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
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