Unit Organization Process

Organizing Scouting Units—12 Steps to Success

Click on each of the steps for more information.

1. Identify the Prospect

District leaders identify a community organization prospect with the potential to operate a unit after researching the youth market and considering the most promising community organizations.


2. Approach the Prospect

An influential Scouter or the district executive makes an appointment to meet with the head of the community organization or top leadership group in the organization after research about the organization and how Scouting can help meet its needs.


3. Make the Sales Call

The district executive and the unit organizer or other influential Scouter meet with the head or top leaders of the community organization to sell them on how Scouting can help meet the needs of the organization and to obtain the willingness of the organization's leaders to establish a unit.


4. Organization Adopts the Program

Organization formally adopts the Scouting program, confirms the appointment of a chartered organization representative, and appoints an organizing committee.


5. Organizing Committee Meets

The organizing committee and the new-unit organizer meet to plan the next steps for establishing the unit and complete the new-unit application. A commissioner is assigned by the district to assist the unit.


6. Select and Recruit Key Leaders

Using BSA selection procedures, the organizing committee selects and recruits unit leaders and confirms unit committee members, and the community organization approves all unit adults.


7. Train the Leaders

Unit leaders complete Fast Start training and are invited to the next basic training course and the next district roundtable.


8. Plan and Organize the Program

New unit leaders are trained in program planning and the first month's program is developed.


9. Recruit Youth Members and Orient Parents

Recruit youth members, hold an orientation meeting for parents and youth, and select/recruit additional adults as needed.


10. Complete the Paperwork

Complete all adult and youth applications, collect necessary fees, and submit them with the new-unit application to the council service center.


11. First Unit Meeting

Unit leaders begin youth meetings with the coaching of their unit commissioner.


12. Follow up

The unit is installed with a presentation of the charter to the chartered organization.

Click here for more information on these 12 steps.


William D. Boyce New-Unit Organizer Square Knot Award

This award recognizes volunteers who organize one or more new traditional units. Celebrating Boyce's organizing spirit, the award consists of a silver square knot on a background of yellow, green, and representing the traditional Scouting programs' colors.

The requirements are:

  1. With the approval of the district committee chair, serve as the organizer and complete the successful organization of one new traditional unit.
  2. Organize the unit by following all procedures as outlined in the New-Unit Organization Process manual, ensuring that new unit leadership is trained, a program is organized and begun, the new unit committee is functioning, a unit commissioner is assigned, all paperwork is processed, and the unit charter is presented to the chartered organization.
  3. Only one volunteer can be recognized as the organizer for each new unit.
  4. Three program devices can be earned and worn on the new-unit organizer square knot for each additional new traditional unit organized. Each program device represents the type of unit organized. Multiple program devices from the same program may be earned and worn.
  5. The new-unit organization award recognizes volunteers for organizing traditional units after March 1, 2005.

Recognition items in addition to the square knot include a new-unit organizer certificate and lapel pin. The award is administered through the Relationships Division at the national office and presented by the local council. Click here for more information.