be used?
A. These funds will be used for recruiting members, training leaders, developing and operating camps and for program activities. They provide support for unit registration, advancement, membership, and to maintain our Council Camps, Service Centers and stores. Basically, all program features that would be originally supported by Friends of Scouting contributions are now covered by the Program Fee.

Q5. How will the Program Support Fee be collected? A. The program support fee will be collected at the time of re-charter. It will be included in the member registration fees. A worksheet will be included in your re-charter packet.

Q6a. What about families in need? An additional $50 is a lot to ask.
A. If a family truly cannot afford $50, the Pack, Troop, Crew or Ship can:
I. Opt to pay the dues on the family’s behalf.
II. Participate in Council Product Sales or Unit Money Earning Projects to help raise the dues.
III. Participate in Camp Card II program (only for Fall of 2019).
IV. Any family unable to pay the Program Support Fee may apply to Scoutreach for consideration. 
No scout will be denied our program due to inability to pay.

Q6b.  What is the Camp Card II program?
A. The Camp Card II program will be a one-time special promotion through the end of the year. If a unit chooses to participate in the Camp Card II program, they will receive 10 camp cards for free (retail value $5 per card, while supplies last), for each registrant who is unable to pay the Program Support Fee. Each registrant will then sell the 10 camp cards to generate the $50 Program Support Fee. Payment is due with Re-Charter.  Click here to register

Q7. Why should I pay more for dues? I didn’t pay last year, and all the camps and events still took place.
A. Donor contributions have been steadily declining for years. To the extent there has been a deficit in any year, council used its savings. Saving are running out. Everyone understands that if there are more bills than money in the family checkbook, bad things happen. The council has more bills than money, and we need member participation.

Q8. Don’t camp fees and activity revenue cover the cost of Scouting?
A. Camping and activity revenue do not cover the cost to maintain our camps. We lose approximately $650,000 annually in our camps. In the past two years we have still invested over $2,000,000 in Hubert Eaton Scout Reservation and Camp Cherry Valley. No other council in the Western Region can say the same.

Q9. What happens to the Friends of Scouting campaign?
A. While our annual community campaigns, fundraisers and special events (e.g., Business Leaders’ Breakfast), etc. will continue, 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 and they can designate their gifts to help defray the cost of the program fee for families that cannot afford it. 

Q10. Are we the only council with a Program Fee?
A. Over 60 Councils nationwide are instituting or have already instituted a similar Program Fee; some as high as a $125. To our knowledge, no council has offered any additional programs to help units earn their way to the fee. Also see question 4.