July 13, 2022

BSA Newsletter Article

For churches currently chartering a BSA unit or considering doing so in the future, the new Affiliation Agreement and Facilities Use Agreement are finally here. These agreements, along with a helpful flowchart to guide your decision-making process, can be found at Scouting · United Methodist Men. For all churches interested in the scouting ministry, here are a few things to know:

  • UM Chartering Organizations will be given until October 31, 2022, to complete the Affiliation Agreement; in effect, extending the existing charters (or facilities use agreements, as the case may be) for an additional 120 days. Local council leaders will be reaching out to individual chartering organizations to help each organization move into this new process by October 31. Until you are contacted by your local council, your current charter will remain in effect.
  • Meanwhile, the detailed insurance and indemnity provisions of the new agreement went into effect July 1 for all UMC entities engaged in scouting. While the new insurance provisions are more robust than before, church Trustees are still encouraged to have their church insurance carrier review the new BSA insurance plan to see if there are areas where their local church insurance may be strengthened.
  • Churches should continue to follow their own Safe Sanctuary/Safe Gathering policies in addition to any training and background checks the BSA requires. At a minimum the church should consider requiring all staff or church members associated with the unit to also do the Safe Gatherings training now established by the Arkansas conference.
  • It is highly recommended that the new Affiliation Agreement be signed yearly by the church Trustees Chair or another member of the Trustees Committee and not by the pastor.
  • Since the church’s current charter or future affiliation agreement is ultimately an agreement between your church and the BSA, questions about the new affiliation agreement or when your church might be contacted should be directed to the local scout council.