By John Gailey
May 22, 2014

What is a Chartered Organization?

A chartered organization is any organization that chooses to partner with the BSA to focus on helping young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values and principles taught in the Scout Oath and Scout Law. The Boy Scouts of America utilizes a ‘Chartered Partner’ mechanism to bring the Scouting programs to our youth.


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the BSA largest chartered partner.

There are many organizations that focus on helping youth prepare for adulthood. These include religious, civic, educational and other community organizations. Each of these have specific objectives they are trying to accomplish as part of their mission to help youth. (Click to see existing Chartered Partners)

The BSA offers the Scouting program to organizations as a tool that they can use in accomplishing their goals. These chartered organizations manage the Scouting units and control the program of activities to support their goals and objectives. Local BSA councils and its districts then exist to support the chartered organization in best using the Scouting program to solve their needs.

The responsibilities and rights of the organizations are listed in the Annual Charter Agreement that is signed by both parties when the charter begins and every year following the organizations charter with the BSA.

In this relationship, the focus from both partners is to help the chartered organization succeed in their objectives. This relationship includes the following responsibilities:

CORChartered Partner Responsibilities:

  • Select adult leadership and ensure they are trained for the Scouting program
  • Provide a safe meeting place and promote a good program, including outdoor experiences, advancement, recognition, and Scouting values
  • Select a person to serve as the ‘Chartered Organization Representative’, who will act as liaison between the BSA and the chartered partner – this person becomes a voting member of the local Scout council/district
  • Recruit youth membership
  • Be an advocate of the religious emblems program of the various faiths, regardless of whether the organization is faith-based (i.e. remembering that a Scout in Reverent)
  • Recognize adult leaders for their service

logoBSA Responsibilities:

  • Respect the aims and objectives of the organization and offer the resources of Scouting to help meet those objectives
  • Provide training, service, and program materials and literature, planning tools, and other program aids and resources to the organization and its units
  • Provide training and support for the chartered organization representative as the primary communication link between the organization and BSA
  • Provide techniques and methods for selecting quality unit leaders and share in the approval process of those leaders (including performing background checks)
  • Provide primary general liability insurance to cover the chartered organization, its board, officers, chartered organization representative, employees and volunteers currently registered with the Boy Scouts of America
  • Provide camping facilities, a service center, and a full-time professional staff to assist the organization in every way possible

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.

With this understanding, see what you can do to make sure that the relationship between your chartered organization and the BSA is the strong and healthy, so that the objectives of the chartered organization can be more fully met.

See also:

The Important Role of the COR

10 things every LDS COR needs to know about Cub Scouting

John GaileyAuthor: John Gailey | Director of Support Services, Utah National Parks Council, BSA.

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