a publication for commissioners and professionals

Spring 2021


Steven Lee
Program Support Chair

Adapting to Change -Program Support

Choose an achievement this year you consider memorable, momentous or a milestone. Maybe the unit you serve achieved an improved JTE. Maybe you set a new record of roundtable attendees. Or on a personal level, maybe your child or grandchild achieved their next rank, went camping, or just continued Scouting

Whatever achievement you’ve chosen, consider how much more special it was during the pandemic. This was a tough year for Scouts who made the commitment to continue with their goal-oriented achievements. It took a tremendous amount of support from parents, adult volunteers, and the local council to carry on. But the program was still able to celebrate these achievements because it adapted to change.

Looking forward, we have a number of challenges on the horizon. Membership is the top priority as units slowly start meeting in person and plan outdoor activities. Recruitment is important to bringing in the next generation of Scouts and addressing attrition. And forming new units is essential to providing Scouting opportunities in more areas of our communities.

In program support, how do we adapt to change this coming year? It’s no longer adapting the program for Scouting at Home but instead reactivating program activities in a new environment. For example, many packs had difficulty with fundraising or popcorn sales this year; maybe this is a good time to let parents financially choose which activities they would like to support and skip the rest. On the other hand, families might be struggling financially as a result of the pandemic. Seek council help for uniform drives, team up with another pack to share resources, or contact the chartered organization for scholarship funds.

We also need to share the Scouting spirit with new families as we get the “outing” back in “Scouting.” We need to let them know we are returning to outdoor activities and civic duties as COVID restrictions relax. Encourage fellow Scouters to share their Scouting experiences on social media, at roundtable, or by word of mouth to get the momentum started. And work with adult volunteers to apply SAFE Scouting practices so they can hold more outdoor activities.

In summary, adapting to change for program support is re-evaluating everything we do and looking for new ways to improve program implementation. Adaptation requires creativity, boldness and help. For the past 100 years, the BSA has successfully served youth because, in an ever-changing world, our program remains ready to adapt to change.

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