The Boy Scouts of America is not just an organization but is a growth movement.  It is our responsibility to reach into our communities and work with charter partners to provide youth programs that develop character, citizenship and physical fitness. As our Cub Scout Packs, Scouts BSA Troops, Varsity Teams, Venture Crews, Sea Scout Ships, and Explorer Posts grow, the organization not only serves additional youth but gains additional volunteers from within the families. As we grow there are more families to enjoy the Scouting program with.

It is the responsibility of the Council Membership Committee, District Membership Committees, and the Council Relationship Committees to support our local volunteers in the growth of the Scouting program. Learn more about them here:

The Council committee is a planning and supervising body whose job is to see that every eligible young person of Cub Scout, Scouts BSA, 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.

Council Chair’s Job Description

The chair of membership/relationships should be a member of the executive board, and most 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, 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, 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, Scouts BSA, 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 bfact 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

District Membership Committee

The district membership committee is primarily responsible for relationship with community organizations, the organization of new units in order to provide opportunityDistrict Committee for youth membership growth, and youth recruitment. Cultivation of present chartered organizations is extremely important. This is done through continuous expressions of appreciation, invitations to organizational heads to visit Scouting events, and recognitions for tenure and exemplary support from organizations.The relationships function at the district levelis not as formalized as at the council level. Itis mainly a “door opening” function which follows up efforts made by the council membership/relationship committee. A committee person for each of the three major categories of organization—religious, educational, and civic—should be sufficient.

New-unit organization and unit reorganization are major responsibilities of the membership committee. All new-unit organization originates with this committee, and unit reorganization is generally done in cooperation with the commissioner staff, which has the ongoing responsibility of rechartering units. Commissioners are accountable for keeping units alive and healthy, but they often need the support of the membership committee to help get units reorganized. Instead of a planning body, the district membership committee is an action group. They conduct the events and activities that will reach out to serve more youth.


District Membership Chair

Selecting District People


The chair is responsible to the district chair and serves on the council membership/relationships committee. The person who fills this role must have leadership ability and the capacity to manage a team working on a variety of activities. The chair needs to be able to motivate committee members and to inspire them to meet district membership objectives. The chairman must be a good adult recruiter.

Use the publication Selecting District People to determine the number of people needed on this committee for your district.

District Membership Committee Tasks


  1. Gather information

    • Work with the district executive to establish a district growth plan for new-unit and membership growth in the district.
    • Plan and conduct boy-fact surveys to find out how many boys there are of Cub Scout, Boy Scout, and Varsity Scout age.
    • Analyze district membership figures on the number of Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, and Venturers for the past several years.
    • Find out where units of each age level are located to help decide how many units of each type will be needed and where.
    • Track membership growth throughout the current year.
    • Develop a list of all potential chartered organizations in the district.
    • Gather information about various types of community organizations, as well as individual organizations within each type.
    • Plan and conduct career and hobby interest surveys with Venturing-age youth.
  2. Cultivate relationships with community organizations
    • Encourage community organizations to use the Scouting program.
    • Act in close liaison with council leadership to maintain or regain Scouting access to schools.
    • Conduct district relationships conferences for heads of chartered organizations and chartered organization representatives.
    • Promote the religious emblems program.
    • Share information with other district Scouting leaders about how to work more effectively with various types of organizations.
  3. Organize units
    • Recruit and train organizers for new units as well as those needing reorganization.
    • Organize new packs, troops, teams, and crews.
    • Conduct a together plan—a plan to bring Scouting to a number of organizations.
    • Reorganize units that need a new start.
    • Make sure that new or reorganized units are under the care of a member of the commissioner staff before you leave.
    • Promote the whole Scouting family (the organization of packs, troops, teams, and crews in the same chartered organization). Some councils have established a “Whole Family of Scouting” award, which stimulates chartered organizations to have the whole family of units.
  4. Help youth join existing units
    • Plan and carry out district roundups and other youth recruiting campaigns.
    • Help existing units develop a plan of year-round recruiting and a willingness to look for new members.
    • Keep a list of all Scouting units that have not added new members during the past six months. District Scouters help coach units that show no growth in members.