The Grand Canyon Council is changing the date for rechartering units. In the past charters expired December 31st. At the request of many units, and to help transition from one program year to the next, in 2020 this will be changed to July 31st. This is being done at the request of our units to have the Scouting calendar more closely support individual unit program calendars.
The following answers some of the frequently asked questions.
What is the reason behind the change?
As part of our ongoing efforts to Simplify, Streamline, and Unify our Scouting activities we are evaluating all our processes. For many years Scouting units have asked that membership renewal more closely align with the program year. This change is being made to help our units better serve their Scouts.
2. When will the recharter window open?
A unit can start the recharter process two months before charters expire. The system will open on June 1. In the past, we had a three-month window. This was due to the 2700+ paper re-charters submit to the council service center that had to be processed by hand. With fewer units this year, online recharter, and digital signatures we can return to the two-month recharter window the rest of the country follows.
3. My unit does not meet during the summer. I do not know which scouts will return until scouts start in the fall. How do I decide which scouts should be rechartered and which scouts should be dropped?
While units are encouraged to offer a year-round Scouting program, the bulk of activities takes place during the academic year. By holding meetings and activities (even at a decreased level in the summer) families stay more engaged and are more likely to stay in Scouting. A year-round program will help identify which families are returning. Scout units are encouraged to host a calendar planning meeting with families to discuss meetings, events, and volunteer opportunities before the start of the academic year to ensure they are ready for a high-quality program, and to help families see that Scouting is an activity they want to participate in for another year.
4. My scout leaders are recruited for one year at a time. When the school year ends the often do not know whether the will return. How do I handle rechartering my leaders?
The uncertainty of unit leadership for the fall can be devastating to a unit. Without a commitment from leaders to remain in their volunteer roles it is impossible to promise families a fulfilling Scouting experience. Ensuring the key unit leadership for the next academic year has always been important before the end of this academic year. By including recharter calendaring in the conversation with adult leaders, there is a reason to have the discussion about next year’s commitments.
5. We collect dues at the beginning of the school year when parents sign up their scouts for the next year. I do not have the funds available to pay the recharter fees during the summer. How am I supposed to pay for recharter?
The collection of money is one of the driving reasons many units requested this change. Presently many units charge two different rates to families, one for new families, and a different rate for returning families so that the new families pay the prorated registration for the final 4 months of the year before a Dec. 31st recharter. Alternatively, many families pay for registration of a new Scout and then are asked to pay again for recharter 60-90 days after joining. It is appropriate for units to only recharter families that have paid the national registration fee. Through year-round program, and a preplanned calendar for the next year, families will hopefully be given an opportunity to pay prior to the start of the academic year.
6. We have a fall recruiting program to get new scouts involved at the beginning of the school year. How will recharter impact our ability to register new scouts and new leaders?
Units that have completed their recharter prior to the recruitment drive will have no change to the enrollment of new Scouts and Scouters. Unchartered units cannot “add” families since they are not a current unit. The district volunteers and staff will work hard with units to help them complete recharter in a timely manner to prevent any new youth registration delay.
7. What happens if a family is dropped at recharter and then returns later in the fall?
If a family is removed from the unit charter (either in error or because they were not sure if they were continuing Scouting) they can be added back by completing an application (paper or online) and paying the national registration fee the same way that new families are added to the unit charter.
8. Why can’t the charter expiration date be changed to September 30th or October 31st?
Unit recharters are the renewal of memberships. Actively recruiting new youth during the renewal cycle is problematic and most historic recharter errors occur with Scouts who joined after the recharter window opened. July 31st is after the camp season (so no members are dropped and made ineligible for camp) but before the recruitment season (So new youth can be enrolled to an existing unit)
9. The current fees for recharter are $33 per scout. What will the fees be to recharter in 2020?
The National registration rate is $33 per year until the end of 2019. The National Executive Board of the BSA has approved a new membership fee.
Effective January 1, 2020, the new fees are:
$60 for youth members in Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouts,
$36 for youth members in Exploring, and
$36 for adult members (includes cost of background check and Scouting magazine)
$60 for unit charter fees
The BSA membership fee increase details and FAQ can be found at:
For registration from Jan. 1-July 31, 2020 (7 months) units will pay a prorated registration that is 7/12 the total national membership registration fee. For the recharter Aug. 1, 2020- July 31, 2021 the full year’s national registration will be paid.