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Nashua Valley Council, BSA • 1980 Lunenburg Rd. • Lancaster, MA 01523

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The BSA's Charter System

The BSA's Charter System

The organization of the Boy Scouts of America and our relationship with out community partners can be confusing to those outside, and new members of our organization. The Boy Scouts of America charters (licenses) local councils and through councils, community organizations to make use of the Scouting program to support the youth in our communities.


Local Councils

Charters are issued to local councils for two purposes.

  • To extend an invitation to community groups/organizations to use the Scouting program.
  • Provide support services to help community organizations/groups successfully carry out the Scouting program.

Local Organizations

Based on the recommendation of the local council, the Boy Scouts of America grants charters (licenses) to local organizations (churches, civic clubs, groups of citizens, businesses, etc.) to use the Scouting program. The chartered organization uses Scouting:

  • Under its own leadership
  • To serve families and youth for which the organization is concerned (either within the organization, outside the organization, or both.)
  • To help the group or organization accomplish its mission and objectives.

Chartered Organization Responsibilities

By receiving a charter from the Boy Scouts of America the organization agrees to:

  • Conduct Scouting in accordance with its own policies and guidelines as well as those of the BSA.
  • Include Scouting as part of its overall program for youth and families
  • Appoint a chartered organization representative who is a member of the organization and will represent it to the Scouting district and council, serving as a voting member of each.
  • Select a unit committee of parents and members of the organization who will screen and select unit leaders who meet the organization's leadership standards as well as the BSA's standards.
  • Provide adequate and secure facilities for Scouting units to meet on a regular schedule with time and place reserved.
  • Encourage the units to participate in outdoor experiences.

Local Council Responsibilities

By recommending that an organization receive a charter the local council agrees to:

  • Respect the aims and objectives of the organization and offer resources to help meet those mains and objectives.
  • Provide year-round training, service, and support to the organization and units.
  • 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 judgements.
  • Provide camping facilities, service centers, and a full-time professional staff to assist the organization in every possible way.