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Please join us as we congratulate Rich McCartney, who will serve as Scout executive of the Northern Lights Council in Fargo, North Dakota, effective April 1, 2019.

Rich began his Scouting career as district executive at the Genesee Council in Batavia, New York. He moved on to become a senior district executive, district director, field director, and assistant director of field service with the Otetiana Council in Rochester, New York. He was promoted to director of support services of the Denver Area Council in Denver, Colorado, and was then selected as Scout executive of the Moraine Trails Council in Butler, Pennsylvania. In 2009, he became the Scout executive of the Greater Yosemite Council in Modesto, California, and in 2017 began his current position as area director for Area 6 of the Western Region.

Rich is an Eagle Scout who enjoys cooking, exercising, hunting, fishing, backpacking, and music.

Rich and his wife, Melinda, have 2 children, Raymond (22) and Ian (17).

In the comments below, please help us send Rich our well wishes as he joins in partnership with the volunteers and staff of the Northern Lights Council to deliver quality Scouting experiences to the young people of the communities they serve.

Sponsored post courtesy of National Geographic

Calling all unit leaders – this one’s for you! National Geographic is inviting unit leaders to get their Scouts excited about exploration and reading by signing up to be an Explorer Academy Leader. Unit leaders are invited to enter the National Geographic Explorer Academy contest where they can be selected to receive a fun kit with resources about the Explorer Academy series to use at meetings.

What Is Explorer Academy?

Explorer Academy is a thrilling new seven-book fiction series based on the adventures of real-life National Geographic explorers. Explorer Academy showcases the story of 12-year-old Cruz Coronado, along with 23 other kids from around the globe, who are training to be the next generation of great explorers. Each book is filled with mystery, code-breaking, cool technology, and valuable lessons about teamwork and friendship. Plus, each book provides profiles of real explorers and their work in The Truth Behind the Fiction that explains the innovative science featured in the story. To preview what the books are all about, check out this book trailer.

Enter the National Geographic Explorer Academy Contest Today!

Each contest winner will receive a kit that includes: one copy of the first book in the series, The Nebula Secret, 25 chapter samplers of book one and book two, and reader guides with activities to inspire kids about the story, characters, and science behind the fiction. Unit leaders are encouraged to enter from now until May 31, 2019, one entry per person. 200 winners will be randomly selected. Enter for a chance to win the contest here!

Discover a codebreaking game, videos and more at ExplorerAcademy.com. You can also enter for a chance to win an awesome trip to Alaska courtesy of National Geographic Expeditions.

Using event geofencing through Facebook to support recruitment showed exciting results in the last Cub Scout recruitment season. On average, geofenced units recruited +7.43% more new Cub Scouts than they did the previous year. Whereas non-fenced units within those same councils were down an average of -9.12% in new Cub Scouts recruited.

What is Geofencing?

Geofencing is a method of geographically targeting a specific audience using Facebook. In this case, we first set up an event in Facebook to feature a “Join Scouting” night. Once the Facebook event is set up, you can set up a geofence for the event and “boost” it. This means paying a fee within Facebook so that members of your target audience who enter into the geographical area in the real world while they are also on Facebook are shown the event information.

The cost is minimal – we paid $1 per day, per unit. 

In the example of a joining event where we want to reach parents, we set up an event geofence in Facebook with a 1-2 mile radius around the school where the joining night is scheduled. When a parent enters that area, they receive a notification on their Facebook page about the event. It’s easy. It’s hyper local, and it doesn’t rely on someone else passing out fliers or other material.

Key Learnings:

  • Geofenced events held at schools performed the best, followed by events held at parks/community venues, followed finally by events at churches.
  • Church-based recruiting events did not perform as well as school-based recruiting events.
  • Single-unit events performed better than events with multiple units participating (e.g. events in parks, etc.).

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Does this replace the recruitment flier?
    • No. This is simply one additional tactic to strengthen your recruitment efforts.
  2. Can I do this with any Facebook page?
    • No. You will need to have an ‘organization’ page, not a personal Facebook page. Organizational pages have more tools to use for communication and marketing.
  3. How much does it cost?
    • It costs as little as $1 per day, per unit. You can spend more if you like, but we found the lower spend to be effective.
  4. Can I geofence multiple locations?
    • Yes, you can.
  5. Can I geofence one location and have the event at a different location?
    • Yes
  6. What about timing? How far out should I schedule the geofence?
    • Up to 14 days. Time it with your flier distribution.
  7. Do I need permission to geofence a location, such as a school?
    • No. You are simply extending a calendar invitation to those who might be interested in attending.
  8. How else could I use this tactic?
    • Use it to help promote any scheduled event, such as fundraising events, festivals, day camp, resident camp, popcorn sales. The possibilities are endless!

Appendix:

How do I create a community Facebook page?

Find more information on creating a Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/create

Note: To create a ‘Community’ Nonprofit page, at the link above, select the box on the top row, center column titled Company, Organization or Institution, and follow the prompts.

How do I Boost an Event on Facebook?

Find more information on how to boost an event here: https://www.facebook.com/business/help/1519209995047756

Boosting an event lets you promote an event to specific people, in a specific geographic area, and at a specific time. Once you have an event set up on your community Facebook page, it’s easy to boost the event to even more people.

Congratulations to Jim Westfall, who will serve as Scout executive of the Crater Lake Council in Central Point, Oregon, effective March 16, 2019.

Jim began his Scouting career as an exploring executive at the Des Plaines Valley Council in LaGrange, Illinois. He reentered as a district executive and later district director with the Overland Trails Council in Grand Island, Nebraska. He was promoted to district director of the Northeast Illinois Council in Vernon Hills, Illinois, and was then promoted within the council to field director and then on to assistant Scout executive.

Jim is an Eagle Scout who enjoys hiking, travel, technology and cheering for the Chicago Cubs.

Jim and his wife, Lynne, have 2 children.

Please join me in congratulating Jim as he joins in partnership with the volunteers and staff of the Crater Lake Council to deliver quality Scouting experiences to the young people of the communities they serve.

As young people continue to join Scouts BSA from coast to coast, national outlets like CBS News and The New York Times have taken note.

Both major media sources recently spoke with girls who have joined the iconic Scouting program about what it means to them to be able to participate in the adventures and activities that the Boy Scouts of America provides. 

Lora P., who is among the first girls join a Scouts BSA troop in the Greater New York Councils, shared her perspective with The New York Times.

“I didn’t necessarily think about it as creating history — because it’s not always about being first,” she said. “It’s about being involved.”

All the way across the nation in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, Sophia D., a new member of a Scouts BSA troop in the Orange County Council, echoed that sentiment when she spoke with CBS This Morning

Sophia’s twin brother Brandon joined Scouting years earlier, and when Sophia saw the fun he was having, she wondered why it wasn’t available to her. 

“When he would go on his campouts, it was weird, like, ‘I can’t go with him?’ I wanted to go,” she said. 

Back in New York City, Lora’s experience had been similar. She had been watching her older brother participate in Scouting activities for years but always wanted to be part of the full experience. 

When the opportunity to join a Scouts BSA troop for girls became available, Lora jumped at the chance. 

“We wanted to lead the change and show people that we could do Scouting, too,” she said. 

When CBS News reporter Carter Evans asked Sophia what she hopes other girls take away from the opportunity to join Scouts BSA, she shared her thoughts. 

“I hope they can see that they can do it, too,” she said. 

“Nothing holding them back,” the reporter, Evans, added. 

“Nope!” Sophia confidently agreed. 

Sophia’s mother, Dea, who is the Scoutmaster of her daughter’s troop, talked about both of her children each being able to be part of their own Scouts BSA troop. 

“They deserve to have the opportunity to both enjoy that Scouting experience as it was meant to be, and it was meant to be single-gender,” she said. 

Similarly, in New York City, Lora’s mother, Snazzy, is Scoutmaster for her daughter’s troop. She loves that Lora has the opportunity to be part of such a great experience. 

“It’s long overdue,” she said. “In American society, it’s all about women being equal and able to do everything they want to and are capable of. There are girls who love to be outdoors, who love learning new skills. And it will help them in life, in leadership and independence.”

Be sure to check out the full story in The New York Times, and watch the CBS This Morning piece in its entirety below. 

Story contributed by Mark Griffin, Great Salt Lake Council Scout Executive

Last fall the Great Salt Lake Council enthusiastically participated in the ‘Scout Me In’ Influencer Campaign.

We were very fortunate to have the leadership of Bruce Hough, the immediate past president of our council and the father of Julianne and Derek Hough, in our council. Also, our Director of Field Service Denovan Lino and our current president Tim Fenton, had some important contacts we were able to use. It went very well. In fact, we won the first prize!

After the campaign, we decided we needed to continue the momentum but weren’t sure how. When we saw the World Organization of the Scout Movement had selected Bear Grylls to be the Chief Ambassador of World Scouting and The Scout Association in the UK had started a celebrity ambassador program, we had our idea.

Our goal with our local ambassador program is to gather a team of Utah celebrities who will post supporting messages for the Boy Scouts of America, both in the council and in the state of Utah, on social media, make appearances at events, and record videos and messages we can use in our media efforts.

First, we asked Derek to be our Chief Ambassador, and he immediately agreed! He is now working on videos with Bruce to share his support of Scouting.

Next, Denovan and our Family Scouting Chair Janet Griffin, reached out to Chelsie Hightower. Chelsie comes from a Scouting family, was on Dancing With the Stars, and had participated in the social media campaign last fall. She enthusiastically agreed to be our Family Scouting Ambassador with a focus on encouraging girls in the BSA.

Denovan used his contacts at the Utah State Capitol to recruit Utah Governor Gary Herbert and Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes. Sean is now our Eagle Scout Ambassador and is hosting an Eagle Scout event in the capitol rotunda later this year. Governor Herbert agreed to be an ambassador, too!

Then, we connected with the Osmond Family. Doug and David Osmond were recruited by Tim Fenton and Denovan to help with our annual Holiday Gala last fall. In conversations with Doug and David, we learned how important Scouting was in the Osmond family. David shared a story with us about his father Alan, one of the original Osmond Brothers who reached the rank of Life Scout before his family moved to California for their singing career. David told us Alan’s love for Scouting was reaffirmed when President Ronald Reagan told him how important the rank of Eagle Scout was. He gave President Reagan a promise that all his boys would achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. Alan and his wife Suzanne are the proud parents of eight sons, all of whom are Eagle Scouts.

So, we asked. Doug has agreed to be the chair of the council’s ambassador team. In fact, David and Alan have agreed to be ambassadors. And Alan says he is going to work on his brothers and sister to join us. Fingers crossed!

We need help in Utah to spread the word that Scouting is going to continue to be a strong influence in Utah and the West.

Our growing ambassador team will help us spread this message.

Scouting Wire would like to thank Mark Griffin for submitting this story. 

Do you have ideas or plans to continue the momentum of the ‘Scout Me In’ Influencer Campaign?

We’d love to hear your story! Reach out to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to share your story or ask questions about how you can leverage influencers in your community.

Please join us in congratulating Lynn Gunter, who will serve as Scout executive of the Ore-Ida Council in Boise, Idaho, effective March 16, 2019.

Lynn began his Scouting career as district executive at the Grand Teton Council in Idaho Falls, Idaho. He later served as endowment director for the council before being promoted to director of finance service of the Grand Canyon Council in Phoenix, Arizona. He then became a member of the National Council team, serving as associate regional director of the Western Region and then as a fundraising specialist at the National Service Center, eventually returning to the field to serve as director of field service of the Trapper Trails Council in Ogden, Utah.

Lynn enjoys fishing, hiking, shooting, and knife making.

Lynn and his wife, Keri, have four children and one grandchild.

In the comments below, please help us welcome Lynn to his new role in Scouting as he joins in partnership with the volunteers and staff of the Ore-Ida Council to deliver quality Scouting experiences to the young people of the communities they serve.

Tuesday, 05 March 2019 23:52

Off to the Races

We’re wrapping up of one of the most fun seasons in the Scouting calendar – Pinewood Derby season! For those who came up through Cub Scouts or who are involved in our program today, you know the excitement of building, decorating and racing those cars. Pinewood Derby is an institution, and with good reason. The experience encapsulates so much of what Scouting is all about.

Pinewood Derby is an early example of how our programs encourage children to learn new skills, express their personalities and take their own lead in the activities we offer. Every Pinewood Derby season, Cub Scouts is awash in creativity. Parents and children bond over building and engineering cars, figuring out the appropriate shape and weight positioning for maximum speed. Kids bring their personalities to bear in their car decorations, making the Derby a wonderful opportunity to get insight into each Cub Scout’s personality and interests. Some demonstrate their love of a character or an obvious lack of patience for painting. Either way, it’s wonderful self-expression. That sense of personalization is carried throughout the Scouting experience. In our older youth programs, Scouts choose what merit badges to pursue, lead service projects to help people or places they care about, and take on leadership roles that suit their interests. It keeps the journey fun, and I think it’s a big part of why this program works for so many youth.

We often hear from grown Scouts that “Scouting made me who I am today.” I truly believe that offering young people the opportunity to pursue their interests through our program is part of why we elicit that reaction. Scouting may provide a framework of core values and guiding lessons, but it lets you be who you are from the very beginning. And that starts with Pinewood Derby.

Along with being an opportunity for personal expression, this event is an exercise in character building. Learning how to win or lose with grace, encouraging your peers, and playing by the rules are important skills that come into play during these races. These can be tough lessons for a very young person, but time and again we see Cub Scouts rise to the occasion. I’m always proud to see young children, involved parents, and adult volunteers embracing these values and immersing themselves in the experience. 

This year, hundreds of thousands of new Cub Scouts experienced the fun for the very first time. I hope all of you who participated or supported these events had the best Pinewood Derby season yet.

Yours in Scouting,

Mike

Congratulations to Robert Johnson, who will serve as Scout executive of the Flint River Council in Griffin, Georgia effective March 1, 2019.

Robert began his Scouting career as district executive at the Black Warrior Council in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He was promoted to program director and later field director with the council. He moved on to become director of field service of the Blue Ridge Council in Greenville, South Carolina, and then assistant Scout executive of the South Florida Council in Miami Lakes, Florida.

Robert is an Eagle Scout who enjoys travel, running, spending time with family, and following University of Alabama Football.

Robert and his wife, Elizabeth, have 5 children.

In the comments below, please join us as we welcome Robert to his new role in Scouting as he joins in partnership with the volunteers and staff of the Flint River Council to deliver quality Scouting experiences to the young people of the communities they serve.

Zachary B. is a member of a Scouts BSA troop in the Boy Scouts of America Atlanta Area Council. He and his fellow Scouts were enjoying a day of whitewater rafting on the Nantahala River in North Carolina when they saw a boy in another raft fall into the river and become swept away by the current.

The Scouts knew they had to act quickly to help the boy, and they began maneuvering their raft in the direction of the young man. 

As one of the Scouts guided the raft carefully through the fast-moving waters, Zachary located the boy, and in one, quick motion, stretched out his hand, grabbed the boy, and pulled him into the raft.  

Though he was recognized for his actions at a recent Atlanta City Council meeting, as is typical of a Scout, Zachary doesn’t see himself as a hero. 

“I gave all the glory to God in this situation,” Zachary told WSB-TV Atlanta. “I was able to reach out with my left hand and pull him into the boat. Pulling him up with one hand. I mean, that’s just the strength of God.” 

The Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock, who leads the Ebenezer Baptist Church where the troop is chartered, praised the Scouts’ actions. 

“They are young men of faith, and they have deep compassion and empathy for others and they took all that, with a dose of courage, and they saved somebody’s life,” Warnock said.

Be sure to watch the full report from WSB-TV Atlanta. 

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