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Council Membership Committee

The Council committee is a planning and supervising body whose job is to see that every eligible young person of Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, or Venturing age within the council territory has an opportunity to become a member. The council-level committee performs the following tasks:

Membership Committee Guide

  • Make periodic contact with major chartered organizations.
  • Conduct a community organization survey. The committee should have a list of all the community organizations within the boundaries of the council and should survey their needs and their desires regarding young people and their ability to organize one or more units.
  • Develop cooperative relationships with groups and organizations serving special youth populations.
  • Provide recognition for chartered organizations and those who organize new units.
  • Participate in the development of the council's long-range plan and the forthcoming year's goal and objectives planning.
  • Provide support for districts to succeed in their unit and membership objectives.
  • Work cooperatively with the commissioner staff to reregister units and lengthen their tenure.


Typical Council Membership Committee Structure


Council Chair's Job Description

The chair of membership/relationships should be a member of the executive board, and Council Vice Presidentmost often a council vice president. Other members of the board should supplement the chair's services. In many councils this position will be titled vice president—membership/relationships and is directly responsible to the council president.  Following is a model position description:


Position Concept

Gives leadership to the membership/relationships function in the council. Recruits, trains, and leads a committee. Develops and expands relationships between chartered organizations and council. Develops cooperative relationships with key community organizations. Develops and executes plans that will result in increased youth membership and in greater support for chartered organizations.


Principal Responsibilities

  • Direct the work of the membership/relationships committee. Use monthly membership reports and Quality Council, District and Unit reports to identify priorities.
  • Recruit, train, and motivate Scouters to serve on the committee and help it to carry out its functions effectively.
  • Promote membership and unit growth in Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting, and Venturing through the membership cycle, coordinating youth recruiting and new-unit organization. Plan and help districts carry out roundups, new-unit campaigns, and the other elements of the membership cycle.
  • Develop more effective communication with chartered organizations.
  • Cultivate community organizations, groups, and associations that might become chartered organizations or support the Scouting program in other ways.
  • Support the religious emblems program of chartered organizations.
  • Stimulate the use of the program by special youth populations; i.e., low-income, disabled, and ethnic young people, or those in sparsely populated rural areas.
  • Prepare short-, intermediate-, and long-range membership and unit objectives.
  • Give leadership to events such as relationships conferences or fireside chats with heads of chartered organizations.


Council Membership/Relationships Committee Organization

In addition to the chairman and selected executive board members, additional committee members who are interested in extending Scouting may participate as members at large. The committee is responsible to reach a representative group of youth interested in the Scouting program. Members should come from diverse backgrounds and environments. The committee must reach into all areas within the council and district boundaries providing the extra effort required to expand the Scouting program in the rural and low-income urban areas of the council.  The council membership/relationships committee might include three interest groups of Scouters as follows:


Relationships Group. Since Scouting is a program made available to community organizations to achieve their own objectives as they reach out to the youth of the community, it is essential that all major organizational structures in the community maintain representatives on the committee. This will guarantee better understanding and better receptivity of Scouting by these community groups. Committee members should be determined as the need exists for representatives of Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Mormon, and other religious organizations; service clubs; veteran and fraternal groups; fire and police departments; government; labor; rural and urban groups; businesses; industries; parochial, private, and public schools; PTAs and PTOs; organizations serving people with disabilities, and others.


Membership Group. The district membership chairmen become members of this group and bring the needs of their respective districts to the attention of the council committee and, in turn, cooperate in the execution of plans in each district. This group generally offers the preliminary draft of membership plans, goals, and objectives. This group determines which of the membership events will be used to obtain membership objectives (roundup, together plan, recruit-of-the-month, Joining Night, open houses, etc.).


Resource Group. Those who have a thorough knowledge of Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting, and Venturing can be effective consultants to the membership committee. Counselors on economic and social change can provide useful information on population trends as well as economic and social statistics. Others can interpret and analyze statistics.


Suggested Subcommittees


Religious Relationships

In addition to the religious relationships representatives on the council committee, councils may also wish to form Protestant, Jewish, Catholic, or other advisory committees on Scouting. They can provide helpful liaison between the religious organizations and Scouting. This can be tailored or expanded to fit local needs.


Principal Responsibilities

  • Provide religious support and worship services at council and district events such as camporees, Scouting shows, Cub Scout day camps, and council and district contingents.
  • Provide a chaplaincy program for all council long-term camps and contingencies.
  • Provide incentive, materials, and guidance for all Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, and Venturers interested in achieving the religious emblems of their faiths.
  • Provide a monitoring service to the council to make sure Scouting activities do not conflict with designated religious holidays and major religious practices.
  • Serve as a resource for religious groups to help them use the Scouting program as an effective ministry with youth, especially through the relationships conference.
  • Provide committee support to the council in searching out prospective religious organizations that could become chartered organizations using the Scouting program.
  • Assist the total relationships committee with resource personnel as plans are developed for together plans, Joining Nights for Scouting, roundups, impact luncheons, and membership promotion functions.
  • Provide districts with a directory of all potential chartered organizations in the district tabulated by faith/denomination.


The subcommittee meets quarterly, with each denominational group gathering individually for a period of time and later reassembling for a discussion of total council needs and support. The respective religious groups may meet more often. These committees may not be formed on a district level.


Education Relationships

It is advisable to establish an education relationships subcommittee which meets quarterly or more often as needed.


Principal Responsibilities

  • Act in close liaison with council leadership to maintain or regain Scouting access to schools.
  • Constantly monitor developments and changes in local school systems concerning policies and procedures that could affect the operation of Scouting within the educational organizations.
  • Strengthen relationships with all community education systems to ensure their cooperation in boy-fact and career and hobby interest surveys, Joining Nights for Scouting, and In-School Scouting.
  • Promote efforts with all parent-teacher groups to understand their purposes, goals, and objectives, and their current program emphases. Develop a working relationship with the local council in support of their purpose.
  • Invite representatives from the private sector, school and public libraries, and youth correctional agencies to consider the use of the Scouting program and/or provide support services.


Community Relationships

A community relationships subcommittee also meets quarterly or more often as needed. Principal functions include: a service and fraternal club advisory group; a labor advisory committee that could relate to all central labor councils and labor unions; a low-income subcommittee to help understand, relate to, and develop Scouting in low-income areas. Other advisory groups should be developed according to the needs of the council, such as specific ethnic populations.


Youth With Disabilities

A council advisory committee on youth with disabilities may report to either the council executive board or to the council membership/relationships committee to help all council structures provide the most effective Scouting program for youth with disabilities and special needs.


Principal Responsibilities

  • Helps the council increase the percentage of youth with disabilities served
  • Helps the council gain a better awareness of persons with disabilities
  • Develops good council working relationships with organizations and individuals in the community which have special understanding about persons with disabilities
  • Advises the council on plans, programs, and techniques to better serve youth with disabilities


For more details, see the publication Scouting for Youth with Disabilities