Boy Scouts of America is Granted a Congressional Charter
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.
It tends to conserve the moral, intellectual, and physical life of the coming generation, and in its immediate results does much to reduce the problem of juvenile delinquency in the cities...The importance and magnitude of its work is such as to entitle it to recognition and its work and insignia to protection by Federal incorporation. The Scout scheme is based upon the methods involved in educating the boy. It is a scheme of placing the boy on honor. In addition to requiring him to live up to a standard or code of laws which insure development of character along proper lines, it requires him to study in order to pass certain tests of qualification. The passing of these various tests ~ is recognized by the award of appropriate badges or medals and insignia.”— United States Congress
Since 1916, the BSA has used this federal monoppoly to crush potential rivals. In 1917, it sued the United States Boy Scouts, previously known as American Boy Scouts, and that organization disappeered. Several other versions of scouting were absorbed on a friendly basis. The BSA is definitely a business that protects its monopoly in court. As recently as 1989. it threatened the Wilderness Scouts of Blairsville, Georgia. Thus, the congressional charter of 1916 has effectively been made into a decree: outside of the Girl Scouts, which received a similar congressional charter in 1954, only one form of scouting can exist in the United States, and that form is the discriminatory BSA.
Excerpts from the Federal Charter of the Boy Scouts of America