Each year, Scouting units (Packs, Troops, and Crews) are required to renew their charters with the Northern Lights Council. The charter is the official agreement between the council and your local chartered organization to provide a program under the auspices of the BSA. The process of renewing a unit's charter reinforces this agreement year-to-year and provides an opportunity to update registration records and qualify for Journey to Excellence recognition.
Thank you for completing your unit’s charter renewal on time and error free! This website is intended to provide all the resources you will need to complete the process quickly.
Why is the unit charter renewal process important?
- It helps match unit and council records.
- It assures that charter partners are delivering the BSA program.
- It ensures the quality of the BSA program.
- It ensures insurance coverage and liability protection for all registered members.
- It helps maintain accurate advancement records.
Deadlines to be considered "On-Time"
- November 23 - for units that expire 12/31/16
- December 12 - for units that expire 1/30/17
- January 23 - for units that expire 2/28/17
Charter Renewal Instructions for Unit Leaders
Download the full set of instructions here
1. Select an adult leader from the unit to be the Charter Renewal Processor for the unit. The Charter Renewal Processor will then complete the following steps for “Error Free – On Time” charter renewal completion.
2. Attend the district Charter Renewal Workshop. Each District will be holding one or more workshops before the charter renewal paperwork is due. You will receive your Charter Renewal Packet and receive instructions on the charter renewal process. It also gives you a chance to meet your Unit Commissioner, your first line of help in case you need it.
3. Inventory your members and collect fees. Collect BSA registration fee, Boys Life subscription fee, and Council accident insurance fee from each member that will be continuing membership. The unit may plan to cover the fees for each member from the funds raised during the annual Popcorn or Candy Sale.
4. Get complete, new applications, including all required parts and signatures, for any new youth or adult members. All adult applications must include the signed Disclosure/Authorization form and should also include proof of having completed Youth Protection Training.
Note: All adult applications must be signed by the unit Committee Chair and by the Chartering Organization Representative. All youth applications require the signature of the parent and of a unit leader.
5. 90 days prior to the charter expiration date: Click here to access the Online Charter Renewal system. Complete the steps for online charter renewal:
- Select “First Time User” and enter the units 9-digit unit access code listed in your Charter Renewal Packet. Note: This access code changes every year. (If you have misplaced your access code you may obtain it by contacting your district executive or by calling a Council Service Center.)
- Select the unit type (Pack, Troop, Team or Crew) and enter the unit number (all four digits).
- Create a password as instructed. (If you forget your password please call our Council Registrar at 877-293-5011.)
- Complete the information on each screen. You can stop at anytime, log out of the system, and begin again where you left off. To do so you will need to log in again as a “returning user”, using your access code and your password.
- When you have completed all the information to recharter the unit, click the “submit” button. Note: You are not done with the charter renewal process yet!
- Print the Unit Charter Renewal Report Package (all pages), which includes the Charter Renewal Application and list of new members, transfers, multiples, and no-fee adults. The online portion is done – just a few more steps to complete your “Error Free – On Time” charter renewal.
6. Acquire necessary signatures on the hard copy of the Charter Renewal Application. This includes the Executive Officer (or Institutional Head) of the chartering organization. The unit leader (Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, Varsity Coach or Crew Advisor).
7. Complete the Charter Fee Worksheet.
8. Work with your unit leader and committee to complete the Journey to Excellence Scorecard for your unit.
9. Acquire one check from the unit to cover all youth fees, adult fees, accident insurance fees, and the $40 annual insurance fee for the chartering organization.
Note - write the check for the amount calculated on the Charter Fee Worksheet, not what is shown on the paperwork printed from the Online Charter Renewal system.
10. 30-45 days prior to the charter expiration date: Gather all completed paperwork, all pages of the printed Charter Renewal Application (including page 1, which lists the adults and youth needing completed and signed applications), youth applications, adult applications, “Council Accident & Sickness Insurance Premium Worksheet” and Journey to Excellence Scorecard. Turn-in all paperwork (including one check to cover fees) at your districts Charter Renewal Turn-In day. Or call your Unit Commissioner or District Executive to schedule an appointment to turn-in your completed paper-work.
11. Fix any defects: Work with your Unit Commissioner or District Executive to complete any follow-up action items discussed at your charter renewal turn-in.