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Anna Marie Moran has been named Supervisor, Alumni Relations Annual Support for the BSA Office of Development effective June 1, 2021. Alumni Relations focuses on increasing and improving alumni involvement, supporting the BSA Alumni Association and members of the esteemed National Eagle Scout Association, and working closely with Alumni and NESA volunteer committees. Program areas under the auspices of the Alumni Relations department include the NESA Scholarship platforms, the many alumni award programs including DESA, NOESA and the Adams awards, as well as Alumni and NESA communications channels, strategic plans and marketing programs.

Anna Marie Moran

Anna Marie has been with BSA since January 2016, when she joined the Office of Development as a philanthropic advisor, working to secure major gifts to benefit the BSA High Adventure Bases and local area councils. She received her Wood Badge in 2018.

Anna Marie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing and business administration from Pennsylvania State University, an MBA from the University of Dallas and a certificate from the Smith Management Program for women in business. Anna Marie worked in the telecommunications industry for many years, managing strategic business units for Verizon and NEC. She was president of the Dallas Chapter of the Society of Women Engineers, and was an adjunct instructor for SMU, the University of Dallas, and the Art Institute of Dallas. Anna Marie first shifted her career toward nonprofit organizations by joining the University of Dallas College of Business Advancement team where she implemented an Alumni Hall of Fame and Alumni Advisory Board.

Anna Marie’s family has been affiliated with Scouting for generations, mainly through Pittsburgh and Lancaster, Pennsylvania–based councils. She is married to David and the mother of Eric, and spends her leisure time dabbling in art, yoga, swimming, traveling and endless hiking with her rescue Belgian Malinois, Tera.

Patrick Sterrett will assume a new role as EVP, Assistant Chief Scout Executive – High Adventure Bases and General Manager of Summit Bechtel Reserve, effective immediately.  

Patrick Sterrett

In this new role, Patrick will accelerate the optimization of the BSA High Adventure Bases as pinnacle Scouting experiences and expand access to these extraordinary programs to new and diverse participants. Patrick will collaborate with the High Adventure Base teams to take advantage of creative opportunities to increase Scout participation, strengthen facilities and program, and attract new people to the programs, such as families and outdoor enthusiasts. Patrick’s leadership in building on the successful high adventure model will be important to growing Scouting’s program and securing its financial future.  

“Patrick is the right leader at the right time, and I am grateful he has taken on this new challenge,” said Chief Scout Executive Roger Mosby.    

Over the last year, we have seen the Scouting community come together, even while being physically apart, to bring solutions, relief and comfort to those in need. Scouting continues to be a vital partner for communities across the country.

The value of Scouting is undeniable for those within the program and the greater public, and the Boy Scouts of America is committed to continuing to offer this unmatched opportunity to young people and families nationwide. It is important that we all reach out to Scouting families who might have left the program due to pandemic reasons and invite them back. We should also be thinking about how to invite new families to join.

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has worked to keep the membership fee as low as possible. Unfortunately, operating costs have continued to rise, and COVID-19 has compounded the need to increase the fee to maintain the program.

To ensure we have the resources to fulfill the promise of Scouting, the updated national membership fee is

  • $72 for Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouts participants
  • $45 for Exploring participants
  • $30 for council-paid memberships
  • $45 for all adult volunteers (includes cost of background check)
  • $75 for a unit charter fee

The membership fees will take effect August 1, 2021, for the 2021-2022 program year.

The one-time $25 joining fee for new program participants in Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouts is still required; however, there is no joining fee for Exploring participants, participants previously registered in any BSA program, those transferring from one program to another, council-paid memberships, or adult volunteers.

See an infographic explaining these updates. 

The national membership fee helps pay for the cost of essential services, including program resources, liability insurance for those participating in approved Scouting activities, youth protection and other local council resources.

National BSA will also continue to develop and improve resources that support our volunteers and youth members through online registration, Scoutbook, and national initiatives that bring us all together.

Across the country and in each of our communities, we know that Scouting remains one of the most valuable investments we can make in young men and women today so they can become the leaders we will turn to tomorrow.

Our dedicated volunteers, staff, and Scouting families make this possible. Thank you for continuing to support one of the most valuable opportunities available to young people today.

FAQ

Q:        Why are the fees increasing?

A:         The national annual membership fee is increasing by $6, about 50 cents per month, because the costs associated with Scouting, including the cost of liability insurance, continue to increase and the organization is not able to subsidize the increased costs as it had in the past.

Q:        When will this increase take effect?

A:         The updated membership fees will take effect August 1, 2021, for new members in the 2021-2022 program year.

Q:        Is Scouting still a good value?

A:         Absolutely! While most extracurricular activities are seasonal, Scouting is a year-round program that remains one of the most valuable investments we can make to support young men and women today so they can become the leaders we will turn to tomorrow. For most of our participants, the new national membership fee amounts to $6.00 a month, which is an enormous value when you consider that many seasonal extracurricular activities often start at $100 for programs that last a few weeks.

Q:        Does the fee increase apply to council-paid memberships?

A:        Council-paid memberships will be $30 annually for youth members in fully funded council-paid units for low-income communities.

Q:        What will the money be used for?

A:         The annual national membership fee and new-member joining fee help pay for the cost of essential services, including program resources, liability insurance for those participating in approved Scouting activities, youth protection and other local council resources.

Q:        Is this increase being implemented to cover the cost of the additional background checks?

A:         While the cost of background checks is paid for by the national organization, that is not the driver of this increase.

Q:        Will membership fees go toward funding a victims compensation trust?

A:         No. The national annual membership fee and the new-member joining fee will help pay for the cost of essential services, including program resources, liability insurance for those participating in approved Scouting activities, youth protection and other local council resources.

Q:        What measures has the national organization taken to offset its financial challenges?

A:         In addition to ongoing efforts to streamline and simplify the organization, the national organization has taken a number of steps to address its financial challenges, which include multiple rounds of reductions over the past year. These were in addition to ongoing consolidation of departments and elimination of some significant vendors for the most effective utilization of resources in support of Scouting. 

Q:        In addition to the national membership fee, my council is implementing a council fee. Is that allowed?

A:         Starting August 1, 2021, councils can also choose to charge a fee up to, but no more than, the national membership fee – up to $72 for participants in Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouts; up to $45 for participants in Exploring and up to $45 for adult members. The council fee can include local insurance costs (i.e., accident, property, etc.), as well as the cost to administer unique local programming. Units can continue to assess activity fees.

Q:        Will the national membership fee continue to increase?

A:         Although no decision about future increases has been made, the cost of operating our organization and services increases every year. Should it be necessary to increase fees in the future, the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America has agreed to evaluate the needs and make such decisions, whenever possible, at the National Annual Meeting so that decisions can be announced with as much lead time as possible to allow councils and units to plan accordingly. 

As part of the 2021 BSA National Annual Meeting, the organization held multiple Fireside Chat virtual meetings on a handful of key topics. These included Safety, Membership Growth, Female Board Leadership, and Governance. Governance was the topic for the fourth of these meetings. 

Governance 

The Fireside Chat focused on the ongoing evolution of the governance of the Boy Scouts of America – both at a national level and at the local council level. 

The panel of speakers for this Fireside Chat included former BSA national chairs Jim Turley and Dr. Robert M. Gates, former BSA National Commissioner Ellie Morrison, and BSA General Counsel Steven McGowan. Each panelist offered thoughts on the governance model of the organization. 

The panel began by referencing a previous Fireside Chat about increasing diversity on boards. They cited increasing board diversity as a means to gain greater perspective while bringing together people from different backgrounds with a shared focus on making the Boy Scouts of America the best organization it can be. 

The panel offered thoughts on the evolution of governance in the BSA over the past decade, mentioning that it has been a journey that has seen a shift toward increased input and direction coming from volunteers, rather than BSA professionals. They also talked about the ongoing focus on a separation between operations and governance for the organization. 

The panelists discussed the importance of the future emergence from bankruptcy as a driver in further progress being made on governance, and pointed toward increased engagement and input from local councils being sought. 

Each panelist mentioned the importance of the ongoing journey and evolution of the governance model and that, though there may be differences of opinions and challenges, everyone is keenly focused on open dialogue, respect, and an unwavering commitment to the development of the youth in the program. 

For more information on the Governance Fireside Chat, watch it below:

NAM2021 Governance Fireside Chat from Boy Scouts of America on Vimeo.

If you have not previously registered for an account, please do so by clicking on the registration link below. To fully utilize the capabilities of the BSA Brand Center, you must be logged in every time you use the tool. This will allow you to customize and download "Dynamic Templates" for your specific marketing needs. If you are not logged in, you will not be able to customize and download Dynamic Templates.

As part of the 2021 BSA National Annual Meeting, the organization held multiple Fireside Chat virtual meetings on a handful of key topics. These included Safety, Membership Growth, Female Board Leadership, and Governance. Female Board Leadership was the topic for the third of these meetings. 

Female Board Leadership 

The Fireside Chat focused on thoughts and strategies for increasing female board leadership as well as increasing the overall diversity of boards for the Boy Scouts of America, both at national and local council levels. 

Led by BSA National Executive Board Member and National Executive Committee Member Thear Suzuki, the panel of speakers also included South Florida Council President Alicia Speight, National Executive Board Member Tanya Acker, BSA Chief Diversity Officer Elizabeth Washka, Crossroads of America Council Scout Executive Jeff Isaac, and BSA Chair-Elect Brad Tilden. Each speaker shared multiple perspectives on the value of increasing female board membership as well as broadening the diversity of BSA boards. 

Panel members cited the importance of having a board that is reflective of the diverse membership the BSA. This strategy seeks to focus on understanding and connecting with moms, many of whom often make the decision on the types of organizations their children join. The panel members discussed how diversity at the board level helps to bring a diversity of thought into problem solving and seeking innovative ways to grow the Scouting movement. 

The panel noted that board members can have a variety of roles, including doers, donors, and door-openers, and that focusing on the strengths of board members of diverse backgrounds can benefit the BSA on many levels while also providing a greater connection to the many communities the BSA aims to serve. 

For more information on the Female Board Leadership Fireside Chat, watch it below:

NAM2021 Female Board Leadership Fireside Chat from Boy Scouts of America on Vimeo.

As part of the 2021 BSA National Annual Meeting, the organization held multiple Fireside Chat virtual meetings on a handful of key topics. These included Safety, Membership Growth, Female Board Leadership, and Governance. Membership Growth was the topic for the second of those meetings. 

Membership Growth

Like many organizations, Scouting faced challenges in growing its membership during 2020; however, with the 2021 fall recruiting season approaching, the organization is prepping to invite even more families to experience the fun and value of Scouting. 

During this Fireside Chat on membership growth, attendees heard from Scout Executive Anthony Escobar of the Caddo Area Council, who shared recruiting strategies that worked for his council during 2020, enabling the council to grow its membership, even against the backdrop of a challenging year. 

This session introduced the 2021 recruiting theme of Escape the Great Indoors, and offered links to an entire suite of marketing resources (fliers, videos, social media posts, web banners, photos, and more) on the BSA Brand Center

The discussion also focused on the current Summer of Service initiative, which helps Scouts to be visible in their communities this summer through their acts of service. The Summer of Service also features a set of dedicated resources on the Brand Center that can be used to promote local service activities.

Two upcoming webinars are scheduled to help inform people on key marketing and membership growth strategies. The first, scheduled for June 17, will focus on the Escape the Great Indoors recruiting theme. Register here for the June 17 webinar. The second webinar, scheduled for June 24, will feature a discussion on key technology platforms (online registration, invitation manager, application manager) used to recruit and grow Scouting. Register here for the June 24 webinar

Additionally, two separate membership kickoff webinars were discussed. The one for BSA staff took place on June 10, and one for volunteers will be scheduled for July 22. More details about these kickoff webinars will be shared in the near future. 

The session also featured updates on the Den Leader Experience (including Tips and Tricks videos, Cub Scout Preview Adventures, and other tools used to help grow and retain Scouts. 

For more information on the Membership Growth Fireside Chat, watch it below:

2021NAM Membership Fireside Chat from Boy Scouts of America on Vimeo.

See the Q&A from the session here

As part of the 2021 BSA National Annual Meeting, the organization held multiple Fireside Chat virtual meetings on a series of key topics. These included Safety, Membership Growth, Female Board Leadership, and Governance. Safety was the topic for the first of these meetings. 

Safety

The safety-focused Fireside Chat featured a discussion on the new S.A.F.E. Scouting approach. This means Supervision, Assessment, Fitness & Skill, and Equipment & Environment. To help ensure the safety of its participants, the Boy Scouts of America expects leaders to use the four points of S.A.F.E. when delivering the Scouting program.

The session also discussed the availability of extensive safety resources contained online at the BSA Health & Safety site. These resources include BSA Safety Moments, the Guide to Safe Scouting, and Youth Protection Training.

Finally, the session focused on the importance of having a culture of safety within the BSA, where safety isn’t just a priority, but where it is a core value and paramount in every aspect of the organization. The commitment to that level of safety begins individually with everyone involved in Scouting.

For more information on the Safety Fireside Chat, watch it below:

2021NAM Safety Fireside Chat from Boy Scouts of America on Vimeo.

Every year, Cub Scout Adventures are reviewed to identify trends and determine interests of our youth, den leaders and Cub Scout families. In our ongoing efforts to keep the Cub Scouting Adventure program relevant to today’s families, Cub Scout elective Adventures are reviewed for both content and popularity. The most recent review has identified 19 elective Adventures that do not meet the standards of youth and den leader engagement, with the lowermost being earned by less than 3% of eligible youth. They will be retired effective May 31, 2022. The retiring of these adventures allows Cub Scouting to be more agile as the BSA makes continuous improvements to the program.

Some families may want one last chance to earn these Adventures, and some den leaders may have already made plans for the upcoming program year.  To help with that transition, these Adventures will be available until the end of the 2021-2022 program year.

The affected elective Adventures, which will be retired effective May 31, 2022, are as follows:

  • Family Stories, Rank: Tiger, SKU: 619922
  • Earning Your Stripes, Rank: Tiger, SKU: 619925
  • Tiger Tales, Rank: Tiger, SKU: 619930
  • Tiger Theater, Rank: Tiger, SKU: 619931
  • Collections and Hobbies, Rank: Wolf, SKU: 619940
  • Grow Something, Rank: Wolf, SKU: 619944
  • Hometown Heroes, Rank: Wolf, SKU: 619947
  • Motor Away, Rank: Wolf, SKU: 619950
  • Beat of the Drum, Rank: Bear, SKU: 619958
  • World of Sound, Rank: Bear, SKU: 619960
  • Make it Move, Rank: Bear, SKU: 619963
  • Robotics, Rank: Bear, SKU: 619968
  • Looking Back Looking Forward, Rank: Webelos/AOL, SKU: 619978
  • Maestro, Rank: Webelos/AOL, SKU: 619979
  • Project Family, Rank: Webelos/AOL, SKU: 619997
  • Build My Hero, Rank: Webelos/AOL, SKU: 619992
  • Adventures in Science, Rank: Webelos/AOL, SKU: 619989
  • Fix It, Rank: Webelos/AOL, SKU: 619975
  • Movie Making, Rank: Webelos/AOL, SKU: 619982

The listed elective Adventures are still part of the Cub Scouting program until May 31, 2022. After that date, these Adventures will be retired, and the Adventure loops and pins will no longer be available. Earned Adventures will be archived in Scoutbook and Internet Advancement. The Adventure will appear as earned but will no longer be able to be marked as completed after May 31, 2022.

Tuesday, 09 March 2021 20:02

The Heart of a Champion

Story by Evan Heller, Buckeye Council

It would have been like watching a scene from a movie—if I’d had time to think about it.

With 10 seconds left in a hard-fought basketball game, my team of underdogs was tied with the tournament’s top seed. Nobody expected us to hang with them this close, yet now we were within a single basket of a huge upset. We were oblivious to the pressure, oblivious to the crowd, oblivious to the sweat, just playing our game. I wheeled into position, and a teammate passed me the ball as he’d done hundreds of times in practice. The basket was in sight. I drew up to shoot. And time stopped.

All 10 wheelchair basketball players on the court turned expectantly to follow the ball as it rose from my hands toward the basket, tumbling as it sailed through the air. An eternity seemed to pass as the ball approached the rim. It passed almost silently through the hoop, dropping to the court untouched as time expired and the horn blared to end the game—with the underdogs on top. We had won the biggest matchup in team history, and my shot had sealed it!

DISCOVERING A PASSION

Evan with his winning Pinewood Derby car in 2009.

I basically grew up in Scouting. When I was very young, my mom was a district executive for the Boy Scouts of America, and while she was in classrooms signing up new Cub Scouts, I was there. As soon as I was old enough, I joined Scouting. We had just moved to a new town, and I had no friends or family nearby. Scouting helped me meet people I could relate to. My den did everything together, from outside adventures to hands-on crafts and hobbies, and we learned important lessons like working as a team without even realizing it. I discovered that if I focus my competitive fire, I could become a Pinewood Derby ace. The opportunities I found through Scouting gave me experiences I would have missed otherwise. You see, I was born with spina bifida, a birth defect that makes walking very difficult for me, so I didn’t do much in the way of sports until I discovered archery at Scout camp at Woodland Trails Scout Reservation in Hilliard, Ohio. The smothering heat of that summer didn’t get in my way; I loved the feel and the power of the draw, aim, and shoot, and as my skills grew, so did my confidence.

Evan on the court with his Wooster High School wheelchair basketball team

When I returned home, I practiced constantly with the bow I received for my birthday. I can still remember the bright yellow fletching on the arrows and the sting of the bow strike against my forearm, and through all those hours of practice, I realized something: I wanted to share this awesome sport with other kids. So, I volunteered to teach archery the following year at Cub Scout day camp in Delaware, Ohio. There’s no better feeling when a Scout you’re coaching hits his first target. I knew I wanted to experience that feeling again and again. Helping other kids became my passion, but I knew I had other goals to conquer first.

PRACTICING MY GAME

As a teen, I discovered wheelchair basketball. With the discipline and leadership skills I had learned throughout my lifetime as a Scout, I emerged as a natural leader on the team. I joined my high school wheelchair basketball team, becoming one of the most sought-after recruits in the nation and leading my team to a 54-0 record and three straight state titles. When signing day came, I decided to continue my basketball career and education at Auburn University. I also am aiming higher, training to try out next year for the USA Men’s National team with a goal of earning a spot to compete at the U23 World Championships in Japan in 2022. After that, I plan to play professionally in Europe and work to earn a spot on Team USA to compete in the Paralympics before beginning a career that fulfills another lifelong goal.

I also am aiming higher, training to try out next year for the USA Men’s National team with a goal of earning a spot to compete at the U23 World Championships in Japan in 2022. After that, I plan to play professionally in Europe and work to earn a spot on Team USA to compete in the Paralympics before beginning a career that fulfills another lifelong goal. – Evan Heller

SINKING THE SHOT

Signing day for Evan

I have made the most of the opportunities I had through Scouting, and I continue to capitalize on what I learn from so many different types of incredible people I have met. No matter what happens after college, my plans definitely include a career that was presented to me directly from a strong Scouting influence. Teaching archery to Scouts at camp really opened my eyes to how I wanted to help people throughout my life. Outside of basketball practice at Auburn, I am pursuing a degree in special education to make my goals a reality. Being a Scout has helped me succeed throughout my life, even when challenges in my physical ability made it appear to be a near impossibility. Scouting gave me the chance to compete and to feel the rush of winning—and I like to win! My plan is to pay that blessing forward. Because I am a Scout, I’m not the underdog. I am a champion.

Evan, thank you for telling your Scouting story! We wish you the best in your pursuit of a Division I crown and a spot on the USA National wheelchair basketball team.

Special thanks to our donors and alumni who believe in the potential for our local camps and councils to open doors for young people to learn, excel, and set out on a path toward their futures. Evan’s story is unique, as are the stories of thousands of other young people whose successes are directly tied to their Scouting experience. You continue to make that happen with your unwavering support.

Evan and Amy

About Evan Heller

Evan is a scholarship freshman scholar/athlete at Auburn University, where he is a member of the wheelchair basketball team. In addition to the Scouting program, Evan credits his mother, Buckeye Council Senior District Director Amy Heller, as being the mentor who had the most impact on his life.

All photos courtesy of Amy Heller

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