How should Packs re-charter Webelos II scouts?

Every year, as part of re-chartering, Packs ask about whether they should do the re-charter paperwork for their Webelos II scouts. Typically near the end of February, most Webelos II (W2) scouts will cross over from their Cub Scout Packs and become Boy Scouts – so why should the Pack pay for their entire annual dues?

Recharter Them: The question isn’t whether to recharter them, it is who pays for it

To be clear – YES, the Pack needs to renew the memberships of those W2 scouts.

They are still part of your Pack at the time of recharter. They need to remain in BSA so that what they earn (Webelos badge/Arrow of Light) stays with them, so that they are insured and so that they are able to take part of Scouting events. YES, they must be re-chartered and the process expects that the unit will give BSA a list of Scouts (and leaders) and then pay $XX per each for the (whole) year.

That being said, when you really break it down, the W2 boys are Cubs for perhaps 2 of the 12 months; so of the $24 annual dues, $4 covers the Cub months and $20 covers the Boy Scout months.

Technically, if everyone in the District agreed, the Troops could all count which Packs which boys came from — and then every Troop write 5-10 different checks to different troops to repay them.  But they are volunteers too, and what if a boy later changes from one Troop to another, and … (ugh)

So should the Pack have to pay for the whole year? My suggestion: Look where the dues comes from.


Renewal Fees are paid separately with the New Year

For those units who charge BSA dues as part of their recharter process, collect for the whole BSA year and pay it. The money comes in from the parents, goes out to BSA, and follows the Scout.

Renewal Fees are paid by Pack Dues each September

Some Packs collect dues at the beginning of each school year (just like sport teams or other clubs), where part of it goes to fund Pack activities and some goes to BSA dues. If so, I suggest that you charge the W2 Scouts slightly extra at the begining of their year, so that the Pack can pay all of the BSA fees. By collecting every September, you are technically repaying dues for the remaining four months of the year (paid by the last recharter) and banking eight months to pay at recharter. If so, you may choose to simply collect an extra pro-rated four months from W2’s, because their fees have to last through the end of the next year.

Renewal Fees paid by Pack Fund-Raisers

In many Packs, boys pay their fees when they first join, but the fees are covered by the Pack afterwards. This is because many Packs do fund raisers each Fall, such as selling popcorn, that go into the general Pack budget. If the W2 scouts were in the Pack during the fund raiser, than one would presume that their fair share would pay for their renewal fees. One could argue that not every W2 may have participated; but in reality, not every W1, Bear or Wolf likely participated either – and their fees were covered.

If the W2’s were in the Pack during the fund raiser whose monies pay for dues, then I believe the Pack should pay. To reasonably withhold those fees, the Pack should likely do one of two extremes:

  • Prohibit the W2 Scouts and Parents from participating in the fund raiser, since their boys won’t benefit from it.
  • Let them participate in the fundraiser and then track all W2 earned fundraising separately.  From those separately accounted funds, pay each boy’s & parents’ fees – and then send along any extra with them in a check to the Troop of their choice.

Either way, be careful, some W2’s can sell lots of popcorn, well beyond the dues that they’ve earned. 🙂

The examples are intentionally extreme – but the short answer is: If the Pack’s fund raiser pays the dues, then those W2 boys likely earned their share.  In the big picture, most of these W2 scouts and their families have likely been actively participating in your Pack for up to 4+ years. So, while $20 per boy may feel excessive to the Pack’s budget, go back to the Law of the Pack:

The Cub Scout follows Akela.

The Cub Scout helps the Pack go.

The Pack helps the Cub Scout grow.

The Cub Scout gives goodwill.

The Cub helped the Pack grow … the Pack should send them off with grace.

Please let me know what you think in the Comments below.

Thanks for what you do for our youth.



One comment

  1. Bryant says:

    I like your reference back to the basics of the Law of the Pack. This helps us remember what our true goals are.

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