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Introduction to Membership

The Boy Scouts of America—A Membership Organization



The Federal charter from Congress charges the Boy Scouts of America to make its program available to all who are eligible, but recognizes that young people must become members in order to derive the benefits available from the Scouting program. Those who administer the program must, therefore, serve the membership and also actively and purposefully recruit new members.


Since ours is a membership organization, we must seek opportunities to retain our current members and to increase our new membership. The inculcation of high values and the acceptance of the philosophy offered by the Boy Scouts of America through its program touch young people's lives after they become members. Those who believe youngsters need what we have to offer will redouble efforts to touch the lives of as many as possible.


Five Sources of Membership Growth

  • Growth from new units (responsibility of the membership committee)
  • Growth from youth recruitment/additional enrollments (responsibility of the membership committee)
  • Growth from program transition (Webelos to Boy Scout, and Boy Scout to Venturer) (joint responsibility of membership committee and commissioner staff)
  • Growth from stopping dropped units (responsibility of the commissioner staff)
  • Growth from increasing tenure/more youth re-registered at unit charter renewal (responsibility of the commissioner staff)


Membership Resources

  • Webelos to Scout Transition. There are a number of ways a pack and troop can work together to enhance the Scouting experience of their boys. To help assure maximum transition requires cooperation among the pack, troop, commissioner, and District Committee.
  • Be-a-Scout. This BSA web site provides information about the Boy Scout program to prospective members.
  • Join Cub Scouting. This BSA site provides information about the Cub Scout program to prospective members, including boys, parents, and organizations that may be interested in starting a pack.
  • Scouting for Youth with Disabilities. BSA guidance on this important subject
  • Muliticulteral Growth. BSA guidance on growing membership in ethnically and geographically diverse communities.




Membership Committee Guide Unit Performance Guide