Chartered Organization Resources

Chartered Organization Resources

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Photo: U.S. Army Corp of Engineers Savannah District/Flickr


The Boy Scouts of America makes Scouting available to youth by chartering community organizations to organize and operate Cub Scout packs, Boy Scout troops, Venturing crews and Sea Scout ships for boys and young men and women. These chartered organizations manage the units and control the program of activities to support their goals and objectives. When community organizations establish a new unit, they must take these three important actions to ensure a quality Scouting program: select leadership, provide a meeting place, and promote a good program. Each chartering organization needs to identify one person to be the Chartered Organization Representative, which is the liaison between the congregation and the Scout unit(s) at the church.

The United Church of Christ is one of many national chartering partners of the BSA, meaning that we have an official relationship with them and encourage the growth of Scouting in our congregations. There are over 1,000 units chartered to UCC congregations representing over 35,000 Scouts, making the UCC one of the ten largest national chartering partners of the BSA.

Responsibilities of a Chartered Organization

Every year, the unit charter must be renewed between the Chartered Organization and the BSA. During this renewal, the chartering organization removes any youth and adults who are no longer active in the unit, and also signs the Annual Charter Agreement. This document explains what each organization agrees to do as part of the agreement. The responsibilities of the Chartering Organization are as follows:

  • Use Scouting to further the Chartered Organization’s aims and values for youth.

  • Chartered organizations must utilize the Scouting program to accomplish specific objectives related to one or more of the following: youth character development, career skill development, community service, patriotism and military and veteran recognition, or a faith-based youth ministry.

  • Conduct the Scouting program consistent with BSA rules, regulations, and policies. They may be found on the My Scouting website and at the following location: www.scouting.org/Membership/Charter_Orgs/resources.aspx.

  • Chartered organizations must not use the Scouting program to pursue any objectives related to political or social advocacy, including partisan politics, support or opposition to government action or controversial legal, political, or social issues or causes.

  • Be represented in the Local Council and the local Scouting district by a Chartered Organization Representative (COR), who will be appointed by the Chartered Organization. The COR will be the point of contact between the Chartered Organization and the Local Council; will serve as a voting member of district and council committees on which the COR serves; and will, with the Chartered Organization, select and approve volunteer leaders for submission to the Local Council for its consideration. The COR will work with the unit committees sponsored by the Chartered Organization.

  • Support unit committee(s) made up of at least three persons for each unit.

  • Assure that adults selected as unit leaders are suitable by, at a minimum, having the appropriate leaders of the Chartered Organization review and sign each application.

  • Ensure appropriate facilities for the unit for its regular meetings to facilitate the aims of the Chartered Organization and Scouting.

  • Encourage adult leaders to receive additional applicable training made available by the council.

Chartered Organization Representative

The chartered organization representative (COR) is appointed by the head of the chartered organization, heads up the “Scouting Department” in the organization, and is a voting member of the BSA council representing the chartered organization. The COR also is a member of the district committee and liaison between the organization’s Scouting units and the resources available to these units through the district and council volunteer and professional resources. An effective chartered organization representative can help make a real difference in the lives of youth. Responsibilities of the COR include:

  • Acting as liaison between the Scouting unit(s) and the church. Serving as the unit representative to the leaders of the chartered organization will enable the COR to keep the congregation aware of its units’ programs and to see that its policies are being carried out. This also serves as an opportunity to coordinate with other youth and volunteer programs in the church.

  • Representing the Chartered Organization on the local Scout Council and District Committee. As a voting member, the COR’s voice is important. Serving on one of the district operating committees in an area related to his or her own personal talents and interests will be a rewarding experience and will allow the COR to keep the organization informed of council and district Scout services and activities.

  • Promoting long-term unit growth and success by working to establish a regular recruiting plan which includes contacting parents to fill additional leadership roles as needed.

  • Encouraging the unit leaders to include outdoor programs in their annual program planning. Remember, three-fourths of “Scouting” is “outing”.

  • Become familiar with the religious aspects of the Scouting program, including Scout Sunday, and the religious awards available to youth and adults, and promote them within the unit.

  • Ensure that unit leaders are being recognized by the congregation for their commitment and dedication to the Scouting program. Scout leaders devote an enormous amount of time, effort, energy and money in their service to youth. It’s vital that the chartered organization be aware of this and provide suitable recognition. Sometimes a sincere “thank you” is all that’s needed.

The Chartered Organization Representative should also ask their local Scout office for information on when they can undergo specialized training for the position of COR. This training is made available by the BSA National office, and is run locally on a schedule determined by the council. This training will ensure your COR fully understands everything there is to know about his or her position in Scouting, and will cover topics such as an overview of the BSA and its programs, more detailed information on the charter concept in Scouting, specific information on their rights and responsibilities as a COR, and how to recruit adult leaders when vacancies arise.

Responsibilities of the Boy Scouts of America

As mentioned in an earlier section, the Boy Scouts of America also has certain responsibilities it must uphold as part of the Annual Charter Agreement. Specifically, the BSA agrees to:

  • Respect the aims and objectives of the Chartered Organization and assist the Chartered Organization by making available Scouting resources.

  • Make available to the Chartered Organization and its units and members program training, program resources, and other Scouting support services.

  • Make available training and support for the Chartered Organization and for the COR, the primary link between the Chartered Organization, the Local Council, and the BSA. Track and require all unit leaders to attend BSA Youth Protection Training.

  • Conduct criminal background checks on adult leaders approved by the Chartered Organization.

  • Provide camping opportunities, administrative support, and professional staff to assist the Chartered Organization in developing a successful Scouting program.

  • Provide primary general liability insurance to cover the Chartered Organization, its board, officers, COR, employees, and Scouting members and volunteers for authorized Scouting activities. Indemnify the Chartered Organization in accordance with the resolutions and policies of the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America.

In addition to the responsibilities outlined in the Annual Charter Agreement, you should know that there are a few other things you should expect from your local Boy Scout council. If these aren’t being met, request to speak to the Scout Executive (CEO / Executive Director of the local council) about it.

There are a number of meetings you should know about. Many of them are meetings that your Chartered Organization Representative (more details on that position below) should be attending.

  • Annual Chartering Organization Meeting. Each District Executive (your BSA rep) is required to meet with the leader(s) of every chartering organization in his or her district (a sub-section of your council) on an annual basis. This meeting should be scheduled at least 90 days prior to the renewal date of the unit’s charter. The meeting must be a face-to-face discussion, as the BSA views its chartering organizations as partners in the long-term success of Scouting.

  • Roundtable Meetings. Every registered adult is invited to participate in a monthly meeting and training called Roundtable. It’s offered through your district, and provides you with an opportunity to stay updated on everything that’s going on in the council, to meet and network with other leaders, and to receive periodic trainings on a wide variety of topics. We highly encourage all unit leaders and Chartered Organization Representatives to attend Roundtable meetings whenever possible.

  • District Committee Meetings. Your Chartered Organization Representative is automatically a voting member of the District Committee, and should attend monthly district committee meetings whenever possible. Important decisions regarding the operation of the district are made at these meetings, and it’s important that Chartered Organization Representatives offer their input. Your council will provide you with the date, time, and location of these meetings.

  • Council Annual Meeting. Your Chartered Organization Representative is also automatically a voting member of the council, and should attend the council’s annual meeting. The slate of board members and officers is approved at this meeting, along with other resolutions that may have been presented, and it’s important that Chartered Organization Representatives make their voices heard. Your council will provide you with the date, time, and location of this meeting each year.

Finally, the council is expected to provide every unit with a Unit Commissioner. These volunteers act as a friend, mentor, and coach to the leaders of your unit. They also help keep the unit informed of upcoming district and council events, changes in policies, and serve as a link between the unit and the council. If you don’t yet have a Unit Commissioner assigned to your unit, contact your District Executive and ask to speak to him/her and the District Commissioner about it.

Contact Info

Michael Schuenemeyer
Executive for Health and Wholeness Advocacy
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44115
216-736-3217
schuenem@ucc.org