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Mary Y., a 7-year-old North Florida Council Scout, was the first girl to join her Cub Scout pack and don the beloved blue and gold uniform – but she isn’t the only one full of excitement and anticipation. Her brother is thrilled to watch his sister join him and participate in the same activities, receiving the recognition she deserves.

“Finally,” brother Gavin shared with First Coast News. “My sister has been going with us on everything but never got recognition for it.”

The Boy Scouts of America began welcoming girls into the Cub Scout program in early 2018, and since then, thousands of families across the country have signed up to be part of the fun. The Cub Scout program serves boys and girls ages 5-10, and soon, girls ages 11-17 will be able to join the Scouts BSA program and earn the Eagle Scout rank. These decisions were made in part because of input from families who requested more opportunities to bring the entire family together for activities.

“We believe that our programs are uniquely able to develop character and leadership skills in young people and we are proud to be able to make them available to both boys and girls,” explained North Florida Council Scout Executive Jack Sears. “We understand that families today are busier and more diverse than ever … We think we owe it to families to offer our programs in a way that fits into their busy lives to deliver character development and values-based leadership training that Scouting promises.”

Sears says about 80 North Florida Cub Scout packs have “signaled an interest to welcome” girls through girls-only dens and more than 500 girls have already joined a den in one of those packs.

“Families today have many good options for character and leadership development programing for their families,” Sears said. “The 12 points of the Scout Law — trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent — are relevant and important for both young men and women.”

Candice Y., Mary and Gavin’s mother, said having her children in Cub Scouts stemmed from having a packed schedule. She says the change has reduced her time on the road taking each of her children to different activities on different days and times. This allows for more family time and less driving time.

“As a busy mother, I love activities we can do together,” she said. “I support any organization that gets youth busy, all these things are fine. … But she wanted to go camping with her brother.”

To read the full story, visit First Coast News.

If you know a family with girls and/or boys who are interested in joining Cub Scouts, be sure to let them know it’s never too late to get involved. Cub Scouts is even more fun with friends! Be sure to share www.beascout.org with someone you know.  

Tuesday, 20 November 2018 15:49

Thankful for Momentum in Scouting

This is the time of year when millions of Americans gather and prepare feasts to express gratitude and celebrate the realization that we have a lot to be thankful for. For me, that usually inspires me to think about our volunteers, youth, families, partners and professionals – all of whom make up the foundation of our Scouting movement.

Yet this year, I am also thankful for something that is hard to explain in words, but also hard to ignore at many Scouting gatherings, events and even social media posts. I call it momentum.

Within the Boy Scouts of America, we are witnessing momentum in our movement that is inspiring and exciting. From welcoming nearly 65,000 girls in Cub Scouts to realizing that changes we have made are making Scouting something that more time-pressed families are able to do together because it is a foundational experience for their sons and daughters. As fall turns to winter, we are seeing the culmination of service projects from packs, troops, crews and ships nationwide, just as we begin to feel the buzz and excitement build ahead of February as hundreds of leaders are taking steps to stand up troops to welcome even more Scouts into Scouts BSA.

Just last week it became clear to me that the momentum we are feeling is also palpable in Scouting communities around the world. Scouting organizations like ours in the 169 countries that belong to the World Organization of the Scout Movement are also seeing enthusiasm for the power and values of Scouting. Scouts all over the world are living out the principles of the Scout Oath and Law as they come together to take on some of the most challenging issues facing the global community. From helping support communities plagued by conflict to identifying ways to address resource scarcity, Scouts worldwide have officially tallied over one billion hours of service, and now have set out to do even more, pledging four billion hours by 2030.

That ambitious goal is important; because we live in a world that needs Scouting more than ever.

In a world that is devolving into conflict, we must rise to a higher expectation and find a way to come together.

At a time when it is easy to hide from problems behind a screen, we have to choose to be brave and take action to improve and support our communities.

In a moment when we could be tempted to focus on how many things we can accumulate, we must remember that service is the greatest gift that we give – both to others and ourselves.

We simply must harness the power of this moment and build on it every chance we get because we know that the values and leadership skills taught through Scouting are important for children today and for the leaders we need to move us forward tomorrow. 

We should look at the gift of momentum with gratitude and vow not to squander the opportunity to do good in the world.

This moment is too important to our organization, to our members, our communities, our country, and yes, the world, too.

Yours in Scouting,

Mike

As you may have heard, the Girl Scouts of the USA have filed suit against the Boy Scouts of America. The suit is over the BSA’s use of the terms “Scouts” and “Scouting” when referring to girls who have and will be joining the BSA’s programs.

Our goal will be to resolve our differences with the Girl Scouts of the USA so that we both can move forward with serving youth. We take the brand and trademark rights of all organizations seriously and have worked proactively to differentiate our unique program offerings. As an organization, we do not want there to be any confusion regarding our programs and efforts. Any time we have been made aware of an instance of potential confusion around our programs, we immediately took steps to correct and clarify and we will continue to do so. Here is a guide that has been shared widely reinforcing guidance that we provided to councils in April.

As we work to resolve this matter, the BSA will continue to focus on promoting our programs. Our decision to expand our program offerings for girls came after years of requests from families who wanted the option of the BSA’s character- and leadership-development programs for their children – boys and girls. We believe that we owe it to our current and future members to offer families the options they want.

As has been our tradition, we applaud the efforts of all organizations and encourage families to participate in character and leadership development programs of their choice. The BSA wants boys and girls to have an opportunity to join one or more of these organizations. While we all use different delivery models, our distinct missions have one thing in common – to serve youth.

Over the years many of these organizations, including Girl Scouts of the USA and Boy Scouts of America, have participated in joint programs, shared facilities and performed service work together in communities across the country. The BSA will continue to support those efforts and encourage families to participate in these programs, regardless of the organization.

The reality is that most families in this country are not currently engaged with any character-building youth development program. There are over 70 million children in America that could benefit from our programs, and today, organizations like ours and others only serve a fraction of them. That is a huge unmet need, but one we can help address. Our country needs and deserves more young people focused on the values that serve as the bedrock of our movement; duty to God and country, with a desire to help other people at all times. We remain committed to providing young people with the programs to fulfill that need.

Yours in Scouting,

Mike

With tens of thousands of girls already enjoying the Cub Scout program and more young women poised to join the Scouts BSA program when it opens in February of 2019, there’s a lot of excitement around the programs offered by the Boy Scouts of America. 

In all of that excitement, it’s important to remember that at all levels, from our members and volunteers to our professional staff, we take the brand and trademark rights of all organizations seriously and have worked proactively to differentiate our unique program offerings. That of course includes the Scouts BSA program, so when referring to that program in any local council or unit materials — including recruiting fliers, announcements, promotional materials, social media posts, and beyond — be sure to use the details in the below infographic for the right way to go about it. 

Scouts BSA Branding Dos and Don’ts Infographic

You can download the infographic here.

Additionally, much of this guidance was shared in a communication with Boy Scouts of America local councils in April of 2018. You can see that two-page note here.

As has been our tradition at the Boy Scouts of America, we applaud the efforts of all youth-serving organizations and encourage families to participate in character and leadership development programs of their choice. The BSA wants boys and girls to have an opportunity to join one or more of these organizations. While we all use different delivery models, our distinct missions have one thing in common – to serve youth.

Wednesday, 07 November 2018 14:13

4 Holiday Gift Giving Ideas for Your Scout

Sponsored post courtesy of Victorinox Swiss Army

“The Victorinox Swiss Army Knife Whittling Book shows you how to carve useful and whimsical objects in just a few minutes using nothing more than an original Swiss Army Knife and a twig. Whether you’re relaxing by a campfire or just looking for a way to de-stress on the weekend, whittling is a creative way to unwind and have fun. Learn how to choose your wood, sharpen your blade and control your knife with dozens of easy step-by-step projects.

Running out of ideas for what to get your older Scout for the holidays? We know it can be challenging to give a meaningful gift to older kids, but we’ve got some excellent ideas that will not only impress your Scout, but they’ll be easy on the wallet and might even put a twinkle in someone else’s eye. Continue reading to take our tips and make them your own this holiday season.

1) Ask them what they want! Rather than playing the guessing game, simply asking your Scout what they want for the holidays could relieve a lot of stress surrounding the question of whether or not they’ll actually like the gift. A twist on this idea is to give the Scout five gift options and have them rank which gift is most meaningful to them. That way, you have gift options and they still have a bit of a surprise.

2) Give the ultimate Scouting gift – a Swiss Army Knife. One great option is the Victorinox Swiss Army Huntsman. This nifty tool is equipped with everything your Scout could wish for in one easy gift! The Huntsman Swiss Army Knife is not just a knife – it has scissors, multiple screwdrivers, tweezers, a multi-purpose hook (great for pulling out tent stakes), a robust wood saw and more! Talk about a multitasker. To pair with the new knife, all Cub Scouts and Scouts can enter to win one of 25 Swiss Army Knife Whittling Books! Click here to enter the giveaway.

3) Teach your Scout how to say thanks. Instead of boxing up just toys, consider wrapping up thank you cards and stamps in their holiday presents. By providing these items along with their other presents, Scouts have the opportunity to learn the art of writing a thank you note. If your child isn’t into snail mail, try signing up your Scout for an online greeting card website. 

4)  Give them a $10 bill in an envelope and ask them to research what charities or funds to donate it to. It’s important that they learn the art of giving too! Not only will this gift encourage your Scout to think of serving others before themselves, but it could also help them earn the Citizenship in the Community Merit Badge.

For a few more cool Scout gift ideas, check out the Scout Shop. Do you have any helpful tips for older Scout gifts? Share with us in the comments below!

Monday, 05 November 2018 16:45

A Foundation for a Lifetime

There is a small window to make a meaningful impact on children and shape who they may become as adults. Part of making that impact is providing young people with a range of experiences so that they know all the world has to offer.

The importance of early exposure to all of life’s possibilities really struck me as I read the Outdoor Industry Association’s (OIA) 2018 outdoor participation report. One of the key findings is that among adults who do not participate in any outdoor activities, only 17 percent of them had outdoor experiences as children. Conversely, around 38 percent of adults who were introduced to the outdoors during childhood grew up to regularly pursue outdoor activities as adults.

As an avid outdoorsman, I see these statistics as revealing a missed opportunity. It’s sad to think that the amazing world of outdoor activities is forgotten by or seems inaccessible to the majority of adults, in no small part because they just didn’t get to try these activities as kids. Not only could they be missing out on making memories, but they are also likely missing out on the benefits that outdoor experiences provide for our physical and mental health.

This reinforces the importance of what our programs offer: a foundation of experiences with nature that can build positive memories of adventure and good times with friends and family.

I hope our younger Scouts are getting their first experience fishing, hiking and camping through our programs. Childhood and young adulthood offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity for personal development, not just in terms of interests, but also character and leadership skills. I’m proud that our programs offers ways to make the most of this vital time in order to prepare young people for their futures.

As a movement, we have great opportunity right now to create energy and excitement as we welcome a new generation of young men and young women to the Scouting adventure. I hope you all take this season as a chance to expand the horizons of our young people and instill in them a curiosity about the outdoors.

Onward to adventure!

Yours in Scouting,

Mike

Young ladies have watched their brothers build Pinewood Derby cars, explore the outdoors, camp, and learn knife safety for years – watching, yet not being able to officially participate. But now, girls no longer have to watch as their brothers have all the fun – they have the opportunity to experience those activities in Cub Scouts, and next year, girls age 11 to 17 will be able to join the Scouts BSA program.

Since registration opened in August, the Greater St. Louis Area Council has signed up thousands of new Cub Scouts, with a significant number being girls.

Once 8-year-old Kellen S. discovered she could be a Scout, she urged her mother to sign her up. In fact, Kellen already had the Cub Scout manual downloaded on her tablet before she even attended her first sign up night. She says she has her sights set beyond Cub Scouts and hopes to earn Scouting’s highest rank – Eagle Scout.

“My brother does Cub Scouts, and he did all the fun activities,” Kellen shared with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Now, Kellen can do the same fun activities with her triplet brother, Caden and triplet sister, Brietta, who are also new Cub Scouts. They will all have the opportunity to be Eagles.

Their mother, Denae, says she is excited to bring the family together for activities as a Pack. Denae will also be the girls’ den leader. Cub Scouts meet and participate in family activities as a Pack, yet the children also meet in smaller, single-gender dens.

Many families cite the new change as a better fit for their busy family schedule.

The National Service Center is offering up an additional two weeks for councils to activate on the Scout Me In Influencer Campaign. This means councils now have until November 15, 2018 to reach out to an influencer and request that they wear the neckerchief and share on social media. Even if you haven’t reached out to one influencer at this point, 2 weeks is plenty of time to engage an influencer before the campaign ends.

FAQ

What is an Influencer and who should receive a neckerchief?

An influencer is anyone with influence and an audience! This means you can reach out to bloggers, local leaders, social media stars (even pets!), celebrities, etc. They don’t necessarily need to be volunteers or council representatives, they just need to support Scouting. And let’s not forget that we want to speak to an audience outside of our existing Scouting community. We want prospective parents to see these posts who might not usually see this type of content. Influencers who plan to wear the neckerchief and use the hashtag #ScoutMeIn are the intended audience to receive the neckerchief.

What do councils do with the influencer’s social media post?

When your influencer posts on social media, please engage with that post (using council social handles) to show your appreciation! Like/comment/reply to let them know you’ve seen it. (Plus, the more engagement a post receives increases the chances of higher reach!) Re-share the social post on your councils owned social properties. Once your social media post is live, share the link in Scout Me In Influencer Campaign workplace group or email us the link at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. This will ensure that we don’t miss it!

How do we share on social media?

When your council re-shares your influencer’s post, please tag Boy Scouts of America in your social media posts. This means on Facebook that’s Boy Scouts of America, Twitter is @BoyScouts and Instagram is @boyscoutsofamerica. And of course, incorporate the hashtag #ScoutMeIn. 

And Don’t Forget…

By definition, influencers have influence on others, so the larger their audience (followers/fans/etc), the more impactful the influencer. The BSA will be looking at the likes/comments/followers of council influencers to determine how that influencer helped build brand awareness for Scouting and the #ScoutMeIn campaign.

Your council could win big! The BSA is offering five $2,000 prizes (one for each class of council) and up to $20,000 to be distributed among the top three councils whose influencers can elevate the visibility and support for Scouting nationwide.

If your council hasn’t already received its free neckerchief, please reach out to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ASAP and we will get one to you. If you have already received your free neckerchief, but would like to order more, please call BSA Supply Customer Service at 800-323-0736 (M-F, 8am-7pm Eastern) to place an order.


Trailblazing families with daughters are signing up by the thousands to join Cub Scouts this year, and people are beginning to notice in a major way.

Recently, Romper took a minute to talk with two girls about why they love being in Cub Scouts. It’s always a big deal when a media outlet takes time to cover great Scouting stories, but what makes this an even bigger deal is that Romper is a key member of the Bustle Digital Group, the largest premium publisher reaching millennial women. The group’s outlets collectively boast a readership of more than 80 million people every month. 

Romper reporter Gillian Walters talked with Michaela, a Scout from the Michigan Crossroads Council, and MaKayla, a Scout from the Grand Canyon Council. In addition to the similarity in their names, these two girls also have similar goals to one day earn the celebrated Eagle Scout rank. Both girls are part of the many families that have joined Scouting over the past few months. 

Michaela has Eagle Scout brothers and knows the leadership value of participating in Scouting. 

“I want to be one of the first girls to earn an Eagle Scout title,” Michaela told Romper. “And when I earn my Eagle, it will help me in a lot of ways. My brother actually got a full scholarship and he had a rank up in the military because of the things he learned becoming an Eagle Scout. It’s also good for a leadership job because it shows that you’re a good leader and a good member of your community.”

MaKayla explained to Romper that she really enjoyed the opportunity to spend time camping with family and that was a big part of the draw to join.

“I really like camping with my dad,” she said. “And then we had family camp last weekend. Me and my dad my planned all of our meals together, and I really enjoyed that.” 

Both girls are also really excited by the opportunity to spread the word about Scouting to others who might wonder what it’s all about. 

MaKayla shared these words of advice to any girl who is considering joining: “I’d say keep going because it’s a lot of fun. You get to learn a bunch of different skills that you can use.”

When Romper asked for Michaela’s thoughts on why other girls should join, she said, “I would probably tell them that they should try it out to see if they like it, because there are lots of fun things to do. You can do shooting, swimming, camping, bouldering … it’s just super fun.”

For more on the Scouts from these trailblazing families, be sure to check out the full story in Romper, which also shared a look at the “Welcome to the Cub” video and “Scout Me In” supporter Tanya Acker, a Judge on CBS Television show Hot Bench.

I love Scouting because it helps us become better humans. Be a Scout! ⭐️#ScoutMeIn#BoyScouts@BSAwestLApic.twitter.com/bomsEXjeg1

— Tanya Acker (@tanyaacker) October 16, 2018

If you know a family with girls or boys who are interested in joining Scouting, be sure to let them know it’s never too late to get involved. Scouting is even more fun with friends! Be sure to share www.beascout.org with someone you know.  

Congratulations to Andy Price, who will serve as Scout executive of the Grand Canyon Council in Phoenix, Arizona, effective November 9, 2018.

Andy began his Scouting career as an exploring executive at the Northeast Georgia Council in Athens, Georgia. After also serving as a district executive and field director at the council, he was promoted to assistant Scout executive of Chattahoochee Council in Columbus, Georgia. He later returned to the Northeast Georgia Council to serve as the director of field service. In 2010, he was selected to be the Scout executive of Golden Spread Council in Amarillo, Texas. Most recently, he has served as deputy Scout executive and chief operating officer of Circle Ten Council in Dallas, Texas.

Andy is an Eagle Scout who enjoys many sporting pursuits. He and his wife Renée look forward to this new challenge.

In the comments below, please join us as we welcome Andy to his new role in Scouting as he partners with the volunteers and staff of the Grand Canyon Council to deliver life-changing Scouting experiences to the young people of the communities they serve.

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