Welcome to the Suwannee River Area Council!
Our council’s goal is to provide a quality, dynamic program of learning and adventure that builds well-rounded young people. The Suwannee River Area Council, Boy Scouts of America was incorporated in 1924. Since then it has been our honor to instill in the youth we serve the character, values and traditions that make Boy Scouts of America stand apart in the crowd.
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Effective April 1, 2024, the BSA will eliminate the $25 one-time joining fee for new program participants in Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouting. This is due to the feedback from units and councils that the joining fee was a barrier to joining for some families. We are very pleased to know that the National Executive Committee listened to everyone’s concerns and have acted swiftly.
Additionally, the BSA will implement the following national membership fees, which were approved by the National Executive Committee. Please note that the local Council Executive Committee voted not to increase any Council fees. This includes both National and Council fees:
- $165/yr for Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouting participants ($5 annual increase from National, which is less than .42₵ per month)
- $95/yr for all adult volunteers ($5 increase from National, which is less than .42₵ per month)
- $30/yr for Scoutreach (No change in fee)
- $25/yr for Merit Badge Counselors (No change in fee. This fee is for Merit Badge Counselors who are not already registered volunteers)
- $80/yr for Exploring participants youth & adults (No change in fee)
- $100/yr unit renewal/affiliation fee (No change in fee)
- $15/yr for Scout Life magazine (No change in fee)
We feel this was a great compromise on their part and will help us grow scouting.
Reminder: BSA is No Longer Prorating Fees for New Members as of August 1, 2023
Beginning August 1, 2023, all new youth and adult members who join Scouting will be enrolled in a 12-month membership cycle and BSA has ceased prorating fees. Both youth and adults now pay the full annual membership fee and will renew their membership on the anniversary date of joining Scouting. Each registered member of the BSA will receive an email notice with a registration renewal link beginning 60 days before the anniversary date they joined Scouting. Unit leaders will receive a copy of the email and should stay engaged in the membership renewal process just like rechartering.
For full details on the 2024 changes, please click the button below for an infographic with the breakdown by registration type.
SRAC Youth Protection Training Policy Update
As the Suwannee River Area Council turns into its second century, we look back at the time that our council has been active in providing a world class program to youth and adults in this area, and we look forward to ensuring this program can be continued for another 100 years. One aspect of this is providing a safe environment for our youth to thrive. For decades, the Boy Scouts of America has been a leader in youth protection, having created and continuously revised the best expert-informed policies to ensure youth safety. These Barriers to Abuse have been a huge part of our program here in the Suwannee River Area council and will only continue to help strengthen our youth.
The National Boy Scouts of America policy states that Youth Protection is required for all registered adult volunteer leaders, and that the training must be renewed every two years. Registered leaders include all adult volunteer leaders in Scouting. For additional information on Youth Protection, please visit www.scouting.org/training/youth-protection.
As of Dec 21, 2023, the Suwannee River Area Council Key 3 has reiterated and reemphasised the need for this by approving a new process reiterating the Council’s zero-tolerance requirement that all our volunteers, regardless of position, must always maintain a valid Youth Protection Training certificate.
In addition to the national BSA requirements stated above, all adult volunteer leaders in the Suwannee River Area Council must always hold a valid two-year Youth Protection Training certificate, regardless of the annual charter renewal process. While we recognise there are some inconveniences associated with a zero-tolerance policy, any adult volunteer leader whose Youth Protection training certificate lapses will have their membership suspended from the membership system at the end of the month of their training expiration, and no refunds will be approved for fees paid for membership, insurance, or Scout Life magazine. We firmly believe in our adult leaders and that you will support this because we need to take every possible step to protect our youth and the future of Scouting in North Florida and South Georgia.
This new policy became effective as of Jan 1, 2024. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us, your District Executive, or Program Director.
Thank you for your leadership in ensuring that all our Scouts receive a safe, quality Scouting program.
National Membership Change to Criminal Background Checks
In keeping with the highest standards for safety, a change in the processing of adult applications has gone into effect beginning January 16, 2024. As of that date, the adult application flow has changed to require the completion of the Criminal Background Check (CBC) before the new Adult volunteer can assume any leadership role in the BSA.
- Once an adult application is processed (online or via the Council Office) the person is entered in a “pending” status.
- The new adult leader and unit key 3 will receive an email informing them not to assume any leadership roles until this CBC is cleared.
- Once the CBC is cleared and there is no follow-up needed, the system will finish registering the person.
- An email will then be sent to the unit key 3 and the individual letting them know that they are registered as an active leader.
- CBCs typically take 24–48 hours to complete. Depending on the volume of applications at any given time, this could take up to a week.
This change only impacts new adult leaders who join the BSA after January 16th, 2024.
Please reach out to Dean Parrish at Dean.Parrish@scouting.org if you have any questions regarding this change.
100 Years of Legacy, Leadership and Adventure!
Did you know that even though our council has been continuously chartered since 1924, individual troops had been active in the area that would become the Suwannee River Area Council for 12 years before that.
Thomasville had the honor of being the first town to start a troop in the region that would later be served by the Suwannee River Area Council. The driving force behind that first troop was Will Watt, an enterprising young businessman with a strong dedication to meeting the needs of local youth. After graduating from Presbyterian College in 1908, he returned to Thomasville to work for his family’s hardware business.
In June 1912, Watt traveled with a few Thomasville boys to Staunton, Virginia to take part in a summer camp program put on by the local Scout troop there. About fifty Scouts and adult leaders convened at a campsite on the South River near the town of Grottoes, where they spent two weeks practicing first aid, signaling, boating, swimming, and campcraft.11
Watt must have liked what he saw. Once home from the trip, he wasted no time gathering community support to start a Boy Scout troop in Thomasville.
For more information and an update on the planning and our CSP Design contest, please visit our #SRAC100 Web page!
Changes to 72 Hour Rule – Barriers to Abuse
Effective Sept 1, 2023
The Suwannee River Area Council, Boy Scouts of America was incorporated in 1924. Since then it has been our honor to instill in the youth we serve the character, values and traditions that make Boy Scouts of America stand apart in the crowd. Thirteen counties throughout south Georgia and north Florida are served by Suwanee River Area Council. If you are not involved in Scouting today please let us know how we can serve you!