Scouting Ambassador in the Utah National Parks Council is a unique position not found anywhere else in Scouting. The job is something of a blend between being a Scout advocate, a member of the marketing & membership team, and working as a new unit commissioner (these will be discussed in more detail in later posts, but for now enjoy the links in the Scout Ambassador Toolchest to the right).
First, as a Scouting advocate, you should recall this message from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: “While the Church will no longer be a chartered partner of BSA or sponsor Scouting units after December 31, 2019, it continues to support the goals and values reflected in the Scout Oath and Scout Law and expresses its profound desire for Scouting’s continuing and growing success in the years ahead.” In another message to leader this summer, they wrote: “Anyone who wishes to participate in Scouting may participate in Scouting groups in their local community.” That is exactly where you come in… there have to be packs, troops, and crews for these families to join.
This means you must not be shy about your passion for Scouting, the wording even suggests you should work toward the success of Scouting’s future. As an Ambassador for Scouting, you will be the new and ongoing face of Scouting helping to build connections between families and their new chartered organizations.
Also as successful Ambassadors, you will need to understand pack, troop and crew operations. This includes:
- Knowing your market
- Being able to make sales calls
- Building your packs, troops, and crews (units)
- Growing those units
Know the Potential Charter Partner Market
In your membership and marketing role, right now there is an urgency to identify potential chartered organizations and to find meeting places for packs and troops (called units hereafter). To do this, you will really need to get to know your community in new ways that include other religious organizations beyond those organized by the Church of Jesus Christ. •
Nationwide, 70 percent of all BSA units are chartered to faith-based organizations, but for us, after the Church leaves Scouting, there may not be enough churches to go around for the units needed so we will need to turn to civic and education-based organizations.
In other areas of the nation, 22.0 percent of Scout units are chartered to civic organizations, like service clubs, civic organizations, other community organizations.
Nearly 8 percent are chartered to education organizations, like private and charter schools and their Parent Teacher Association( PTAs) and Parent-Teacher Organizations (PTOs). Your connections to the businesses and community organizations may be even more important than working with those few churches we have.
Personally, in our area, we have been rejected by three schools and their PTA‘s. You may be more lucky with educational organizations, such as a private or charter schools, or with a PTO, or afterschool club, but more likely a local business could host your unit as a chartered partner and provide meeting space. In addition, service clubs, civic organizations, and other community organizations with a clubhouse or other community space, are good choices. Right now we are even looking at empty barns in our area—there are three big ones.
Once you think you have a meeting space and an interested organization, it is time to make a sales call with your District Executive (DE). During this contact, you may find a new unit sales kit helpful. The information in these kits is designed to help you be prepared to build relationships with the chartered organization. Kits are filled with tools like this infographic that quickly illustrate the importance of their role as a chartered organization, but let’s save that discussion for a future post.
Once there is an agreement to charter, help the head of the organization with paperwork. This includes the Annual Charter Agreement and the New Unit Application, which list what Scouting can do for them and what will be expected of them, which includes:
- Using Scouting programs to further their own aims and values for youth; in meeting their own objectives they should focus on:
- Youth character development
- Career skill development
- Community service
- Patriotism and military and veteran recognition
- Faith-based youth ministry
or any combination of these initiatives
- Conduct their programs in a manner that is consistent with the Bylaws, Rules and Regulations, guidelines, and policies, of the BSA; they may not use the Scouting to pursue political or partisan politics or controversial issues.
- Name a Chartered Organization Representative (COR), who will appoint. This person provides liaison between their organization and the Local Council where they serve as voting members.
- Support unit committee(s) for each Scout group they charter.
- Approve selection of leaders that meet their standards and BSA minimum requirements, which includes a background check.
- Prove a safe meeting space.
- Encourage leaders to take Scout training.
During this early transition period, you should connect with troops that are in your neighboorhood to identify boys who want Scouting, especially those on the trail to Eagle. Using LDS tools for your stake you can easily make a list of your area Scoutmasters. Email or call them about your new troop and ask them to let parents know about what is going on.
In addition, the Council and your district will be inviting parents of current Scouts to a Stake recruitment night sometime soon. But, you do not have to wait, contact your Stake president for permission to hold your own recruitment night and take your DE with you. Once you have the date, let the Bishops and young men’s leaders know about the meeting, be sure to reach out to Scoutmasters and parents where possible.
To test the interest level of your neighbors, come prepared to recruit new youth with an exciting list of your program plans including meeting place and summer camping plans. For those interested, you will need to record name, address, and birthdate for youth and parent email or cell number, for follow up.
Following this meeting, you can begin to organize your new unit(s) including paperwork, training, funding, etc, but that is Part 2 for our next Ambassador Tool Chest. Check back in a week for more help on recruiting youth.
Other articles in this Charter Partner series include:
For other articles in this series see: