The Council Program Fee is designed to support the basic services that a unit receives from the council. The vast majority of funds received by the Alamo Area Council (79%) support programs and activities. The Council Program Fee 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. More than 60 Councils across the United States have implemented this model and reported higher levels of family satisfaction after doing so.
We recognize this new model will come with many questions from our members, and we encourage you to ask them via email at ProgramFees@AlamoAreaBSA.org. As questions are received and answered, they will be added to these listed below:
What is the purpose of the Council’s Program Fee?
This new fee is being implemented out of necessity to meet the financial needs of the Alamo Area Council to provide adequate support for our local Scouting program and stabilize that portion of the budget.
Is the Council Program Fee in addition to the Boy Scouts of America National Registration Fees?
Yes. The National Fees go directly to the National Office. This Council Program Fee will stay here locally, providing for Scouting needs in the communities served by the Alamo Area Council. For more information about the BSA National Registration Fee, click here.
Why Is a Council Program Fee being added now when we’ve never had one before?
In the past, the financial needs of the Scouting program have been able to be met through unit Give the Adventure presentations, but recently more and more families in our council and nationwide have made it clear that they prefer to be asked upfront for the cost of a program, rather than to be asked for a ‘donation’ that is in fact necessary to cover expenses. In addition, by shifting our financial model, our staff will be able to provide greater focus to the support unit leaders and Scouting families need to provide a robust program for the youth of the Alamo Area Council.
Are other Councils charging a Program fee?
Many Councils are following this funding model. Nearly all of them report that their membership prefers this model over one where units pause their program’s momentum to host a Give the Adventure type of unit presentation during the year.
When/how will fees be collected?
The Council Program Fee will be collected during the 2023 annual recharter process, and upon joining in future years. Program Fees will be prorated for new members who join during the calendar year. The Council program fee will be pro-rated on a monthly basis just as the BSA National Registration fee is prorated for members.
Who will be required to pay the Council Program Fee?
The Council Program Fee applies to youth participants in the following programs: Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing, and Sea Scouts.
Do Explorers pay the Program Fee?
No. The Program Fee applies to youth participants in Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Sea Scouts, and Venture Scouts only.
Do Adult Volunteers pay the Program Fee?
No. The Program Fee does not apply to adults.
Is there a family discount rate?
Currently, the BSA does not offer a family membership option, though that is one thing they are looking into.
I have a Scout in multiple units within the council, will I have to pay the Council Program Fee for each unit my scout participates within?
No. The Council Program Fee is paid only each year per Scout, regardless of the number of units a scout is registered in.
We renewed our charter with several Arrow of Light members who will be bridging over into a neighboring Troop soon. Will they have to pay the Program Fee again when they start in the Troop?
No. If the Scout is registered with a unit within the Alamo Area Council when they cross over, then as with the BSA National Registration fee, there is no additional charge. This is true when moving from one unit to another no matter if it’s from Pack to Pack, Troop to Crew, or Pack to Troop, etc.
If a Scout joins a unit in June, do they pay the $48 Program Fee then, and a second time in fall during the rechartering season?
No. If a Scout joins mid-year, their Council Program Fee will be prorated through the end of the year just as it is with national fees.
A Program Fee presents a hardship for my family. What should I do?
The council’s leadership does not want the Council Program Fee to become an undue financial hardship on any specific family. We are committed to making Scouting possible for the youth of the Alamo Area Council. The Council Program Fee may be reduced, for families based on individual needs, and we strongly encourage that you reach out to your District Commissioner or District Service Executive to discuss opportunities to meet this need. Families who find it difficult to satisfy the Council Program Fee, may also apply for a reduction in fees at by application, Fee reductions are limited, and stronger consideration will be given to families who demonstrate a commitment to paying their way through popcorn or other fundraising means.
Can I use my Popcorn and Adventure Card commissions toward these fees?
The Alamo Area Council provides these fundraising opportunities at a high commission rate for exactly the purpose of making Scouting affordable for families. Talk to your unit leaders about how your fundraising can apply to annual membership fees.
Will chartering units need to provide a Scout’s proof of fee reduction when rechartering?
When your unit turns in its Annual Recharter information to the Service Center, a council member services team member will note which Scouts are in the process of accessing assistance. Should there be a balance remaining, your unit will be notified.