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BSA Criminal Background Check FAQ

BSA Criminal Background Check FAQ

Greater St. Louis Area Council Scout Leaders,

As mentioned in an email on September 20, 2019, the BSA National Council recently announced changes in the criminal background check process and a potential membership fee increase. We wanted to share the most current updates with you as soon as possible:

Criminal Background Check FAQ

Criminal Background Checks

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is committed first and foremost to keeping youth safe. Part of that commitment includes continually updating our youth protection policies to help ensure we are always on the forefront of youth safety. We are pleased to announce the BSA has taken another important step forward in youth safety by implementing a criminal background check process enabling the organization to periodically re-run background checks on adult volunteer leaders. I’m sure you will agree this is a very important enhancement to ensure our programs continue to be safe for our participants.

Earlier this week, registered adult volunteer leaders should have received an email from the BSA national service center announcing the change in background checks and links to the new disclosures and authorization form. There have been understandably many questions about the disclosure and authorization. A FAQ has been developed to address most questions and can be viewed by clicking here.

For the authorizations to be properly filed and accounted for, units in the Greater St. Louis Area Council will collect a signed background check authorization for all leaders in their unit and submit them together as part of the 2020 charter renewal. Once again, to ensure that the authorization is handled properly, please do not drop off, mail, or email the disclosure to any of the five service centers. It MUST be included in your unit’s 2020 charter renewal submission. Please see the linked FAQ for additional information.

Please do not drop off, mail, or email the criminal background check authorization form to any of the five service centers. It MUST be included in your unit’s 2020 charter renewal submission.

If you have any further questions or wish additional information, please contact Andrew Zahn, Deputy Scout Executive, at andy.zahn@scouting.org.

To view the Criminal Background Check FAQ, please click here.

Potential Membership Fee Increase

Annual membership fees go directly to the BSA National Council to pay for program curriculum, safe scouting standards, training, and insurance coverage for official Scouting activities. As the National Council evaluates these growing costs, national volunteers and staff the Greater St. Louis Area Council has been informed that a likely membership fee increase for youth and adult leaders will be implemented on January 1, 2020. We do not know the amount of the increase at this time but understand that it will likely be announced later in October. The Greater St. Louis Area Council will communicate further updates on this topic as soon as are made aware of them.

We do not know the amount of the membership increase at this time but understand that it will likely be announced later in October and
effective January 1, 2020.

The National Council is considering this option out of necessity. While most families understand the need for annual cost increases, we recognize the timing might create challenges. Both the National Council and the Greater St. Louis Area Council are committed to ensuring all youth will be able to experience the character-building benefits of Scouting regardless of their financial situation. Once the updated membership amount has been announced, the Greater St. Louis Area Council will
immediately communicate the details via email and the Council website (www.stlbsa.org). If you have any questions or wish additional information, please contact Joe Sadewasser, Director of Field Service, at joe.sadewasser@scouting.org.

As always, Greater St. Louis Area Council continues to be committed to our members, families, and chartered organizations. We apologize for any inconvenience this may place on your unit and its leadership. Thank you for your involvement in positively impacting kids and changing communities through the Scouting program.