Blog Post List

Does Scouting Work? 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Wednesday, March 1, 2017 11:56:00 AM

Source:  Scouting Wire

For 106 years (as of this week) Boy Scouts of America has been the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training, helping young people to be “Prepared. For Life.” We know it, parents know it, Scouts and Scouters know it – but we wanted scientific proof that Scouting positively impacts character development in youth. So we got it and shared it on Scouting Wire.

Scouting Builds Positive Character

To recap, a research team from Tufts University worked with the Cradle of Liberty Council to measure the character attributes of both Scouts and non-Scouts. The project, which was funded by the John Templeton Foundation and led by Dr. Richard M. Lerner, surveyed nearly 1,800 Cub Scouts and nearly 400 non-Scouts to better understand character development of Scouts. After a two-and-a-half-year period, the study proved Scouting builds positive character and prepares young people for life.

Add This New Video to Your Toolkit

We packaged up some helpful tools to further show the value of Scouting in Resources to Help You Prove the Value of Scouting – but now we’ve got one more asset to add to your council’s toolkit!

Internet users – especially millennials- are consuming more video content than ever, so it’s important to reach potential Scouting families via the medium that’s most engaging and interesting to them. The video below showcases the study’s findings in a brief, animated summary that’s easy to understand and fun to watch. It’s the perfect recruiting tool to highlight why Scouting is the right choice for any parent seeking valuable experiences for their children.

Watch the video for yourself and then share in your councils and social networks. You can share the video from YouTube and download it via the Marketing and Membership Hub

BSA Eligibility FAQ's 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Monday, February 20, 2017 2:44:00 PM

On January 30, 2017, the Boy Scouts of America announced and released the following statement:

As one of America’s largest youth-serving organizations, the Boy Scouts of America continues to work to bring the benefits of our programs to as many children, families and communities as possible.

“While we offer a number of programs that serve all youth, Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting are specifically designed to meet the needs of boys. For more than 100 years, the Boy Scouts of America, along with schools, youth sports and other youth organizations, have ultimately deferred to the information on an individual’s birth certificate to determine eligibility for our single-gender programs. However, that approach is no longer sufficient as communities and state laws are interpreting gender identity differently, and these laws vary widely from state to state.

“Starting today, we will accept and register youth in the Cub and Boy Scout programs based on the gender identity indicated on the application.  Our organization’s local councils will help find units that can provide for the best interest of the child.

“The BSA is committed to identifying program options that will help us truly serve the whole family, and this is an area that we will continue to thoughtfully evaluate to bring the benefits of Scouting to the greatest number of youth possible – all while remaining true to our core values, outlined in the Scout Oath and Law.”

The link below is to a video of Mike Surbaugh, Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America, on this topic.

http://scoutingnewsroom.org/press-releases/bsa-addresses-gender-identity/?utm_source=scoutinglink 

Below are questions and answers regarding this topic.

Understanding the Decision

Q. What is the BSA’s policy on allowing transgendered youth as members in Scouting?
A. The BSA does not have a policy on transgender youth. For more than 100 years, the BSA, along with schools, youth sports and other youth organizations, have ultimately deferred to the information documented on an individual’s birth certificate to determine eligibility for our single-gender programs, such as Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. However, that approach is no longer sufficient as communities and state laws are interpreting gender identity differently, and these laws vary widely from state to state.

Q. What is changing?
A. Starting today, we will accept registration in our Scouting programs based on the gender identity provided on an individual’s application. BSA local councils will help facilitate locating units that can provide for the welfare and best interest of the child.

Q. Why are you making this change?
A. For more than 100 years, the BSA, along with schools, youth sports and other youth organizations, have ultimately deferred to the information documented on an individual’s birth certificate to determine eligibility for our single-gender programs. However, that approach is no longer sufficient as communities and state laws are interpreting gender identity differently, and these laws vary widely from state to state.

Q. What programs does this impact?
A. This change to eligibility requirements will impact single-gender programs – Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts are year-round programs specifically for males in the first grade through age 17. This change does not impact STEM Scouts, Exploring or Venturing.

Q. Can an individual who was born a girl but identifies as a boy join Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts?
A. Yes. We will accept registration in our Scouting programs based on the gender identity provided on an individual’s application.

Q. Can an individual who was born a boy but identifies as a girl join Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts?
A. No. Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts are year-round programs specifically for males in the first grade through age 17. We will accept registration in our Scouting programs based on the gender identity provided on an individual’s application. Transgender girls can join STEM Scouts, Venturing and Exploring, since these programs are available to females.

Q. Is there a benefit to making this decision?
A. We hope that the change in our approach in determining eligibility will enable us to bring the benefits of our programs to as many children, families and communities as possible, and we encourage all interested, eligible youth to apply. Transgender youth face many struggles daily — at school, in their communities, and even at home with their parents and families. They are more likely to be harassed, have higher rates of depression, high levels of anxiety and are more likely to commit suicide than other children. At school, the atmosphere for many is hostile, and it may be even worse at home or in their communities. While it is understandable that our Scouting family may be concerned about how to best serve a transgender boy in Scouting or how welcoming a transgender boy in the program may impact a unit, these statistics shed light on a group of kids that could benefit tremendously from the benefits of Scouting in building character and leadership, as well as the supportive camaraderie and community that results in our units.

Q. How can this decision be made without my unit’s input?
A. While individual units (e.g., Packs, Troops, etc.) are locally associated with community organizations, local councils and units are chartered by the national BSA organization. This means that youth who register to participate in a Scouting program are registered as part of the national organization, which sets eligibility requirements for all councils and participating units. Decisions made regarding participant eligibility are made according to the national requirements – not at the local council or unit level – which do not discriminate with respect to gender identity. If a unit does not think it can offer a safe and welcoming environment, then BSA local councils will help facilitate locating units that can provide for the welfare and best interest of the child.

Q. Is there mounting pressure to be more inclusive and change your policies again?
A. We understand and appreciate that the values and the lessons of Scouting are attractive to the entire family, so we are committed to identifying program options that will help us truly do so. This is an area that we will continue to thoughtfully evaluate in order to bring the benefits of Scouting to the greatest number of youth possible.

How the Decision Affects My Unit

Q: How does this impact religious organizations who sponsor Scouting?
A: While religious partners will continue to have the right to make decisions based on religious beliefs, we will work with families to find local Scouting units that are the best fit for their children. If a religious organization declines to accept a youth or adult application based on their religious beliefs, they should notify the council so that a unit open to accepting the individual can be offered as an option.

Q. Will non-religious chartered organizations be allowed to determine eligibility?
A. As with all Cub Scout packs and Boy Scout troops, volunteer leadership of each unit determines their ability to provide a safe and effective program for the youth who seek membership. Further, decisions made regarding participant eligibility are made according to the national requirements – not at the local council or unit level – which do not discriminate with respect to gender identity. If a unit does not think it can offer a safe and positive environment for these youth members, then BSA local councils will help facilitate locating units that can provide for the welfare and best interest of the child.

Q: What additional Youth Protection Training is needed as a result of this decision?
A: No additional Youth Protection Training is needed; however, it is appropriate to have a heightened sensitivity for youth safety precautions. The Center for Disease Control and other experts have reported that transgender youth are at a significantly higher risk of abuse at the hands of other youth than are other boys. This risk increases as boys grow older and the Scouting program provides more opportunities for youth to be outdoors with less direct supervision. The BSA’s Youth-on-Youth Training Materials (available at http://www.scouting.org/Training/YouthProtection.aspx) are designed to help adult leaders prevent and react to youth-on-youth incidents that might occur within the context of Scouting, especially in a camping or overnight setting.

Q: If a transgender boy decides to join our troop, how will we know how to handle the issues that may arise while camping and on other outings?
A: When considering Scouting for a transgender youth, the youth’s parents must have an initial discussion with the council and unit addressing the following questions: 1) Is the child living culturally as a boy? 2) Is the child recognized by his family as a boy? And 3) Is the child recognized by his school and/or community as a boy? Living culturally as a boy generally includes dressing as a boy, using a culturally accepted male name or nickname, parents/caregivers using male pronouns when referring to the child, and being considered “a boy” in his daily-life.

The matters set out in the Transgender Guidelines (available to local council professional staff) must be discussed and agreed upon by parents, unit leaders, and the boy before the boy joins. This agreement will include a plan that defines expectations for managing the Scouting experience so as to create a welcoming, safe environment. As part of the guidelines, a council professional must be involved in the initial assessment of whether the unit can or will accept the youth and whether there is sufficient common ground to put together an effective plan to address personal privacy, including bathroom and sleeping arrangements.

Q: What bathroom should a transgender boy use? What about tenting/sleeping arrangements?
A: Matters of personal privacy, including bathroom and sleeping arrangements, will be addressed by customized plans developed with input from the transgender boy and his family. More details about the contents of the plan are available in the Transgender Guidelines (available to local council Scout Executives.)

Q. Will you provide a list of inclusive units?
A. We don’t keep such a list, but we will work with families to find local Scouting units that are the best fit for their children.

Girls in Scouting

Q: Doesn’t this decision effectively allow girls in the Cub Scout and Boy Scout program?
A: No, transgender boys are considered boys. This is a legal decision that many states have adopted. Although we previously referred to the information documented on a birth certification to verify eligibility, that approach is no longer sufficient as communities and state laws are interpreting gender identity differently.

Q. Can an individual who was born a boy but identifies as a girl join Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts?
A. No. Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts are year-round programs specifically for males in the first grade through age 17. We will accept registration in our Scouting programs based on the gender identity provided on an individual’s application. Transgender girls can join STEM Scouts, Venturing and Exploring, since these programs are available to females.

Q. What Scouting programs are available to young women?
A. The BSA offers programs for girls and young women through Venturing, STEM Scouts and Exploring.

Q. Have any of our Chartered Organizations made a statement in response to this change?
A. Yes, and we will list those statement in the FAQ as we receive them.
LDS Church Statement

Contact

If you have other questions regarding this topic, please let us know by emailing Thomas Franklin at Thomas.Franklin@Scouting.org.  We will respond to any other questions as quickly as possible.  

 

Update Your Pin at BeAScout.org 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Tuesday, February 14, 2017 6:45:00 AM

Unit Leaders:

Make sure your unit’s information is correct on BeAScout.org.  BeAScout.org is a tool prospective families use to find units to join. Is your unit information up to date or do you have the unit leader from three years ago as your contact?

We suggest you list your feeder school(s) and/or church in the description. If your unit does not have a website, refer them to the district website (preferably the unit’s page, for example, www.raven.shac.org/units). 

The following registered leaders in your unit have the ability to update your unit's meeting location and contact information:

(A) Unit Leader: this means your Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, Varsity Coach, Crew Advisor or Skipper
(B) Unit Committee Chair
(C) Chartered Organization Representative

Here’s what you need to do to update your unit's pin - the whole process should take less than 10 minutes:

  • Step 1. Log onto your account at “MyScouting.org” and select “BeAScout” from the Unit Tools section on the left-hand menu. A new page will be displayed: There are two "tabs" on this window, and you should be on "Unit Pin Management" - if not, then click the "Unit Pin Management" tab. 
  • Step 2. Take a moment to look over the Unit Pin Management screen: If at any time you are lost, look for the "Help" link in the upper right-hand corner of the page for help.  Also, note that the "Google Pin Preview" section, in the bottom-right area of the page, will display what will appear on the Google map.  It will change as you enter/edit information in these steps. 
  • Step 3. Check the "Unit Description" - this box contains a combination of your unit name and your chartered organization. If that the information is incorrect then reach out to your district executive (DE) for assistance. 
  • Step 4: If your Scout unit has a website, enter the web address (URL).  Otherwise, enter your district website, preferably the unit’s page on the district website (e.g., www.raven.shac.org/units). You can always edit this field later if your unit establishes a website.
  • Step 5. Update the Alternate Unit Description: many units opt to type their unit type and number followed by their meeting location (example: "Pack 867 - Lincoln Elementary")
     
  • Step 6: Make sure the Pin Status says "Active" if you want your pin visible to perspective Scouts and parents on the map. 
     
  • Step 7a: Select your primary contact. The primary contact will receive all emails from prospective Scout parents, so be sure to let the person know that they will be responding to all parent leads. If the fields in this section are "grey" then you must check the "Contact Person" box in the "Fields Displayed on Google Pin" section at the bottom-left side of the page.  If the person is already a registered adult leader in your Scout unit, then their name will be selectable from a list.  Once selected, all information is automatically provided in this section's fields. 
     
  • Step 7b: Also be sure to check all the information with the primary contact volunteer and edit fields that are no longer current (e.g., phone number, email address). It is very important that you keep this information up-to-date as volunteers and contact information will change over time.
     
  • Step 8. Enter the location where your unit holds its meetings (address information). This address will dictate where your unit pin will appear on Google Maps.  Note that it may be helpful to enter the name of your meeting location "address 1" and the street address on "address 2"
  • Step 9. Type special announcements, up to 133 characters, in the box under Special Announcements. We suggest you list your feeder school(s) and/or church.
  • Step 10. Check the Google PIN preview - this is a preview of what will appear on the map. Parents will only be able to see what is in this box, so please review it carefully for accuracy. 

NOTE: There is an option to change the icon from a Scouting map symbol representing your unit type to something else. Please DO NOT change the unit logo icon.

  • Step 10. Once you are done, click the “SAVE” button and your information will be uploaded.

That’s all you need to do to set up your unit for BeAScout.org. Be sure to do this as soon as possible so your unit will get recruiting leads.

Verify unit information on district website

Verify the unit contact information on your district website. There is a unit page on the toolbar of every district website.  Please make sure your unit’s information is correct.  There is a link at the top of the page to submit corrections to the webmaster.  The information on this page is important as this information shows up in internet searches. Also, fill out our social media survey, so we can help promote your unit.

Scouting Apps 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Wednesday, February 1, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Boys’ Life Magazine and Scouting Magazine Apps 

Source:  Scouting Newsroom Blog

Boys’ Life and Scouting magazines have two official mobile apps. Both apps can now be downloaded directly to your mobile device to make the world of Scouting available at your fingertips. 

Boys’ Life has been delivering fascinating and fun content to readers on ink and paper for decades, but new technology brings a new level of content. Readers will still get all the content they love — Scouts in Action, jokes, cartoons and super Scouting outings — plus access to new multimedia content such as videos, slideshows and easy social media sharing.

Downloading the app is as easy as typing “Boys’ Life magazine” into the search box of any app store, including Apple, Google Play and Amazon Kindle. Readers can also sport the new version of the classic publication on their wrist — Boys’ Life is available for Apple Watch too.

Both apps are free to download and once you open either app, you can elect to purchase an annual subscription for either magazine.

Current subscribers to the print version of Boys’ Life will receive the digital subscription for free. To access the app, all you’ll need to do is input your account number, which can be located on your magazine’s address label. Those who are not subscribed can buy a digital subscription though the app, or they can subscribe at the half-price “Scout rate” using special promo code FBTW0216 on the Boys’ Life website.

Find the Scouting magazine app on any app store simply by searching “Scouting magazine USA” or try “BSA” (the UK Scout Association has already published its Scouting magazine). Subscriptions to the digital Scouting — which includes the entire 103-year Scouting archive — are available via in-app purchase for just $4.99 a year.

Boys’ Life and Scouting magazine apps offer access to more than a century of content. (Photo credit: Scouting magazine)

Decades of Scouting Literature at Your Fingertips

Digital subscribers of Boys’ Life can buy almost any single copy dating to the very first issue, published March 1, 1911. Scoutingmagazine subscribers will have direct access to all of that publication’s content from 1913 to today. This means with the apps, you’ve got every issue of each magazine ever produced, right in your pocket.

Boys’ Life and Scouting magazines publish quality information and entertainment for a wide variety of audiences, and you don’t have to be a registered Scouter to subscribe.

The release of the apps makes anywhere, anytime, any place an opportunity to read your favorite Scouting publications.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upcoming Scout Days 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Monday, August 1, 2016 12:18:00 PM

National Weather Service Skywarn Classes

The National Weather Service Houston/Galveston office offers free Skywarn classroom and webinar training courses on how to spot and report severe weather. Scouters are invited to attend. Upcoming training sessions are posted here.

More Information

 


Bayou Land Conservancy

Bayou Land Conservancy is now offering free workshop opportunities for Scouts to help you earn advancement requirements in a unique manner while having a hands-on experience outdoors. We would like to invite Scouts to come out and enjoy the prairie while providing stewardship! Please contact Savannah Salazar at (281) 841-8582 or ssalazar@bayouland.org for more information and to register.


Houston Museum of Natural Science

The Houston Museum of Natural Science offers a variety of classes for Scouts.

  • Tigers, Wolves, and Bears can work towards Adventures in two-hour classes. Up to two classes can be taken in one day and entrance to the general exhibits is included. Classes are offered throughout the school year on Saturdays.
  • Adventures can be earned by Webelos in two-hour classes on Saturdays through the school year. Up to two classes can be taken in one day and entrance to the general exhibits is included. Adventures in Science, Art Explosion, Earth Rocks, Engineer, Into the Wild, Into the Woods and First Responder (limited classes).
  • 13 merit badges are available for Boy Scouts at HMNS, including four Eagle Scout required badges: Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, and Communications. All classes will use the resources at the museum’s disposal to help Scouts meet requirements. For example, Citizenship in the Nation students will visit the special exhibition The Bill of Rights as part of the class, and the Astronomy class uses the state-of-the-art Burke Baker Planetarium to meet requirements. 
  • Tigers, Wolves, Bears, and Webelos can spend the night at the museum during the Scout Overnight! Scouts can all have an exclusive adventure through the museum exhibit halls, with activities and a special program in the Burke Baker Planetarium, where Scouts have a clear night adventure under the stars!
  • Questions? Contact us at scouts@hmns.org

The Health Museum

The Health Museum offers a variety of classes for Scouts. Private classes can also be scheduled for groups of 10 or more Scouts on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • Webelos can work on the Forester, Geologist, Traveler, Citizen, Readyman, Scientist, Fitness, and Aquanaut badges.
  • Boy Scouts can work on 21 different merit badges.
  • The Gigglin' Marlin Dive & Swim (4502 Almeda Drive) are hosting swimming related courses for Scouts through the museum. 

 


Houston Arboretum & Nature Center

The Houston Arboretum & Nature Center offers a variety of classes for Scouts. Scouts investigate the nature sanctuary with a naturalist and learn about the fascinating ecology of the forest. All of our Scout programs are conducted by staff naturalists and use our nature sanctuary as a field laboratory for hands-on explorations!


Houston Zoo

The Houston Zoo offers a spend the night at the zoo for a unique, after-hours experience which includes interactive activities, touchable animals, pizza dinner, Scout advancements on certain nights, and a continental breakfast!  
 


Weather Center Houston

The Weather Center Houston offers the Boy Scout Weather merit badge.


Armand Bayou Nature Center

The Armand Bayou Nature Center offers a variety of classes for Scouts. 

  • Tigers, Wolves and Bears can work on several outdoor advancements.
  • Webelos can work on the Naturalist and Forester badge.


iFly Scout Programs

iFLY offers special rates and programs for Scout outings! STEM summer camp programs are available for Scout groups of 20 or more and participants will receive a special iFLY patch.  All Scout programs that fly before June 30, 2016 will also receive a free video. To reserve your space or for more information, contact iFLY Houston at (281) 295-1761 or aburchett@iflyworld.com.


Contact

For more information, contact:

Shane Burks
Marketing/Communications Director
(713) 756-3301
 Shane.Burks@shac.org

 

 

 


Comments are hidden. If you send us a comment, please provide your contact information.