American Legion: We want to help grow Scouting

legion_display_big_lowresThe American Legion has been committed to Scouting ever since its congressional charter in 1919.

In fact, at its first national convention in Minneapolis in November 1919, the Legion passed a resolution in support of the Boy Scouts of America. That makes this organization one of Scouting’s longest-tenured partners.

In 2016, the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization wants to double down on that commitment, saying it will help grow Scouting by chartering new units.

Today, the Legion sponsors 2,448 units serving 61,273 youth. The Legion wants to pair even more interested American Legion posts with BSA council and district leadership.

This renewed commitment fits in well with a service organization whose mission is to mentor youth and sponsor wholesome programs in communities. Their values of patriotism and honor align perfectly with the ideals that the BSA has espoused since 1910.

Lee Shaw, who leads the BSA’s National Alliances team, praised the Legion for setting such a great example.

“The relationship with the American Legion is vitally important to the growth of the Boy Scouts of America,” he says. “As a leading charter partner of community organizations, the American Legion and its Auxiliary have set specific objectives to grow Scouting. This is an example we are encouraging others to follow.”

Scouting’s worth is highlighted on the American Legion website: “This is natural for Legionnaires, who bring their service-learned skills and experiences as veterans to help build character and positive traits in our country’s youth. Few other post activities generate more goodwill from the community.”

The Legion puts its money where its passion is. Each year, one young man is named Eagle Scout of the Year and receives a $10,000 scholarship. Three runners-up each receive $2,500 scholarships.

Thanks to Shayne Abrahams Sr., the Legion’s national liaison, for his efforts with the BSA’s Marcos Nava and Lee Shaw. With the American Legion’s help, Scouting will grow even stronger.


  1. If I give a donation to my American Legion Post will it be tax deductible and can they use it to support a Cub Pack or Scout Troop even if they are not the chartered organization for that unit? If the answers to this are “yes,” what do I need to have from them for tax purposes?

  2. I would like to say that the American Legion, Post 70, Seabrook, NH has been a great partner with Scouting. We chartered a Pack and Troop after 25 years without a program in Town. I am eternally grateful.

  3. Tax ID for the post is all you need. If you want to donate to the troop or pack directly, you would use the chartered org’s Tax ID.

  4. You can also contact a local council and join their Friends of Scouting program, which helps units all throughout the council, provides scholarship and camper-ship opportunities for Scouts that may need assistance, and strengthen Scouting throughout the service area.

  5. This is interesting because in our town the Legion Hall booted the pack out because of the recent change in the “morals” clause and the gay issue. It was terrible to see a new unit struggling to find a new charter. Wonder if they will reconsider now?

    • All politics is local. A change in post leadership may bring a change in opinion. But, by then it may be too late if the pack’s new CO has stepped up to the plate and made them welcome.

  6. If you give to the American Legion post for a specific purpose, you’d need to put that specific in the “memo” space on the check or the post could use the donation for is general purposes. If the post doesn’t sponsor a unit, then it may not accept such a designation. Best to talk to your post commander or treasurer before doing it.

  7. I’ve worked with 5 different chartering organizations as an adult leader in various positions including CM & SM. The American Legion Post that sponsors our unit is by far the best. We have a very symbiotic relationship (as it should be).

  8. American Legion Post 113 in Meridian, Idaho has chartered Boy Scout Troop 1 for 82 of the troops 99 year continuous existence. A great organization that does so much for the community.

  9. We started a new Pack three days ago. The American Legion Post in town is the Chartered Organization. Our Troop moved its charter to the Post, creating the start of a family of units. The Pack and Troop share the same unit number which tells people outside of scouting that they are a family. The Post has already asked the scouts to participate in a Memorial Day celebration and to march with them in the 4th of July Parade where they hand out flags along the route. It’s a big change from the Troop’s old chartered organization who said “we’re not really in the scouting business.” It’s a great relationship, one in which the scout units help the CO and the CO helps its units. That’s the ideal setup and the way it should work. I would highly recommend to anyone looking to change to a different chartered organization, or to a new unit in need of a chartered organization, to talk to your local American Legion Post. The Legion has pages on their national website talking about scouting. As one of our Legion members put it, the Legion has a lot in common with the Scouting program and shares many of the same ideals, principles, and values. You can’t ask for a better organization to hold your charter.

Join the conversation