2022 Silver Beaver Award Nominations

In Scouting, we say “it’s about the youth” and none of our adults are involved for the recognition, but every now and then we need to say thanks especially to those volunteers whose leadership and example has left a lasting positive impact on the program and the broader community. One way we do that is through nominating a Scouter for the Silver Beaver Award, the highest adult recognition a council can bestow. Take a few moments to reflect on volunteers within your unit or district and consider nominating them for the Silver Beaver Award.

A detailed nomination form is available by clicking here and all nominations must be received by Friday, December 3, 2021.

Completed nominations should be emailed to:  awards@mayflowerbsa.org.  The awards will be presented at the Council’s Recognition Dinner to be held January 26, 2022.

Frequently asked questions about the Silver Beaver Award:

Overview

To recognize registered Scouters of exceptional character who have provided distinguished service within a council.  The award is presented by the National Court of Honor on behalf of councils.

Who Can Earn This Award?

Anyone may nominate any deserving registered Scouter to the council, which selects recipients for the following year. Each council may process their own annual allotment of Silver Beaver awards and shall send a list of Silver Beaver awards presented each calendar year to the National Court of Honor no later than January 31 of the following year.




Who Doesn’t Love A Treasure Hunt?

An interesting piece of Camp Resolute history was recently re-discovered thanks to some historical research, impeccable timing, top-notch observational skills, and a little bit of good fortune. A memorial stone bearing an inscription dedicating the dining hall fireplace to Sir Robert Baden-Powell was recently re-discovered in a debris pile slated for disposal. The hunt for the stone is only part of the story. The stone itself and the builder of the fireplace directly connects Resolute with the founder of the worldwide Scouting movement.




What is a Unit Key 3?

Unit Key 3

Behind every great Scouting unit is a committed Key 3. These are the three top adult individuals within each pack, troop, crew, or ship. Each member of the Key 3 needs to understand his or her role and feel empowered to serve.

The Unit Key 3 is a critical component to the success of the unit. The unit Key 3 consists of:

  • Committee Chair – The top volunteer in the unit is the Committee Chair. They are responsible for ensuring enough qualified adult volunteers are in place to provide the program. They lead the unit committee meetings.
  • Unit Leader – The leader of the unit meeting is the unit leader (Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, Crew Advisor, Skipper) and is responsible for developing and delivering the “program.”
  • Chartered Organization Representative (COR) – This person appoints the unit committee chair and approves all adult leaders. They provide resources from the chartered organization.

The Key 3 addresses unit challenges, checks on Journey to Excellence status, and adjusts program and administrative elements to ensure unit progress toward Journey to Excellence.

Role of the Unit Key 3

  • This group meets frequently to discuss the unit, its challenges, coming events, and progress toward completing their action plan and Journey to Excellence goals.
  • Ensures that a monthly program and unit budget plan are in place and on track. These items are critical for unit success. Encourage long-range planning for a positive experience for all.
  • Support systems that will ensure a well-organized unit are: the monthly Unit Key 3 meeting, monthly committee and leader meetings, and regular parent meetings.
  • Encourages a unit-wide communication system. Communication takes many forms: newsletter, phone tree, email, website, app. Whatever fits the unit.
  • Encourages training of all registered adults in the unit. Encourages them to take This Is Scouting and Leader Specific Training for their position prior to their first meeting. Vigorously enforces Youth Protection Training. Makes sure the adult leaders are aware of training opportunities. Through the district commissioner, enlists the help of the training team to bring adult leader training to the unit if necessary.
  • Helps unit leaders get additional training as needed. Through the unit and district commissioners, requests progressive specialty training as needed. Topics might include recruiting youth members, information on Friends of Scouting, advancement, etc. While it is the responsibility of the district committee, it may be necessary to conduct sections of this training at the unit level.
  • Encourages participation in district activities. Encourages attendance at roundtable, district activities, and camping opportunities. Keeps the district and council calendars in mind when helping the Unit Key 3 schedule unit meetings and events.

My.Scouting.org – Accomplish A Wide Varity of Things

You can use My.Scouting.org for a wide variety of things. Parents can use it to transfer their Scout from one unit to another (how-to PDF), such as when a Webelos moves from a pack to a troop. Adult leaders can use it to take position-specific training. The Key 3 can use it to accept online applications and must use it to complete the annual rechartering of their unit.

In addition to these functions, this portal provides all adults access to their personal account data, a place to update contact information, and…yes, the ability to complete YPT. Make sure your My.Scouting.org profile contains your BSA member ID number; that way, your training record will automatically update when you finish an online course. BSA member ID numbers do not transfer from one council to another, but you can include both in your profile if you have IDs from multiple councils.

When setting up a My.Scouting.org account, be sure to link it to your Mayflower Council BSA member ID number. Forgot your ID number, your username or your password? Not sure if you have a member ID number or a My.Scouting.org account? Contact the Membership & Unit Service Team (membership@mayflowerbsa.org) before you create a new account– we can check to see if you have a member ID number, provide your username, and reset your password.

In the “BSA Web Links” section of My.Scouting.org (under “Menu”), you’ll also find links to Internet Advancement, the National Safety Council Defensive Driving Course, and Service Hours Reporting. Unit leaders have access to their unit roster and other information designed to help in managing the unit.

One last note: depending on the leadership position for which you are registered, you may not see every tool that someone else has available on their dashboard. So, it’s important that when your unit recharters at the end of each year, they accurately record your leadership position.

If you have trouble logging in to My.Scouting.org, contact Office Manager Lisa Olson for assistance.

Scoutbook

Scoutbook is an advancement tracking tool. From the first knot tied to final hours of service performed, the Scouting experience is a journey like none other. And Scoutbook is your go-to tool to ensures not a moment is missed – tracking advancement, milestone achievements and all the fun along the way. It also has messaging, help forums, service, hiking, camping tracking and calendaring features.

Important Reminders for Scoutbook:

  • Adding or transferring a scout or adult to your unit’s Scoutbook account does not register them with your unit and doesn’t mean they have a valid membership. All Scouts and adult leaders must complete an application, either online or submit a paper (or PDF version) of the application. This is true whether a person is new to Scouting, changing from one pack, troop or crew to another, or even changing adult leader positions.
  • Once an application is processed, the individual should appear in your unit’s Scoutbook in approximately 24-48 hours. Wait for this sync to occur, instead of manually adding anyone.
  • Scoutbook doesn’t allow duplicate emails, so the same email address can’t be used for two accounts.
  • Your Scoutbook login is the same as your My.Scouting.org login. If you aren’t sure if you have a login, you can’t remember your login, need a password reset or you’re getting an error, contact Office Manager Lisa Olson.
  • Scoutbook Guide: help.scoutbook.scouting.org
  • Scouting Forums: discussions.scouting.org




New to Scouts BSA? Get the Quick Start Guide!

If you’re new to Scouts BSA, we’ve created a digital “10 Essentials Quick Start Guide” for you. These are 10 easy steps with videos, links, etc. to get you and your Scout started on your incredible journey with us! (Unit leaders: please add a link to the guide in your “Be a Scout” welcome message to new members. Feedback is always welcome too!)

Get the Scouts BSA 10 Essentials Quick Start Guide




Recording Youth Training

The unit key 3 has the ability to access the Training Manager in my.scouting to record face to face training that youth have completed. This would include Den Chief Training, Introduction to Leadership Skills, NYLT, NAYLE and the NYLT Leadership Academy and others. Youth training records are a part of the training manager and can be very useful in reviewing the training a youth has completed, eligibility for NYLT, potential NYLT staff selection and other roles of continuing youth leadership.

To add youth training, go to the Training Manager in the my.scouting website. Choose the “add/search” function. From there, select “Optional Youth Training”. Most courses will be in this drop down box although additional training is in the “Other” drop down box or the program specific drop down. You can then select the appropriate course and the course dates. From there, add members and submit.




BSA Incident Reporting Requirements

Incident Reporting will be a highly monitored reporting area in the Scout post-bankrupt operating environment. We need to ensure that all Scout leaders understand what Incident Reporting is and why it is important that all incidents are accurately and timely reported. Scouting strongly encourages units to report any incident so risk management can ensure any unsafe conditions are addressed and safety measures are put in place. We may also recommend training that may need to be created or enhanced to ensure safety and for insurance purposes. The Incident Report landing page link below, will explain why reporting is so important and the links to the appropriate report.

Incident Reporting Landing Page
Incident Reporting Requirements
Near Miss Reporting Tool
Incident Reporting Tool
Youth Protection/Membership Infraction Reporting Tool

Please share this information with other unit leaders and assistants so they are aware of the reporting requirements.




Webelos to Scout Transition

Webelos prepares Scouts for the change from Cub Scouting to Scouts BSA. While Webelos are members of a Cub Scout pack, they become more involved in planning their own activities and performance approval begins to move from parents to unit leaders.

The two-year Webelos experience is a time of transition from Cub Scouting to crossing the bridge to membership in a Scouts BSA troop. Webelos and their families should be familiar and comfortable with the youth and adult leaders of the Scouts BSA troop, their role in the troop and troop activities, and feel excited about beginning this new adventure. The passage from a pack to a troop should be smooth, with no time lost in between. The crossover ceremony should clearly signify the transition to a new level of Scouting.

The key factor to a good Webelos transition is the ongoing working relationship of the leaders of a Cub Scout pack and a Scouts BSA troop. Ideally, a community organization would have both a pack and a troop with leaders who work together to help move Webelos Scouts into a Scouts BSA troop, the same way schools move students from elementary school to middle school.

By planning and coordinating their efforts, the pack and troop can help make the Webelos-to-Scout transition seamless and give all Webelos a chance to experience the fun and excitement of joining a Scouts BSA troop.




Blue Cards Shouldn’t Make You “Blue”

Merit badges are more than learning skills. They are about Scouts exploring an interest, engaging in discussions, and being recognized. When conducted properly, the merit badge process incorporates all eight of the methods of Scouting.

The MB process has been updated slightly in the new Guide to Advancement. The 2021 edition recognizes that technological advances can provide many benefits, but the overall process is unchanged and the blue card can play an important role. Alternatives to the blue card may be accepted, as long as they include the necessary information. If electronic record-keeping methods do not encompass all the steps, blue cards may be used in addition. Most importantly, a Scout should always have a permanent, hardcopy record of his or her work.

To reiterate, whether or not blue cards are included, the complete merit badge process must be followed, starting with an initial discussion between the Scout and the unit leader about the specific merit badge. The Scoutmaster (or their designee) provides advice and guidance, maybe suggesting that the Scout would get more out of the badge if they waited, or after they finished another activity. However, it is ultimately the Scout’s decision to work on a particular merit badge at a particular time.

“Since blue cards support the merit badge process as it is intended to function, the Guide to Advancement continues to reference and recommend them. It is expected that when blue cards are not used, advancement administrators at all levels will find ways to carry on the processes, interactions, documentation, and other nuances that make the process such a critical element in BSA mission achievement.”

Guide to Advancement: Section 7.0.0.2 – About the Application for Merit Badge (“Blue Card”)

During that initial conversation the unit leader should provide contact information for at least one council approved merit badge counselor. However, if the Scout has one already in mind, they must be allowed to work with the registered and approved counselor of their choice. This initial meeting is integral to the merit badge process, and as such should be documented by the leader signing the blue card, or by other means.

The Scout next contacts the merit badge counselor, following all Youth Protection Training guidelines, and begins the process of completing the requirements. The counselor can consider work done at any time after the Scout was a registered Scouts BSA member, as long as the Scout actually and personally completed the requirement, as written.

As the Scout completes requirements, the merit badge counselor documents each by initialing and dating the spaces on the blue card, or other method. These “partial” completions do not expire until the Scout’s 18th birthday. The Scout may choose to finish the merit badge with a different counselor, who should accept the previous counselor’s certification of any requirements completed.

When all requirements are complete, the counselor records that information on the blue card, and/or by electronic means. The counselor should retain the “Counselor’s Record” portion of the blue card for at least one year, in case questions arise.

After all requirements are completed and approved by the counselor, the Scout shows the evidence of completion to the unit leader, who initiates a discussion on how it went, but does not retest the Scout. The unit leader documents this discussion as well, then the troop reports the completion to council and presents the Scout with the merit badge.

After all requirements are completed and approved by the counselor, the Scout shows the evidence of completion to the unit leader, who initiates a discussion on how it went, but does not retest the Scout. The unit leader documents this discussion as well, then the troop reports the completion to council and presents the
Scout with the merit badge.




Cub Scouts The 3 R’s: Recruit, Recruit & Retain

Of the six programs the BSA offers, typically over 50% of registered youth are in the Cub Scout program. Annually, we recruit more first graders to be Tigers than any other age group across all programs. In 2020, many units were unable or chose not to recruit in their communities. As a result, youth membership in the BSA plummeted.

It is time for a reset this fall, so everyone is being asked to focus on membership recruitment. As critical as that effort will be, data tells us that in a typical year we have had a problem with keeping them in the program. Voice of the Scout surveys have told us that families leave because of a poor den experience.

Dens are where the action happens, it’s where we conduct activities in the form of the Adventure program. Den leaders are well meaning adults who volunteered to guide a bunch of kids through a series of activities to reach the goal of completing an Adventure. Our volunteer den leaders like to have a playbook from which to draw and know what to do when holding a den meeting. They want to know what they should be doing with the youth and how to get it done. Our den leaders are not child development experts, they are parents and adults who volunteer. At the beginning of each program year, our den leaders and Cub Scouts are both stepping into the great unknown.

Advancement is how we deliver our program and measure the outcome, but advancement is not the end goal: it is a method for running a den meeting. Advancement should not define the activities to be completed; activities should lead to advancement. Cub Scouts do not have the developmental understanding of why they must complete certain requirements to “advance.” They came to the meeting to have a good time and do something fun. Typically, that’s all the Cub Scout cares about.

On the way home from a den meeting, Cub Scouts should be able to tell their families that they had FUN. They should be able to describe the meeting with glee and excitement and a need to return. If a Cub Scout looks out the car window and says, “That was boring,” chances are he or she will not be back to the next
den meeting or register for another program year.

Our challenge is to be sure den leaders are aware of the many resources available to help our leaders provide the best program possible; each and every meeting. Let’s re-set and focus on member experiences that shine and provide great fun and adventures.

BSA resources available to provide the best Cub Scout experience for new membership – youth and adult.

Cub Scouting
Cub Chat Live!
Den Leader Resources
Adult Leader Training




2021 Distinguished Citizens Award Dinner

Distinguished Citizen Awards Dinner

Wednesday, December 1, 2021
Sheraton Framingham Hotel
1657 Worcester Road, Framingham, MA 01701

Reception 6:00 pm
Dinner & Program 7:00 pm

2021 Honorees

Distinguished Citizen Award Recipient

Peter J. Koutoujian
Sheriff of Middlesex County

The Distinguished Citizen Award is presented to community or business leaders who provide outstanding civic service to the adult and/or youth in the community. Those who receive the award are not necessarily Scout volunteers, but rather individuals who personify what the Boy Scouts of America stand for – good citizenship, outstanding moral fiber with a dedication to others, and for living their lives by the Scout Oath and Scout Law.

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Distinguished Eagle Scout Award (DESA)

Jeffrey E. Connor
Founding Member, Boston Brass

The Distinguished Eagle Scout Award (DESA) was established in 1969 to acknowledge Eagle Scouts who have received extraordinary national-level recognition, fame, or demonstrated eminence within their field, and have a strong record of voluntary service to their community. The DESA is presented and administered by the National Eagle Scout Association (NESA). It is NESA’s highest honor.

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Twenty First Century Leadership Award

Avidia Bank

Twenty First Century Leadership Award is presented to a company or organization that consistently sets the pace for the corporate leadership and philanthropic support of the South Shore and MetroWest communities. The honoree’s work and leadership exemplify the ideals and successes of the Boy Scouts of America. The organization’s corporate citizenship and community involvement set the example of what can be achieved through hard work, leadership and character, traits that set both organizations apart.

Registration is now open.

You may register and pay online or fill out the mail-in registration form.

Program book ad’s must be received by November 19.

Sponsorship Opportunities
Register online here
Mail-in registration