Community Organizations and the BSA

Click here to print a copy of this article.

For 103 years, the Boy Scouts of America has focused on working together to deliver the nation's foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. Its proven and time-tested methods have made it part of the fabric of America. The BSA provides an infrastructure that offers participants unique and valuable experiences and trains and protects its members while supporting its mission.

The creation and continuous improvement of a youth development program is challenging but rewarding. The following are world-class offerings available only with the BSA. These are meant to help organizations think through important criteria when deciding which youth development program to sponsor.

  • Unique Value and Experiences: The BSA provides unique value and experiences to its youth members through more than 1,000 independently owned, operated, and accredited outdoor camping facilities across the country. The BSA also owns and operates four national highadventure bases that provide units once-in-a-lifetime adventures and hosts the national Scout jamboree, a 10-day event held every four years that draws tens of thousands of Scouts, Venturers, volunteers, and staff from all over the country to celebrate Scouting.

  • Independently Evaluated Program: The BSA's programs have been independently evaluated and deemed highly effective. In "Merit Beyond the Badge," a study by the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion and Program for Prosocial Behavior, researchers found that attaining Scouting's highest rank enhances a youth's values, ethics, decision making, relationships, and personal development. The study showed that Eagle Scouts have a greater connectedness to a religious community and are significantly more likely to report volunteering time to a religious organization.

  • Liability Insurance: The BSA provides liability insurance to chartered organizations, leaders, and families attending Scouting activities, which allows organizations to focus on delivering the program to its members. Accident and sickness insurance is also provided by local councils at no or very minimal cost for adult and youth members.

  • Youth Protection Policies and Procedures: Scouting is a leader among youth-serving organizations in developing policies and procedures to help keep kids safe. The BSA requires background checks on all adult volunteers; provides comprehensive training programs for volunteers, staff, youth, and parents; and mandates reporting of even suspected abuse. The BSA has continually enhanced its multitiered policies and procedures to ensure it is in line with and even, where possible, ahead of society's knowledge of abuse and best practices for prevention. BSA's standards and relentless focus on youth protection have been recognized and praised by experts in child protection.

  • Oversight and Quality Control: The BSA provides oversight to its units, which ensures quality control. In addition, nationally there are more than 1 million volunteers at the district and council level dedicated to helping grow and support more than 116,000 units. That support includes training, coaching, and mentoring volunteer leaders on how to run an effective unit. Also, Scouting provides a multilevel leader training curriculum and online leader training resources.

  • Multicultural Services and Programming: The BSA is dedicated to serving all young people and provides multicultural services and creative programming to serve them. Further, with the changing demographics in almost all communities, the BSA continues to provide to local units a wide variety of bilingual materials, training courses, and curriculum to assist leaders.

  • Established Relationships with Chartered Organizations: The BSA delivers the Scouting program through civic, faithbased, and educational organizations that operate Scouting units for their youth members, as well as the community at large. Of these, more than 70 percent of all units are chartered to faith-based organizations.

The BSA is proud to have long-standing relationships with the following organizations (listed in order of number of youth members).

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

American Legion

Parent clubs in schools

United Methodist churches

Lions International

Private schools

Catholic churches

Rotary International

Groups of citizens

Presbyterian churches

Veterans of Foreign Wars

Business/industry

Lutheran churches

Kiwanis International

Parent Teacher Associations

Baptist churches

Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks

Other community organizations

Episcopal churches

Boys & Girls Clubs

Community centers

United Churches of Christ

Optimist International

Nonprofit agencies

Christian Church (DOC)

YMCA/YWCA

Playgrounds/recreation centers

Independent community churches

Masons/Eastern Star

Athletic booster clubs

Other churches

Loyal Order of Moose

Chambers of commerce

Churches of Christ

Conservation Clubs/Izaak Walton Leagues

Homeowners associations

Evangelical independent churches

Ruritan National

Handicapped resources

Church of God

Labor/AFL-CIO

BSA council/district

Church of the Nazarene

Grange National

Business-to-school support agencies

Today, the Boy Scouts of America represents approximately 2.6 million youth and 1 million adult members across the nation. The organization remains breathtakingly popular, particularly among parents of current and former Scouts, with 85 percent of parents giving the organization a favorable rating. The BSA is a one-of-a-kind world-class program, uniting those with diverse beliefs about a number of important issues by staying focused on serving young people and preparing them for life.