It’s already mid-August, which means school will be starting very soon for most, and with it the Cub Scout program year. Packs should have been planning their recruiting activities – Boy (and Girl!) Talks, exhibits and demonstrations at school activity nights, School Nights for Scouting (evening presentations and orientation for new Scouts and families) and the first whiz-bang pack meeting.
But there are three things you need to do as soon as possible. And the good news is that they can all be done from the comfort of your bunny slippers through the my.scouting.org web portal.
Choose whether to opt-in for Family Scouting
If you haven’t already had the discussion about whether to accept girls in your pack, consider doing it today. Your pack committee and den leaders will have input, but the final word lies with your chartered organization. Be sure to include the chartered organization representative in your conversation and get his or her approval if you decide to opt-in. Remember, girls are to be organized into their own dens with their own den leaders and assistant den leaders.
Here’s how to opt-in for Family Scouting:
- One of the unit’s Key 3 (Cubmaster, committee chair, or chartered organization representative) signs in to my.scouting.org
- Click Menu in the upper left, click on your unit number to access the functions available, then select Organization Manager.
- Click Settings at the top of the right pane to access a number of options your unit can select. Scroll down to the Family Scouting section.
- To accept girls in your pack, change the Family Scouting item from Opt Out to Opt In. Choose the effective date on the next line. For the Unit can accept item, choose whether your pack will accept Boys Only, Girls Only or Both Boys and Girls.
- While you’re at it, review the other settings – to select whether you want to accept applications online, for instance.
- Don’t forget to click the Commit button at the bottom to save your changes.
You should also notify your Unit-Serving Executive for your district as well as your Unit Commissioner of your intentions. They can help with recruiting and provide resources.
Update your pack pin on BeAScout
Now that you’ve decided whether to participate in Family Scouting, check your BeAScout pin to make sure all your contact information is current.
What’s a pin, you ask? It’s the easiest way for someone to find out that your pack exists and how to reach you. There’s a website called BeAScout.scouting.org that lets prospective members put in their Zip code and find the packs near them. Try it and see how your pack presents itself!
To update your pin information, a member of the Key 3 uses the same my.scouting.org portal:
- Click on Legacy Web Tools, then BeAScout from the dropdown
- There will be many fields of information to provide. Some have been filled in by default. Units that haven’t provided their own details will most likely have the council’s address, phone and website, so be sure to review everything and change them to the most current information.
- You’ll be able to select a primary contact person and two additional contact people from your roster of registered adults. The primary contact should probably be your Cubmaster, but you could choose to select the committee chair, membership coordinator or your leader in charge of recruiting. Phone and e-mail addresses will be filled in from the data on file, so if it’s wrong, the individual’s contact info should be changed on their registration record.
- Also make sure the address of your meeting place is correct. That’s where your pin will be “dropped” on the map. Don’t put the address of your chartered organization (the church, say) if you actually meet at the school instead.
- If your pack has a website, list its address in the appropriate box. Otherwise, clicks will go to the default (sometimes scouting.org, sometimes your council’s website).
- There’s a pin preview pane in the right column so you can see how your pin data appears on the map or list.
- Be sure to click Save when you’re finished updating. An e-mail will go out to the Key 3 confirming the changes you made.
I recently had some problems updating pin information, receiving an error about an incorrect address. If this happens to you, check with your Unit-Serving Executive or council office.
Take the new Youth Protection Training
We’ve said it before and you’ve probably heard or read it, but you and all your registered leaders need to know that Youth Protection Training must be retaken prior to October 1. The course was overhauled earlier this year and all registered adults are required to take the new course regardless of when their current YPT certificate expires.
Recently, those who haven’t taken the new course have had their expiration date reset to September 30, so check to see who needs to renew their YPT and remind them to do so now. Once again, from my.scouting.org, click on your unit number, then click Training Manager to see everyone’s status. Don’t be fooled if it says your unit as at 100% – look at the YPT Aging Report. It’s accessed with the button to the right of YPT in the header line of the YPT pane on the right. If you see anyone with YPT expiring on 09/30/2018, that means they haven’t taken the new course yet!
Taking Youth Protection Training online is the same as before – from the Menu page of my.scouting.org (the one you see when you first log in), look on the right for the Youth Protection Begins With You graphic. Click it and you’ll be taken to the BSA Learn Center to start the course. (The new course is the same for all programs – Venturing no longer has its own.) And remember that Youth Protection Training is appropriate for all adults – not just registered leaders! Recommend that all your parents take the training as well. They don’t need to register as a leader or pay a fee – just create an account at my.scouting.org. When they decide to become a registered leader, you can add them to your roster.
Do these things now before time gets away from you!
Image: Stuart Miles / freedigitalphotos.net