All posts by Maria Kaestner

Planning to Welcome Girls in Your Pack?

A Discussion to Have With Your Chartering Organization and Fellow Parents

Submitted by the Council Key 3:

 

ACTION STEPS IF YOUR CUB PROGRAM WOULD LIKE TO WELCOME GIRLS:

If your parents and organization are already in agreement, you will be welcome to become one of our Council’s early adopters.

  1. Contact the Council (617-615-0004) and us know your pack would like to welcome girls
  2. Create a plan for Cub Scouts to complete rank requirements in a compressed timeline and send it to Jon Pleva
  3. Update your BeAScout Pin. Options will be “All Boy Pack” “All Girl Pack” “Family Pack”
    1. Chartering Organization Rep. must set this first and then the Pack Leadership
    2. The option to update the pin will be closed March 15th

         4. Starting January 15th, register a minimum of 4 girls, which must be done through Online Registration

If discussions lead you to believe your unit requires more time (later than March 15th) or won’t be able to deliver a program in a compressed timeline, your unit has the option of starting in September.

ACTION STEPS IF YOUR CUB PROGRAM WOULD LIKE TO REMAIN ONLY AVAILABLE TO BOYS

If your Scouting community decides to remain a single gender Cub Program, simply update the BEaSCOUT information to state that your Pack is a “single gender – all boy pack.”

CHANGING YOUR Be A Scout PIN

The Be A Scout pins are ready to be updated for Family Scouting! Have your Charter Org Rep update, followed by your Cubmaster or other designated leader. (Your charter must be processed to accept online applications)
• Log on to my.scouting.org
• Click on the “Menu” button on left hand side
• Under your Cub Scout Pack, click on “Organization Manager”
• Under “Organization Manager” click on “Settings” at the top of the page
• On the settings page, scroll to the bottom
• At the bottom there is a section called “Family Scouting,” fill out this section and hit “commit”


 

This is a very exciting time to be a part of the Boy Scouts. As you might already know, the BSA will offer Cub Scouting to girls in 2018 and by 2019 all Scout programs will be open to girls, allowing them to earn the rank of Eagle.

Our character education program has been used successfully for over a century. A few years ago, Tufts University conducted a study to measure the effectiveness of Scouting with very strong and positive results, including Scouts being more likely to embrace positive social values and longevity and dedication in Scouting being correlated with higher character attributes.

It’s part of our continuing mission to unlock Scouting for all families who wish to use our curriculum to raise children of character.

EXPERIENCE SERVING THE WHOLE FAMILY

Scouting has had co-ed programs and co-ed camping for over 40 years. Exploring became co-ed in the ’60s and Venturing become co-ed in 2000. All our camp staff are co-ed and all our camps have experience dealing the nuances of co-ed Scouting.

In 2014 – 2015 we re-branded our camp in the Blue Hills, now called New England Base Camp, which is just 2 miles from Boston, as a camp open to the public. Our other camps are still primarily reserved for Scouts. The Base Camp is the embodiment of Boy Scout Handbook, yet because it’s open to the public, everyone plays and everyone learns. This means we have a LOT of experience with girls and boys sharing the same camping facility, programs and activities. Similarly on the national stage, the BSA has been adapting policies to help local councils better serve their communities by eliminating restrictions on members yet retain our core elements of the program. Scouting is very much still a private organization, and still supports the core concept that parents deliver the program.  

HOW THIS MIGHT AFFECT YOUR CUB PACK

Our focus moving forward is to enable any family that wants to utilize our curriculum, to join and work collaboratively with other families to deliver the program. Therefore, it’s imperative that each family joins a local Cub Scout Pack, Troop or Crew that best matches their family’s beliefs and values. That’s where our chartering organization relationship comes into the conversation. 100+ years ago much of our community values and goals were understood to be similar or identical. Today, our American society recognizes a much greater diversity of thought and beliefs. Scouting seeks to serve all families and respect each family’s unique identity while simultaneously supporting each chartering organization’s rights. We believe a growing community requires a respect for all people while we teach our children to adhere to the characteristics of the Scout oath and law.

This is undoubtedly a challenging road – but one we believe is critical for the future development of our young people. Therefore, the parents and chartering organization need to be in alignment regarding core issues, discussing and coming to agreement on questions like:

  • Will our Cub program (and eventually our Boy Scout program) accept girls?
  • Who will be the leaders in Pack, Troop or Crew?
  • How often will the boys and girls participate in Scouting together, and when will we provide single gender environments?
  • How do we discipline Scouts? How do we interpret (strict or lax) the advancement program? How do we handle special needs? How do we handle spiritual diversity?

Scouting provides the curriculum, resources and the safety boundaries for the families to use in their work to deliver the program. By developing a common ground understanding, chartering organizations and parents will be able to work better together. The advent of girls in the program simply heightens the need for these types of discussions which we recommend occur annually. Families will then be less apt to make assumptions about the program. Families who cannot align themselves with the group’s decision will still be welcome in Scouting, but it wouldn’t be in the child’s best interest to be in a group that doesn’t agree with their parent’s values. In that case, it will fall to the Scouting organization to help that family find the right parents and organization to work with to provide Scouting experience.

In many cases, the advent of girls in the program doesn’t require much conversation: the parents and chartering organizations are quickly in alignment. “We’d love to welcome girls!” or “We believe in the single gender environment and have a great program for girls in our community – so in our unit there will be no change.” Either position is OK with us! We simply need to know your collective decision.

A Unit Leader Webinar and additional program information will be available on January 8th for units still making their decision.

 

Read this for info about updating your BEaSCOUT pin

IF YOU NEED HELP WITH THE DECISION-MAKING PROCESS

Also, if you need help conducting the conversation with your parents or additional information, we’ll be happy to help. You can call 617-615-0004. But, please keep in mind, it’s a local community decision, we can’t make it for the organization or for the parents. All the information about serving the whole family can be found here.  Questions can also be directed to family.scouting@scouting.org.

The conversation and the updated BeAScout information should happen as quickly as possible. Girls will be welcomed in Scouting as soon as January 15th 2018. However, your Scouting leadership does NOT have to rush the conversation.

Thanks so much for your time and consideration. Please contact us at any time with any questions and we’d be happy to speak with you about the future of Scouting.

What the Adventure Card Can Do For Your Unit

Submitted by Jeff Reynolds, Scoutmaster Troop 58 Danvers

If you are like me, you wear many hats.  I work a lot, and that includes more travel than I care to admit to.  I have a wife and daughter whose idea of camping is a budget hotel, making full integration of Scouting for the family unit a challenge.  My son seems to enjoy Scouting as much as I did as a youth, but has way more going on outside Scouting than I ever did.  

I took on the job of being the Scoutmaster of Troop 58 this year, ensuring that I live that family time constraint about 25 times over.  And continue to serve on the Council Executive Board and as Treasurer.

An hour a week they said.  No stress they said.  Time is at a premium for everyone.

But it is worth it.  When you see a kid that says “I can’t” that suddenly “does”, whatever time you put in isn’t enough for the gratification of that moment.  

If you are reading this, you are invested in Scouting too, know all the good it does, and get jazzed up about it for similar reasons.  

But this writing is not about that. This article is about the Council Adventure Card. I wanted to share some overall perspective on the the genesis of the card, and how it can extend beyond Cub Scouting to give Scouters another tool to help craft a successful Troop program.

 

Why the Card?

Simply put, the return on time invested in Scouting is high, but time is short.  Through the merger process, one of the things that was loud and clear is that Cub Scout leaders want to do the work running a Den but often feel they lack the knowledge or resources (time included) to do it.

Enter the Adventure Card and Base Camp Concept.  

If for a reasonable fee a leader could line up a series of activities for the year that would enable you to guarantee a successful learning experience and requirement completion for Cub ranks…would you?

Base Camp gives Cub Leaders that opportunity. From Saturday program at the Milton Camp Sayre property, to Lone Tree Scout Reservations activities, to satellite programs throughout the council foot print at properties that are Scout friendly. This is the intent of Base Camp and the Adventure Card. The Council wants to better utilize resources to make the Scouting experience successful for all involved. Base Camp is the place, and the Adventure Card is the Ticket.

But is it just “a Cub thing”?  An objective view of the current landscape might suggest yes.  There certainly is more program designed for Cubs than Scouts.  But this is fluid.  

The Adventure Card is a camping program loyalty card for Scouts. The more your Troop takes advantage of what the Council offers, the Lower the cost of some great Scouting experiences.

A Boy Scout Troop embraces the Card

I had 5 Scouts this year that wanted to attend Brownsea.  I am all in.  Great program.  Brownsea changed my life in ways I can’t give justice in this space.  So “YES”, if my guys want to go, I am all in.

But the cost!  $475? It was quickly pointed out to me that Adventure Card holders get a 20% discount.  The math isn’t hard:  our Troop and our Scouts save $475 if they have the Adventure Card.  Huh?   That means with the same cash outlay for Brownsea, our Troop can also pay for about 16 Adventure cards.  Hummm.

What else could I do?  

  • Spring Shooting sports at Lone Tree.  .22, Black powder, and archery. And the shooting program was included with the card!  What is a full day of NRA instructor time worth?  What is the experience of casting lead ball shot for a black powder and actually shooting worth?  Priceless based on the feedback from the guys.
  • Use of canoes.  Perfect 2 night May trip.  $30 discount off the site and cabin for 2 nights (17 cards now paid for)
  • Summer camp:  20% discount if you use a Spirit of Adventure camp.  Have not in the last few years…should reevaluate.
  • 20% off rental fees at any council property for the next year.  Planned on Lone Tree twice this year.  
  • A weekend day this summer in Milton to show recent crossovers from Webelos what summer camp is like when they didn’t have the confidence to go this year. Great experience and HUGE retention tool…free (all Cubs get the Card with registration).  
  • Winter mountaineering program:  deeply discounted.  I will make these buggers LOSE MONEY on this card!  **insert maniacal laugh here**

As I thought about it, the financial incentive of buying in and swimming with the tide helped shape some of my program this year and next year.  And with staff and materials provided, my job is a heck of a lot easier.

The Reality

Putting my Treasurer hat on, I can tell you the Council does not want to lose money.  We need more membership, a strong retention rate, and have a massive sunk cost with our various camp properties.  

This is why the Base Camp concept and Adventure Card works.  

  1. We want to increase the utilization of our properties.  Check.
  2. We want some pre-canned program that helps our volunteers that are short on time or knowledge put on a great program.  Check.
  3. We want to see Cub and Boy Scouts have opportunities to advance in skill and rank.  Check.
  4. And (most important) we want to see that our youth are taking in all the outdoors have to offer from a learning perspective.  Check.

 

In Closing

From popcorn, to Friends of Scouting, to activities, to camp , to training, to advancement camps, we all support the mission of our Council and what it is intended to do to varied degrees.

Some of us have traditional Troop programs that are more self sufficient and successful, blessed with a leadership team that makes it so.  

Some of us have programs that need some help; full of the best of intentions but in need of guidance and structure to make Scouting thrive.  

Regardless, nobody wants to do work they do not have to do.  Plug and play is so much easier than programming.  I found that if I used the card for my Troop a couple times, the cost recovery was quick and I still have 6 months to go before it expires.

What can the Adventure Card do for you?  If you are a unit leader, you owe it to yourself to have a look to see…

Why is the New Member Coordinator so Important?

Submitted by Paul Gendreau, Membership Campaign Manager

In addition to surveying our member families and leaders (voices of the Scouts), BSA also takes the pulse of non-member families. It seems that nationally lots of people leave Scouting before they even get their feet wet. This appears to be particularly evident with the current generation of parents, a generation that we need to improve on reaching. Millennials as a group tend to value inclusiveness and being included as well as having what they do for work and social activities be meaningful pursuits. A simple internet search points one to many sources of information on Millennials, who are now making up the group whose children are eligible to enter Scouting. Here is one link to a brief outline for those who’d like to see a handy synopsis on this generation

The position of New Member Coordinator (NMC) strives to have a non-uniformed person whose job it is to smile, welcome them, cut through Scouting jargon and help engage them with all that Scouting can do for their family as well as all they can do with their family. While Millennials are not big into hierarchy, they want to be part of a team of people who achieve some goal. Other aspects of this generation’s general outlook make it appear that Scouting should be particularly attractive as they espouse conventional values and views.

Lots of our units have parent orientation meetings to explain how Scouting works in their unit. The NMC position substitutes one on one relationship building for the traditional group orientation. Remember, Millennials as a group are the ones who’ve been protected/sheltered all their lives and have been brought up to believe that they are special. The NMC uses that view to the unit’s advantage by forming a special bond with new parents and the family as a whole. Where the role has been used, it appears to have the desired effects of increased parent engagement and eventually, greater ease in cultivating these parents to help with the unit as well as becoming registered as leaders or committee members, and with that comes improved youth retention. That’s the bottom line after all – keeping young people in Scouting long enough for it to work its magic.

This just in from National BSA:

We recently announced the New Member Coordinator position (NMC) that is available for every type of unit. New Member Coordinators guide new members and families through joining and engagement, share the benefits of Scouting and help coordinate recruitment. They are essential in relationship building and membership growth.

As an incentive for units recruiting New Member Coordinators, the first 2,500 registered New Member Coordinators that complete the online New Member Coordinator Welcome Course, will receive an email to choose a free New Member Coordinator hat or shirt.

There aren’t too many people registered in this position yet. As an example, we have yet to receive an application for a New Member Coordinator in our council. Jump in now to get your free hat or shirt! Note that a requirement is to take the welcome course. You get to it by logging in to my.scouting.org and then clicking on BSA Learn Center. If you have trouble with your browser, try either Chrome or Safari.

This week, I sent an email to Cub Scout and Boy Scout unit leaders and Committee Chairs asking if they had someone who was fulfilling this role, even if unofficially and how it was going if you did. If you did not reply and still wish to let us know how it is working out for you, you can email Paul.Gendreau@scouting.org.

Scouting in Today’s Society

Utilizing our Diversity Task Force

Submitted by Chuck Eaton, Scout Executive

In the past nine months, we assembled a diversity and inclusion task force to review, and better understand Scouting’s relationship toward our diverse, melting pot /pluralist society. Our mission was to develop a roadmap that would ultimately unlock the program of Scouting for all families that want to raise children of character. It’s part of our strategic plan which is still under review – but diversity road map was met with enthusiasm and broad support.

I deeply enjoyed working with the folks on this task force. Over the nine months, the size and make up of the group accordioned with various projects. There were nine formal members, yet in its widest interputation there were about 20 diverse people who contributed to build the roadmap.
 

 

While we were conducting our work to present our proposal, the national organization began researching and considering allowing girls to join the BSA at all levels.

 

It seems to me during Scouting’s hey day the 1930s through the late 1960s Scouting enjoyed universal appeal. Yet today, only a percentage of American families consider Scouting as a valuable, fun, community character education program for their kids. Ironically the American public widely views Scouting and it’s activities and outcomes in a positive light. When you talk to non-Scout families it sounds like this “I know Scouting does good things for the kids involved, it’s just not for us.” Or “Those activities seem exciting and valuable to my kids, but we do something else.” That sentiment is not just my opinion and observation, the BSA has done an enormous amount of market research and that is the common and consistent response.

 

Sadly, even with so much market research over decades all pointing to the same truth, Scouting still didn’t know what to do. Although there have been sincere, genuine efforts over the past few decades, those efforts never seem to make long lasting sustainable impact. The key ingredient that was missing the willingness to widely and truly embrace.

 

It’s my observation that in the 30s through the late 60s when Scouting enjoyed universal appeal. It did so because America valued a homogenous society. (Admittedly – I am not a sociologist!) Whether you were black, white, buddhist, gay, straight, male, female, Latino, immigrant or native society pushed you towards the American dream of apple pie and a white picket fence. Scouting tapped into and reflected that idea. Today, while the white picket fence is still a highly regarded ideal, we more willingly embrace each American’s right to determine “The pursuit of happiness” in their own terms.

 

This is a culture change and this is hard work.

 

However, a core belief in Scouting has always been that communities self-determine. Our common ground is that every family agrees to the ideals of the Scout Oath and Law:
A Scout is friendly. A Scout is a friend to all. He is a brother to other Scouts. He offers his friendship to people of all races and nations, and respects them even if their beliefs and customs are different from his own.

 

Beyond that common ground (and safety!) all Scout communities self determine how they utilize the curriculum. To that end, each scout troop reflects its own community and culture. And the Scouting organization understands that, respects that, and defends that. While respecting and supporting each community’s unique culture and self determination we will simultaneously offer friendship to all.

 

#ScoutingThrives Update- Fall 2017

Program / Membership

Lion Cub Program (Kindergarten boys) is already off to a strong start! Last year we had a small group of packs that piloted the program, this year the majority of our packs have shown interest and signed up to run a Lion Den. If you have questions about starting a Lion Den, contact Jon Pleva. Similarly, the Base Camp(s) have created specific programs for Lions Cubs. These programs engage parents and Scouts in the hands-on activities that draw the children to the program.  Lion Cub programs at Base camp launch this weekend, and will be available at Lone Tree, and satellites. There are Lion Specific programs available every weekend! Check here for additional details and locations!

Home Base, the homeschool network at New England Base Camp, will open for its third full semester next week. The program is 100% sold out. We will start taking applications for the winter semester mid fall.

ISBCC, Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, New England’s largest mosque will be conducting Venturing and Boy Scout programs for their youth members starting this fall. As part of their program, they will bring their Scouts to Base Camp monthly.

Development

Thanks so much to Warren Cochrane, Charlie Cochrane and Elaine Hiebert.  Who made a generous donation to The Spirit of Adventure Council, BSA in honor of their late dad Mr. George W. Cochran, III. The funds will be used to create an ongoing campership to recognize their Dad’s legacy to Scouting.

Similarly, Mike Chavez son of the late Cambridge Council Registrar Lewis Chavez has donated $5,000 in honor of his dad to support camperships programs!

John Andrés contributed $10,000 to support our ongoing work at New England Base Camp and its ability to effectively serve, provide outdoor programs and ultimately grow Scouting in our urban communities.

The Alumni Campaign has raised over $25,000 in honor several Scouting Heroes. These Scouting Heroes and more will be permanently recognized in the Legacy Courtyard at New England Base Camp, and eventually at other camps as well. Don Doliber, Bill Barrett, John Cronin, George Kanelous, Vee Sokickian, Paul Langley, Paul Doherty, Kenny Simmons, and other Scouters.

Barry Sloane and Newman Flannagan, the trustees of the Storer Trust, have awarded Spirit of Adventure $37,000 to support our continued work with Urban Scouting.

Anthony Consigli, CEO of Consigli Construction and an Eagle Scout himself, has agreed to serve as a honoree for the annual Salute to Scouting event!

Staff

Our long tenured, wonderfully dedicated, compassionate staff member Paul Gendreau has been hospitalized for the past week. He successfully underwent surgery to correct the condition. He has been in a lot of pain and his recovery will be slow.

Heather Sheehan, our outgoing, happy, helpful and smiling receptionist has also been in pain this summer. The doctors have recently identified her condition and while it will be ongoing, and she’ll miss sometime this fall, she should be back to her old self in the next few months.

Please send Heather and Paul your best wises through social media, or send cards to the office. We will share your cards with them when they individually return to work

Other staff news: Lindsey Dionne has left the Spirit of Adventure to pursue a career in teaching at Hill View Montessori. Cam Anstey has left to pursue a career in communications and marketing.

Please join me in wishing them both best wishes as they embark on their new adventures. They’ll both always have home with Scouting.

Finally, we will have a new complement of staff members to replace any vacancies, those announcements will be forthcoming toward the end of the month.

Volunteering at Base Camp

Use your Scouting experience to make a difference!

Volunteering is not only rewarding for you, it can change a child’s life. 

The New England Base Camps and the 7 satellite programs locations provide outdoor education and character education opportunities. The flagship location (Blue Hills – just outside Boston) provides year round programs for families and school age children each weekend.

You might be a Scouter whose kids are in college, in their 20s and Scouting was a huge part of the way you raised them. Working with all those kids and helping them grow and develop through Scouting, helped you become a practical expert at youth development. You can give the troop over to the next generation, serve on the committee, help out from time to time, and maybe teach a couple merit badges, but you might be looking for a more exciting Scouting opportunity.

Now, through our new service model the Base Camps and the satellites, you can volunteer a Saturday morning or an afternoon and work with kids in the outdoors. Thus putting all that great experience to work for another generation.

You might be an older teens looking for hands on experience in teaching, coaching or youth development. The volunteer hours are often recognized by school districts and other organizations to fulfill community service requirements. Young adults will be trained and often work along-side educational or recreation professionals.

It can be as simple as an afternoon a month. Teaching basic camping skills to Cubs and their parents. Teaching Totin’ chit to Scouts. Or, you can use it as a pathway to certifications in archery, shooting sports, rock climbing, ice climbing, or lifeguarding.

The short-term volunteer roles provide support and expertise. As a weekend program volunteer your role will be to impart skills that you’ve acquired to children. The program is so robust that virtually every life skill is a part of the curriculum, so even if you’ve never camped, or can’t navigate by the stars, it’s OK! We still need your unique skills so kids can learn about computers, citizenship, gardening and hundreds of other activities.

Check out our VolunteerMatch listing, and contact Chuck Blanchette at Chuck.Blanchette@scouting.org if you are interested in volunteering your time to make a difference in Scouting!

Family Engagement is the Name of the Game

BSA Announces New Member Coordinator Position

Submitted by Paul Gendreau, Membership Campaign Manager, Spirit of Adventure Council

I find myself thinking of the great number of times over my career that I’ve heard a leader bemoan, “Parents think BSA means Baby Sitters of America”. These leaders are wonderful people who have caught the “Scouting bug”, believe wholeheartedly in what we do for young people, and who have jumped in with both feet. That’s an understatement. They’ve jumped in with their whole being. These leaders just cannot understand why parents won’t “step up” when they announce a position that needs to be filled or when some job to be done in the unit. I think the truth lies in the fact that despite all of the training available along with enough three-hole punched literature to fill a library, BSA has never done a very good job teaching leaders how to draw others into the fold. I know that I’ve coached countless volunteers in the process of recruiting the right person for the right job over the years.

 

Locally, we’ve come to recognize that for us to both gain and keep new members, we need to draw the whole family into our program. Our council has set a course designed to help units engage families. By providing planned programs at our Base Camp sites and satellite locations, programs that at the unit/den/family level require no effort other than showing up, we continue to create an environment where parents and their children can have fun together within a Scouting framework. Smart leaders will keep a watchful eye on these families enjoying Scouting together and use these feel-good times to get parents to take the next step. Usually, that next step is ask them to help out with something small within the unit and have it happen soon – before that good feeling fades. It is called cultivation and the desired end point is having many people do a little so that nobody has to do a lot within the unit. I am sure that those who follow this prescription will have no problem in getting people to step into leadership or committee roles as needs arise in their units.

Nationally, the need to engage families has also been recognized and is being addressed at perhaps a more elemental level, one that can work hand in hand with what we are doing at The Spirit of Adventure Council. Units at all levels of Scouting are encouraged to add one or more adults to the newly created position of New Member Coordinator. Let’s face it. With a culture and language all our own, uniforms bedecked with an assortment of patches and awards, not to mention a host of real and imagined rules and regulations, we are often our own worst enemy. Without meaning to be, we can be intimidating to the uninitiated, particularly if you were not exposed to Scouting as a child. Do you remember how it was for you when you attended your first meeting or sign-up event? Somehow, though, you got past that trauma. For every one of you who survived, there are plenty who didn’t. Scouting is trying to remedy that with this new position.

 

The main requirement for the New Member Coordinator is to be someone who wears a smile and warmly welcomes new youths and their families. These people are communicators, inviters, and follow-upers (if that’s a word!). In doing so, they have an impact on recruiting, retention, leader cultivation, and ultimately growth in their unit and, by extension, our national movement. They can be the one who says, “We’re planning on an outing to Base Camp at Camp Sayre or Lone Tree in two months, but you don’t have to wait for that. You can go online and sign up to take part in program offerings any time you have a free day or part of a day. Here’s how…” If you happen to be a Cub Scout Pack (or a Boy Scout Troop that has purchased the Adventure Card), your boys can take part for free as often as they wish. Adults can attend with their child and there is a modest discounted fee for an adult to participate with their card-holding child (if they want to shoot BBs or jump in the pool, for example). In short, the New Member Coordinator gently serves as a guide to new members and their parents in navigating Scouting and all it offers to enrich their family life. The coordinator encourages families to participate in unit and local events early and often. It won’t take long for them to stop feeling like the “newbies” and start feeling like a valued part of the Scouting family.

 

Well, that’s my spin on how this new position could mesh with what we are doing in our council. Nationally, the approach doesn’t drill down quite to that level and currently the guidance is more general. BSA will continue to add content to its page for the New Member Coordinator. There you’ll find a short video about the position and some downloadable resources. There is a brochure, a position description, and other items. There is training coming for the position too. Currently there is a welcoming video available and that is enough to start. There are three other modules for this position that are coming too. Here’s a helpful hint: The New Member Coordinator page notes that the video is located in my.scouting.org. This is true but I had a hard time finding it. Do not look in the training center in your dashboard (where you go for Youth Protection Training). Look in the BSA Learn Center. You’ll see the box on the right when you log in to my.scouting. Strangely, it makes you enter your login and password again.

 

One last thing: In June, both national podcasts, CubCast and ScoutCast joined forces for the June podcast which introduced this position. It is well worth a listen as you consider how adding New Member Coordinators can help you engage new families, increase volunteerism in your unit, increase retention and unit health, and put an end to the baby sitter syndrome.

 

Learning About Lions

How does a Lion Den work? What kind of Scout programs can Lions do? Every Cub Scout Pack can now recruit Kindergartners into a Lion Program!

 Click here for an informational PDF to share with new parents! 

How Lion Dens Will Work: 

  • The Lion program year runs from September through May. At that point, they cross over into Tigers.
  • Like Tigers, each boy is accompanied by an adult partner who attends all meetings and outings with the boy.
  • There is no Lion den leader. The den follows a shared leadership model in which the adult partners take turns running the meeting and outing.
  • Each month the Lion den gathers twice.  There is one den meeting and either an outing (open to the whole family) or a Pack meeting. Lion dens typically attend two or three pack events per month. These should be special or especially fun gatherings. You may want to consider a holiday pack meeting, blue and gold banquet, or other really special meeting.

Activities: 

All Lions get the Adventure Card with their registration, which means they are able to receive all of the benefits when they book outdoor adventures!

  • New England Base Camp’s Open Program on Saturdays is free for all Cubs with the Adventure Card, including Lions. Come to Milton, MA or Kingston, NH to play in the outdoor activities.
    • Learning to camp
    • Hiking
    • Outdoor cooking
    • Native American activities
    • Wilderness skills
    • Swimming
    • STEM center
    • Ecology: Dinosaurs & Honey bees
    • 3-D printer
    • Game room with Oversized chess & 3D dinosaur puzzles
    • Indoor climbing program
    • Sledding (Winter)
    • Ice skating (Winter)
    • Snow shoeing (Winter)
    • Winter wilderness survival (Winter)
  • When Lions come to New England Base Camp, they also get 20% guest admission and 20% meals at both locations.
  • Special Lion Programs at Satellite locations: “Lions Fun In the Outdoors”
    • Guided Hike
    • Learn about the nature and animals around you
    • Get ready for Tiger Scouts

     

For more information about Lions and Recruiting contact Paul Gendreau. 

#ScoutingThrives Update

Submitted by Chuck Eaton, Scout Executive & CEO

Spring marks the start of summer programming, the end of rechartering season, and the continuation of #ScoutingThrives! Here is an update on how we have been progressing and growing this year and what we hope to see in the future:
Program

Stem Camp, Satellite Camps, Adventure Card sales, Boy Scout Summer camp attendance are all on or above expectation year to date. Not that we hit every benchmark – but we are serving about 750 – 1,000 Cub Scouts and their families every weekend throughout spring through the Base Camp model! Here are a couple FaceBook Reviews

Lynne, Re: Scouts (May 7, 2017)“We spent the best rainy day ever at NE Base Camp!! Even in the rain my boys were all smiles on the COPE course. The sun came out and even more smiles after lunch at the BB, Archery, and Tomahawk throwing ranges!! ALL the staff was great with the kids and all us adults even got to have some fun!! We can’t wait to go back to do the climbing!!! (Closed because of rain and safety) Pack 17 from Franklin Ma will be back for sure…as well as my family!!”

Erica, Re: Home School Network (May 11, 2017) “Thank you all for being so welcoming to us today. My boys and I had a great time and are looking forward to joining in the fall.”

Some pictures from a rainy weekend – with over 800 campers at our Base camp Locations!

Development – Thank you!

Brand new pledges and contributions this month!

  • $10,000 pledge from our new friends DivoWest Real Estate
  • $10,000 from our alumni through our new Alumni on line giving program!
  • $25,000 from the Boston Foundation!
  • $7,500 in support from Sun Life as well as dozens of folks who spend the day at Base camp working to improve and set the camp for spring – fall programs

Maintaining our recurring contributions

Our annual campaign (Friends of Scouting) continues to track ahead of the same time last year and while they still have a lot of work ahead, things continue to look good!

Membership

You may recall at the end of last year we sustained a mild overall growth. Our membership continues to climb. After the first four months of the year we are ahead 5.3% in traditional membership and the strongest performance in New England Area. We are looking good for May as well, and have our sights set on a strong second quarter performance.

Diversity

Our diversity task force has been hard at work, leveraging the last few years of recent announcements and the work of Base Camp to deepen our understanding of the challenges we face regarding diversity. There are already tangible results of their work, and we continue to be a leader in the national dialogue. More to come ….

Thanks for your support and commitment to helping us make #ScoutingThrives in all our communities.

Pursuing the History of Our Nation: The Inaugural Hike of BSA’s Historic Minutemen’s Pursuit Trail

Submitted by William Cline, Eagle Scout, Troop 11 Dorchester, MA

On April 19, 1775, after a shot was fired in a conflict between an elite group of Colonial Militia, known as “Minutemen,” and British Soldiers, the Minutemen pursued retreating British Soldiers from Merriam’s Corner in Concord to Prospect Hill in Somerville.

Ralph Waldo Emerson coined the first shot of this historic day, “the shot that was heard around the world,” this gunshot started the American Revolution. The “shot” location has been attributed to the Old North Bridge in Concord and the Lexington Battle Green in Lexington, both historic points of interest in the area. A tribute to this historic pursuit was the creation of a 15 mile BSA National Historic Trail, the “Minutemen’s Pursuit Trail,” which is a new historic trail in the Spirit of Adventure Council.

On April 19, 2017, exactly 242 years after what was one of the most significant points in the freedom of our country, which led to the creation of the greatest democracy in the world, I had the privilege to be one of five Scouts (three from Troop 11 in Dorchester, two from Troop 132 in Concord) and two leaders to take part in the inaugural hike of the Minutemen’s Pursuit Trail. The trail consists of three primary legs, which is the actual trail, and two adjunct legs. We hiked the three primary legs and one of the adjunct legs so we could qualify the hike for Hiking Merit Badge, requirement 5: a one day 20 mile hike. Several of the Scouts hiking the trail also applied the 20 miles to the Hiking Segment of the National Outdoor Achievement Award.

The Retreat from Concord

The trail provides an opportunity to experience many points of historical importance including: Minuteman National Park, Captain William Smith House, Lexington Battle Green, The Foot of the Rocks, Old Schwab Mill, Menotomy Indian Hunter Sculpture, Jason Russell House, Uncle Sam Monument, Whittemore Park, and the concluding point of the trail – Prospect Hill in Somerville where the first America Flag was flown.

On our hike we had the opportunity to meet Captain William Smith (a reenactment actor) who played his fife and travelled with us for several miles on the trail explaining much of the history of the area. We completed our hike ascending the many steps to the top of Prospect Hill Tower, which has one of the best views of Boston. I would like to thank the Somerville Department of Public Works for opening the tower for us on April 19, 2017.

North Bridge to Merriam’s Corner marker (l to r: William, Brandon, Nick, Logan, and Justin)

A unique part of the trip for the Scouts from Troop 11 in Dorchester was the experience we had taking the MBTA Commuter Rail from North Station in Boston out to Concord to meet our fellow Scouts from Troop 132 in Concord. The cost was very reasonable at $4.50 per Scout and it was really nice to experience the train ride. Having public transportation out to Concord, from the middle of Boston, opens up a world of opportunity for Scouts in the urban areas of Boston to experience their own pursuit of our nation’s history. The train ride makes it very convenient for Scouts visiting the Boston area from all over the country to experience an awesome historic hike.

Beginning our “Pursuit” from the Concord Station (l to r: Justin, Brandon, William, Logan, and Nick)

I highly recommend the Minuteman Pursuit Trail. We stopped for Ice Cream at Rancatore’s in Lexington and had a late lunch at the Menotomy Grill in Arlington which has many historic flags, Revolutionary War reproductions, and great hamburgers!

The top of Prospect Hill Tower 20.29 miles later (l to r: Justin, Mr. Cline, Logan, Brandon, Mr. Owen, Nick, and William)

The Minutemen’s Pursuit Trail is very well documented and there is a Minutemen’s Pursuit Trail Medal a Scout can earn by completing a questionnaire about some of the historic points on the trail.  I love the history of our great area in the United States. I hope Scouts will seize the opportunity to explore a lot of our Nation’s history on the Minutemen’s Pursuit Trail. I give this trail a 10 star rating!

On April 19, 2018, there will be the 1st Annual Minutemen’s Pursuit Trail hike. This will be an awesome opportunity for Scouts from all over the country to take part in a historic hike to commemorate the original pursuit 243 years later.

For more information about the trail please send an email to David Owen: committeechair@troop132.com