Category Archives: For Parents

“How Do You Scout?”- Unit & Family Alignment Survey

Submitted by Chuck Eaton, Scout Executive

Here is a BRAND NEW tool to help make sure that your unit values are aligned with the values of your Scout families!

DOWNLOAD the Facilitator Instructions
DOWNLOAD the Survey

Why Alignment is Important
Scouting is families working together to help raise each other’s kids. When we look at Scouting like this, it reminds us that Scouting is a community function. Each unit is a reflection of its families and charter organization.
There are some things in Scouting which we require be done the same way:

  1. We must adhere to Scouting safety guidelines at all times to ensure that everyone feels physically, emotionally, and socially safe.
  2. We require all our members to do their best to adhere to Scout Oath & Law – to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.

There are other areas of Scouting that provide units the chance to make it their own. Each parent brings their unique skills to the group, and the Scouts learn skills that range from music, to camping, robotics, first aid and everything in between. However, like all communities and families, sometimes discord evolves out of the peace and fun. We understand that people see the world differently and therefore they have different expectations for how Scouting fits into their family.  It is important that we know that there are lots of ways to do Scouting.  

We find families and parents work best and develop harmony when all the families are aligned.
To help our Scout families self-identify what’s important to the group assembled, we recommend each family fill out the quick but insightful family alignment tool. This tool which we call “How do you Scout?” calculates the program features and intensity of those features that are most important to the families in your unit. Then it provides a simple chart for each of the 8 areas of alignment to help the families know their starting point on each topic, as well as the intensity level.

The purpose is to inform and equip you with some ideas and language to have conversations to figure out what your family priorities are and whether the unit can run in a way that is respectful of your wishes. By identifying possible areas mis-alignment, the adults can make conscious and intentional decisions about those topics.

We suggest an annual family meeting of all the parents in a unit to go through the group results. This way, each year all the parents can reaffirm “How they want to Scout.” Our hope is that if we all do this, we will increase the chance that everyone can find the right group of people to Scout with.
In order to get the most out of this experience, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Our plan is to understand how your family wants to participate in Scouting and use that to determine fit with the unit.
  • People don’t always agree, but that’s okay.
  • We all have a voice in the unit.
  • We understand that everyone is doing what they think is right for their family.
  • We must trust each other to be genuine.

Happy Scouting!

Chuck Eaton
Scout Executive

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.

 

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.

Added Value to the Adventure Card

Submitted by:  Mariama Sano, Spirit of Adventure Council’s Development Campaign Manager

By now – most Cub Scout packs, dens and families have started using their Adventure Cards for several purposes. Entrance to either Base Camp (Lone Tree or Milton), discounts for Winter Camp, STEM camp, Day Camp, cabin rentals or other programs and services offered through the council. Additionally, most of our Venturers and Boy Scouts are also starting to increase the usage of card through high adventure programs, training programs and summer camp. Also, we are seeing a dramatic increase in Scoutbook usage which stitches all the programs together creating an individualized learning experience for each Scout.

But that’s all old news – Now your Adventure Card is gaining a new set of benefits! Be sure to check out the website and Facebook for updates and discounts for family attractions all around Boston! Below read about the first few benefits that are included in with your Adventure Card.

 

Boston Duck Tours

Boston Duck Tours is a great way to start off a visit to Boston. You get a great overview of the city through many unique neighborhoods as you splash into the Charles River for a breathtaking view of the Boston and Cambridge skylines.

A Scout group will receive a special group rate for 10 or more guests (normally 20 or more guests) when you present the New England Adventure Card at their Museum of Science location. Scouts will also receive $2 off Kids tickets and $4 off Adult tickets for groups of less than 10 at the Museum of Science location with the Adventure Card!

 

Historic New England Properties

Historic New England Properties such as Historic New England Phillips House and Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm offer 2-for-1 admission (a 50% discount) to all Scouts and their families/chaperones with the Adventure Card! This is for general admission museum tours and does not include programs, events or private group tours. Please show your card at the Museum of Science ticket booth and mention the code C-Scouts.

 

Salem Trolley

Ride the Red Trolley – Salem Trolley – Salem’s Original Trolley! Scouts get a 20% Discount on a group private one hour narrated historical tour of Salem with their Adventure Card. Trolleys hold 30-38 passengers. Contact salemtrolley@gmail.com or 978-744-5469.

 

Ecotarium

The EcoTarium in Worcester, MA is a family-friendly, indoor-outdoor museum of science and nature. Scouts can print this special coupon for $2 off. If a group of 10 or more visits the museum, admission would be $8 per person, instead of the $18 (adult) and $14 (child) rate. To get the group rate, call in advance: 508-929-2700

 

SCOUTbox

SCOUTbox is a monthly subscription box service built specifically for scouts, by scouts. Keep your scouts excited each month when they receive a box filled with awesome gear for camping and other outdoor adventures as well as educational materials to enhance scouting programs.

For those in the Spirit Adventure Council, if you use the code SPIRIT888 you’ll get $8.88 off your first box when purchasing a subscription. It can be used on any of the 3 lengths; monthly, 3-month, or 6-month. Check out SCOUTbox online.

 

Plimoth Plantation

With the Adventure Card, Plimoth Plantation has 15% admission discount for Scouting families, Packs and Troops that may be less than the traditional group minimum of 15 people with the opportunity to visit Plimoth Plantation, Plimoth Grist Mill and Mayflower II (scheduled to return early summer – 2019) on the day of their choice.  A tremendous value for Boy Scouts (13 – 17 years) that reflects a 50% discount.

2018 Season Schedule: March 17th through November 25th, 9 AM until 5 PM daily. There will be an exciting STEM patch program for the Plimoth Grist Mill that will be a complimentary question/scavenger activity sheet for use at the mill, with patches available for sale through the retail store.

 

Salem Witch Museum

Salem’s most visited museum is the perfect starting point for your visit to the historic city. Explore the story of the Salem Witch trials with your group (ten or more visitors receive group discounts).

Through the Adventure Card, museum-goers will receive $1.00 off adult and $.50 off of child tickets for up to a family of six when presenting their card. This offer excludes weekends in October or Halloween Day. See their website for more information.

 

Attitash

Attitash Mountain Resort & Wildcat Mountain invite Scouts and their families to join them for weekends on the snow and ski slopes at exclusive discounted rates. 

Special Pricings for Lift Ticket, Ski or Snowboard Rental Package, Learn to Ski or Snowboard and Groups 15+. Login with the Spirit of Adventure code to receive discounts, included in this flyer.

 

The Best Seats VIP

New England’s largest entertainment concierge – The Best Seats VIP offers customized entertainment experiences. Their VIP Hosts will work with you on any organizational outing for the scouts to take advantage of and provide unique, once-a-lifetime experiences.

All members within Spirit of Adventure can receive 10% off on all orders by using promo code SCOUT10 at checkout. For more information, contact Brandon Gilson at 781 201 0347, email: Brandon@TheBestSeatsVIP.com or visit their website. Please mention your Scout affiliation when you contact them. This offer has no expiration date.

 

Wonder Dads

Dads of Boy Scouts  in the Spirit of Adventure Council can now get their first month free of WonderDads with this special URL for Scouts in our Council.

WonderDads is the largest membership-based association of Dads with kids ages 0-16, with over 50,000 members nationwide. Members get access to WonderDads This Weekend digital magazine, critically-acclaimed Dad resources, and their own online account where they can do everything from create an interactive Dad-Kids bucket list to plan a Dad-Kids trip. WonderDads entire mission is to help members be even better and “funner” Dads, and help them make the most of their kid’s childhood years.  Check it out and get your first month free!

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!

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 George O’Loughlin.

#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.

Summer Camp: Endless Opportunities

Submitted by Jenn Erickson, a Wilmington Cubmaster

Summer Camp…two words…endless opportunities.

Summer camp is so much better than a placeholder for your kids until you get home from work. So much better than a babysitter or electronics that keep them occupied. Summer camp is the time for kids to be kids. To get outside and learn the skills that will assist them in being better friends, prepared students and some day, engaged parents and productive adults.

The days are filled with fresh air, fun, learning (shhh!), dirty knees and hopefully sun. If not, they learn the importance of being prepared and having rain gear or learn how to be safe in a thunderstorm. They can do individual activities that strengthen their hand eye coordination, their creativity and imagination through woodworking, leather crafting, and arts and crafts. They do team building activities and learn to work and share with others. They learn new sports or maybe strengthen the skills of old ones. They learn they don’t have to be the best to have fun but they need to try their best. For many, a love of a new interest is borne or a skill crafted that they had never tried before. Who knew they were good at archery and slingshots? Who knew they could build a chair from a pile of wood? They get scrapes and splinters and learn how to treat them. They learn an appreciation of the outdoors and how to take care of it. They explore and discover new things in the world around them. They learn to care about the well-being of their friends by instilling in them the buddy system.

Summer camp is an opportunity for kids to be away from their parents. They discover what they can do without Mom or Dad there. We as parents learn what they are capable of when we step back and let them be, they truly can do so much more than we give them credit. They gain some independence, some confidence and learn from some mistakes. As they do these things, they build up their self-esteem and their self-worth. They become leaders and decision makers. They have choices that they are responsible for, they make new friends and are introduced to new types of people and situations. They grow.

Summer camp is childhood wrapped up in one week and I wouldn’t want my son to miss it for anything in the world. Summer camp is calling and he MUST go!

     

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.

Keeping up with the Spirit of Adventure!

 

Submitted by Maria Kaestner, Spirit of Adventure Communication Specialist

Do you ever feel out of the loop when people are talking about Spirit of Adventure events and programs that are coming up? You don’t have to worry about searching for news, because we can send all you need to know right to you!

Our Spirit of Adventure Newsletter has been revitalized and like the Scouts it features, it is embracing new opportunities.

Our scouting community needs to know about what’s new and what’s happening soon. We are committed to providing that information so that is is both readily accessible and easily understandable.

How to be sure you are receiving our updates:

  • Make sure you are subscribed to our weekly newsletter (which you can do at the top of our website) with an email address you check regularly
  • Check your email every Friday for a message from the Spirit of Adventure Council
  • Be sure to read over our featured announcements and calendar of upcoming events

Additionally, you can always find new updates and announcements on our home pages and our Facebook pages!

Spirit of Adventure: Home | Facebook

New England Base Camp:  Home | Facebook

Please feel free to send any questions about our newsletter or communications to Maria Kaestner.