Chartered Organization Concept

The Boy Scouts of America does not operate Cub Scout packs, Boy Scout troops, Varsity Scout teams, or Venturing crews. The Boy Scouts of America charters organizations to use the program as a resource for children, youth, and families. Because the program of the Boy Scouts of America is conducted only through chartered organizations, it is imperative that adequate attention be given to the support of organizations that are chartered to operate units. Our success can only be assured if the chartered organization considers itself successful in the delivery of the Scouting program to young people.

Those who believe youngsters need what we have to offer will redouble efforts to touch the lives of as many as possible.

Following its incorporation in 1910 in Washington, D.C., the Boy Scouts of America became increasingly popular across the United States. Congress recognized Scouting's potential as an educational resource and, in 1916, granted a Federal charter to the Boy Scouts of America to make the program available to boys through community organizations. Under its Congressional mandate, the Boy Scouts of America, in turn, issues two kinds of charters:

  • One charter grants annually to a local Scouting council the authority and responsibility to provide services to community organizations, enabling them to use the Scouting program for their young people. There are more than 300 local councils throughout the United States. There is a council in Europe and another in the Far East.
  • The other charter is issued annually to a community organization granting it the use of the Scouting program, operated under its own leadership, to serve the children, youth, and families for which it has a concern.

The educational program of the Boy Scouts of America is designed to help develop ethical values in young people. In fact, the purpose of the Boy Scouts of America is to provide a program that enhances citizenship training, character development, and fitness of this country's youth.

The support service of the Boy Scouts of America to the community organizations that use Scouting is provided by the local council, through its districts. The impetus comes from the national office with its regional and area structure. The membership/relationships committee is an important part of this support system.

The success of Scouting's impact on young people can only be assured when both the chartered organization and the Boy Scouts of America cooperate and meet their respective obligations.

Prospective chartered organizations should be approached from their viewpoints and interests, not just those of the Boy Scouts of America. Point out how Scouting can help the organizations achieve their objectives for the young people in their communities. It is important that the potential chartered organizations understand the cooperation that exists between the


BSA and the Church, School, or Community Organization.

As soon as the facts and the need for a unit have been determined, the steps to organize a unit are followed to ensure a strong organization. During the organizing process, establish a mutually cooperative relationship that will further the purposes of both the community organization and Scouting. On the next page is a guide that would be helpful for this discussion.

The Boy Scouts of America is an educational resource program. It charters religious, educational, and other community organizations or groups to use Scouting as part of their service to their own members, as well as the community at large.

The local BSA council provides the support services necessary to help the chartered organization succeed in their use of the program. The responsibilities of both the BSA council and the chartered group are described below.


The Chartered Organization Agrees to:

  • Conduct the Scouting program according to its own policies and guidelines as well as those of the Boy Scouts of America.
  • Include Scouting as part of its overall program for youth and families.
  • Appoint a chartered organization representative who is a member of the organization and will represent it to the Scouting district and serve as a voting member of the local council. (The chartered organization head or chartered organization representative must approve all leader applications.)
  • Select a unit committee of parents and members of the chartered organization (minimum of three) who will screen and select unit leaders who meet the organization's standards as well as the leadership standards of the BSA. (The committee chairman must sign all leadership applications.)
  • Provide adequate facilities for the Scouting unit(s) to meet on a regular schedule, with time and place reserved.
  • Encourage the unit to participate in outdoor experiences, which are vital elements of Scouting.


The Council Agrees to:

  • Respect the aims and objectives of the organization and offer the resources of Scouting to help in meeting those objectives.
  • Provide year-round training, service, and support to the organization and its unit(s).
  • Provide training and support for the chartered organization representative as the primary communication link between the organization and the BSA.
  • Provide techniques and methods for selecting quality unit leaders and then share in the approval process of those leaders. (A council representative must sign all leader applications.)
  • Provide primary general liability insurance to cover the chartered organization, its board, officers, chartered organization representative, and employees against all personal liability judgments. This insurance includes attorneys' fees and court costs as well as any judgment brought against the individual or organization. Unit leaders are covered in excess of any personal coverage they might have, or, if there is no personal coverage, the BSA insurance immediately picks them up on a primary basis.
  • Provide camping facilities, service center, and a full-time professional staff to assist the organization in every way possible.