Report to the Nation is underway at our nation’s capital

2023 Report to the Nation delegates

A delegation of 15 of Scouting’s most outstanding youth are in Washington, D.C., right now to deliver the Report to the Nation.

Four Cub Scouts, four members of Scouts BSA, two Venturers, two Sea Scouts, two Explorers and one member of the Order of the Arrow are in town to present the report to the United States Congress detailing the state of the organization, its key initiatives and major accomplishments over the past year. Since 1917, the Boy Scouts of America has been presenting reports to Congress of its previous year’s activities and accomplishments, which is entered into the congressional record.

Click here to read the 2023 Report. Among the highlights:

  • The BSA currently serves 580,194 boys and girls ages 5-10 in Cub Scouting and 415,564 boys and girls ages 11 to 17 in Scouts BSA.
  • Additionally, the BSA serves 15,400 young men and women ages 14 to 20 in Venturing and Sea Scouting, and 30,870 young men and women ages 10 to 20 in Exploring career-based programs.
  • Scouts earned more than 1.3 million merit badges in 2022.
  • Boys and girls completed almost 2 million Adventures in Cub Scouting.
The 2023 Report to the Nation delegates
The 2023 Report to the Nation delegates visit President John F. Kennedy’s gravesite at Arlington National Cemetery. Photo by Michael Roytek

Who are the delegates?

We’ll have more details on each delegate later this week, but in the meantime, allow me to introduce you to:

Cub Scouts

Colt Seymour

Callista Kellogg

Shyam Nagaraja

Mica McDonald

Scouts BSA members

James Harris

Audrey Perez

Owen Braniff

Valera Castro-Rivera


Elena Taylor

Salma Lfarh

Sea Scouts

Sebastian Morales-Talero

Brent Peate


Alec Garcia

Mihail Ziu

Order of the Arrow

Sophie Schell

Report to the Nation delegates at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Photo by Michael Roytek

What do the delegates do?

Although the week is just getting started, already the delegates have learned the history and significance of the Report to the Nation.

They also got the opportunity to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, and met the Sentinels — soldiers from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, known as “The Old Guard,” that guard the tomb 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, through all weather. They toured the guard quarters, where the guardsmen showed the delegation how they prepare to go on shift, and discussed the training it takes to perform such a solemn and important task as guarding the tomb.

The youth also practiced and prepared to meet with key congressional leaders throughout the week, and commemorated it all by learning the friendship knot for tying their RTTN neckerchiefs.

As for the rest of the week, the delegates are scheduled to have breakfast Tuesday morning with the Assistant Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives, before embarking on a capitol tour. They’ll spend the rest of the day in meetings with various congressional staffers and representatives.

On Wednesday, they’ll visit the White House.

Report to the Nation Friendship Knot
Photo by Michael Roytek

The BSA is chartered by Congress

On June 15, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill into law that granted federal incorporation to the Boy Scouts of America and protected the BSA’s name and insignia.

Section 8 of the charter requires the Boy Scouts of America to present its report to Congress, and that is the requirement that spawned the Report to the Nation.

The BSA was granted a rare Title 36 congressional charter, which is presented to select patriotic and national organizations. Other Title 36 organizations, along with the year in which they were chartered, include:

  • American National Red Cross (later the American Red Cross), 1905
  • The American Legion, 1919
  • Girl Scouts of the United States of America, 1950
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, 1958
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of America, 1956
  • Little League Baseball Inc., 1964

The federal charter had this to say about why the BSA exists:

The purpose of the corporation shall be 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 which are now in common use by Boy Scouts.

About Aaron Derr 395 Articles
Aaron Derr is the senior editor of Scout Life and Scouting magazines, and also a former Cubmaster and Scouts BSA volunteer.