The Chartered Organization Concept
Since the beginning of the movement, the Boy Scouts of America has offered its unique program of character building, citizenship training, and personal fitness to the youth of our nation on a cooperative basis. Our chartered organizations are the religious, educational, civic, business, military, and labor organizations of America. They use the Scouting program to enrich the lives of children and young adults.
The chartered organization concept, when properly carried out, can extend Scouting to every youngster in the nation who wants to join. Churches, schools, and other organizations in every community have men and women available for leadership as well as meeting facilities in which the Scouting program can be extended to those who wish to belong.
Through local councils, volunteer and professional help is available and dedicated to providing chartered organizations with the training, skills, and organization needed to put the program into action.
The key person on Scouting’s side of the relationship is the commissioner, while the key person in the chartered organization is the chartered organization representative. These two work together to guide and support unit leaders. Selecting, training, supporting, and encouraging unit leaders are the most important responsibilities of both the commissioner and the chartered organization representative.
An example of the cooperative concept in action is the case of selecting a new Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, or Advisor for a unit. The chartered organization representative and unit committee personnel meet with council representatives, usually the unit commissioner and a professional staff member. Together they discuss the steps to be taken to provide the unit with a new leader and the type of person needed. Together they make any contacts necessary for recruiting and enlisting the best possible person for the position.
By virtue of the Chartered Agreement with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints the National Council Boy Scouts of America and the local council agrees:
- Respect the aims and objectives of the organization and offer resources to help meet those aims and objectives.
- Provide year-round training, service, and support to the organization and units.
- Provide training and support for the chartered organization representative as the primary communication link.
- Provide techniques and methods for selecting quality unit leaders and ensuring those selected meet BSA leadership standards.
- Provide primary general liability insurance to cover the chartered organization and its board, officers, chartered organization representative, and employees against all personal liability judgments. This insurance includes attorney’s 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 centers, and a full-time professional staff to assist the organization in every possible way.
It is through the Annual Charter Agreement and the Youth and Adult membership applications that these benefits are extended to the Chartered Organization and its’ officers. Completing the proper paperwork to ensure that all adult and youth members are properly registered as soon as they join or are called, even if simply switching form the Troop to the Team or Team to the Crew is essential for the protection of the individual as well as the Church.
Chapter 1, Section e, item 4, subsection c “District and Above”.
A Troop is sponsored by a Charter Organization
The Charter Organization is the LDS Ward. Other Charter Organizations include schools, parent-school organizations, religious organizations, service clubs, and other organizations interested in youth.
The Bishopric approves and calls leadership, helps secure a meeting place, keeps the Troop within Church and Boy Scout guidelines and policies.
The Bishopric selects qualified adults, whether members of the Church or not, to hold Scouting positions. All must maintain the Church standards. Members are set apart by a member of the Bishopric. Nonmembers can receive a blessing from the Bishopric.
Men or women can serve in Scout positions for Primary age boys (Cub Scouting and Eleven Year Old Scouts) but only men are called to Aaronic Priesthood positions.
The Charter Organization Representative is the member of the Bishopric responsible for Scouting.
Troop Committee members perform administrative functions for the Troop. The Committee Chairman is called by the Bishopric and presides at the Troop Committee Meetings, helps recruit and recommend adult leaders, and attends the Court of Honors. Other key positions include the Advancement Chairman who maintains the Troop records and orders the badges for Courts of Honor plus Committee members responsible for safety, transportation, activities, and Merit Badge Counselors.
Volunteers and Professionals
Scouting is a volunteer run organization supported by a small group of Career Professional Scouters. This holds true in the National, Regional, Council, and District organization. For the approximately 4.25 million members of the Boy Scouts of America there is a core of about 6000 dedicated professionals. The professional staff provides help guidance and support of the volunteers that make the organization go. They are also the gatekeepers of National and Local Council polices and procedures. Everything happens due to volunteer responsibility with professional guidance.
National Council Boy Scouts of America
Congress chartered the National Council Boy Scouts of America in 1910 to bring Scouting to America through partnerships with community organizations. The office of the National Council is located in Irvine Texas. There is a large group of Volunteers from across the country who make up the National Executive Board and Committees. The top professional in the country is the Chief Scout Executive. He is the CEO of the Boy Scouts of America and works with the National President and National Commissioner who are the top 2 volunteers in the nation. The volunteer committees of the National Council set policy and effect large changes in the organization. Some Examples of these committees are the Boy Scout Program Committee, Training Committee, and the LDS Scouting Committee.
The National Council is broken up into 4 administrative geographic areas called Regions. They are the Northeast Region, Southern Region, Western Region and Central Region. The Central Region covers the Midwest and the Regional Office is located in Naperville Illinois. Just like the National Council the Region has volunteers who serve on various committees. These volunteers also serve on the national committees as representatives of their region. The top professional in the region is the Regional Director who works with the Regional President and Regional Commissioner, the 2 top Regional Volunteers.
Local Councils and Districts
Your local council is structured very similarly to the National Council. The National Council grants a charter to a local non-profit corporation, called a local council, to administer the Scouting Program in a geographic area. This local council sells charters to community organizations to operate the scouting program for their members and the community as a whole. The local council has a CEO called the Scout Executive and he works with the 2 top council volunteers, the Council President and the Council Commissioner. Together they oversee the volunteer end of the council.
The Council President chairs the Council Executive Board and Committee who are the policy-making bodies of the council. The Council Executive Board is made up of various committees. These committees look after things such as Boy Scout program, Risk Management, and Advancement. They are also responsible for the stewardship of the council’s finances and properties.
The Council Commissioner oversees the Council Commissioner Staff. The Commissioner staff is the unit service and support arm of the council. The Council Commissioner works with the District Commissioners to support the District Commissioner’s Staffs efforts in supporting and maintaining the quality and support of unit level program.
The Scout Executive, besides his roll in supporting the council volunteers, oversees the council paid staff. There are 2 types of paid personnel employed by the local council: the Support Staff and the Commissioned Professional Staff.
The Support Staff are the administrative assistants, registrar, receptionist, bookkeeper, and scout shop staff. They are hourly employees who take care of the day-to-day operation and data entry of the council.
The Commissioned Professional Staff are trained and granted a Commission by the National Council to be administrators in the Boy Scouts of America. They have a minimum of a Bachelors Degree and are salaried exempt employees. The Scout Executive it the top Commissioned Professional on a council staff. There are support professionals who are in charge of various functions of the council such as a council Finance Director or Program Director. There is also the Council Field Staff who look after the unit service and field operations of the council. A Field Director or Assistant Scout Executive usually heads up a Field Staff. They are tenured professionals that supervise the District Professional Staff.
In much the same way that the National Council is broken up into Regions a Local Council is broken down into administrative areas called Districts. Typically a district has one professional scouter called a District Executive. Larger Districts may have two or more professionals with a more tenured professional serving as a District Director who supervises the District Executive(s). They are the administrators of the district.
The District Professional(s) work with the top volunteer leadership of the district the District Chairman and the District Commissioner. This group works with the district volunteer structure to provide the scouting program.
The District Chairman is the chair of the district committee and a member of the Council Executive Board. The district committee is broken down into sub-committees that look after the operations of the district such as fundraising, membership support, training, and activities to name a few. Members of these district committees serve on their counterpart committees of the council as representatives of the district. There is always a need for good district volunteers to fill these committees to provide support to the units in the district.
The District Commissioner supervises the District Commissioner Staff, which is made up of Assistant District Commissioners and Unit Commissioners. An assistant District Commissioner supervises a group of Unit Commissioners in their area. The unit Commissioner is a very important unit support person and provides a link for the units they serve to the district. They are friends and advisors for unit leadership such as Scoutmasters and Venturing Advisors. The unit Commissioner works with the Chartered Organization Representative to ensure the quality of the program that the scouts in their program deserve.