Internet Advancement 2.0 is Here

The new tool to quickly input advancement data, Internet Advancement 2.0 (previously known as Scoutbook Lite) is now live. This free solution replaces the previous Internet Advancement platform, which will be retired (for all programs except Exploring) on June 10, 2019.

Internet Advancement 2.0 will feature a clean, new user interface and will be optimized to whatever device you use: desktop, tablet or smartphone.

Internet Advancement 2.0 will offer optimized functions for everything found in the current Internet Advancement platform and can be accessed by Unit Key 3 users, Unit Key 3 delegate users and Unit Advancement Chairs.

End users will access Internet Advancement 2.0 via one of the following locations using their my.Scouting credentials:

After initial release, the BSA IT team will continue to add additional features on a regular basis. Updates and new features will be communicated with the field as they are delivered.

Visit http://help.scoutbook.com for answers to commonly asked questions. As we are learning this as you do, we don’t yet have any information on our council website about this. But we’ll work to add some as soon as possible.


Put Your Scout Unit on Google Search

Do you know that the highest Google Search term is “Find ______[BLANK]_____ near me?” If someone was looking for a Cub Scout Pack, Scouts BSA Troop or Venturing Crew near them, would they find you and would your unit appear in the Google Search? Check out this video tutorial to help your unit appear in Google Search so parents can find you easily and join Scouting all year round.


Two essential Scouts BSA resources for new and longtime leaders

Better make room on your bookmarks bar.  The BSA has refreshed and retooled a pair of online resources for Scouts BSA volunteers.

The first is the Program Resources page. Think of it as your quick-start guide to Scouts BSA. Here, you’ll find a collection of links for starting a Scouts BSA troop, helping Scouts earn merit badges, guiding youth leaders toward more effective troop meetings and more.

The second is the Program Updates page. This one’s for both newcomers and veterans, and it’s where the National Scouts BSA Committee posts the latest information on any changes to the program. If there’s a new program initiative, updated requirement or any change to Scouts BSA printed material, you’ll find it there first.

https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2019/04/11/bookmark-these-two-essential-scouts-bsa-resources-for-new-and-longtime-leaders/


Take the Weather Safety Quiz

Taking your Pack or Troop Camping?  How prepared are you for the weather? Take this safety quiz and find out.  Every leader should complete Hazardous Weather training at my.scouting.org

https://scoutingmagazine.org/2019/03/safetyquiz


Tips for working with school digital communications platform Peachjar

Many school districts are beginning to use digital communications platforms like Peachjar for delivering items like activity fliers to parents. For Scouting, that means learning how to follow some basic guidelines to optimize communications items for that platform. Here, we explain more about what Peachjar is, how to follow their guidelines, and their expert design tips!

How Does Peachjar Work?

Peachjar streamlines school-to-home communication by distributing fliers, community resources, and vital school updates directly to parents through their digital service.

Over 600 school districts and more than 20,000 community organizations use this tool to deliver communications to school parents. And if a school district is using Peachjar, then they are contractually obligated to send all school communications through the Peachjar digital platform rather than through printed materials.

Every Flier Must Be Approved by the School District and Must Follow Their Individual District Guidelines.

Yes, that’s right. Each district has a set of guidelines that determine what kids of fliers they will approve to be sent out to parents. Peachjar links these guidelines in their program provider accounts under a “District Guidelines” tab. An example may be requiring your flier to have both an English and Spanish version.

Peachjar Fliers are ADA Compliant!

Peachjar fliers adhere to ADA compliance. That means, for example, that parents that have visual impairment can receive information from Peachjar fliers via screen reading devices that detect text, then read it back to them.

For this process to work properly, there is a step in the flier upload process that populates the text from your flier into a box as it will be “read” by Peachjar systems. If the text in that box does not match what is on the flier, you run the risk of the flier being denied by the district, so be sure to check that it is correct.

Over 14,000 schools use the Peachjar system.

That’s close to 20 percent of all schools in the United States who use the Peachjar system. The platform has heavy coverage on the West Coast, East Coast, and throughout the South. To see if your school is a Peachjar school, check this list.

Peachjar Design Tips are Easy to Follow!

Peachjar recommends strong, clear calls to action, simple copy, and large images. This fits our Scout Me In! fliers perfectly! If you’re looking for some great fliers to get you started, check out the options in the BSA Brand Center. You can find fliers for Cub Scoutsfliers for Scouts BSA, and more!

Although the Peachjar system is free to school districts who utilize the platform, there is a fee for organizations, such as the Boy Scouts of America, to distribute their fliers through the platform. Costs can vary by timing and number of schools.

This article is part of an ongoing series that covers digital platforms used to deliver items like our Scout fliers. Please be sure to look for more of our other articles on different platforms.


National Scouts BSA Committee – LIVE OFFICE HOURS

Join the National Scouts BSA committee and Scouters from around the country to learn more about the Scouts BSA program on April 18, 2019 during our live office hours.

Time:  Apr 18, 2019 8:30 PM (Eastern Time)

This Q&A session is great for new Scouts BSA leaders to get answers to any question they have about the program. For example:

  • How to help new Scouts advance in rank
  • How to reinforce the Patrol Method
  • How to prepare for weekend overnight outdoor experiences
  • How to grow your new Scouts BSA troop

Please submit any questions you’d like to have addressed via email to family.scouting@scouting.org by April 15th. All questions will be answered, either during our live presentation or at a later time.

REGISTER


Summer Camp 2019

Summer camp is just around the corner.  It’s not too early to start thinking about your summer plans and adventures.  The Michigan Crossroads Council offers a variety of summer camp opportunities for Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA and Venturers.

2019 Summer Camp opportunities:
Cub Scout Day Camp
Cub Scout Resident Camp
Webelos Resident Camp
Scouts BSA Camp
High Adventure – Cole Canoe Base
High Adventure – BSA National Bases


New Den Chief Online Training Available

Announcing the new online Den Chief Training.

The new online Den Chief training is now available for Scouts who are registered in Troops, Crews and Ships. The new online course identifies den chief responsibilities and tasks along with describing the den chief’s relationship with supporting Den Leaders and how it relates to the den chief’s activities with the den. At the end of the online training module, Den Chiefs can print their certificate of completion signifying they are trained for their position and fulfilling a requirement towards their Den Chief Service Award.

More Information:  https://www.scouting.org/youth/den-chief-training/
Training Course: https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/training/den-chief-training/
Facilitator’s Guide:  https://i9peu1ikn3a16vg4e45rqi17-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Den-Chief-Syllabus-v4.pdf


New Scouts BSA Brand Guidance Training

As the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) welcomes girls into Cub Scouts and older girls into the Scouts BSA program starting on February 1, it is important that families understand the program or organization they are joining.

There have been some instances where our volunteers may have inadvertently used the name or trademarks of the Girl Scout of the USA (GSUSA) brand in spreading the word that girls are or will soon be part of all BSA programs. GSUSA recently have filed a lawsuit asserting that these instances have caused confusion. While we don’t believe there has been any such confusion, we respect and support the GSUSA and their rights to their brand.

To ensure that we promote our programs in a clear and Scout-like manner, we have developed resources to make sure our leaders are aware of the do’s and don’ts in promoting BSA programs.

The Scouts BSA Brand Guidance Training we are introducing today is one of the efforts underway to be sure Scouters have a clear understanding of what they can do. This builds on the infographic that was shared last month, and the guidance provided to councils in April.

This training should be shared with all staff and volunteers to bring this understanding to all parts of our community.

While our goal is to encourage youth to join our program, we must always be clear in our communications about the program they are joining.

  • We are The Boy Scouts of America.
  • The Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of the USA are different organizations.
  • We support all other youth organizations and do not disparage them.
  • We encourage parents to enroll all youth in a character development program that meets their needs – and the BSA is certainly ready to welcome them.

To aid you in this effort, councils and volunteers are encouraged to use these intro talking points as you host info sessions and launch efforts for Scouts BSA.

Additionally, please use this resource to help address any questions you might get in the community about this matter.

Thanks for all you do for Scouting,

Patrick W. Sterrett
Assistant Chief Scout Executive, National Director of Field Service


Scouts BSA Recruitment Resources

Looking for recruitment assets for Scouts BSA?  Good news — we have gathered all the material and put it one easy to find place.  Check out all the resources to help you promote and recruit for your Scouts BSA troop.  https://michiganscouting.org/scoutsbsa-recruitment-resources/