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 and program 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 Indoors

Since March 2020, we have faced unprecedented challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, with many schools back to in-person classes, a great summer 2021 camping season, and many units having excellent fall recruiting, the future of Scouting looks bright. While the pandemic is still not over, it is safe to meet in person and enjoy the outdoor Scouting programs with the proper precautions and following local regulations. 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’ll 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. Read more about it in this Scout Life article.
    2. Connect with other Scouters around the country on the BSA’s official Scouting Forums and learn how to bring back in-person activities.
    3. Always get the latest edition of the BSA’s Advancement News.
  3. Recent Marketing Webinars to recruit more Scouts!
    1. Join Scouting Nights Membership
    2. Welcoming & Onboarding New Youth and Families
    3. Beyond School Access & “Normal Friend Activities”
  4. Outdoor Programs & Properties
    1. The biennial National Outdoor Conference will be held virtually on Nov 5-6, 2021. The conference will focus on three objectives to help councils develop more robust outdoor programs:
      • Membership Growth through outdoor programs – learn and discuss how to grow Scouting through leveraging your outdoor programs
      • Property Utilization – learn how to use your property not just for “summer camp” and how to leverage this tool to serve your community better
      • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – we are all on a spectrum of DEI in our councils and camps. Learn from some experts in the field on how to begin or continue the conversations around this critical topic.
    2. Check out the Outdoor Programs Webpage to get information about camping guidelines, conservation service awards, and special training for our programs.
  5. Facebook groups on Scouting plus official BSA groups for national, council, and district contain resources for Escaping the Indoors. Also, connect with other Scouting Leaders and learn how to bring back in-person activities safely.
  6. Updated Merit Badge Pamphlets are now available through Amazon Kindle.  See the article in Bryan on Scouting for more information.
  7. We have Lone Scout resources for families that traditional Scouting programs might not be available in their area or have a nomad lifestyle like living from their RV (Roadschooling), boats, or remote cabin. Since they are far away from traditional units, it is hard for them to participate on traditional Scouting. However, they can still participate in Scouting with their family.
    1. Lone Scout Program from the Commissioner website
    2. Lone Scout Friend and Counselor Guidebook
    3. Byran on Scouting article
    4. Trans-Atlantic Council Resources. Including registration to virtual units for Scoutbook access.
    5. Advancement forms to submit to their council (non-Scoutbook). List unit number as LONE.
    6. Contact your local council to learn more on how they support Lone Scouts.
  8. 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. In addition, 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 den leaders to organize meetings for the year as well as to prepare for their next meeting and to track attendance and advancement.

Cub Chat Live! is a weekly show that spends time providing tools and ideas to our units so they can lead a successful cub scout program.

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
    • Links to previously live-streamed office hours – with topics including Eagle time extension requests, DEI advancement changes, recruiting ideas, and female troop support
  3. The BSA has launched a new series of personal safety awareness videos in partnership with the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center Foundation, intended to help young people know how to seek help in various situations safely. – Click Here
  4. Go and follow the Scouts BSA official Facebook page to hear directly from the Scouts BSA Committee.

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:

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

Other useful Sea Scouts links:

International Scouting

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

Special Needs & Disabilities

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

Mark your Calendars! On March 11-21, 2022 – The Keys Experience hosted by the National Special Needs and Disabilities Committee – Click here for more information

Additional Resources:

  • Special needs and disabilities stock images to use on flyers and posters can be found in the BSA Brand Center.
  • Read current and past newsletters by visiting the newsletter archive. To get on the mailing list, send a request to SpecialNeedsChair@scouting.org.
  • For additional resources, check out the Able Scout Website. In the Able Scout website you can find these:
    • Inclusion Toolbox – The Inclusion Toolbox for Special Needs and Disabilities is a printable website that keeps special needs and disability information accessible 24/7/365 for the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) community, now including Scouts BSA. The Toolbox does not read like a novel or textbook. It is designed to allow you to jump to the topics of greatest interest and then read other sections later. Use the Table of Contents and search feature to jump to what you need.
    • Abilities Digest – Subscribe to the newsletter

STEM in Scouting

Learn more about the STEM Nova Awards and how STEM in Scouting can help to keep your Scouts engaged by visiting the STEM in Scouting National Website and reading the resources available. Additional training is available in My.Scouting.

Go and follow the STEM Nova Award Facebook 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.

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