The United Methodist Church Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Leadership Team has recommended a new relationship statement to the BSA leadership to replace charters. A team of five United Methodists is now negotiating this agreement with the BSA. The five include two chancellors, an insurance expert, a United Methodist Men staff person, and a bishop. The new relationship agreement will more fully clarify the role of UM Congregations, outline liability insurances the BSA must provide and a facilities use agreement.
Presently there has been confusion between rechartering and renewing membership. A letter below from Roger Mosby, Chief Scouting Executive, and Bishop John Schol will help to clarify the differences. This is very important to know and understand if you host Scout Troops now or in the future. Please share this letter with your Scout leadership.
The pause in renewing charters has been extended until June 30, 2022, to provide more time for completing the agreement, planning, and transition. But all congregations are to renew the membership of the scouts and volunteers. The letter below describes this more fully.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com.
Dear United Methodist Church and BSA Scouting Community,
The United Methodist Church and the Boy Scouts of America have worked together to develop the character and values of youth through a more than 100-year relationship. The young people have become leaders in communities, education, industry, and public service. Building on the foundation of the Scout Oath and Law, young people have also grown in their duty to God, country, and self. On behalf of the Boy Scouts of America and The United Methodist Church, we thank you, the leaders who serve to further the aims of Scouting and support and develop young people.
Charter Renewal Is Now Extended Through June 30, 2022
The UMC and the BSA are continuing to develop a long-term solution regarding the church’s relationship with Scouting in service to youth. As we move forward, we recognize that changes are needed. We are thankful that we are working together to improve the program and safety of Scouting for future generations of young people.
To plan for and carry out the new relationship agreements, the leadership of BSA and the UMC have agreed that it is best for all, and especially Scouts, to extend the effectiveness of all existing charters from March 31, 2022, through June 30, 2022. This will provide for uninterrupted ministry with young people through Scouting.
Membership Renewal Should Be Moving Forward
We are also reaching out jointly today for an additional and very important reason: namely, to be clear that the annual membership renewal process for all youth and adults who participate in Scouting programs should be moving forward, notwithstanding our agreement to continue the pause on charter renewal through June 2022. Charter renewal and membership renewal are related but distinct processes. Charter renewal focuses on the organization-to-organization relationship. This relationship is extended without any action required. Membership renewal involves the relationship between individual Scouts and volunteers and the BSA.
It is critically important that all present Scout units and local councils continue forward with membership renewal. Maintaining active membership registrations for all Scouts and volunteers is critical for a number of reasons, including the following:
- Membership ensures that the Scouts and volunteers are covered by the insurance BSA maintains.
- Membership entitles Scouts and volunteers to receive literature and communications from the BSA.
- Membership renewal for adult volunteers ensures that they have complied with the BSA Youth Protection training requirements, that their background checks are current, and that they can otherwise safely support our youth in the program.
In short, annual membership renewal is a vital step in allowing Scouting to continue, without interruption and safely, while we continue to address how best to structure the UMC’s relationship with Scouting over the longer term. Consequently, every pack, troop, and crew should renew their memberships immediately by working with local council representatives to re-register all active participants. Local council representatives stand ready to support and help streamline the process, so that Scouting activities may continue without interruption.
If you have any questions, please contact Steven Scheid at The United Methodist Church at firstname.lastname@example.org or your local council representative. Thank you for your support of Scouting and your attention to this important matter. We look forward to our continued ministry to the youth of our nation.
Keep the faith!
Bishop John Schol
UMC Leadership Team Chair
Yours in Scouting,
Roger C. Mosby
Chief Scout Executive