I have been the Scoutmaster in Gilbertsville for more than 20 years, and want to respond to your story (11/1/19) about Scouts BSA raising registration fees. It would have been nice to interview local Scout leaders rather than selecting comments from a national story. Headlines are meant to grab the reader’s attention, which your “Boy Scouts hike fees by 80%” did.

Put in context, the increase is from just under $3 per month to $5 per month. Perhaps you could compare that to fees parents pay for youth sports, travel leagues, dance classes and other activities. Scouting provides many benefits to boys, and now girls too. Most Scouts grow up to be better citizens, better leaders, and with life skills from first aid to enjoying the outdoors while leaving no trace.

BSA has been proactive about the safety of Scouts by creating a Youth Protection Training program that is mandatory for every adult who has any contact with youth members. YPT must be renewed no less than every two years, and the content continues to improve.

Cub Scout Packs, Boy Scout Troops and Venture Crews do fundraising to support their activities and pay fees and purchase uniforms for families who are not able to do so. While none of us like to see the fee increased, there is no reason to deny boys and girls the benefits of Scouting.

Steven Gayle

South New Berlin

Gayle is Scoutmaster for Troop 44 Gilbertsville.

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