Millions count themselves among the many Scouting alumni and millions more support Scouting in their communities – pledging their support through volunteer leadership, financial support and advocacy for America’s premiere character- and leadership-development program.

Now, as Scouting prepares to celebrate a groundbreaking year for the movement, the Boy Scouts of America is rallying all councils to bring forward the most influential and impactful Scouting supporter to the forefront to celebrate them and inspire others to learn more about Scouting in just three steps.

  1. At the 2018 Top Hands Conference, each council will receive one limited edition “Scout Me In” neckerchief to gift to that council’s most impactful influencer. (Councils will also have the opportunity to order more neckerchiefs in case they have more influencers to engage!) There are many ways to consider influence – from celebrities and bloggers to community and business leaders, and we can’t wait to see who councils rally in support Scouting.
  2. In September and October, our newly-identified influencers will be asked to wear the “Scout Me In” neckerchief and post a video or photo to social media using #ScoutMeIn and a few words to express their support of Scouting. These neckerchiefs will be available for preorder beginning next week at Top Hands through this online order form.
  3. Bringing forward the influential and vocal support for Scouting has its perks! The BSA will offer 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. The only “catch” is that the prize money must be spent to benefit your council and cannot be given to the influencer as payment.

With a cadre of influencers passionate about Scouting identified, the BSA will develop a video series featuring those influencers about why they support Scouting – one of the next extensions in the ‘Scout Me In’ campaign that will continue into 2019!

This is a win-win-win because it gives councils a fun, playful and rewarding reason to reach out to local influencers that they can actively engage for support into the recruitment and upcoming FOS season, enables the BSA to find some star-power that we would never be able to otherwise afford and creates highly-sharable and fun content that both councils and the national organization can share on social media to rally excitement about Scouting during the 2018 recruitment season.

Join us in congratulating Scott Hanson, who will serve as Scout executive of Mountaineer Area Council in Fairmont, West Virginia, effective September 16, 2018.

Scott began his Scouting career as a district executive at Daniel Webster Council in Manchester, New Hampshire. He moved on to become the program director with Del-Mar-Va Council in Wilmington, Delaware, and later to development director and field director with Baltimore Area Council in Baltimore, Maryland. He was most recently promoted to director of camping services of Mid-America Council in Omaha, Nebraska.

Scott is an Eagle Scout who enjoys going to see movies and spending time with family and friends. He and his wife, Becky, have three children.

Send your well wishes to Scott in the comments below as he joins the volunteers and staff of Mountaineer Area Council to deliver quality Scouting experiences to the young people of the communities they serve.

This year, we’re excited to officially welcome girls and boys into the Cub Scouts and invite even more families to take advantage of the life-changing experiences provided through Scouting. After all, the values that Scouts are known for – being trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent – are as relevant for girls as they are for boys.

To celebrate this, we want to introduce a new video that we affectionately call “Welcome to the Cub,” which we hope you’ll join us in sharing. It offers a chance to hear from Cub Scouts themselves, boys and girls, about why all kids will love Cub Scouts.

Their perspective is refreshing, thoughtful, and priceless! We loved hearing from them, and we know that the Scouting community will celebrate them, too.

Check out the video below, and be sure to share it on your own social channels to help spread the word about all kids being welcome to join Cub Scouts. 

Special thanks to the Cub Scout families of the Pathway to Adventure Council and to Arthur Mathews of the Cook County Forest Preserves for all of their help in making this video possible. 

Today, Exploring released nationwide survey results revealing that student interests are shifting from entertainment to high-demand STEM opportunities, offering insight into the aspirations of the future workforce and potential solutions to current gaps in education opportunities.

Exploring’s Career Interest Survey was fielded in 2017 to more than 32,000 students from 8th through 12th grades. More than 200 career options were offered to enable a broad view of student interests – and an indicator as to where talent gaps may appear in the years ahead. This survey helps Exploring develop real-life job experiences that combine student interests with in-demand career opportunities

The top 10 list of most popular careers shifted drastically in 2017. Overall, interest in STEM-related professions, including health-care careers, jumped to 52 percent in 2017, versus 45 percent in 2016, with interest shifting away from pop-culture careers.

The significance of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education for youth is more important today than ever before. Careers in STEM fields are in high-demand, yet many fields are grappling to fill them because there are not enough trained professionals to fill the deficit. The Exploring program is helping by educating youth about STEM careers and building interest in subjects they might not otherwise know about in the traditional classroom.

The top 10 most popular careers from the 2017 survey were:

  1. Registered Nurse (ranked #1 in 2016)
  2. Physician/Surgeon (ranked #6 in 2016)
  3. Computer Programmer (new to the top 10 list)
  4. Veterinarian (ranked #8 in 2016)
  5. Professional Athlete (ranked #2 in 2016)
  6. Mechanical Engineer (new to the top 10 list)
  7. Teacher (new to the top 10 list)
  8. Artist (ranked #3 in 2016)
  9. Attorney (new to the top 10 list)
  10. Computer Engineer (new to the top 10 list)

“It’s encouraging to see a positive shift in interest toward STEM careers in just one year given concerns surrounding the shortage of STEM talent across a variety of industries,” said Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh. “Through Exploring, we introduce youth to real-world STEM career experiences so the jobs of the future are familiar and within reach as they are making decisions about their educational and career paths.”

Through the type of experiential education that Exploring offers, young men and women are able to see themselves in the full spectrum of STEM careers available to them. Exploring also teams with industry partners to better offer an authentic experience for youth, inviting them to explore real roles at real companies and organizations. 

“At GE, we know that the future STEM workforce is critical to innovations yet to be discovered, so we take seriously our role in helping young people spark an interest in pursuing a STEM career,” said John McDonald, Smart Grid Business Development Leader at GE Power’s Grid Solutions business and Exploring leader. “That’s why we partnered with Exploring – to give students real-world opportunities and experiences that open them up to a world of exciting and fulfilling careers.”

Exploring provides real-life activities and mentorship for youth looking to discover their future. Along with other BSA programs, including STEM Scouts, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Sea Scouts and Venturing, Exploring’s career development program complements how students learn about STEM – beyond the classroom, in the community and alongside industry experts looking to attract future generations of STEM professionals.

Learn more about these fascinating findings by reading the full press release on Scouting Newsroom.

Join us as we congratulate Nick Roberts, who will serve as Scout executive of Northeast Illinois Council in Vernon Hills, Illinois, effective September 16, 2018.

Nick began his Scouting career as a district executive at Greater St. Louis Area Council in St. Louis, Missouri. He also served as a district director and later field director in St. Louis before being promoted to director of field service/COO of Three Fires Council in St. Charles, Illinois.

Nick is an Eagle Scout and Vigil Honor Member of the Order of the Arrow who enjoys fishing, shooting sports, and home improvement projects. He and his wife, Dana, have two children, Cooper and Ava. 

In the comments below, please help us welcome Nick to his new role in Scouting as he joins the volunteers and staff of the Northeast Illinois Council to deliver quality Scouting experiences to the young people of the communities they serve.

Boy Scouts of America is joining forces with Ducks Unlimited at the Summit Bechtel Reserve’s Joe Crafton Sportsman’s Complex to help educate Scouts about the importance of waterfowl and wetlands conservation. Ducks Unlimited is now the official conservation sponsor of the BSA for wetlands and waterfowl conservation. 

Committed to Conservation

Conservation has been woven into the fabric of Boy Scouts of America since its founding in 1910. The BSA is committed to teaching youth about wildlife and wetland conservation, as demonstrated by a number of youth awards like the William T. Hornaday Awards, the World Conservation Awards and merit badges like the Fish and Wildlife Management Merit Badge and Soil and Water Conservation Merit Badge.

Pictured L to R, Doug Schoenrock, first Vice President of DU, Brad Farmer, Assistant Chief Scout Executive, Jay Stuart, Director of National Sales for Scouting Works, and Richard Smith, National Director of Development at the DU National Convention in Indianapolis.

The mission of Ducks Unlimited is to conserve, restore and manage wetlands and associated habitats for North America’s waterfowl. Ducks Unlimited is dedicated to conserving wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever.

As like minded-organizations, Ducks Unlimited and the BSA believe our visions for conservation will strengthen the opportunity for youth who are interested in learning more about conserving our wetlands and building a better tomorrow.

Coming Soon to the Summit Bechtel Reserve

As part of this exciting relationship, the Joe Crafton Sportsman’s Complex at the Summit will unveil a waterfowl conservation story video and showcase a waterfowl and wetlands conservation education exhibit that will include a corresponding sculpture in the Sportsman’s Plaza. 

Additionally, Ducks Unlimited will furnish a unique Hero in Conservation profile of a Ducks Unlimited executive or member of their board of directors who was or is involved in Scouting to highlight leaders who support Scouting and conservation. 

Keep an eye out for these events at Summit Bechtel Reserve’s Joe Crafton Sportsman’s Complex in the next few months and through spring 2019!

With activities like camping in the wilderness, learning new skills through merit badges and service projects that help the community, Scouting is known to provide challenging opportunities that help develop youth into the leaders of tomorrow. For some Scouts these challenges can come with other obstacles, like disabilities. But in Scouting, these hurdles aren’t roadblocks – anyone can develop into the leader they want to be. For Drew Carlson, he faced several medical difficulties from a young age, but he didn’t let that keep him from his goals. And Scouting helped get him there.

Drew’s Journey to Eagle Scout

Drew Carlson’s path in Scouting started the way many do. He was invited to a “Join Night” recruiting event when he was in second grade. After attending some Cub Scout meetings, Drew decided on his own that he was going to earn the Eagle Scout rank. Never once pushed by his parents, he quickly became a very dedicated Scout.

Drew was encouraged and supported by his father, Dave, who became an active volunteer, starting out as a Den Leader and later became more involved as a Cubmaster. Once Drew joined Troop #835 of the Denver Area Council, Dave soon became the Scoutmaster.

At this point, Drew was well on his path to Eagle, and Dave was putting in more hours in Scouting than his own career. Drew also received strong support at home from his mother, Janay, and his older sister, Emily. This may sound like a typical Scouting story, but Drew’s journey has another layer…

Finding Community in Scouting

From the earliest parts of his life, Drew experienced several issues that manifested in delayed physical, intellectual, speech and behavioral development. He has had several minor, non-life-threatening surgeries and has been enrolled in special education since Kindergarten, as well as going through occupational and developmental therapy.

The family pursued many options to find answers, but it was not until age 13 when an endocrinologist finally helped diagnose Drew with Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome (RTS). RTS is a mutation in one or more genes and the degree of developmental issues can vary widely. Fortunately, Drew is within the high-functioning spectrum of the condition.

Drew found his community in Scouting, a place where he could be involved in a program that required physical activity, helped build friendships, taught leadership skills and developed good character and morals. It allowed him to participate in Duty to God and to help other people through service. Scouting provided him a program to be involved with his parents and have the guidance of positive adult mentors.

Eagle Scout Drew Carlson with friends and family after completing his Eagle Scout project at the Conifer Cemetery.

“[In Scouting] he was always approached like any other kid, and not special needs. No other place allowed for that type of reaction. He was a bright kid, with a bright future, but Scouts helped define that road,” shared Dave of his son.

Drew earned his Eagle Scout in 2016 – having completed his Eagle Scout service project for the Conifer Cemetery through a restoration and construction effort. The project made such a positive difference to him that Drew and his family still visit the cemetery once a month to provide upkeep and continuous beautification.

When asked, “what is the most important thing Scouting has done for you?” Drew says, “I never gave up or give up and I am determined to reach my goals. I am not sure even my mom and dad thought, with my history, that I would make the honor roll in high school or go to college, but I have, and I am going to Front Range Community College next year and I want to keep on going.”

Drew’s long-term vision is to become an entrepreneur and own an ice-cream shop, which he already has the name for – “Drew’s Scoops!”

Drew’s story was featured at the Denver Area Council’s 42nd Annual Sports Breakfast and was covered by 9News in Denver, Colorado. Watch 9News’ video below to learn more about Drew’s inspiring story and head to After-School Alliances to see his story featured there, too.

Scouting Wire would like to thank Jan Marie Locket of the Denver Area Council for submitting this story.   

Monday, 13 August 2018 14:02

Make the Most of Right Now

The end of summer is a bittersweet time of year.

Hopefully you have adventures to look back on, a bank of memories of free time spent creatively. Perhaps our programs had a hand in taking you camping with friends and family or to summer camp to explore new landscapes and skills. I hope you fit in some outdoor adventures, but regardless of how you spent your time, I hope you made the most of it.

Summer is a lot like childhood. As a young person, it’s a fleeting opportunity to devote yourself to pursuits of your own choosing, to learn outside of the confines of curriculum and to revel in unburdened time. We often say in Scouting that there is a small window to make a meaningful impact on children and shape who they may become as adults. When opportunity is limited, it’s critical that we make the most of it right now.

In Scouting, we aim to use that window to provide young people with experiences they can’t get anywhere else that will help prepare them for life. By building a strong foundation of character, education and leadership skills, I believe we can set young people up for long-term success. Part of doing that is creating year-round opportunities for young people to self-direct their activities. That’s why we leave room for choosing merit badges to pursue, selecting career experiences to try or opting in to outdoor activities. It’s all a chance for young people to take their own lead, face new challenges and learn positive values in the process.

Whether you are a current Scout, an adult volunteer, a parent or someone curious to see what Scouting has to offer, I hope you approach the start of the school year as a time of opportunity. Invite your friends to try out Scouting with you or volunteer to take on a new role where you might step out of your comfort zone.

Like most things, you get out of Scouting what you put into it.

Let’s approach this new school year reinvigorated!

Yours in Scouting,

Mike

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