How to Get the Most out of the upcoming National Outdoor Conference

Build your own adventure, take advantage of a track, or network with friends.

No doubt at this point if you are reading this article that you have heard about the National Outdoor Conference (NOC) that is taking place virtually on November 5-6, 2021. If you have not registered there is still time…but you have already registered …right? If not, pause your reading and go register here. The article won’t go anywhere.

For those who are just waiting to see who else is coming before you decide to attend, over 600 of your favorite Scouting friends are registered to attend so you don’t want to miss it. If you have not registered, you can at https://www.scouting.org/outdoor-programs/2021-national-outdoor-conference/

So how do you make the most of your time at the national outdoor conference? The best answer is be involved and participate!

Each day NOC will start with an “Opening Campfire” to kick off the morning. These will feature guest speakers and set the tone for each day with a highlight of the conference objectives. Following the opening campfires, each day will have four elective sessions, giving you eight sessions to participate in throughout the two days!

Elective sessions are broken up into a few categories called tracks from which you can choose. Before you ask, No you do not have to stick to one track, but these will give you some guidance if you are looking to meet a specific objective. On the event platform you will be able to filter the session with some tags as well as these tracks to help you decide what might be the right fit for you.

For instance:

  • I am a camp director looking for help in new program that would help us grow membership through camp programs – the Membership Growth Through the Outdoors track might be for you.
  • I am interested in developing some resources to help our camps be more welcoming for all Scouts – consider taking courses in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Outdoors
  • I am a council properties committee member or camp ranger – consider taking courses in the Property Utilization, Maintenance and Planning

If you can’t choose between two sessions (or more) in a time block, don’t forget you will have the ability to view any recorded content for up to 30 days AFTER the event through the platform. You will also have access to download any documents that you missed as well.

We know that all of us come to the conference for more than just elective sessions. Maybe you are looking for some new ideas or items for your camp. Check out the exhibitor hall. There will be time each day that is uninterrupted in the exhibit hall for you to visit with and talk to the exhibitors. In addition, as the conference is virtual you can “visit the booth” even when someone is not around – even at 3 AM when you are up thinking about the great sessions you experienced during the day.

Another opportunity that you don’t want to miss is to network with friends and make some new ones. There will be a chance to meet folks through “networking” events where you can meet and talk with several people in a short amount of time. Think of it as speed dating but without the awkwardness of trying to be on a date. This is a time to meet and connect with folks like you who enjoy the outdoor programs of the BSA. You can also connect one on one with someone that you meet just to have conversations.

If you would rather hang out with a group, we would encourage you to visit one of our “campsites”. These are digital rooms where you can meet with friends and talk about topics that you all have in common or just meet up with some friends to “sit around the campfire” and socialize. NOTE: no campfire will actually be provided.

If you are a gamer at heart, don’t miss the opportunity to earn some FREE STUFF through participating in the Gamificaiton section where you will earn points for interacting in the conference. Visit the lobby page to see the challenges and see where you stand.

Like all conferences you will get out of if what you put in. We want you to be involved in elective sessions where you can take the information you learn and help grow Scouting and your council operations. We want you to be inspired from some great speakers at the opening campfires and we want you to get connected to other professionals and volunteers around Scouting but most of all we want you to BE THERE!

Whatever your outdoor adventure looks like (on an indoor virtual platform) we hope that you will get connected and experience all that the conference has to offer.

See you November 5-6!