Scouting FAQ: Chartered Organizations

Every Scouting unit “belongs” to a local organization like a school, religious institution or service club. Here’s an overview of this essential relationship.

What is a chartered organization?

A chartered organization is a community-based group whose objectives, mission and methodologies are compatible with those of the BSA. It agrees to use the Scouting program to further its mission to serve young people. The partnership is intended to be deeper than, say, a sponsorship arrangement between a youth baseball team and a local business.

Why do groups become chartered organizations?

The reasons are as varied as the organizations themselves. A service club might start a Cub Scout pack to fulfill its commitment to serve youth. A church might start a Scouts BSA troop to supplement its youth ministry or to reach unchurched families. A boating club might start a Sea Scout ship to engage a new generation in its members’ favorite sport.

What does the chartered organization agree to do?

In signing an annual charter agreement with the local council, the organization agrees (among other things) to follow BSA rules, regulations and policies; maintain and support a unit committee made up of at least three persons for each unit; and ensure appropriate facilities for regular unit meetings.

Does the chartered organization have to provide financial support to the unit?

No. However, many do provide support by including Scouting in their annual budgets and/or supporting unit money-earning projects.

The top of a pack organization chart, from the Chartered Organization Representative Guidebook

What is a chartered organization representative?

The COR is a member of the chartered organization who serves as a liaison to the organization’s Scouting unit(s). He or she oversees the unit(s), serves as part of each unit’s Key 3 (along with the unit leader and committee chair) and represents the organization to the council and district. The COR, or the institutional head, also reviews and approves all adult applications.

Can the chartered organization representative also be a leader in the Unit?

Yes, provided that he or she can fulfill the duties of each role.

How can we improve relations with our chartered organization?

Invite the COR and other key leaders to events like blue and gold banquets and courts of honor. Be visible at organization functions. Do service projects for, or in conjunction with, the organization. Share good news about your unit with the organization (and vice versa). Promptly address any concerns that arise. Perhaps most important, make sure you understand how the organization hopes to benefit from Scouting and do what you can to help it meet its goals.

Where can I learn more?

Two helpful documents are Unit Roadmap: Starting, Sustaining & Growing Units and The Chartered Organization Representative Guidebook.

1 Comment

  1. How does a Troop ‘Charter itself’? How does a ‘Council’ Charter a Troop? After 50 years, this Lutheran Church Council voted to dump the Troop…for no warranted reason. There does not seem to be much guidance available for self-Chartering.

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