SAFETY MOMENT: Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)

According to the MI Department of Health & Human Services [MDHHS] three cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) are now suspected in residents from Kalamazoo and Berrien counties. In addition, a case of California encephalitis virus has been confirmed in a Genesee County resident.  Silver Trails is located in St. Clair county. MDHHS has issued a statement here regarding your concern.  General preventive measures to avoid mosquito bites include:

  • Apply insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET, or other U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-approved product to exposed skin or clothing, and always follow the manufacturer’s directions for use.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors. Apply insect repellent to clothing to help prevent bites.
  • Maintain window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Empty water from mosquito breeding sites around the home, such as buckets, unused kiddie pools, old tires or similar sites where mosquitoes may lay eggs.
  • Use nets and/or fans over outdoor eating areas.

Additional information about mosquito-borne diseases can be found here.  The BSA also provides a wealth of resources here regarding Scouting Safety.

The safety and welfare of your Scouts is ultimately the responsibility of the unit leadership, however, if you decide to cancel your reservation with us this weekend out of an abundance of caution for your Scouts given this concern, we can assist you in moving your reservation to a different available weekend or we will waive the “no-refund for cancellations under 30 days” part of the MCC refund policy regarding your weekend rental.

Thank you for keeping your Scouts safe


SAFETY MOMENT: Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)

According to the MI Department of Health & Human Services [MDHHS] three cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) are now suspected in residents from Kalamazoo and Berrien counties. In addition, a case of California encephalitis virus has been confirmed in a Genesee County resident.  Silver Trails is located in St. Clair county. MDHHS has issued a statement here regarding your concern.  General preventive measures to avoid mosquito bites include:

  • Apply insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET, or other U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-approved product to exposed skin or clothing, and always follow the manufacturer’s directions for use.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors. Apply insect repellent to clothing to help prevent bites.
  • Maintain window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Empty water from mosquito breeding sites around the home, such as buckets, unused kiddie pools, old tires or similar sites where mosquitoes may lay eggs.
  • Use nets and/or fans over outdoor eating areas.

Additional information about mosquito-borne diseases can be found here.  The BSA also provides a wealth of resources here regarding Scouting Safety.

The safety and welfare of your Scouts is ultimately the responsibility of the unit leadership, however, if you decide to cancel your reservation with us this weekend out of an abundance of caution for your Scouts given this concern, we can assist you in moving your reservation to a different available weekend or we will waive the “no-refund for cancellations under 30 days” part of the MCC refund policy regarding your weekend rental.

Thank you for keeping your Scouts safe


An Important Message from the Chief Scout Executive

From the Office of the Chief Scout Executive — As we evaluate the growing cost of delivering the Scouting program, a vision team of volunteers and staff from across the country is considering the best way forward that will likely require us to implement a national membership fee increase for youth members and adult leaders as of January 1, 2020.

This prospective change is being driven by the significant cost increase of the liability insurance we must carry to cover all official Scouting activities.

We do not know the amount of the increase at this time since this requires National Executive Committee input and approval.

Please know that we are only considering this change out of necessity, and we are committed to ensuring that all youth can experience the character-building benefits of Scouting regardless of their financial situation. That is why, in anticipation of a likely increase, we are working to establish a donor-funded BSA Registration Assistance Fund to provide financial support to those who need it. This fund will be in addition to the many existing council and unit membership assistance funds.

We recognize the timing of this likely fee increase creates challenges as units have already begun collecting fees for their 2020 registration renewal process. We sincerely apologize and hope you understand that we would not be pursuing this path were it not absolutely necessary to ensure the BSA can continue carrying out its mission to serve youth. We are committed to supporting you through this process and are making necessary adjustments to the online rechartering system to ensure units can carry out the normal yearly process with as few issues as possible.

We recognize this is neither easy information to hear, nor to convey, but we want to be transparent as we have information to share so you can prepare your units appropriately. We commit to providing the new registration fee no later than October 23, 2019, which would take effect on January 1, 2020. The rechartering system will still open on October 1st to allow units to do their roster work.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Who is guiding the process regarding membership fee changes?
A vision team of volunteers and staff from across the country is identifying viable options and considering the best way forward as we evaluate the growing cost of delivering the Scouting program.

What do you expect the new fee to be in 2020?
We do not know the amount of the expected increase at this time since this requires National Executive Committee input and approval.

Why is this happening now?
The expected membership fee increase is the direct result of a significant increase in the cost of liability insurance we must carry to cover all official Scouting activities.

How will this impact the current rechartering process?
The online rechartering process will officially open as planned on October 1, 2019 for our December recharters. The process will go forth as usual with the exception of the “calculate fees” portion, which won’t be functional until November 1st.

What should units do if they have already collected 2020 membership fees?
Unfortunately, units will need to collect the additional funds from families once the new amount is known.

When will the organization make a decision about the 2020 membership fee increase?
We commit to providing the new registration fee no later than October 23, 2019.

Additional information will be available as details are confirmed.

Yours in Scouting,
Mike Surbaugh
Chief Scout Executive


An Important Message from the Chief Scout Executive

From the Office of the Chief Scout Executive — As we evaluate the growing cost of delivering the Scouting program, a vision team of volunteers and staff from across the country is considering the best way forward that will likely require us to implement a national membership fee increase for youth members and adult leaders as of January 1, 2020.

This prospective change is being driven by the significant cost increase of the liability insurance we must carry to cover all official Scouting activities.

We do not know the amount of the increase at this time since this requires National Executive Committee input and approval.

Please know that we are only considering this change out of necessity, and we are committed to ensuring that all youth can experience the character-building benefits of Scouting regardless of their financial situation. That is why, in anticipation of a likely increase, we are working to establish a donor-funded BSA Registration Assistance Fund to provide financial support to those who need it. This fund will be in addition to the many existing council and unit membership assistance funds.

We recognize the timing of this likely fee increase creates challenges as units have already begun collecting fees for their 2020 registration renewal process. We sincerely apologize and hope you understand that we would not be pursuing this path were it not absolutely necessary to ensure the BSA can continue carrying out its mission to serve youth. We are committed to supporting you through this process and are making necessary adjustments to the online rechartering system to ensure units can carry out the normal yearly process with as few issues as possible.

We recognize this is neither easy information to hear, nor to convey, but we want to be transparent as we have information to share so you can prepare your units appropriately. We commit to providing the new registration fee no later than October 23, 2019, which would take effect on January 1, 2020. The rechartering system will still open on October 1st to allow units to do their roster work.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Who is guiding the process regarding membership fee changes?
A vision team of volunteers and staff from across the country is identifying viable options and considering the best way forward as we evaluate the growing cost of delivering the Scouting program.

What do you expect the new fee to be in 2020?
We do not know the amount of the expected increase at this time since this requires National Executive Committee input and approval.

Why is this happening now?
The expected membership fee increase is the direct result of a significant increase in the cost of liability insurance we must carry to cover all official Scouting activities.

How will this impact the current rechartering process?
The online rechartering process will officially open as planned on October 1, 2019 for our December recharters. The process will go forth as usual with the exception of the “calculate fees” portion, which won’t be functional until November 1st.

What should units do if they have already collected 2020 membership fees?
Unfortunately, units will need to collect the additional funds from families once the new amount is known.

When will the organization make a decision about the 2020 membership fee increase?
We commit to providing the new registration fee no later than October 23, 2019.

Additional information will be available as details are confirmed.

Yours in Scouting,
Mike Surbaugh
Chief Scout Executive


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]


Theme and logo for 2021 National Jamboree Revealed

Scouting instills confidence, helping young people discover they can achieve more than they thought possible.

That’s the uplifting message behind the logo and theme for the 2021 National Jamboree, which the BSA announced today.

Using Scouting’s highest-profile gathering to deliver a distinct thematic message signals a bold new approach for National Jamborees. It ensures that the theme, “Face the Challenge,” will leave a lasting impression on Jamboree participants and our entire movement.

Jamboree organizers will weave the theme throughout the event. They’ll reinforce it before, during and after the Jamboree. They’ll showcase it at stadium shows, deliver it using wearable technology and highlight it at special flash challenges that pop up wherever participants congregate.

Smartphone integration and a pre-Jamboree survey will ensure that each participant embarks on their own Jamboree journey. Even with tens of thousands of participants, no two Jamboree experiences will be the same.

“From an overall programmatic design, we want to customize the Jamboree to an individual’s area for growth,” says Ed Lynes, the volunteer serving as Jamboree Thematics Lead.

‘Face the Challenge’

So what does “Face the Challenge” mean? Here’s how Jamboree organizers explain it in a document summarizing the vision for the 2021 National Jamboree:

  • The truth is that young people can achieve more than they believe is possible. Scouting uniquely prepares its members to redefine their boundaries, push past them and emerge from the experience with the confidence that no matter the challenge, they can meet it.
  • Nothing is impossible for the prepared young person — no future is out of reach for a group of committed people who care.
  • It’s important to signal that the limits people perceive are self-imposed, and that with an embrace and application of the 12 points of the Scout Law and three points of the Scout Oath, there is a bright and positive future.
  • Participants in the 2021 National Scout Jamboree will learn that character is created when you achieve more than you thought possible.

A new Jamboree vision

The inspiration for this exciting new approach comes from a desire to make the National Jamboree about more than a collection of awesome activities and a few words on a patch.

A Jamboree should inspire a Scout or Venturer to be more. It should show them how to use their Scouting skills to transform the world. And it should engage them in a way that makes their Jamboree experience transformational — not just for its memories but for how it shapes their life.

To be clear, the National Jamboree model has worked well for decades. Each instance of the quadrennial event offered fun, fellowship and unforgettable adventures.

But with the 2021 event, organizers plan to more deliberately embrace and celebrate the impact Scouting has on each of us. As a Jamboree veteran who has attended or served on staff at every National Jamboree since 1997, let me say this: I’m fully on board.

The reinvented approach means transforming a theme into a call to action — sparking an energy that Scouts and Venturers will take back to their troops, crews, schools and communities.

This approach is not unlike the one used at the National Order of the Arrow Conference, or NOAC.

NOAC events, like the one I covered for Scouting magazine in 2015, expertly carry a single theme throughout the week.

The 2021 National Jamboree will feature a similarly bold call to action, inspiring young people to identify, confront and overcome whatever challenges life has thrown into their path.

Unit leaders have an important role

True, unit leaders always have a critical role at a Jamboree. But this time, unit leaders will spark meaningful discussions before the event begins.

“It starts at the unit level,” Busby says. “We’re going to make an effort to really arm unit leaders.”

Scoutmasters, working with their youth leaders, will lead group discussions during their Scoutmaster’s minute and at Jamboree shakedown events.

This will get Scouts and Venturers in the proper mindset before they even arrive at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in 2021.

By the time the Jamboree begins, young people will be thinking about ways to overcome negativity and push past adversity. At the Jamboree, they’ll get the tools to help them do so.

What else we know about the 2021 National Jamboree

Lynes shared with me some more details about the 2021 National Jamboree, which I’ll summarize in a bulleted list:

  • The official patch design will be unveiled this summer. What you see above is the 2021 National Jamboree logo — not the design for the patch.
  • 2021 National Jamboree staff registration is scheduled to go live in August. Participant registration will open in December.
  • The Jamboree will feature TED-style talks where young people can share how Scouting helped them overcome challenges. Those talks will be recorded so others can watch them later.
  • As part of a unique leadership experience, ticketed for each participant, Scouts will spend 90 minutes better understanding their own leadership style, and then applying it alongside different groups of leaders.
  • The Jamboree smartphone app and wearable technology will encourage Scouts and Venturers to participate in slightly different activities that match with the results of their survey prior to the Jamboree.


The Adventure Plan (TAP) Resource

The Adventure Plan (TAP) is a tool to guide unit leaders—Cubs, Scouts, Venturers, and Sea Scouts— through all stages of Adventure planning.

Outdoor adventure is a key element of youth development in the Boy Scouts of America programs. Just as young people grow, learn and mature in a continuing progression of experience so, too, do the camping and outdoor programs of the BSA. The BSA offers a continuum of experiences based on the age, interest and ability level of youth, and also offers recognition awards for all levels of Scouting outdoor Adventures.


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.


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