Article submitted by Jim Rushton, Team Lead Summit High Adventure Base

The Summit Bechtel Reserve is pleased to host several professional development opportunities this fall. The completion of the Tillerson Leadership Center, as well as our new dining and housing facilities, provides the SBR with tremendous capacity to support all types of training opportunities. Professionally speaking they include:

  • District Operations Basic 2 – October 14-18, 2019
  • Advanced District Operations – October 13-18, 2019
  • Leadership Development Series – October 20-25, 2019

The fall is a beautiful time to visit the State of West Virginia. We hope you will check out these courses and discuss these potential training opportunities with your staff leader. For more information visit Scouting.org.training.

In addition, the Summit will be hosting the International Representatives Conference – October 13-18, 2019. All International Representatives as well as anyone approved by their International Representatives to attend are welcome! To register, please visit summitbsa.org and click on the training tab.

Scouting Wire would like to thank Jim for submitting this article.

Article contributed by Jim Rushton, Team Lead, Summit High Adventure Base

Gauley Season – September/October 2019

Come visit the Summit Bechtel Reserve for our inaugural Gauley Season. This is a great Unit High Adventure program as well as a great team building opportunity for local councils, districts and volunteers.

Gauley Season is an annual event which brings whitewater enthusiasts from around the world. The season is marked by the release of water from the Summersville Dam into the Gauley River, creating the best whitewater in the USA.

Participants can stay at the Summit in our new facilities or as tent campers. You can cook, or we call a cook for you. Your fee will include access to fishing, bike trails, hiking trails and the Sustainability Tree House.

Several additional a la carte activities (BMX, ATV, COPE, etc.) are available for an additional fee.

For more information call 304-465-2800 or reach out to  Jim Rushton at 972-567-3097 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Scouting Wire would like to thank Jim for submitting this article.

Monday, 26 August 2019 12:20

Top Tips for Second Round Recruitment

Article contributed by Christen Oswald, District Executive Etowah of the Greater Alabama Council

You did it! You and the recruitment team went to schools and handed out flyers, went to the classroom, and got all the kids super pumped to join Scouting. You had your sign up night and got ready to register every kid in the school. Yet, after all that, your numbers do not reflect your enthusiasm, your team did not reach the goals they had set and now your numbers are also down. Not a good thing. What do you do?

It doesn’t matter if this is your first year or your 10th year recruiting from schools – we all feel the struggle.  Second round recruitment is the key to getting all the kids that really wanted to join but maybe did not get the information, missed the sign up day or the parents just did not understand the impact Scouting can have on their child.

Second round recruitment sounds like a lot more work, but it is not. It’s just a redo on what you just did at the start of the school year. Take the same plan that you had and go back to all your schools. Take flyers, do Scout talks and hold a rally. Target schools that had very little or lower than normal youth sign up.

Talk to your contact at the school, the principal, counselor, etc. and request that you come back into the school and sign up more kids. Don’t talk about your numbers or goals, instead, share what Scouting can do for the kids in their school.

Make sure you share details about the full family Scouting program – some parents still do not know or understand that the Cub Scout program is for the whole family. Everyone can go to Scout Night and take advantage of the program. 

If you only got flyers out the first time to some schools, go back and ask if you can get more flyers and do a Scout Talk in the cafeteria this time or even a Scout Talk at the pep rally.

After that, you do exactly what you did the first time. Get your flyers, sticker, bookmarks and all of your information and go back into the school with as much enthusiasm as you had the first time! Remind the kids again about how much fun Scouting is and remind yourself that the little faces you are looking at is why you do your job! That’s it! Second round recruitment is simply a refresh on first round recruitment. 

Scouting Wire would like to thank Christen for contributing this article.

Article contributed by Wendy Shaw, National Director of Membership Growth

Last month we shared the national aspirational goal of having a girl troop in every district. The number of girl troops continues to climb. Let’s look at some of the highlights to date…

If you have eight or more troops in your district, you are in the TOP TEN in the BSA! Great work to the staff serving those districts. If you have seven girl troops in your district you are in the TOP TWENTY! Impressive work in less than seven months.

Congrats to the following councils for having a girl troop in every traditional district:

Northeast Region

Spirit of Adventure

Mayflower

Connecticut Rivers

Greenwich

Housatonic

Connecticut Yankee

Suffolk County

Twin Rivers

Five Rivers

Leatherstocking

Allegheny Highlands

Westmoreland-Fayette

Susquehanna

Cradle of Liberty

Puerto Rico

Transatlantic

Southern Region

Bay Area

Suwanee River Area

Daniel Boone

Central North Carolina

Palmetto

Shenandoah Area

Cherokee Area

Cimarron

Central Region

Voyageurs Area

Samoset

Bay Lakes

Chippewa Valley

Black Hills Area

Water and Woods

Hawkeye Area

Northeast Iowa

Lake Erie

Muskingum Valley

Mountaineer Area

Santa Fe Trail

Pony Express

Northeast Illinois

Glacier’s Edge

Potawatomi Area

Rainbow

Western Region

Ore-Ida

Mount Baker

Pikes Peak

Rocky Mountain

Alameda

Sequoia

Pacific Skyline

Marin

Redwood Empire

Piedmont

Silicon Valley Monterey Bay

Greater Los Angeles Area

Western Los Angeles County

Los Padres

Far East

Scouting Wire would like to thank Wendy for contributing this article.

Article contributed by Wendy Shaw, National Director of Membership Growth

Last month we shared the national aspirational goal of having a girl troop in every district. The number of girl troops continues to climb. Let’s look at some of the highlights to date…

If you have eight or more troops in your district, you are in the TOP TEN in the BSA! Great work to the staff serving those districts. If you have seven girl troops in your district you are in the TOP TWENTY! Impressive work in less than seven months.

Congrats to the following councils for having a girl troop in every traditional district:

Northeast Region

Spirit of Adventure

Mayflower

Connecticut Rivers

Greenwich

Housatonic

Connecticut Yankee

Suffolk County

Twin Rivers

Five Rivers

Leatherstocking

Allegheny Highlands

Westmoreland-Fayette

Susquehanna

Cradle of Liberty

Puerto Rico

Transatlantic

Southern Region

Bay Area

Suwanee River Area

Daniel Boone

Central North Carolina

Palmetto

Shenandoah Area

Cherokee Area

Cimarron

Central Region

Voyageurs Area

Samoset

Bay Lakes

Chippewa Valley

Black Hills Area

Water and Woods

Hawkeye Area

Northeast Iowa

Lake Erie

Muskingum Valley

Mountaineer Area

Santa Fe Trail

Pony Express

Northeast Illinois

Glacier’s Edge

Potawatomi Area

Rainbow

Western Region

Ore-Ida

Mount Baker

Pikes Peak

Rocky Mountain

Alameda

Sequoia

Pacific Skyline

Marin

Redwood Empire

Piedmont

Silicon Valley Monterey Bay

Greater Los Angeles Area

Western Los Angeles County

Los Padres

Far East

Scouting Wire would like to thank Wendy for contributing this article.

Monday, 26 August 2019 12:13

How to Attend Growth Conference 2020

Article contributed by Wendy Shaw, National Director of Membership Growth

2020 Growth Conference

We heard positive feedback from those of you who attended the 2019 Regional Growth Conferences. The feedback was so positive that we are pleased to announce the return of the Growth Conference in 2020. Once again, the attendees will be invited to attend based on their membership performance. 

Three significant changes for 2020 include:

  1. Having a single event in Las Vegas instead of four regional events
  2. Districts will be grouped by size so attendees will be invited to attend based on their membership growth as compared to other districts of a similar size
  3. The deadline to qualify for an invitation to attend is November 30, 2019 (not year-end)

For more information, click here.

Scouting Wire would like to thank Wendy for submitting this article.

Article contributed by Jim Bollback, District Executive of the Northern Star Council and Central Region Top New Unit Executive

Recently a colleague asked me, “Jim, how did you start so many new units?” I gave my response little thought and blurted out, “start early and work hard.”

But since that brief conversation, I have given the question a good deal of thought. My initial response was accurate but incomplete.

It was about this same time that I also downloaded the Central Region New Unit App and began to plug in the information for my new units. And as I did, my colleague’s question kept reverberating in my mind. As we all know, starting new units – even under the best of circumstances (like the opportunity to start new girl Troops) – is not easy.

Here are the four things that I put into practice to start Scouts BSA troops for girls:

1.Start Early. My first contact with a troop committee to discuss the future possibility of a girl troop was in March 2018 – after girls were first welcomed into Cub Scouts. With few exceptions, discussions started with chartered organizations and troop committees months in advance of the official launch date in 2019. In most cases, multiple meetings and conversations were required to work with the volunteers to put all the pieces together. In the end, I was glad I started early.

2.Invest in People.This is our modus operandi in Scouting, but it is easily forgotten. I was able to recruit an “ambassador” for girl troops and got the enthusiastic buy-in of my district chair and district membership chair. That would not have been possible, however, if I had not first spent time investing in them, getting to know them, and listening to their perspectives. Their participation, and that of many other volunteers, along with the synergy that was created was essential to the successful formation of new units.

3.Don’t Rush. It takes time to cultivate chartered organizations, potential new leaders, and to recruit new Scouts. Last minute rarely works, nudging is better than pushing, and working slowly and steadily toward the goal wins the confidence and support of all the players necessary. It also assures that all the details are covered.

4.Work Hard. It takes a lot of hard work to start new units! There are no shortcuts. It means repeating the same answers or making the same suggestions over and over again. It means flexing my work schedule so that I can be available to meet with the key players. It means research and study to select locations and growing knowledge of what constitutes a healthy unit and a source of youth to recruit.   

I can only speak from my personal experience, but I know these tips can help you, too: Start Early, Invest in People, Don’t Rush, and Work Hard!

Scouting Wire would like to thank Jim for contributing this article.

Tuesday, 20 August 2019 22:12

Scoutbook: Simplifying Cub Scout Leadership

Cub Scouts doesn’t happen without our parents and volunteers. It is, at its core, a family program.

I say it often and I’ll say it again: I am incredibly grateful to each of you who give your time to drive your children to meetings, volunteer to coordinate program activities or answer the call to serve as leaders and mentor Scouts. You make an incredible difference in the lives of young people. While this is true of volunteers for all our programs, Cub Scout volunteers are unique in that their role is the most engaged. We are always looking for ways to innovate and make the delivery of our programs easier, more consistent and accessible to all. This is why we’ve updated Scoutbook to make it a one-stop-shop for den leaders to access the tools they need to deliver this great program.

With the new enhancements, Scoutbook now offers den leaders the ability to plan activities, track attendance, record advancement, communicate with parents and leaders, and access leader resources. You can learn more about the features in this Bryan on Scouting blog. This technology will streamline required administrative activities and simplify the role of den leaders to keep the focus on what den leaders do best – bring the program to life. These individuals are the heart of Cub Scouts, so we want to give them the support, flexibility and freedom they need to create fun and meaningful experiences for their den. I hope you’ll go check out the new enhancements to Scoutbook this week. When we have consistent program delivery, it saves time for leaders and adds value to the Cub Scout experience by ensuring all Scouts get the full benefits of our time-tested curriculum.

One benefit of Cub Scouts that I consistently hear about from parents is how they look to this program as an opportunity to make the most of the time they have together as a family. We want to make it as easy as possible for parents to engage in our programs and technology is key to making participation simple. I encourage you all to help us move forward in the goal of reaching more families by using this system to connect and make Scouting even more accessible.

While this Scoutbook update specifically benefits Cub Scout leaders, we’re working toward similar functionality for our other programs in the future. If you experience any issues or have feedback on Scoutbook to share, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Thank you all for helping youth make the most of right now.

Yours in Scouting,

Mike

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