News & Notes – December 2022

A few items to close out the year:

Do a Good Turn, but do the right thing

It’s the Scouting way to Do a Good Turn Daily, and to help others at all times. At the holiday season, we often turn to those outside our units to give assistance. Scouts collect food items for our food banks and homeless shelters, provide assistance to our chartered organizations with their events, or help the school with their holiday fair. But be careful that you don’t run afoul of the Boy Scouts of America’s rules when it comes to helping others. For example, Scouts and Scouters shouldn’t be in uniform if they choose to help collect donations for outside organizations, such as bell-ringing for the Salvation Army. We are not allowed to raise money for other charities in a manner that would give the appearance that the BSA supports that concern. By all means, volunteer to ring the bells or collect donations for the Goodfellows or the hospital auxiliary – but don’t wear your uniform (or other clothing that identifies you as a member of the BSA) when you do. (Here’s more on the dos and don’ts of unit fundraising.)

Recharter – Get it done!

It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it, as Dirty Jobs host and Scouting supporter Mike Rowe would say. But hopefully your recharter application is finished and submitted to your council if your charter year ends December 31. If not, get it done! It’s one less thing to clutter your holiday calendar, and it’ll help your hardworking Scouting professionals and Commissioners enjoy their holidays too. If you need help, reach out to your unit commissioner, your district’s recharter champion or your district unit-serving executive.

New Scouts – Now what?

The National Council is reporting an uptick in Cub Scouting membership resulting from a solid recruiting effort as school got underway this fall. Your pack probably picked up a few new members and families. Are you doing everything you can to provide them with a fun program that they can get involved in? This is our opportunity to show them what Scouting is all about – having fun while instilling the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law. A recent Scouting Magazine blog post highlighted five key reasons why new Scouting families like our program and the things you should be making sure your pack provides. Among them are having great outdoor activities, welcoming new families and helping them know that they belong, following the Cub Scout program, and having the feeling that meetings and activities are worth the time they are asked to invest. One of the most important aspects is supporting those new families. Make sure they have all the information they need – a complete calendar of events, what is expected of their Scout, how to find the resources they need (uniforms, handbooks, etc). Be there to answer their questions – and don’t speak in jargon! You, and the other established families, know the difference between a pack and a den, what Pinewood Derby and Blue & Gold are, and how badges of rank are earned, but the new families are completely in the dark. Explain the fine points in an easy-to-grasp manner and you’ll have involved Scouts and parents before you know it! And keep an eye out among the new parents for potential adult volunteers. While some will step forward, others might be willing but are waiting to be asked.

That’s it for this month and this year. Have a joyous and safe holiday season and best wishes for great things in 2023.

This post first appeared on Bobwhite Blather.
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