Program Support Resources

An effective commissioner provides unit leadership with information and guidance on the latest changes in their specific program, whether Cub Scouts or Sea Scouts. Change is a constant throughout the national level programs, and flowing down this information is essential to ensure quality programs for all BSA youth participants.

We are looking for your input; use the suggestion box at the end of this page to let us know the most common Program questions you receive from the units you serve.

Time to Escape the Great Indoors

Since March 2020, we have faced unprecedented challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic. With vaccination rates climbing and infection rates keep trending downwards, many local governments are relaxing the restrictions that prevented us from in-person gatherings. While the pandemic is still not over, with the proper precautions and following local regulations, it is safe to meet in person and enjoy the outdoor Scouting programs. Here are a few reminders and tips to have a safe and enjoyable return back to in-person Scouting.

  1. SAFE Scouting Meetings During Covid
    1. Restart Scouting Checklist
    2. Pre-Event Medical Screening Checklist
    3. Temporary advancement accommodations laid out in our COVID-19 FAQ are still valid until announced later this year when we revert to the original requirements. But if it is safe in your area, you can follow the requirements without changes for Covid.
    4. Connect with your local council to understand your local requirements to operate in-person activities.
  2. Official BSA websites
    1. Join BSA’s Summer of Service! Do a service project by October 31, 2021, and show the impact you can make in your community.
    2. Connect with other Scouters around the country on the BSA’s official Scouting Forums and learn what they are doing to bring back in-person activities.
    3. Always get the latest edition of the BSA’s Advancement News.
    4. Check out Bryan on Scouting’s Six tips for Cub Scout summer activities.
  3. Recent Marketing Webinars to recruit more Scouts!
    1. Building Membership Through Cub Scout Day Camp
    2. Tech Tools – BeAScout.org, My.Scouting and Facebook Geofencing
    3. Spring Into Scouting – Five things to do now to recruit new Scouts in Spring
  4. Facebook groups on Scouting plus official BSA groups for national, council, and district contain resources for Escaping the Great Indoors. Connect with other Scouting Leaders and learn from them on how to bring back in-person activities safely.
  5. Updated Merit Badge Pamphlets are now available through Amazon Kindle.  See the article in Bryan on Scouting for more information.
  6. We have available Lone Scout resources for families in rural locations far from traditional units.  Scouts can still participate in the program either as a hybrid with a regular unit or individually for reasons defined in the Lone Scout Guidebook.
    1. Lone Scout Program from the Commissioner website
    2. Lone Scout Friend and Counselor Guidebook
    3. Byran on Scouting article
    4. Advancement forms to submit to their council (non-Scoutbook). List unit number as LONE.
  7. Learn more about Scoutbook by using the demo site. As commissioners, we are often the resource that units go to ask their Scoutbook questions. If you have limited experience with Scoutbook now, you can learn the mechanics with this demo site.

Email Steven Lee with success stories of bringing back in-person Scouting or questions on what program resources would be helpful to get back to in-person activities.

Cub Scouts

You can share these Cub Scout Resources that with new leaders or families interested in Cub Scouts.  The following resources were provided in a recent article from Bryan on Scouting.

  1. Welcome Tools for Families
    1. The eight-page Welcome New Cub Scout Family brochure
    2. Den leader guides
    3. Position-specific guides
  2. Online Resources for New Families
    1. Cub Scouting National Program Information
    2. Scout Preview Adventures
    3. The article, Go online for new Cub Scout Preview Adventures.
    4. Cub Scout Adventure Survey
  3. New leadership recruitment material: Pack Committee Resources
  4. The Den Leader Experience on Scoutbook provides a one-stop-shop for Den Leaders. It helps organize meetings for the year to prepare for their next meeting to track attendance and advancement.

Every Friday at 2 pm CT, Scouting Magazine and the Cub Scouts Program Committee host Cub Chat Live on Facebook Live for tips, tricks, and ideas to help den or packs.

Scouts BSA

The following Scouts BSA resources were provided in a recent article from Bryan on Scouting.

  1. A quick-start guide to Scouts BSA – Program Resources Page
    • checklist for a new Scoutmaster who might be unfamiliar with Scouts BSA
    • The main page for family Scouting, which is the BSA’s initiative to welcome all members of the family into all Scouting programs
    • A one-page, customizable document you can use at parent orientation
    • troop resource survey, which lets you learn the skills of each troop parent to identify potential merit badge counselors and volunteers
    • The latest requirements for every merit badge
    • The complete script for an orientation for new Scout parents
    • Resources to help you plan better troop meetings
    • Information on the National Eagle Scout Association, which is essentially an alumni group of those who have earned Scouting’s highest honor
  2. Latest updates to Scouts BSA – Program Updates Page
    • New or updated language for Scouts BSA printed materials, such as the Scouts BSA HandbookScouts BSA Requirements book, or a merit badge pamphlet.
    • Updated requirements for merit badges or ranks
    • Information on new Scouts BSA initiatives or opportunities

Venturing

You can find the following Venturing resources on the Crew Resources page:

  • Starting up a new crew
  • Recruiting new members
  • Marketing Toolbox to share the adventure
  • Annual Planning Program for successful year
  • College Scholarships to Venturing Summit Award Recipients
  • Starting a Scouts BSA Troop as a source of youth looking for the next great adventure.

Sea Scouts

You can find the following Sea Scout resources under the Resource menu at SeaScout.org:

  • Ship Resources
  • Scout Resources
  • Leader Resources
  • Quick Resources
    • Marketing Toolbox
    • Program Toolbox
    • Uniforms
    • Documents

Check out the Lookout Sea Scout Podcast Series, with the first episode being a great introduction to Sea Scouts for commissioners.

International Scouting

You can find resources for your units on the BSA’s International Scouting page:

Disabilities Awareness

You can find the following resources on the Disabilities Awareness page:

Awards Central

Awards Central is the Boy Scouts of America’s repository for information about official awards and recognitions. This site is where the most up-to-date information about BSA-related awards may be found, including award applications and nomination forms.

QUESTIONS, COMMENTS, & SUGGESTIONS

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