Committed to Work Together

The United Methodist Church and Boy Scouts of America are committed to working together. Below is a joint letter from Bishop John Schol, the UMC Leadership Team Chair and Roger C. Mosby, the Chief Scout Executive.

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 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!                                                                                  Yours in Scouting,

Bishop John Schol                                                                            Roger C. Mosby

UMC Leadership Team Chair                                                        Chief Scout Executive

From Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (CEB): “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their hard work. If either should fall, one can pick up the other. But how miserable are those who fall and don’t have a companion to help them up!”

100 Years of Partnership

The United Methodist Church, and those of Wesleyan Traditions, have been partnering with the Boy Scouts of America for over 100 years. Check out some of our history, and the cool ways we are celebrating at PTC in 2021.

The Early Years

Before the formal start of Boy Scouts of America, Methodists were busy forming Scout Troops within the USA and around the world. They were seen as a key tool for developing character in youth no matter the country. In 1910 Boy Scouts of America was formed. These early Methodist Troops came under the leadership of James E. West, the first Chief Scout of Boy Scouts of America.

On Feb. 12, 1920 Rev. James V. Thompson, the Superintendent of the Young People’s Department of the Methodist Church, sent the formal letter of recognition to Chief Scout James E. West. A formal partnership began including these words: “We welcome your fine spirit and eagerness to place the program of the Boy Scouts of America at the disposal of our leaders and Methodist Boys.”

Early Leadership

Many of the early Scout leaders were pastors and missionaries. Methodist started Boy Scout Troops to provide opportunity and growth to all. The archives of the United Methodist Church is marked with this diverse outreach. The first Mexican-American Troop was formed at a Methodist Church to provide opportunity for children of farm workers in California. Methodist Churches sponsored African American Troops. Missionaries used the program to open doors of belonging to new immigrants as well as abroad.

From History to a Future

Over 1 million youth have been support by hundreds of thousands of adult volunteers within the Methodist Church. At the end of 2019, over 10,000 units were chartered to United Methodist Churches, Men’s Ministries, and Sunday Schools. We serve over 300,000 youth and have over 118,000 adults engaged in this vital partnership.

The Boy Scouts of America has opened its doors to all youth. We support the hearts of the adults within the church being turned to the children. Scouting is an effective tool for spending time in organized skill development. It benefits both the volunteer and the youth. The church connects with the community becoming a living witness of service.