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Is the BSA a public or private institution?

Date: 4 July 2000

There are two entities to the BSA: The BSA traditional Scouting organization and the wholly owned subsidiary: Learning for Life/Exploring.

A BSA Scouting unit (Pack, Troop, Post, etc.) is wholly owned and operated by its chartering organization. It is an extension of the chartering organization's youth program, and must comply with any policies or laws the chartering organization must comply with.

BSA Councils are autonomous, private, non-profit organizations incorporated within the State they are headquartered. National BSA and GSUSA are private corporations established under Federal law (see US Code 36 Section 1101).

The United States Supreme Court ruled in June 2000 that "The Boy Scouts is a private, not-for-profit organization engaged in instilling its system of values in young people." BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA AND MONMOUTH COUNCIL, et al., PETITIONERS v. JAMES DALE

For more information, see the question on how the BSA is organized and the question 'Is the BSA, or their affiliates a place of public accommodation or a business establishment?'

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