SCOUT FEES 2023
We wish to advise you of the Scouts SA Membership Fees for the 2023 budget year. We have already advised GLs and AGLs of this but understand that it needs to be communicated more broadly.
As you know, Scouting across the country is in financial distress and SA Branch is no different. This is partly due to redress and partly due to the business environment. You may recall numerous conversations around how low our fees are compared to interstate Branches because of the funding our commercial businesses have provided. Sadly, with increasing operating costs including insurance (not covered by individual groups), along with Redress, there is a great financial need to increase fees during the current financial year.
Scouting membership fees around the country are as high as $285 per annum in some Branches, so even with this increase we remain one of the lowest in Australia. The new membership fee applies to all leaders and youth whose membership expires after 31 March, 2023.
Following a rigorous review of the organisation’s budgetary and operational requirements, The Branch Executive Committee has approved the difficult, yet necessary decision to increase the Scouts membership fee to $150 per year. We understand that families are constantly having to make budget decisions that suit their commitments and financial situation, so the decision to increase fees was only made because it was absolutely necessary. We have no alternative but to increase fees from April, 2023. We know April is 5 months away but we are trying to give groups the heads up for budgeting for next year before the end of this year.
Some Groups will absorb all or part of this fee increase and others will need to pass this on to members as part of their annual group fee.
Our President announced a hardship fund during the last round of increases earlier this year and if you or any of your leaders wishes to apply, more information will be available on the QStore by March 2023, or please speak to your Group Leader. Likewise, there is a form for any youth experiencing hardship which is also on QStore. All applications will be approved by me as Chief Commissioner and efforts are currently being made to increase this fund.
Whilst we are asking a lot from our members we are also prepared to give a lot back. We have some exciting plans to implement new programs including ones that address the retention and recruitment of members. To assist us in ensuring we provide the best level of service to our volunteers and members, we will be sending out a survey to get feedback on what you consider to be the most important programs and services that support scouting. This feedback will enable us to shape our Member Services team and inform its activities. We encourage you to find a few minutes to complete this survey in the coming weeks.
We know that you are the back bone of Scouting and we will endeavour to support you the best way possible.
Yours in Scouting,
Chief Commissioner Scouts SA