All posts by Communications

Coming Soon – New England Sub Camp!

 

Submitted by Chuck Eaton, Scout Executive

Starting this summer with a soft launch, followed by a grand opening in September, New England Sub Camp will provide various Scouting programs from our new Woburn location. This facility will be extraordinarily convenient to all Scouters and Scout families and will provide year-round Saturday and evening Merit Badge opportunities, Saturday Cub Scout programs, birthday party programs, as well as host the Scout Shop and the Customer Service Center all in one location.

This brand new location will be referred to as the New England Sub Camp. Programs hosted here next year will be in addition to the Scouting programs at Base Camp Milton, Lone Tree and select satellites locations. We will expand our den Adventure Kit program and provide Adventure Kits through the Milton Base Camp location as well. We hope this will be a step along the way in the process to effectively serve communities in the northern suburbs.

Since the very beginning of the council merger, we’ve always sought to serve in a way that would help Scouting thrive in your community. When asked, the answers have always come back loud and clear from Cubmasters, Den Leaders and parents: “Help make Scouting more accessible, and less complicated.” “Help us recruit more parent volunteers.”

From that feedback much of New England Base Camp was born. Unfortunately, the property that was readily available to develop Base Camp was in the south shore and most of our Scouts live north of Boston. Despite this, however, thousands of Scouts from northern suburbs and much further away attend Base Camp each year. For Scouts and Venturers, Base Camp has quickly become the popular home for ice climbing, Eagle Week, National Youth Leadership Training and sea kayaking. The weekend satellites, satellite day camps and den Adventure Kits have been growing in popularity and effectiveness for the past couple years. Since opening Base Camp to the public we’ve shared scouting with communities who previously felt excluded. Additionally, after two years, it’s clear that Cub Packs that utilize their Adventure Card frequently show 6% greater retention compared to Packs who do not use their Adventure Card.

That being said, we recognize the majority of programs and services are delivered through a physical asset that is a geographic a challenge for many of our Scouts. The cultural and traffic distance for Base Camp is a real issue. We’ve attempted to utilize Lone Tree Scout Reservation as our northern base camp. However, there are facility, distance and other concerns that prevent Lone Tree from attaining the same success as the property in Milton.

We do not envision the opening of New England Sub Camp in Woburn as the final step in the process to effectively serve communities in the northern suburbs. Rather, it’s a step along the way and an opportunity to enhance our listening and feedback. For the 2019 – 2020 Scouting year the Sub Camp, Base Camp in Milton, Lone Tree and select satellites will all be operational.

Please watch for additional announcements regarding the precise date for the soft launch and the grand opening. Subsequent announcements will also list year-round merit badge opportunities, programs, and hands-on activities for Scouts of all ages.

I, personally, will be at each of the district program launches to address any questions or concerns face-to-face.

#ScoutingThrives

How NeXus Camps Are Prepared for Girl Troops

Download this Guide 

NeXus Camps have accommodated co-ed and entirely female groups in the past with no significant issues. This is how we have developed procedures and prepared facilities to provide equal opportunity for all to enjoy our campgrounds.

Staff

  • All activities are appropriate for all campers. Regarding interaction with staff members, Youth Protection Guidelines are adhered to at all times. For example, there will never be any camper alone with an adult staff member. See YPT Guidelines and the Guide to Safe Scouting

 

  • Nurses at camp are medical professionals and are processed as BSA employees, whether they are male or female. The nurses station stocks feminine products.

 

  • With a female troop, at least one female leader is required to accompany the Scouts to camp. This female leader does not need to be present at all activities as long as the buddy system and Youth Protection rules are followed.

 

  • The Buddy System requires that a youth be paired with at least one other youth. Youth Protection Guidelines encourage self-selection and having the youths close in age.

 

  • Units and leaders are supported and empowered to increase the strictness of the buddy system or provide additional adults in their responsibility to ensure the safety of their Scouts.

 

Facilities

  • All campsite bathrooms (latrines) have enclosed walls and locking doors, even though the walls do not touch the ground. Camp-wide bathrooms have separate stations for males and females. Additionally, all around camp near to program areas, there are either latrines or flush-toilet facilities.

 

  • Shower facilities are fully enclosed and separate for male and females. If there is a large group of females in camp, then there will be a pre-set schedule to rotate the usage of the showerhouses as per Youth Protection Guidelines.

 

  • At the waterfront, there will be separate changing stations available.

 

Campsites

  • Only boy troops and girl troops that are chartered with the same organization, “linked troops,” are permitted to share a campsite. A shared campsite must be large enough to allow for a clear separation of youth housing sections.

 

  • All units must follow Youth Protection Training tenting policy, which states that youth campers must be of the same gender and close in age in order to tent together.

 

Council Representation at Eagle Courts of Honor

 

As a committed Scouter, if you would like to represent Scouting and make a presentation to an Eagle Scout in your community, please let us know by filling out this simple form. We would provide some basic training and you’d receive updates regarding when and where there is an Eagle Scout Court of Honor.

Every community comes together when a Scout earns Eagle. It’s a very heart-warming experience to see the non-profit recipient of the Eagle Scout project, Scoutmasters, parents and families, teachers and other community leaders come together to congratulate an Eagle Scout on their achievement. Typically, the Scout receives commendations from civic and government officials, the Boy Scouts of America, and other notable Eagle Scouts.

The people in the room, and those who send commendations collectively create an authentic unique rite of passage. Essentially, the entire community gathers together to say “Today you are an adult, today we recognize you as a leader in our community. From this time forward, we will count on you to make our community better. We share this obligation as adults and community leaders and we welcome you as a proven leader.” Each speaker, and each individual congratulates the young adult, and provides their unique perspective of the “Eagle charge.”

The Spirit of Adventure council provides our unique perspective in the way of “paying it forward” through a scholarship in the Scout’s honor. The scholarship is for camp (often called a “campership”) for a younger Scout in need of assistance. Last year, we provided over $70,000 in scholarships, many in the name of our 300 Eagle Scouts.

Scouting Thrives Update- News from National

We have an important duty, and an incredible opportunity, to focus as an organization on keeping children safe, supported and protected, while preparing youth for their futures through our nation’s foremost program of character development and values-based leadership training.

Various media sources have reported that the Boy Scouts of America has hired a bankruptcy attorney to consider the costs of defending lawsuits. Our Chief Scout Executive, Mike Surbaugh, has informed us that the BSA has not made any decision in this regard nor is a decision pending. To ensure our ability to continue preparing youth for their future through the Scouting, national BSA is working with experts to explore all options available to ensure that the local and national programming of the Boy Scouts of America continues uninterrupted. Our motto is ‘Be Prepared,’ and we are doing just that, working with internal and external experts to explore all options available and will share information when we are able to do so.

What does this mean for The Spirit of Adventure Council?

Our Council is an independent non-profit incorporated in our area. We own and control our camps, council service centers, bank funds and investments. It is important to understand that this structure was specifically designed to ensure that council investments remain ours. They are ours regardless of what happens to the national organization. The same is true for our other council assets. Local units are owned by their charter organization, typically a community, religious, service or academic organization. Contributions made to the Spirit of Adventure Council by our donors stay local, and contributions made for specific purposes are used for those purposes.

We partner with the National Boy Scouts of America to deliver Scouting’s mission; leveraging tools, guidelines, resources and their network, while remaining independent.

 

We have an important duty, and an incredible opportunity, to continue to focus as an organization on preparing youth for their futures through our nation’s foremost program of character development and values-based leadership training.

As an organization, our focus must be to:

1) Build upon the momentum we have already experienced this year with new members

2) Plan and implement a successful launch of Scouts BSA to welcome boys and girls into the program in February

3) Support our fundraising efforts to ensure our continued ability to deliver Scouting to our communities

Welcome to your Scouting Journey!

Welcome to Scouting! Scouting is an adventure for YOU and your children.

For your child, it’s an adventure filled with camping, swimming, learning new and unique skills and making new friends. For you, it’s actually much of the same. You’ll likely find many new friends through your local Scout unit, other parents who are dealing with the excitement and challenges that come from parenting.

There is no greater joy than watching your child learn a new skill and beam with pride as he or she yells “Mom, look at me!” or “Dad, look what I can do!” as they demonstrate that new skill.

The Scouting curriculum has enough depth for everyone! Unlike many enrichment programs, Scouting follows your child’s natural curiosities. If she finds herself interested in science, the program has badges and opportunities for her. If he finds himself interested in music or theater, he’ll probably want to work on those badges. Of course, the core curriculum includes camping, first aid, wilderness survival and citizenship, so those aspects are core to every Scout’s experience.

YOU are in charge of your child’s Scouting experience. Scouting builds community because through Scouting all the parents in your community will work together to help raise each other’s kids. In Cub Scouting, the leadership shifts from person to person based on the situation.This is a big part of the secret of the Scouting curriculum. By collaborating as a group of families, your child benefits from the best skills and talents each family has to offer.

Of course, Scouting needs some parents to step forward and serve as leaders to facilitate the activities, but every parent has a role. The parent who is great with woodworking can share his or her talents to help families build pinewood derby cars, whereas the parent who is naturally organized may coordinate the camping trips, and the foodie parent might help design the camping menu or the year end banquet. Regardless of your skill – there is a place for you in Scouting and a place for you in the Scouting community.  

The curriculum support is more than the book. The curriculum is best described as your child’s handbook. However, Scouting provides the resources to help the parents deliver the curriculum, far beyond those activities found in the book that many parents can’t pull together on their own. Most often this means camps, canoes, archery equipment, lakes and pools, lifeguards, rock climbing equipment and staff, 3D printers, robots, and thousands of other activities that are called on by the curriculum.

WE WANT YOU TO USE ALL SCOUTING’S RESOURCES. We operate about 2,000 acres of camp property in MA and NH, own over 215 buildings, are blessed with over 4,000 volunteers, and  have corporate relationships with dozens of Boston area family activities and attractions. You should seek to use as many as possible! Your Adventure Card, which is part of your Cub Scout membership, is the ticket to all these resources.

As always, if you have any questions about this blog or the resources mentioned – please don’t hesitate to call the local Scouting help desk 617-615-0004.

Rocket Into Scouting!

Here’s all of the Membership Recruiting Information for the 2018- 2019 year!

The Theme for this year’s membership Campaign is Rocket into Scouting!

All youth that signup during the fall campaign this year from qualifying Packs will receive a Rocket to launch at one of the 3 exciting council- sponsored launches.

To qualify for the Rocket into Scouting Program, units must:

  1. Commit to holding 3 signup events this fall.  Each of the 3 signup opportunities must be held before November 1st. The Council can provide both flyers and invitations for these events. Or units can create flyers of their own. These events can be whatever a unit usually does to be successful in Fall recruiting.  Suggestions and examples are:
    • A Pack run Signup Night Rally
    • A Bring a Buddy Event such as a Halloween Party or Ice Cream Social; Download invitation HERE
    • A library signup night which the Council can help you arrange
  2. Fill out this form with signup event details by July 31st
Council-Wide Launches

Start your school year with a BLAST! Every NEW Scout who registers by October 31st will receive a FREE model rocket to launch! This will kickstart both their Scouting career and a lifelong love of STEM. This is a great first event for all of our new Scouts to attend! Launch Day events will be at three different locations around our council area. Find the one that’s most convenient for your pack or family:

At the launches, each NEW Scout will receive a free launch engine. Launch Day Events will offer Rocket Building Stations (although we still recommend you build your rockets beforehand). Other fun Scouting activities will be provided and vary by location. All of our Launch Sites will provide a great time launching Rockets with your Scouts and family!

The entire family and current Scouts are welcome, and additional rockets kits can be purchased and built at the event.

Share the Rocket Giveaway and Launch Information and Download the Rocket Into Scouting Flyer!

Membership Kickoffs in August

The Rockets, flyers and invitations will be ready by the August Membership Kickoffs:

At the August Kickoffs, we will also distribute Lawn Signs and  Membership Posters. The Kickoffs will feature experts in Membership Recruiting who’ve had success in the past to share best practices on reaching out to new families. Please make every effort to register for and attend one of the Kickoffs. These are easily one of the most important Scouting events of the entire year.

Lion Program

  • The Lions pilot of the last 2 school years has been extremely successful
  • The National Executive Committee has voted to make it an official part of Cub Scout program for all Packs across the country.  It’s a rank like Tiger, Wolf, Bear, Webelos
  • All Packs should be actively recruiting Lions this fall once school starts

Boy Scout “Bring a Buddy”Events

Boy Scout Troops are Actively encouraged to hold fun ‘Bring a Buddy’ events such as fishing trips, camp outs, Troop Outdoor Campfire Parties with Scouting Skits etc. to encourage recruiting.  Bring a buddy invitation to your events can be  downloaded HERE.

Welcoming Girls

All Packs and Troops are actively encouraged to have a discussion with their Chartered Organization Representatives to consider inviting girls into their units.  Girls who are Cub Scout age, now can be registered right away once the unit “opts-in” in My.Scouting.org  and girls at the Troop level will be able to register as of Feb 2019.

For all Council-provided Membership Resources, visit ScoutSpirit.org/leaders/

New Eagle Scout Recognition Process

Eagle Court of Honor

One of the greatest moments in the Eagle Scout process is the Court of Honor. This is the event that celebrates your success with those who helped you and the rest of the community. We’d like to share some advice that may help make your special event even a little more special.  Please use this as a guide to help the community celebrate.

Invite the following to share in your special day:

Your Community

  • All the parents, Scouts, and leaders who assisted you on your trail to Eagle, including your project
  • Any vendors or donors who helped
  • The non-profit or recipient of your efforts
  • The Institutional Head of your chartered organization
  • Elected Officials or other community leaders
  • Extended family – they likely helped you in ways you may not yet realize

The Scouting Community

  •  Your troop
  •  Camp directors, merit badge counselors, and countless others that helped behind the scenes to help make Scouting thrive

In addition, your council would love to have a representative on hand to celebrate on that special day, and to present a certificate in recognition of your achievement. Once you have selected your Court of Honor date, please send an invitation to:

The Spirit of Adventure Council, 2 Tower Office Park, Woburn, MA 01801

Send Out Public Announcements

  • List your Eagle Award in your chartered organization newsletter or bulletin
  • Send a press release to the local media.  
  • Take a picture RIGHT NOW with your family, and post to your social media outlets. Tag your Scouting Community and The Spirit of Adventure Facebook site.

 

  Other Helpful Information

  • The National Eagle Association offers several academic and merit scholarships.  Be sure to bookmark NESA.org, read about the offerings, and set a reminder for yourself to apply.  There is a fairly tight window of opportunity to do this and all submissions must be completed online by October 31 of each year.
  • As a bonus, each Eagle Scout who applies for a national NESA scholarship is automatically entered for consideration for our Spirit of Adventure NESA scholarship.
  • There is also the Glenn A. and Melinda W. Adams Award.  This is a service project of the year award.  Each council selects one recipient and our selection is further considered at the regional and national levels, which have cash awards attached to them.  The form for this award can also be found on NESA.org.  Send the completed form, along with a copy of your Eagle project workbook by next January 21, to the Spirit Adventure Council at the Woburn address.
  • Finally, Scouts will receive an invitation in the future to attend our annual Eagle Scout recognition dinner.