News from BSA National

Scout Oath and Scout Law

Beginning in May 2014 Venturing will use the Scout Oath and Scout Law, and beginning in May 2015 Cub Scouting will use the Scout Oath and Scout Law.

Program Update – 2014 and Beyond

The next three years promises to be an exciting time for Scouting as all three phases of our traditional Scouting program are updated based on several years of volunteer-led research and development. Venturing is first up in 2014 with a new program and recognition approach focusing on progressive development in adventure, leadership, and service to others and personal growth. Updates to Cub Scouting are coming in 2015. Get the latest overview and all the details at the newly created Program Update page http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/Membership/Youth_Recruitment/Membership_Chairman.aspx

CubCast and ScoutCast

Have you listened to the award-winning CubCast lately? How about ScoutCast? These are monthly audio podcasts featuring a variety of how-to and information topics for leaders and parents. They are designed to supplement your training and roundtable programs. You can listen to them on-line, download it to share, and/or subscribe to it via RSS feed. Archives of past editions are available too! Check out http://www.scouting.org/Scoutcast. Choose CubCast or ScoutCast, and give them a listen!

Unit Membership Chairman Position

A new volunteer position, the Unit Membership Chairman, was launched in November to assist units in focusing on membership growth. Newly developed resources in support of this position are at http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/Membership/Youth_Recruitment/Membership_Chairman.aspx

The resources include videos and printable materials to assist this person in the areas of unit membership growth and youth retention. Unit Membership Chairman is a designated functional position for someone who serves on the unit committee. It includes the following key responsibilities:

• Meet with the unit leaders and committee monthly to discuss membership goals and retention.
• Conduct at least two recruitment/Scouting promotion events per year to ensure unit growth using the Peer-to-Peer recruitment method.
• Distribute membership fliers to schools and churches in the unit’s area.
• Conduct Scouting rallies and boy talks in schools, leveraging council support when needed.
• Attend the district’s membership chairperson training sessions, which will focus on best practices.
• Involve the unit in the required number of Adopt-a- School service and community service projects for Scouting’s Journey to Excellence scores.
• Ensure that new youth and adult applications and fees are turned in to the council service center within a week after receipt.
• Work with the unit committee to ensure the unit reaches Scouting’s Journey to Excellence gold status in membership.
• Update the unit’s BeAScout Google pin and follow up with the recruitment leads generated from this online site.
• Involve the unit in fall and spring youth recruitment.
• Encourage youth in the unit to join and cross over to the next appropriate program as they come of age to do so.
• Have an annual customer satisfaction survey completed with the unit’s current Scout families.

This new position will help units connect to the resources and objectives of local membership growth plans at the district and council levels.

Transfer Fees Eliminated

Effective January 1, 2014, all registration transfer fees in the BSA were eliminated. Adults and youth in traditional units, in Exploring, and our non-unit registrants will no longer have to pay a $1 transfer fee when switching their registration from one unit or location to the next.

Change in Unit Registration Status and Membership Reporting

A change in the national reporting of membership data will begin effective January 1, 2015. Starting then, a unit that has not reregistered by its expiration date will be considered “separated” and immediately dropped from BSA’s membership reporting. There will no longer be a “lapse period” for units that do not reregister on time; we will no longer use the term “lapsed” for a unit that has not renewed. This will also change the way we report membership totals. Currently, a lapsed unit’s membership continues to be counted for 60 days in council membership totals. The new definition will begin with units that have an  effective date of January 1, 2015. This means that units with a December 31, 2014 expiration date will be  included. Volunteers will retain access to MyScouting, MyScouting tools, Internet Rechartering and Internet Advancement for 30 days after their unit has expired and become separated. A separated unit will have 12 months to reregister as a separated/reregistered unit. Once a separated unit has been reregistered, the unit will be included on membership reports starting in the business month that the
recharter was posted.

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