The National Council is the corporate membership of the Boy Scouts of America and is administered by paid professional Scouters and volunteer Scouters. Members include the elected National Executive Board, the regional executive committees, the local council representatives, members at large, and honorary members. The National program is directed by the National Executive Board and administered by the Chief Scout Executive using a staff of professional Scouters.
The BSA was granted a Congressional charter in 1916, now codified as 36 U.S.C. Chapter 309, stating that their purpose is to: promote, through organization, and cooperation with other agencies, the ability of boys to do things for themselves and others, to train them in scoutcraft, and to teach them patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred virtues, using the methods that were in common use by boy scouts on June 15, 1916.
The charter authorized and set standards for the incorporation of the BSA and provided for the "exclusive right to use emblems, badges, descriptive or designating marks, and words or phrases" that they adopt.