It’s been said that the Boy Scouts of America is the largest user of dead trees anywhere in the world. The number of printed publications has been legendary – handbooks, pamphlets, forms, guidebooks, magazines – seemingly one for every purpose and sometimes several.
The BSA seems to have adopted the same philosophy with websites. There are at least a dozen different national websites, each dedicated to a specific purpose, but none were designed to deliver news and information to everyone with a stake in the program. Professionals have had Scout-Wire.org for some time, and while it carries news of use to volunteers, it’s primarily aimed at those who are paid employees of the BSA or one of its local councils. There’s scouting.org, of course, which provides general information, membership, policy and procedures, and its subsites myscouting.org and my.scouting.org, which provide training, profile, unit and commissioner tools and other self-service resources. The three magazines and four high-adventure bases each have their own websites. And most of us are familiar with scoutstuff.org, the online presence of the Supply Division.
To provide a central site for current information, the BSA has announced the opening of yet another website providing news for everyone involved in Scouting. ScoutingWire.org has gone live, has a slick appearance and easy navigation, and sorts articles into categories for the various programs as well as for local council staff.
Stories appear in one or more of the topics of Activities, Finance, Fundraising, High Adventure, Leadership, Marketing, Training and Recruiting. There are links to yet more websites: scoutingnewsroom.org which publishes official press releases, bsachief.org, Chief Scout Executive Wayne Brock’s own website, and the sites of the three magazines Boys’ Life, Scouting and Eagles’ Call.
There’s a response form so you can send a message to the editors of the site, a search tool and the obligatory link to make a donation to Scouting.
ScoutingWire may not be tops on your list of favorite websites, but do check it out from time to time. There’s bound to be something of interest, no matter what you do for Scouting.