How is the Boy Scouts of America Organized?

What’s the Circle Ten Council?

Are you curious how the Boy Scouts of America operations? What’s the difference between a unita district, a council and the National organization?

So, let’s start at the beginning. Your child joins a unit. It may be a Cub Scout pack, Scouts BSA troop, Explorer post, Venturing crew or STEM lab. Within their particular unit, there may be a sub group like a den or patrol.

Your unit is chartered by a community organization – it may be a religious, educational, community group, fraternal, business, labor or professional association. The chartered organization provides a meeting place, approves the volunteer leadership and appoints a unit committee. This organization receives a national charter yearly to use the Scouting program as a part of its youth work.

Your unit is part of a district. The district is run by a committee of volunteers, supported by the professional district executive, with the focus to ensure growth and success of the units. The district provides training, program and networking opportunities.

The districts are a part of the local council. Circle Ten Council has 25 districts, covering 24 counties in North Texas and Southern Oklahoma. The council is led by a volunteer board that is supported by council employees. The council is in place to support the districts, chartered organizations and units. It is set up as its own 501(c)3 organization, separate from the National Council. The Circle Ten Council is funded by Friends of Scouting fundraising efforts, corporate sponsors, grants, foundations, activities and special events. The council provides training and program activities, while also supporting all district activities. The Circle Ten Council does not receive any funds related to annual membership fees.

There are nearly 300 local councils in the Boy Scouts of America. These councils are grouped in areas, within four regions. 

The National Council develops program; sets and maintains quality standards in training, leadership selection, background checks, youth protection training, uniforming, registration records, literature development and advancement requirements; publishes magazines; and maintains national high-adventure bases. The National Council is its own 501(c)3, not-for-profit private corporation. It is funded from membership fees, corporate sponsors and special events.

As conversations within the media focus on the National Council’s investigation into financial restructuring, I want to make sure that everyone within our Circle Ten Council community knows that we are not involved with that decision. Our council assets (properties, foundation, etc.) are not connected to the National Council. 

Regardless of the decision made by the national organization, the Scouting experience at the unit, district and council levels will not change.