Two kinds of charters are issued by the Boy Scouts of America: one to community organizations and the other to BSA local councils. The first enables community groups to use the Scouting program under their own leadership as a service to their children, youth, and families. The other empowers local councils to help chartered organizations effectively use the Scouting program and to expand the use of the program to other community groups.
Chartered Organizations and their Scout units
Program Schools and community and religious organizations, with the help of the BSA, organize Cub Scout packs, Boy Scout troops, Varsity Scout teams, Venturing crews, and Sea Scout ships for boys and young men and women. They manage these units and control the program of activities to support the goals and objectives of the chartered organizations. When community organizations establish a new unit, they must take these two important actions to ensure a quality Scouting program:
- 1.Selecting leadership. The head of the chartered organization appoints a chartered organization representative to provide leadership in the selection of a committee of adults that will provide overall supervision for the unit's program. The committee selects the adult unit leaders who will work with the youth. The chartered organization representative is also a voting member of the local council and may serve as a member of the district committee.
- 2. Providing a meeting place and promoting a good program. The chartered organization arranges for adequate meeting facilities for the unit and promotes through its committee the full use of the program, including outdoor experiences, advancement, recognitions, and, in particular, Scouting's values.
The Chartered Organization selects a Chartered Organization Representative to be the direct contact between the unit and the Chartered Organization. The Chartered Organization Representative is a voting member of the local council.
Every Cub Scout pack, Boy Scout troop, Varsity Scout team, Venturing crew, and Sea Scout ship belongs to an organization with interests similar to those of the BSA. This organization, which might be a church, school, community organization, or group of interested citizens, receives a charter from the BSA to use the Scouting program. This chartered organization provides a suitable meeting place, adult leadership, supervision, and opportunities for a healthy Scouting life for the boys under its care.
The chartered organization helps the unit
- Providing the Scouting program as an integral part of its program for youth and families
- Ensuring that the Scouting program is conducted according to the policies and regulations of the organization and the Boy Scouts of America
- Selecting a chartered organization representative to serve as liaison with the pack
- Appointing a unit committee
- Providing adequate and safe facilities for unit meetings
- Providing opportunities for boys to recognize responsibility to God, to country, to other people, and to self
- Cooperating with the council in fund-raising through Friends of Scouting (FOS) and the United Way so the Scouting program can operate
How the BSA Supports the Community Organization
To support approximately 124,000 Scouting units owned and operated by chartered organizations, more than 300 BSA councils provide professional counseling and administration, commissioner service, training for leaders, camping and outdoor facilities, program materials and literature, planning tools, and other program aids. Councils also maintain records on units and their membership, provide rank certificates and merit badge cards, and maintain service centers where badges, insignia, literature, and other helps can be obtained.
In addition, council representatives conduct annual charter review conferences with chartered organization personnel to evaluate how effectively the Scouting program is being delivered and how it might be improved.