Charter Organization Agreement

A Charter Organization must be a legal entity* with a Christian mission statement as part of its articles or bylaws. The institutional head and all selected leaders must sign our Christian Statement of Faith. See Trail Life USA Membership Standards for a full explanation of leadership qualifications.

* 501(c)(3) is preferred, providing tax-deductible advantages for receiving donations and making purchases.


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1. Conduct the program according to Trail Life USA’s national policies and guidelines.

2. Include Trail Life USA as part of its overall program for youth and families.

3. Appoint a Charter Organization Representative (C.O.R.), who will serve as a liaison between the charter organization and the troop. He may also be asked to serve as the Charter Organization’s voting member of Trail Life USA. The Charter Organization Representative (or Institutional Head) must approve all leader applications and verify that each leader meets the Membership Standards before submitting the application. A leader is not approved until these steps are completed, and he is then cleared by Trail Life USA through a criminal background check, and is certified by Trail Life USA as having completed Trail Life USA's child safety youth protection training.

4. Appoint at least three other Troop committee members, who assist the Charter Organization in screening and selecting all Troop leaders; each must meet the Charter Organization’s standards as well as the leadership standards of Trail Life USA. Committee members have specific titles and roles:

a) Chairman b) Treasurer c) Troopmaster d) Troop Chaplain e) C.O.R.

This is called the core leadership team. These must be non-duplicated positions—no person holding more than one role on the Committee—except the C.O.R., who may also serve as Troop Chaplain. Other adult members may be added as desired, each having a specific role (New Member Recruiter, Activities Planner, etc.), but do not have the same authority as the core leadership team.

5. Select a sufficient number of leaders to oversee youth meetings and activities.  A minimum of two adults (21 or older) must be present at any Trail Life USA event or activity. Since there are three distinct age levels, usually meeting separately, a Troop having all three levels would need at least six “direct contact” leaders: three  Trail  Guides (each assisting  the) Ranger, Trailmaster, or Advisor  (top leaders at each level).

6. Provide adequate and safe facilities for the Troop to meet on a regular schedule with time and place reserved.


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1. Respect the aims and objectives of the organization (including the organization’s determination as to which youth and adults it desires to have participate in its Trail Life USA Troop) and offer online, printed, and volunteer support resources to help in meeting those objectives.

2. Make available training, service, and program materials to the organization and its Troop.

3. Make available proven methods for selecting quality unit leaders, which includes Trail Life USA providing and approving criminal background checks on leaders and certifying that they have successfully completed Trail Life USA's Child Safety Youth Protection training requirements.

4. Provide general liability insurance to cover the Charter Organization, its board, officers, representatives, employees and volunteers currently registered with Trail Life USA. Coverage is provided with respect to the claims arising out of official Trail Life USA activities.  [For loss arising from the ownership, maintenance, or use of a motor vehicle or watercraft, insurance is only available while the vehicle or watercraft is in use by a Trail Life USA Troop and being used for an official Trail Life USA activity and that coverage is excess over any insurance which may be available to the volunteer.]