To further its objectives of extending membership privileges to citizens of the United States in other parts of the world, the Boy Scouts of America authorizes the registration of youth members and leaders and the establishment of units in areas lying outside of the jurisdiction of any local council. To foster and strengthen the close and friendly relationship that exists between the Boy Scouts of America and other Scout associations, members and leaders of units will work in close harmony with their fellow Scouts and Scouters in the area. (Article XIII, Section 2, Clauses 1 and 2 of the Charter and Bylaws of the Boy Scouts of America)

The purpose of Direct Service is to make the Scouting program available to United States citizens and their dependents living in countries outside the jurisdiction of any local council. Currently, this only includes the Americas


Direct Service is administered by the International Department of the Boy Scouts of America at the organization’s national office in Irving, Texas. It provides some of the same services that a local council provides processing registration and magazine subscriptions, maintaining records, approving advancements, processing supply orders, organizing national and world jamboree participation, operating an Order of the Arrow Lodge, and providing information and program resources.


Approximately 200 youth members and 200 adult leaders belong to Direct Service units or are registered as Lone Scouts in the Americas. Primarily, Direct Service members are the dependents of international businesspeople, diplomatic corps officials, and U.S. military personnel.


The following countries have one or more Scouting units registered through Direct Service:

  • Canada
  • China
  • Costa Rica
  • Cuba
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Mexico
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Trinidad & Tobago
  • Venezuela


The meetings and activities of Direct Service units are basically the same as those units in the United States. Minor modifications are sometimes necessary because of circumstances that occur when living in another country. These modifications often lead to cooperative efforts between the BSA members and Scouts of other associations who attend joint Scouting activities such as jamborees, rallies, community projects, and other events.

Chartered Organizations

The chartered organizations of Direct Service units include American schools and churches, international schools, U.S. embassies, multinational corporations, parents' groups, and fraternal organizations.

Overseas Councils

Some areas around the world that are serviced by the BSA overseas councils include:

Contact Us
Direct Service, BSA
1325 West Walnut Hill Lane
P. O. Box 152079
Irving, TX 75015-2079

Phone: 972-580-2406
Fax: 972-580-2413

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