Save 25% – All Official Uniforms — READ MORE

New Scouting adventures deserves a new uniform. Outfit a Scout with this #ScoutShopBSA deal! Shop online and in-store to get 25% off all uniform tops when your buy the matching uniform bottom.

Build your uniform using the Uniform Builder

*Uniform top and bottom must be from the same program and purchased together. Offer valid online and in participating Scout Shops 8/19-10/13/19 at 11:59PM EST.  Selection varies online and in-store. Not valid on previous purchases. May not be combined with any other offer or discount. No cash value.


Recruitment Season is Here — Free Geofencing for Your Pack

In partnership with the BSA’s National Service Center, the Michigan Crossroads Council will be supporting your pack with digital recruitment marketing this fall.  Through digital ads, we’ll ensure that families in your community understand the incredible benefits of Cub Scouting and know how to join.

Layered on top of your pack’s recruitment efforts will be geofenced calendar ads in Facebook to drive people to your specific joining events.

We’re not asking you to do anything differently than you already do! Continue to plan your recruitment event.  We’re simply adding digital ads on top of those plans in a seamless, turnkey way.  The work of executing those ads will be handled between the Field Service Councils and the national office.

What will it cost your pack?  Nothing!  This service is being provided by the council and the BSA.  There is no cost to your pack.

No additional tasks…no additional cost…what’s the catch?  There is no catch! 

We’re working hard to ensure families understand that Cub Scouting can help them make the most of the time they have together, and that Cub Scouting can help them set their children on the path to success. With a strong recruiting effort, we can ensure every family has the opportunity to join Scouting.

Here’s what we need from you:  the date, time and location of your joining event (open house, school night, etc.)  That’s it!  We’ll take care of the rest!

[READ MORE]


Scouts BSA Geofencing

In partnership with the BSA’s National Service Center, the Michigan Crossroads Council will be supporting your Scouts BSA Troop with digital recruitment marketing this fall.  Through digital ads, we’ll ensure that families in your community understand the incredible benefits of Scouts BSA and know how to join.

Layered on top of your troop’s recruitment efforts will be geofenced calendar ads in Facebook to drive people to your specific joining events.

We’re not asking you to do anything differently than you already do! Continue to plan your recruitment event.  We’re simply adding digital ads on top of those plans in a seamless, turnkey way.  The work of executing those ads will be handled between the Field Service Councils and the national office.

What will it cost your troop?  Nothing!  This service is being provided by the council and the BSA.  There is no cost to your troop.

No additional tasks…no additional cost…what’s the catch?  There is no catch! 

Here’s what we need from you:  the date, time and location of your joining event (open house, recruitment night, etc.)  At least three weeks in advance. That’s it!  We’ll take care of the rest!

[READ MORE]


How the Boy Scouts of America Keeps Kids Safe Today

This article was contributed by Michael Johnson, National Youth Protection Director for the Boy Scouts of America.

Recent media reports have highlighted claims of abuse against the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). As Director of Youth Protection here at the BSA, I share the same concerns as anyone seeing these stories, and I have the utmost respect for the courage demonstrated by these men coming forward. These claims understandably raise questions about what we do to keep kids safe in Scouting today, and I’d like to take the time to address those questions.

Sadly, there have been times when individuals targeted youth in our organization and took advantage of our programs in order to harm children. This infuriates me and our entire organization. We are heartbroken for victims and apologize to anyone who was harmed during their time in Scouting. We believe victims, we support survivors, and we encourage them to come forward.

In my 24 years investigating child abuse cases as a police detective, I spoke with hundreds of victims and spent decades interrogating predators and sending them to prison. I know what we as an organization and as a society are up against.

I understand the scars victims carry throughout their lives and have seen firsthand the impact on families. Victims and survivors must be believed and supported unconditionally. Protecting children is a duty we all share.

The BSA understood this when it took the step of creating a full-time National Director of Youth Protection position in 2010, which is dedicated exclusively to working to keep kids safe from predators in Scouting programs. Contrary to many inaccurate reports, our youth protection policies are in line with – and sometimes even ahead of – society’s knowledge of abuse and best practices for preventing abuse. We actively share and continually improve these policies through our mandatory youth protection training, our ongoing collaborations with groups such as the Centers for Disease Control[1] and youth-serving organizations, and continuous engagement with survivors of abuse and top experts in this area. We also make our training and policies available free to the public.

Our efforts began in the 1920s with what we now call the Volunteer Screening Database (VSD), formerly known as the Ineligible Volunteer Files. This system has been the subject of much misinformation, but it was established at a time when there were virtually no resources or tools for protecting youth. It was intended as a screening mechanism to prevent individuals accused of abuse or inappropriate conduct from joining or rejoining our programs. Today, experts[2] agree that maintaining such a database is one of the most effective ways to prevent predators from having access to children.

While local chartered organizations and parents are responsible for selecting their unit leaders, the national organization mandates criminal background checks as part of that selection process. It is worth noting, however, that background checks alone are not sufficient, as experts have found a significant amount of abuse goes unreported.[3] This is why we will continue to push for the creation of a national database to serve as a clearing house for all youth-serving organizations and go beyond existing criminal databases. We believe all organizations such as ours should identify, document and report adults who have harmed children or have been suspected of harming children and report this information into a national registry so that these individuals cannot move from one organization to another, regardless of whether authorities pursue criminal charges.

In addition to mandating that volunteers complete comprehensive, research-based and expert-informed youth protection training, we also require adherence to youth protection policies including “two-deep leadership,” which prevents one-on-one interactions between adults and children – both in person and via digital channels. Additionally, even when not required by state or local law, we mandate all volunteers and staff members nationwide immediately report any abuse allegation to law enforcement. We require this in every Scouting program across the country despite the fact some states have exceptions to the mandated reporting of child abuse.[4] The child safety policies and procedures we utilize are among the most advanced and comprehensive of any youth-serving organization today.

It is a tragedy and a national epidemic that out of the general U.S. population, one in six boys and one in four girls experience sexual abuse or assault by the time they turn 18.[5] This is an unacceptable public health and safety problem that must be addressed. I’m proud that our organization has long sought to be a part of a collective solution to confront this epidemic and work toward a holistic solution, and we will continue to do so.

I can’t say that I, or the BSA, have all the answers; nor will there ever be a simple solution, but I can say we are working with key stakeholders to identify solutions. Our organization has always sought to protect youth, both in and out of Scouting. If there’s one thing that we have learned, it’s that keeping children safe requires a commitment by experts, government officials, organizations, families and survivors across the country to work together to end the national crisis of child abuse and exploitation.

If you have been a victim of abuse or have any information about suspected abuse, please reach out to our 24/7 Scouts First Hotline at 1-844-Scouts1 for immediate assistance. For more on what the BSA is doing to keep kids safe, please visit: https://www.scouting.org/training/youth-protection/.

Michael Johnson is the National Youth Protection Director for the Boy Scouts of America. He is an internationally recognized expert on child abuse prevention and investigation, and for 24 years of his 28-year law enforcement career he served as a Detective and the Lead Child Abuse Investigator in the Criminal Investigation division of the Plano Police Department outside of Dallas, Texas. He has conducted more than 350 trainings for child abuse prevention professionals in 47 states and internationally.

[1] Child Safety in Youth Serving Organizations: Assuring Safe, Stable, Nurturing Relationships and Environments. The CDC Foundation.

[2] Saul J, Audage NC. Preventing Child Sexual Abuse Within Youth-serving Organizations: Getting Started on Policies and Procedures. Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control; 2007.

[3] Michael L. Bourke, Lance Fragomeli, Paul J. Detar, Michael A. Sullivan, Edward Meyle & Mark O’Riordan (2014): The use of tactical polygraph with sex offenders, Journal of Sexual Aggression: An international, interdisciplinary forum for research, theory and practice, DOI: 10.1080/13552600.2014.886729

[4] Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2016). Mandatory reporters of child abuse and neglect. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children’s Bureau.

[5] Dube, S.R., Anda, R.F., Whitfield, C.L., et al. (2005). Long-term consequences of childhood sexual abuse by gender of victim. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 28, 430-438.


How the Boy Scouts of America Keeps Kids Safe Today

This article was contributed by Michael Johnson, National Youth Protection Director for the Boy Scouts of America.

Recent media reports have highlighted claims of abuse against the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). As Director of Youth Protection here at the BSA, I share the same concerns as anyone seeing these stories, and I have the utmost respect for the courage demonstrated by these men coming forward. These claims understandably raise questions about what we do to keep kids safe in Scouting today, and I’d like to take the time to address those questions.

Sadly, there have been times when individuals targeted youth in our organization and took advantage of our programs in order to harm children. This infuriates me and our entire organization. We are heartbroken for victims and apologize to anyone who was harmed during their time in Scouting. We believe victims, we support survivors, and we encourage them to come forward.

In my 24 years investigating child abuse cases as a police detective, I spoke with hundreds of victims and spent decades interrogating predators and sending them to prison. I know what we as an organization and as a society are up against.

I understand the scars victims carry throughout their lives and have seen firsthand the impact on families. Victims and survivors must be believed and supported unconditionally. Protecting children is a duty we all share.

The BSA understood this when it took the step of creating a full-time National Director of Youth Protection position in 2010, which is dedicated exclusively to working to keep kids safe from predators in Scouting programs. Contrary to many inaccurate reports, our youth protection policies are in line with – and sometimes even ahead of – society’s knowledge of abuse and best practices for preventing abuse. We actively share and continually improve these policies through our mandatory youth protection training, our ongoing collaborations with groups such as the Centers for Disease Control[1] and youth-serving organizations, and continuous engagement with survivors of abuse and top experts in this area. We also make our training and policies available free to the public.

Our efforts began in the 1920s with what we now call the Volunteer Screening Database (VSD), formerly known as the Ineligible Volunteer Files. This system has been the subject of much misinformation, but it was established at a time when there were virtually no resources or tools for protecting youth. It was intended as a screening mechanism to prevent individuals accused of abuse or inappropriate conduct from joining or rejoining our programs. Today, experts[2] agree that maintaining such a database is one of the most effective ways to prevent predators from having access to children.

While local chartered organizations and parents are responsible for selecting their unit leaders, the national organization mandates criminal background checks as part of that selection process. It is worth noting, however, that background checks alone are not sufficient, as experts have found a significant amount of abuse goes unreported.[3] This is why we will continue to push for the creation of a national database to serve as a clearing house for all youth-serving organizations and go beyond existing criminal databases. We believe all organizations such as ours should identify, document and report adults who have harmed children or have been suspected of harming children and report this information into a national registry so that these individuals cannot move from one organization to another, regardless of whether authorities pursue criminal charges.

In addition to mandating that volunteers complete comprehensive, research-based and expert-informed youth protection training, we also require adherence to youth protection policies including “two-deep leadership,” which prevents one-on-one interactions between adults and children – both in person and via digital channels. Additionally, even when not required by state or local law, we mandate all volunteers and staff members nationwide immediately report any abuse allegation to law enforcement. We require this in every Scouting program across the country despite the fact some states have exceptions to the mandated reporting of child abuse.[4] The child safety policies and procedures we utilize are among the most advanced and comprehensive of any youth-serving organization today.

It is a tragedy and a national epidemic that out of the general U.S. population, one in six boys and one in four girls experience sexual abuse or assault by the time they turn 18.[5] This is an unacceptable public health and safety problem that must be addressed. I’m proud that our organization has long sought to be a part of a collective solution to confront this epidemic and work toward a holistic solution, and we will continue to do so.

I can’t say that I, or the BSA, have all the answers; nor will there ever be a simple solution, but I can say we are working with key stakeholders to identify solutions. Our organization has always sought to protect youth, both in and out of Scouting. If there’s one thing that we have learned, it’s that keeping children safe requires a commitment by experts, government officials, organizations, families and survivors across the country to work together to end the national crisis of child abuse and exploitation.

If you have been a victim of abuse or have any information about suspected abuse, please reach out to our 24/7 Scouts First Hotline at 1-844-Scouts1 for immediate assistance. For more on what the BSA is doing to keep kids safe, please visit: https://www.scouting.org/training/youth-protection/.

Michael Johnson is the National Youth Protection Director for the Boy Scouts of America. He is an internationally recognized expert on child abuse prevention and investigation, and for 24 years of his 28-year law enforcement career he served as a Detective and the Lead Child Abuse Investigator in the Criminal Investigation division of the Plano Police Department outside of Dallas, Texas. He has conducted more than 350 trainings for child abuse prevention professionals in 47 states and internationally.

[1] Child Safety in Youth Serving Organizations: Assuring Safe, Stable, Nurturing Relationships and Environments. The CDC Foundation.

[2] Saul J, Audage NC. Preventing Child Sexual Abuse Within Youth-serving Organizations: Getting Started on Policies and Procedures. Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control; 2007.

[3] Michael L. Bourke, Lance Fragomeli, Paul J. Detar, Michael A. Sullivan, Edward Meyle & Mark O’Riordan (2014): The use of tactical polygraph with sex offenders, Journal of Sexual Aggression: An international, interdisciplinary forum for research, theory and practice, DOI: 10.1080/13552600.2014.886729

[4] Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2016). Mandatory reporters of child abuse and neglect. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children’s Bureau.

[5] Dube, S.R., Anda, R.F., Whitfield, C.L., et al. (2005). Long-term consequences of childhood sexual abuse by gender of victim. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 28, 430-438.


Tips and Tools for Preparing for Fall Recruitment

In 1907, Baden-Powell, founder of the Scouting movement, devised the Scout motto: Be Prepared. He wanted young people to have the tools to face challenges. With that in mind, our goal is to be able to help our fellow executives to be prepared for a successful membership campaign this fall.

Councils refer to Join Scouting Night by different names. Some use the term Sign-up Night, Open House, etc. For purposes of this article, we’ll use the term Join Scouting Night. If your council uses a different term, simply insert that term wherever you see Join Scouting Night (JSN).

Having a great Join Scouting Night (JSN) training is another key to success! During recent conversations with Scout Executives who experienced growth in 2018, many of them attribute their success to the execution of their membership plan. Below are some areas to consider when preparing for this fall.

Read More


New Scoutbook features for Den Leaders Now Available

Scoutbook is making it easier than ever to prepare for den meetings and ensure consistent program delivery through new features for den leaders! These tools streamline content and advancement processes so den leaders can focus on making Scouting come to life for Cub Scouts.

https://help.scoutbook.com/article-categories/cubs/


Free Geofencing for Cub Scout Packs this Fall

In partnership with the BSA’s National Service Center, the Michigan Crossroads Council will be supporting your pack with digital recruitment marketing this fall. Through digital ads, we’ll ensure that families in your community understand the incredible benefits of Cub Scouting and know how to join. Layered on top of your pack’s recruitment efforts will be geofenced calendar ads on Facebook to drive people to your specific joining events.

We’re not asking you to do anything differently than you already do! Continue to plan your recruitment event. We’re simply adding digital ads on top of those plans in a seamless, turnkey way and it’s FREE for your unit.

Sign up here >> michiganscouting.org/geofencing


An Update from the Michigan Crossroads Council

Dear Scouting Friends:

The National Council of the Boy Scouts of America (the “National Council (BSA)”) has confirmed that a Youth Protection oriented segment that was expected to run on the TODAY Show tomorrow (July 10th) has been postponed and that a new air date has yet to be confirmed.  As the nature of content could change in the interim, the National Council (BSA) will continue to stay in touch with the producers of the segment so that it can provide our Council and other Councils with helpful information before the expected airing of the segment.

Like the National Council (BSA), we will continue to monitor these news reports and endeavor to keep you appraised of further developments.  We also will provide you with information relating to these matters that you can share with business associates, friends or Scouting leaders and families.  [READ MORE]


Scouting Safely Resources

We want you to know that the safety of our youth, volunteers, staff, and employees is an important part of the Scouting experience. Youth develop traits of citizenship, character, fitness, and leadership during age-appropriate events when challenged to move beyond their normal comfort level, and discover their abilities. This is appropriate when risks are identified and mitigated.

The Scouting program, as contained in our handbooks and literature, integrates many safety features. However, no policy or procedure will replace the review and vigilance of trusted adults and leaders at the point of program execution.

Commit yourself to creating a safe and healthy environment by:
  • Knowing and executing the BSA program as contained in our publications
  • Planning tours, activities, and events with vigilance using the tools provided
  • Setting the example for safe behavior and equipment use during program
  • Engaging and educating all participants in discussions about hazards and risks
  • Reporting incidents in a timely manner

Thank you for being part of the Scouting movement and creating an exciting and safe experience for every participant.

Scouting Safely Resources

Scouting Safety Moments