Post-Planning Publicity – Joining Nights, Media and More

In the PLC Pre-Launch Planning Pointer, the end note was about Publicizing your Plan:

Publicize.  And when you get a program and activities on the calendar, be sure to get that word out to your community:

  • Especially prospective Scouts and their families.
  • Let your Chartered Organization know of your progress.
  • Share on social media about what you’re going to do.
  • Use traditional media, maybe a press release about girls getting it done where they will go camping.
  • Contact your troop of boys and/or other troops of girls and let them know your plans – maybe some will want to do activities with you.”

How to Publicize?  Let us count the ways … here’s a recap of the many media and avenues you can use to get the word out, both by adults and by youth – but All Scouting is Local, and you may have more:

paperwork1)     Open House Events – Do activities that youth want to do, right now: show them what they will do in your Scouts BSA troop.  Brief parents too.

2)     Unit Websites – Put your best face forward.

3)     Unit BeAScout Pin – Put your best Words forward, briefly.

4)     Organization Websites – churches, schools, community groups, your Chartered Organization.

5)     Unit Facebook, Instagram, etc. – Follow Social Media Guidelines.

6)     Personal Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. – Follow Social Media Guidelines.

7)     Word of Mouth – tell the story of your troop plans to friends and families.

8)     Hand to Hand – put something about your troop in their hands.

9)     Text to Text / Email to Email / Tweet to Tweet / Post to Post – communicate how your target audience receives information.

10) Tell Your Story – you can make brief appealing announcements in public forums, like schools (parent meetings, student community meetings), churches, community groups, etc.

11) News Media – your city’s newspaper, local newspapers, community new bulletins, TV, Radio … however news is shared in your community.

sbsa smores 112) Demo / Parade / Show your Stuff – you may have the opportunity to demo what you do at a community event, at a Pinewood Derby or other Cub Scout event, or by being in a parade, or providing service at a community event.

Publicity Resources:  include, but not limited to:

And remember the “Branding Dos and Don’ts”, like:

  • never use the word “girl” before “Scouts.”  This includes fliers, in flyerconversation, social media, etc.
  • Do say:
    • Join Troop 123 for girls.
    • Our church has a boy troop and is forming a girl troop.
    • Join the BSA.  Find a troop for girls near you at BeAScout.org.”
    • “… Don’t … use names, programs, marks, logos, or images of the GSUSA or combine them with those of the BSA.”

These apply not just to fliers, but to how you talk, text, tweet and otherwise transmit words.

What Can the Girls Do Before the Troop Launches?

This BP Pointer from “The BP 2019 List” (or: ways to Be Prepared for Scouts BSA on February 1, 2019) is about what girls can do with a troop before their Scouts BSA troop for girls officially starts on or after February 1, 2019.

Basically, girls visiting your current troop of boys can do anything with your troop girls on bridgethat you might let a boy do who is “thinking about” joining – but be sure to follow the Youth Protection rule that a registered female adult leader over 21 must be present for any activity involving female youth.

Whether or not your Chartered Organization will charter a “sister” troop, you may have girls contact your troop, and you may have girls visit your troop activities as they consider joining Scouts BSA.  Here’s some things in mind as girls and their families contact you:

It’s a lot like Arrow of Light Girls doing a Troop Visit or Outdoor Activity.  You can let girls visit your troop, just like you always do with boys!  And if you plan to stand up a new troop of girls, use the visits as a time to recruit new leaders from the families of Arrow of Light girls.

cooking boys 2Can Girls Camp with You?  Yes they can, just like you already do with boys – but be sure to follow the Youth Protection rule that a registered female adult leader over 21 must be present for any activity involving female youth.  Some troops will insist it be a registered female from the pack, to be more familiar with the girls, but it could be a female troop leader.  It’s a good planning practice to do “soft recruiting” (so you eggs girl 2can plan how many girls are likely to join 2/1/19), and, if your Patrol Leaders Council invites them, perfectly fine for those interested in joining to attend events as visitors at troop meetings and campouts and other events.  They can even receive instruction in Scout skills.

What About Insurance?!?  Visitors, including girls, are covered “while attending scheduled activities for the purpose of becoming registered Leaders and Scouts”, says Atlanta Area Council ACE Policy Number PTP N00327402.  And this is confirmed in a September 22, 2018 message authorized by Wendy Shaw, Membership Growth Group Director, entitled “Scouts BSA Prior to 2/1/2019: Insurance and Permitted Activities”, which confirms that this “has been communicated to councils” that “non-Scouts and non-Scouters are provided Accident & Sickness Insurance but only while attending scheduled activities for the purpose of becoming registered Leaders and Scouts”.  This is also confirmed through the National Risk Management Team.

scouts shoutingAnd even if you’re not going to have a “sister” troop, we hope you’ll be helpful to girls interested in Scouting – even if you’re referring them to another Chartered Organization’s troop.  After all, “A Scout is friendly. A Scout is a friend to all. He is a brother to other Scouts.”  And that includes being a brother to girls interested in Scouts BSA.

For more on starting a Troop, see this District resource page.

 

Some “Easy Button” or “Just Do It” events to get on your calendars now

This BP Pointer from “The BP 2019 List” (or: ways to Be Prepared for Scouts BSA on February 1, 2019) is about some “easy button” events that you might want to sign up for right now, many at the Atlanta Area Council Website Calendar.

February 1:  the “Launch Party” for Scouts BSA in the Atlanta Area Council, at the Volunteer Service Center.  Late afternoon into early evening.  More information to follow.

February 16:  University of Scouting, all day at Life University.  Register at http://www.atlantabsa.org/training/supplemental-training/university-of-scouting/6962, both for adults and for youth in select courses, like ILST (Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops).

February 23 and March 2: Automotive Maintenance Merit Badge at Porsche Cars North America.  See the Atlanta Area Council Website Calendar.

March 22-24: Scout Challenge at Bert Adams Scout Camp.  Details at scout challengehttps://www.campbertadams.org/Scout-Challenge.

April 5-7: COPE Weekend at Woodruff Scout Camp.  See the Atlanta Area Council Website Calendar.

Starting June 2, through July:  Summer Camp at Woodruff Scout Camp and/or Bert Adams Scout Camp.  There is no reason why you can’t go to both!  See the Atlanta Area Council Scouts BSA Camping page.

More events will appear there, and on District Websites.

 

Counseling the “proto-PLC” of the new Troop of Girls on Event Calendar Options and Process (and your PLC of the existing Troop of Boys on Possible Joint Activity Invitations)

OK, so you’ve recruited some Scouts, you’ve recruited some adult leaders, you’ve done some “pre-launch” activities, maybe on your own, maybe with another unit – but when can you start to plan what your new Scouts BSA troop of girls will do in the first few months of the troop, in the first year, and beyond?

When?  Right Now.  Get started.  Let the girls go plan.campfire girls 2

But what if we don’t have a full, formal Patrol Leaders Council yet?  After all, the young women are not yet registered Scouts until February 1, so technically they are not installed as youth officers – so doesn’t that mean we have to wait?

  • Get started right now!

But what if we really don’t have enough girls yet to form a troop?  We only have 2 or 3 – so we should probably wait.

  • Get started right now!
  • Frankly, a small troop that is also a single patrol often will not have a “PLC” at all: you’ll have a patrol, with a Patrol Leader, Assistant, Quartermaster, etc., and have Patrol Meetings for planning, not PLC meetings.

Shouldn’t we wait until we have 12 or 15 or more Scouts?  That way, we’ll have multiple patrols, and a full Patrol Leaders Council like the big troops.

  • Get started right now!
  • The enemy of a really good PLC now is the Perfect PLC later.
  • And when you do get big, at startup you might still invite the Scouts who are not yet officers to witness how the PLC works – and during planning PLCs from time to time their Patrol Leaders might then meet with just their patrol on key issues.

What Do We Want To Do – What Are We Going To Do?  People will want to join aventuring 3 program more if they know what they will really do – it’s harder to get people to commit to join something if the activities are ambiguous and the calendar a blank slate.  Let the girls tell you what they want to do, and if needed to “prime the pump”, give the girls a menu of activities they might want to do:

  • Do they want biking or badges or both?
  • Are they interested in hiking or caving or canoes and kayaks?
  • Shooting sports? Fishing?  Rock Climbing and Rappelling?  COPE?
  • Snakes and Lizards and Frogs and Toads? Trees and ferns and lichens and mold?
  • Pioneering? Performance?  Orienteering and geocaching?  Cooking?  Robotics?
  • Service Projects? Civic Knowledge?  First Aid?  Leadership Training?

Proto-PLC and Proto-Patrol Meetings.  Once you get any interested girls, let a girl spl“proto-PLC” form for planning, or for patrol sized troops, have Patrol Meetings for planning.  The Scoutmaster of the new troop should advise the girls about how it’s going to be their troop, not the Scoutmaster’s troop, not the parents’ troop, not a patrol in the troop of boys, but a troop that they run, that they lead, that does what they want to do.  And the Scoutmaster and other adult leaders and Committee exist to work with the Scouts to support their plans as best they can.

Planning Tools.  You can start into full fun program planning with the girls, even before you officially charter, register and launch.  For resources on troop planning, see:

But But But … OK, now a lot of those linked materials are sort of pie-in-the-sky, the girlsperfect planning process for the perfect troop registered in the Utopia District of the Unicorn Council – and we all know that the perfect troop doesn’t really exist, nor does Utopia, and there is no Unicorn.  No worries.  All Scouting is Local, and everyone is on a journey:  your new troop is taking beginning steps.  Things that you should not worry about and that should not hold you back from planning now include:

  • Your Scouts find the full formal “program planning conference” to be too much!
    • Not to worry – take it in bits and pieces as you can.
    • Focus on the most important things – what they think is important, and easy items to agree to do.
  • None of your Scouts have any experience at all with this – all are young, and none have any Scouting background.
    • Not to worry – many troops start this way.
    • Just adjust your coaching accordingly: for now, you’ll need to be more of a guide, and later you’ll be able to sit back and let them lead.
  • Your Scouts might not come up with a complete calendar.sbsa cooking
    • Not to worry – at least get something on the calendar.
    • Especially Summer Camp, and monthly outings in advance to prepare.
  • Your Scouts might want to change events later because they didn’t think things through, or new members join who want different activities.
    • Not to worry – everyone changes plans.
    • As new members join, bring them into the planning.
    • After all, you don’t plan just once a year, you plan all year long. Especially when you’re just launching a new troop.
  • Unlike your troop of boys, your Scouts don’t have a template from “last year”.
    • Not to worry – this might be an opportunity to best find out what the girls want.
    • And as a coach and guide, you can offer a “menu” of examples of what some troops do to add to the ideas of the girls.
  • Our troop of boys doesn’t want to invite the troop of girls to join them on any activities or meetings.sbsa computer
    • Not to worry – that’s their right, and that may be their loss!
    • So your girls will truly be their own leaders.
    • Another option: maybe contact other troops of girls, and share notes about how they plan.  You might also do joint activities with them.
  • Our troop of boys invited our troop of girls to join them on their activities and meetings, but we don’t want to do all of those.
    • Not to worry – that’s natural. Not all of the boys want to do all of the activities either (in fact, some patrols form around a common interest, like a backpacking patrol or a biking patrol).
    • Just because the troop of boys invites the troop of girls to do an activity doesn’t mean that the troop of girls must join them.
  • We’re not sure which adult leaders will be able to attend which campouts and womentreks.
    • Not to worry – let the girls make the plan, and then use it as a challenge to the parents.
    • This is not unlike Scouts planning to go to Philmont or Northern Tier or Seabase, and only when they make their commitment do some of their parents step up, register as leaders, and attend.
    • Plus, one way to recruit adults to be registered leaders is to let the Scouts recruit them: “Mom, if you don’t register and go with us, we can’t go!

How can an existing troop of boys help in this startup process? plc

  • If they are willing and cooperative and functioning, you might see if the PLC of the troop of boys would like to invite the girls to attend a PLC to witness how it operates.
  • If they have a good model for how to plan, then that can be a model for the new troop of girls.
  • Or an SPL or Junior Assistant Scoutmaster might help counsel the new youth leaders of the troop of girls. Be sure that they don’t run things, but help enable the girls to lead.

Joint Activities.  An existing troop of boys might also help a lot by doing joint activities as the troop of girls gets started – it is not uncommon for some troops to start by meeting and camping alongside a larger troop.  This doesn’t mean that they set up their tents right with the boys – in fact, even patrols in a single troop should have campsites set up at a distance from each other.smores in fire

  • “In Scout camps the tents are not pitched in lines and streets as in military camps, but are dotted about in Patrol units, fifty or a hundred yards apart or more, in a big circle round the Scoutmaster’s tent, which, with the flag and camp fire, is generally in the centre.” – Robert Baden Powell
  • More useful comments and ideas for Scouting are at this site about patrol operations (yes, the troop of girls is not a patrol in a troop of boys, but the same concepts apply) and this page about all sorts of original Scouting ideas.

Publicize.  And when you get a program and activities on the calendar, be sure to get that word out to your community:

  • Especially prospective Scouts and their families.
  • Let your Chartered Organization know of your progress.
  • Share on social media about what you’re going to do.
  • Use traditional media, maybe a press release about girls getting it done where they will go camping.
  • Contact your troop of boys and/or other troops of girls and let them know your plans – maybe some will want to do activities with you.

Praise.  And whatever the planning, during the process, be sure to praise the work and encourage the ideas.

ScoutBook is free for all

The top tagline of Scoutbook is “The Whole Scouting Experience Rolled into One Great Web App”.  Yes, it’s mostly an advancement app, but it has other uses and other potential.

  • Plus, your Scouts will likely want to do rank advancement.scoutbook-2
  • And you’ve got to keep records of, and report, their progress.
  • And it’s free, so … give it a spin.

Now, there’s other elements to the tool that might be useful, like:

  • Communications and messaging, constructed in a Youth Protection compliant manner.
  • Allowing Scouts to report (and show) what they may have done at home to complete advancement requirements.
  • Activity and attendance records.
  • Keeping both Scouts and parents connected to the program.
  • Scoutbook empowers the Scout to be responsible for their own advancement
  • Adult leaders can use this for roster management, advancement reporting, interface with BSA records.

More about the free rollout and how it impacts current users is in this Bryan on Scouting blog from Scouting Magazine.

Now, you don’t have to use Scoutbook, but it’s free, so … try it out!

 

New Training Modules Online

New Training Modules Online

This BP Pointer from “The BP 2019 List” (or: ways to Be Prepared for Scouts BSA on February 1, 2019) is about new Adult Leader Training Modules found in the “Learn Center” that you can access when you log into My.Scouting.

The new modules are there as of January 2!  But … it appears not all are updated jamboree-tonight-enewsyet.  [Detail to follow … quick review heard references to “boys” (not boys and girls) in the first Scoutmaster module, but the Uniforming module has photos of both girls and boys.]

To get to them, do these steps:

  • Log into https://my.scouting.org and go to the “Learn Center”.
  • Click “Program Specific Training”.
  • There it is: Scouts BSA!  Three Plans:
    • Merit Badge Counselor
    • Scoutmaster (Assistants too)
    • Committee Members
    • To be able to open a Course, you have to first “Add Plan”

For general knowledge and more and conducting live training, there is a plethora of information at https://www.scouting.org/training/adult/, including syllabi for many courses.

Did you conduct or attend a live training using a proper syllabus?  Do you want to be deserves trainedsure the attending leaders get proper credit in My.Scouting?  Registered adult leaders who are “Key Three” can enter training completion on My.Scouting – for how, see these Training Manager slides from My.Scouting.

  • Others who can enter training are “Key Three Delegates” and “Unit Training Chair” as assigned in your unit’s “Organization Security Manager” on My.Scouting.
  • District registered leaders can also do this for their units – in addition to District “Key Three” and “Key Three Delegates”, a District Training Chair trained-patch-300x121-300x121as assigned in your District’s “Organization Security Manager” on My.Scouting can do this, as can anyone assigned to “Training Committee” in your District’s “Organization Security Manager”.
  • Note: you cannot credit training for yourself.  Only for others.

A note about live Youth Protection Training:  this is to be conducte

ypt

d only by trained YPT facilitators.  Now, contact your District Executive to confirm, but a live group training watching the online YPT should be acceptable, provided all take (and pass) the quiz at the end individually.