The Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut

Parishes and Scout Troops

From the desk of
Canon Robin Hammeal-Urban
Mission Integrity and Training
March 2021

The relationship between a parish and Scout Troop can give rise to a significant level of responsibility and accountability on the part of a parish. The level of responsibly and accountability depends on whether the parish relationship with the Troop is that of a:

  1. Tenant, or
  2. Chartering Organization

A parish should not treat a Scout Troop as just another outside entity using parish space if the parish has executed a Charter Agreement and is the Troop’s Charter Organization.

BSA requires any person serving as a Troop leader to attend BSA Youth Protection Training and retraining every 2 years. Therefore, ECCT does not require Troop leaders to attend ECCT’s Safe Church Training (SCT). However, it is up to parish leadership if they wish to have Troop leaders attend ECCT’s SCT whether the Troop is chartered by the parish or a tenant of the parish. In either circumstance, it is up to the parish.

Scout Troop as tenant:

In a tenant relationship the parish allows the Troop to use parish property as a place to meet, perhaps hold activities, and may even provide space for the Troop to store equipment and supplies. While some members of the parish may be involved with the Troop, there is no official relationship between the Troop and the organization of the parish.  No one from the parish has signed a Charter Agreement.

As with all parish tenants, a Troop needs to provide the parish with a certificate of insurance indemnifying the parish for at least $1,000,000. Parish leadership does not have to ensure that Troop leaders and volunteers attend ECCT’s SCT nor do they need to conduct public record background checks.  While these things are not required of tenants, parish leaders could decide to require attendance at ECCT’s SCT and public record background checks.

Parish as Chartering Organization:

In this relationship the parish enters into an annual Charter Agreement with the local Scout Council. It is up to each parish to assess the risks identifiable to that parish and assess whether a chartering relationship should be entered or renewed. (Add link to Charter Agreement here.)

Pursuant to the Charter Agreement, the Scout Council agrees to:

  • Conduct background checks for Troop leaders and adult volunteers (Matt is this accurate? Who do they background check?)
  • Require troop leaders to complete BSA Youth Protection Training
  • Make Scouting support services available to the parish
  • Provide administrative support, money earing opportunities, and recruitment strategies to the Troop.

Pursuant to the Charter Agreement, the parish agrees to:

  • Further the parish’s mission through Scouting
  • Utilize the Scouts to advance parish objectives related to such things as youth-ministry, character development, etc.
  • Ensure the program is conducted in accordance with Scouting standards
  • Become a voting member of the Scouting council and district
  • Provide adequate facilities, and
  • Fulfill other obligations as outlined in the Charter Agreement.

As the Charter Agreement imposes Scouting standards including attendance at BSA Youth Protection Training, and public record checks administered by the Scout council, ECCT’s safe church protocols do not need to be imposed in addition to these requirements. Parish leaders could require compliance with ECCT safe church protocols and training. The Charter Agreement does require that a representative of the parish be identified and be responsible for upholding the agreement and ensuring that these, and other conditions are met.

A note about Boy Scout’s Insurance and Charter Organizations:

  • Scouts agree to provide primary general liability insurance to cover the Charter Organization, its board, officers, Charter Organization Representative (COR), employees, and adult volunteers for authorized Scouting activities. The National Executive Board of the BSA has agreed to indemnify the Charter Organization in accordance with its resolutions.
    “The general liability policy issued to the Boy Scouts of America provides primary liability insurance coverage for all chartered organizations for liability arising out of their sponsorship of a traditional Scouting unit. Evanston Insurance Company provides the first $1 million per occurrence coverage. Additional policies, all providing primary coverage to the chartered organization, have been purchased so that more than $10 million in primary coverage is provided. There is no coverage for those who commit intentional or criminal acts. Liability insurance is purchased to provide financial protection in the event of accidents or injury that is neither expected nor intended.”

Connecticut Yankee Council is not involved in the BSA bankruptcy.

Further Links:


Bankruptcy Related Matters

In the News:

Presentation to Mission Council: