helpwanted

Looking for Web Developer Help

BPSA is looking for a freelance software/web developer to complete a project for our organization. If you or someone you know is interested in helping us build our new charter/registration system, we could use your help. We have a posting out on ELance.com, which is open to bidding; but if you don’t have an ELance account, you can read the summary of the project (high level) below. If interested, sign up on ELance.com, submit a proposal, and get in touch with us at info@bpsa-us.org! We have been unable to complete this project using currently for some time and need to get this new system in place and available as quickly as possible to help BPSA better manage our current growth and member community expectations.

elance.com link:  https://www.elance.com/job/61586129/proposals

Project Summary

Job Posting Id: 61586129
The Baden-Powell Service Association (BPSA) is a co-ed, inclusive scouting organization here in the United States. The organization is a non-profit and is in need of a chartering and registration system for new/existing groups and members that is available online (desktop, not mobile). This system would allow new and existing members to register/renew membership in the organization and new groups to be chartered (or existing groups renewed). The data would be stored long term via a backend database where organization staff could manage and pull reports.

Find out more about BPSA at http://bpsa-us.org

Job description:
We need a single, creative and motivated developer with a wide berth of experience in writing online applications and web site development. Client side will be heavy javascript/html5/css and with backend experience and database experience as well.

Our team doesn’t have any hard preferences for backend technologies or web stacks; and we are not against modifications of available off-the-shelf technologies as long as they can meet our needs and requirements.

This person will work directly with the head of the organization to quickly define requirements and build a working system in as short a time as possible.

Web development project type:
New Website

Client side or server side development:
Both

Specific programming languages desired:
Can be developed on any preferred stack, LAMP, MEAN, etc.
Must be able to integrate a checkout process, preferably using Stripe or PayPal.
We also need backend storage for the system for administrative and reporting requirements.

Desired website or component functionality:
The following is a brief summary of the high level user stories:

The application will be available via desktop (mobile if possible, but not required) on all modern browsers (need to support IE9 and above plus Firefox/Chrome).

The application will allow for signup and login of users, where the user’s email address is their username.

A user, once logged in will be able to do the following actions which will add the item associated with the action to their ‘cart':
– register a member (members can not be duplicated)
– renew a member they’ve already registered
– be able to register or renew multiple members in one checkout
– charter a new Scout group (groups can not be duplicated)
– renew a charter for an existing scout group

Once a user has completed filling their cart, they will be able to checkout the cart.
– this is preferably using Stripe or PayPal; but keeps the user on-site with no redirects.
– users should receive an email notification with receipt upon checkout
– users should receive some basic information (in pdf form that we have) via email upon successful ‘new’ registration and charter.

Users, upon login, will see an initial dashboard page summarizing their existing members/groups.

Users can logout of the application, which should clear any items still in their cart.

Users will receive email notification when registrations or charters are coming due (typically on a 1 year basis).

Select BPSA staff should have access to the backend data for reporting and other purposes.

Other requirements to be discussed once the project is started.

Additional comments:
Our organization needs a working system, meeting the minimal requirements in as short a time as possible. Because of volume and growth, along with other organizational needs, this is a high priority project. The developer will work directly with the organization’s president to refine requirements, complete a design and move the project from development through testing and into the public.

Brownsea Training Camp(s) 2013!

I want to encourage our adult members and those around the Minnesota, Missouri and New Hampshire areas to really make an effort to attend one of our upcoming Brownsea Training Camps (BTC).

BTC is the first and most important step in adult, Rover training within our association. Attending one will help you and your group get off to a great start, by

  1. Introducing traditional scouting, scouting history & tradition, BPSA and WFIS.
  2. Give you hands on experience in learning all the outdoor/scoutcraft skills needed to teach a 1st year Pathfinder.
  3. Provide a learning environment by having you participate as a member of a patrol on a Troop campout, giving you insight into how groups and the patrol system work.
  4. Earn your investment as a Rover Squire, your first step in the Rover program.

(Check out photos from last year’s Missouri BTC -http://www.flickr.com/photos/kopper/tags/mobtc2012/)

As with any youth program, the quality of the program starts from the bottom up, through the training of adults and volunteers who understand the fundamentals, methods and aims of the program; and are creative and enthusiastic enough to take the time to “be prepared” as a Rover and leader of younger scouts.

I have no doubt that this is you. Follow one of the links below and register for your spot in one of our upcoming BTC events near you. It’s one weekend that will cover a lot of ground and invests you in the program you’ve chosen and want to see succeed!

North East (New Boston, NH):
https://www.wepay.com/events/spring-2013-brownsea-northeast

Mid-West (Marine on St. Croix, MN):
https://www.wepay.com/events/spring-2013-brownsea-minnesota

Mid-West (St. Louis, MO)
https://www.wepay.com/events/spring-2013-brownsea-missouri

BPSA Commissioner interviewed in St. Louis Beacon


An interview with BPSA Chief Commissioner David Atchley has been posted on the St. Louis Beacon website. Click here for the story. In it, David discusses his scouting background, scouting in general and the BPSA program on a couple of perspectives, including the coed aspect. Be sure and give it a read, leave a comment on the article, and share it with friends.

Article Link: http://www.stlbeacon.org/content/26471/boys_scouts_alternative_081012

BPSA needs your help!

As some of you are aware, we have recently begun a fundraising effort through Indiegogo.com, which is similar to Kickstarter but for community and social efforts and start-ups. The BPSA is in a growth phase at the moment, which is great news.  We are brining in new members and gaining new groups as people become aware of the organization, our program and our mission. The BPSA staff and myself continue to work as hard as we can to keep up with all the needs of our new membership in this growth period, through handling orders via the online store, processing applications and charters, maintaining the web site and the resources we have available online, promoting and building the program, developing and providing training for adults and volunteers and more.

But to keep this momentum going and to continue to provide the best traditional scouting program and meet the basic needs of the organization and our members and groups, we need to be able to fund a number of very important needs:

  1. Have BPSA incorporated, state and federal, as a non-profit youth association and obtain 501(c)3 status. As a youth organization, this helps cut down the costs for not only the organization, but we can extend this status to each of our chartered, local Scout Groups.
  2. Be able to provide insurance coverage, extending to all chartered local units, covering minor medical/accident/liability.
  3. Be able to handle and process proper background checks for all registering adult members in the BPSA as part of our continuing Code of Ethics and Youth Protection policy.
  4. Provide a complete online store making uniforms, handbooks and other resources and needs available to members, leaders, volunteers and parents (at the lowest cost possible). Scouts and parents need to be able to get everything in one location, and as an organization we need to be able to provide a low-cost, traditional scouting uniform.
  5. Build up our communication and program reach to help recruit enthusiastic volunteers to staff and run BPSA Head Quarters (HQ), filling many needed positions and roles to help the organization grow.  We’ll need to be able to maintain the web site, our social and community networks and sites and find other ways to reach out to people and keep our community of Scouts and Leaders connected.
  6. Be able to provide ongoing and flexible training courses for leaders and volunteers in local communities, allowing for multiple training sessions per year and a local volunteer base that is trained and ready to provide a program. We need to be able to provide training in different parts of the country to make it accessible, and we need to be able to help reimburse our trainers and contribute to our national staff so they can get further, higher level training from other BPSA organizations and bring that training back here to the US.
  7. Help us provide resources for local volunteers and parents to help encourage and realize the growth of the program by targeting at least 25 chartered Scout Groups with full program sections by the end of the 3 years. To make this happen, and to fully support those new units, all the above items are critical.

This is where YOU come in.  We need your help – our members, groups and supporters – in promoting our program through our fundraising efforts on Indiegogo.com!  Share the link above with your friends, family and other individuals or organizations/businesses that would support BPSA in its mission to bring traditional scouting to the US that is coed and inclusive.  Any contribution makes a difference!

The minimum contribution is less than 8 cups of coffee from your favorite barista at your local coffee house – $25.  It’s not much; but each small donation adds up and helps ensure the BPSA meets these goals.  With your help and support we can grow and expand this organization into the future and provide more resources and a better program for our youth and our groups.

Help us make a difference!

 

BPSA Commissioner does Reddit AMA

So, for any of our members and supporters that frequent redditors (see Reddit.com), I did an AMA, or Ask Me Anything a few days back.  The idea behind an AMA is that you make yourself available to answer questions from the reddit social community that might have an interest in what you’re doing and want to know more.  There were a number of really good questions and comments that I thought would be informative for our members and others who aren’t necessarily on reddit, or those that might have missed it.  Here’s the link below to the AMA for your slow reading pleasure.

If you find anything you want to ask, go ahead and make a comment on that thread (you’ll need a reddit.com login to do so) and I’ll definitely answer it as quickly as possible. You can also comment here on this post as well.  Thanks for the great turn out, it was enjoyable!

BPSA Commissioner AMA on /r/IAmA

Partnership With Scouting for All

It seems only apropos that our Association, the BPSA, partner with those organizations that support and work towards one of our many goals, which is providing an opportunity for youth and adults, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, religion or no-religion, or any other differences, to participate in the Scouting movement! And I’m happy to announce our partnership and mutual support for and with the “Scouting for All” organization, whose mission since its inception has been to push for that same open and inclusive nature, not only in the Boy Scouts of America, but in other Scouting organizations in the United States as well.

Please note the following joint press release from the BPSA and Scouting for All; and be sure and visit their website, Facebook page and Twitter account as well to see the kinds of hard work they’ve been doing for some time in this area!

 


July 23, 2012 – The Baden-Powell Service Association (BPSA) and Scouting for All today announce an agreement of joint support between their organizations.

As both groups fundamentally believe Scouting should be available to everyone regardless of religious beliefs, gender, or sexual orientation, the following policies are now considered in effect:

  • The BPSA supports Scouting for All’s mission of “the restoration of the traditionally unbiased values of Scouting as expressed and embodied in the Scout Oath & the Scout Law.”
  • The BPSA supports Scouting for All’s vision of “a Scouting movement in America which once again commands the broad respect of the American people, rededicated to the traditionally unbiased principles of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.”
  • The BPSA supports Scouting for All’s guiding principle “that Scouting should be inclusive and open to all, regardless of spiritual belief, gender, or sexual orientation.”
  • Scouting for All supports the BPSA by recommending them as the best option for those looking to join a non-discriminatory Scouting program within the US.
  • In addition, BPSA members are now authorized to officially wear, if they elect to do so, the Scouting for All Inclusive Scouting Award centered above the top line of the left breast pocket of their uniform shirt as a symbol of shared support between both organizations.

This announcement of joint support was approved by:

David Atchley, Chief Commissioner of the Baden-Powell Service Association

Howard Menzer, President of Scouting for All

The Baden-Powell Service Association was founded in 2006 as an independent and traditional-style Scouting Association. They are affiliated with the World Federation of Independent Scouts and the Baden-Powell Scouts’ Association of England. Their website is www.bpsa-us.org.

Scouting for All was founded in 1993 with the purpose of promoting tolerance, diversity, and acceptance within the Scouting movement in the US. Their website is www.ScoutingForAll.org.

Register for Fall 2012 Brownsea(s)

Our Fall 2012 Brownsea Training Camps are coming (yes, we have more than one this year) …

Brownsea Training is required training for first-time leaders of Scout Groups in BPSA-US.  It provides an introduction to the traditional scouting program of the BPSA, helps in understanding the aims and methods of Scouting, and teaches new Rovers the scouting skills required for Tenderfoot, preparing them to help younger scouts succeed. The program works by teaching these things in a hands-on fashion, as the trainees will form and function as individual patrols, working together in learning, cooking and making camp life.

At the end of training, new Rovers will be invested as Rover Squires and awarded the green/yellow shoulder knot and their Tenderfoot/Association badge. Once trained, Rovers are encouraged to offer a Brownsea Training in their local area as well to continue the tradition and pass on their skills and enthusiasm for traditional scouting to others.

The registration fee is $25.00, which will cover the camp site(s), materials and resources for the program. If you’re interested in starting a BPSA group in your area, or already have a group and would like to attend, the more Scouters the better!

We’re hosting two BTC events this fall.  Details are below:

BTC-1 2012 – Moody, Texas

Instructor: BPSA 1st Lone Scouts RSL, Scott Hudson

When:

Friday, October 5th through Sunday October 7th, 2012
Arrive between 7pm and 8pm on Friday, break camp at noon on Sunday

Location:

Mother Neff State Park
1680 S.H. 236
Moody, TX 76557-3317

Details here: Mother Neff State Park Web Site

Registration Information:    Register Online – Cost: $25.00

 

BTC-2 2012 – Washington, Missouri

Instructor: BPSA Commissioner, Dave Atchley

When:

Friday, September 14th through Sunday September 16th, 2012
Arrive between 7pm and 8pm on Friday, break camp at noon on Sunday

Location:

Klondike State Park,
St. Charles County, Missouri (just west of St. Louis)
Details here: Klondike State Park Web Site

Registration Information:    Register Online – Cost: $25.00

Overcoming Inertia…

Inertia, as understood in classical physics, typically refers to the First Law of Motion as described by Newton, paraphrased below:

“An object not subject to any external force moves at a constant velocity; and will continue to move at its current velocity until some force causes its speed or direction to change.”

Essentially it’s the amount of resistance to change in velocity of some object, which in physics, is determined by its mass. This principle, I think, can also be applied to the struggles of getting a new, traditional scouting program off the ground here in the United States. Currently, we are moving along at a constant velocity. And with out some outside force, specifically the time, effort and enthusiasm of our members and supporters, we will continue at our current velocity.

This isn’t the current velocity that I want for the BPSA. We can increase our speed. As our current Commissioner, a local Group Scoutmaster, and a father of five children, I understand the positive aspects, benefits and training that a real, traditional scouting program can offer to both kids, parents and volunteers. Without the enthusiasm and willingness of adults and parents, the Scouting movement would never have progressed the way it did. The Scouting movement is, after all, an international brotherhood of service. In cultivating the spirit of selflessness and service in our scouts, we should be leading them by example. That same selflessness, sacrifice and service that we teach should be readily apparent to anyone within or outside of the Scouting movement. It is through this character of our members and volunteers that the BPSA will ultimately succeed or fail in the long run.

As an alternative Scouting organization, just trying to get off the ground, this quality of character and selflessness is what we need from our members and supporters now. It is exactly this action of leading the movement by example, of “being” the change you want to see in our organization, that is the outside force BPSA and its members needs to exhibit in order to change its velocity. We can overcome our inertia by spreading our own enthusiasm for the program to others.

Baden-Powell said the following in his last letter before retiring from his position as Chief Scout of the World,

But the real way to get happiness is by giving out happiness to other people. Try and leave this world a little better than you found it and when your turn comes to die, you can die happy in feeling that at any rate you have not wasted your time but have done your best. “Be Prepared” in this way, to live happy and to die happy—stick to your Scout promise always—even after you have ceased to be a boy—and God help you to do it.

B-P had the right idea about happiness and the reasons to do your best. It is with exactly this intent that many of us are wholeheartedly working to get BPSA off and running. Not only is it a way to do our best and leave the world with something that improves things for our generation and those to come; but in doing so it brings about a pure happiness in each of us. A deep happiness that can only come from rendering selfless service to our fellow humans, our nation and our communities—knowing that, in the end, we’ve done the very best we could with the life and energy we had.

I would like to challenge you today to reflect on these ideas and ask yourself if the BPSA and a real, traditional scouting program for youth and adults in this country is worth your effort and energy to help make the world a slightly better place than when you first arrived? In service to others, can you truly find happiness for yourself and others?

What can you do to provide that energy and the force needed to help this movement overcome its inertia?

 

BPSA Pathfinder Handbook, First Edition

Finally, after the long work in putting together our Timberwolf Handbook, we have finally completed our Pathfinder Handbook!  It’s been an ongoing process since sometime last Fall and it’s involved a dedicated and geographically dispersed group of reviewers and editors.  I’ll thank them personally at the end of this post; but their contributions, encouragement and hard work has not gone unnoticed.  The book is fairly long, weighing in at 134 pages!  This includes a guide on everything a Pathfinder needs to know to go from Tenderfoot through First Class, and beyond.  It also provides the requirements for each of the “additional” general proficiency badges: George Washington’s Scout, Bushman’s Thong, and All-Round Cords; and all the Special Proficiency badges offered by the BPSA here in the US – 46 special proficiency badges in all!

With our Otter program in ‘beta’, the completion of this handbook – along with the available original texts from B.P., “Wolf Cub Handbook” and “Scouting for Boys” – we have a complete set of program resources available for our youth sections.  Head over to our Resources page (http://bpsa-us.org/resources/program-resources/) and download the latest copies and check them out!

My special and individual thanks to the Review Team, who consisted of Ric Raynor, George Stecher, Tony Place, Jody Rochon and Scott Moore!

Badge Preview!

As I try to get the online store and ordering together for BPSA-US badges, neckers, and more, I wanted to post a preview of the new Tenderfoot/Association badge that will be coming in.  I’m working on a 2nd Class and 1st Class badge that match, and we also have group name flashes (for the right, top shoulder on the uniform) that will be available, customized with your group’s name.  I’ll post more as I move in this direction. However, once the badges are in, I’ll post a complete listing with price guide.

I’m coordinating with Alton at the The Rover Outpost fo badges and I think they’re looking good.  Initially, the store will have available the following:

  1. BPSA-US Tenderfoot/Association Badge (shown here)
  2. WFIS Membership Badge
  3. Group Name Flashes (1st Lone Scouts, and Group Name customized)
  4. Neckers – various designs and color combinations of your choice

Enjoy!

Register for Fall 2011 Brownsea!

Our Fall 2011 Brownsea Training Camp is coming …

Brownsea Training is required training for first time leaders of Scout Groups in BPSA-US.  It provides an introduction to the traditional scouting program of the BPSA, helps in understanding the aims and methods of Scouting, and teaches new Rovers the scouting skills required for Tenderfoot, preparing them to help younger scouts succeed.  The program works by teaching these things in a hands-on fashion, as the trainees will form and function as individual patrols, working together in learning, cooking and making camp life.

At the end of training, new Rovers will be invested as Rover Squires and awarded the green/yellow shoulder knot and their Tenderfoot/Association badge.  Once trained, Rovers are encouraged to offer a Brownsea Training in their local area as well to continue the tradition and pass on their skills and enthusiasm for traditional scouting to others.

The registration fee is $15.00, which will cover the camp site(s), materials and resources for the program.  If you’re interested in starting a BPSA group in your area, or already have a group and would like to attend, the more scouters the better!

This BTC is being held in Missouri, which is fairly centralized for most people. Details are below:

When:

Friday, October 7th through Sunday October 9th, 2011
Arrive at 7pm on Friday, break camp at noon on Sunday

Location:

Klondike State Park,
St. Charles County, Missouri (just west of St. Louis)
Details here: Klondike State Park Web Site
Campsites: P16, P17 & P18 (Primitive Campsites)

 

 

Registration Information:

Cost: $15.00
Register Online here: https://www.wepay.com/tickets/view/67037

 

Q&A: How do I start a local group?

I am convinced, through nearly 2 years of running a local BPSA Scout Group, that you CAN get people involved in the program!  For our members and lone Scouts nationwide, I hope this post encourages you to put forth just a small bit of effort to form a local group.  It’s much easier than you think, and I’ll share my thoughts, experiences about what I’ve learned to help you on your way. We need to push for more local units across the country.

One local Group’s Recruiting Efforts…

What follows is a summary of our efforts at recruiting with our local group, the 10th Daniel Boone Scout Group, here at one of the local elementary schools tonight. Not only am I Commissioner of BPSA-US, I’m also a Group Scoutmaster. We had a small table set up with a 3-panel display board and a large stack of informational flyers.  Our display board had some summary information about the BPSA as well as pictures of both our group and some from international events.  You can see the flyers we used over on our web site (http://10thdanielboone.org).

BPSA has a great program in place and can provide a real “alternative” to the Boy Scouts of America (BSA)  and the Girl Scouts, USA programs.  As BPSA scouters, we always adhere to the 4th point of Scout Law, “A Scout is friend to all, and a brother to every other scout.” However, the differences between our Association and those of the BSA or Girl Scouts does come up in conversation. And rightly so, as parents typically have never heard of our program and have lots of questions. Always stress the benefits and positive aspects of our program ONLY.  Don’t denigrate the BSA or GSUSA in conversation with parents.  Spark their interest about our program to get questions. Questions are good! You want those.  You don’t want to be the “other guy” that just bad mouths the other programs. We’ll hit this point later on; but let’s continue.

With our modest table, and 2 younger scouts to help me — (Shay, an Otter Scout) and (Jada, a Timberwolf) — we were off and handing out flyers to incoming parents at 5:30pm.  I wasn’t sure how start off a conversation immediately when handing out a flyer.  Some people had already visited the BSA Cub Pack’s table setup across from ours and simply thought we were the same organization.  This caused some confusion.  Some parents would pass me by saying, “I already signed my boy up over at that table.”  After a few attempts, my initial line to parents while handing out the flyers was something along the lines of, “Have you received a flyer for our traditional scouting program yet?”  And if they took hold of the flyer, I continued, “We’re part of a larger, world wide scouting movement, with a more traditional program. We are co-ed, and start at age 5 and take ‘em as old as they come.

Nine times out of 10, this was enough to get them to look at our display board and walk over to the table. I would then introduce them to our two scouts (if they weren’t out passing around more flyers), and our Otter leader (Cheryl) who was working the table with me.  Of the many points I made during my conversation, the following were the most useful, in terms of getting their interest and that look of, “Hey, this sounds new and exciting!” (in order of most effective)

  1. We’re a traditional Scouting program.
  2. We’re co-ed, girls and boys, youth and adults.
  3. We start at age 5 with our Otter program
  4. We’re part of a wider, international scouting movement under the World Federation of Independent Scouts

Let’s take a look at these one by one and get an idea about “why” they have such an impact, at least here in the US.

1) We’re a traditional Scouting program:  This sparked a lot of interest for a couple of reasons.  Parents who are age 35 and older have a very rustic and Rockwellian view of what the Scouting program is about based on their past experiences with the Boy Scouts of America.  What they also see, and this isn’t always the case, is that Boy Scout troops today don’t operate like they did back then and the program doesn’t focus on those same sets of outdoor skills, or use the same methods.  What I heard from a number of parents was that they had their son in Boy Scouts/Cub Scouts, but then took him out (or he lost interest) because the program had become so watered down or lacked all those traits from bygone years.

Explaining to parents that we adhere to the program put together by Scouting’s founder, keeping with the Patrol method and the original aims of scouting was exactly what they needed to hear.  This is what scouting is about, and has been about since the beginning; and to have an association that offers that opportunity is a key element in attracting both scouts and parents into the organization.  Focus on the program, it is the one thing that attracts and keeps scouts and parents alike involved!

2) We’re co-ed, girls and boys, youth and adults:  By far, this is the second most important point in talking about the organization.  In talking with parents over the years, and tonight at the Open House, there are a few things I heard surrounding this topic:

  • My daughters would LOVE to do the camping, hiking and canoeing – they don’t get that in the girl scouts.
  • That makes a lot of sense, they need to know how to communicate and work with the other gender.

The first one is the most common. A number of mothers have told me that their girls just aren’t interested in the homemaking, crafts and other activities that Girl Scouts offers.  A lot of girls, and their mothers, are really into roughing it in the out of doors.  This is a common thread from parents who have both boys and girls in scouting and the girls see their brothers doing all these amazing and fun outdoor activities.  They [girls] want to participate in a real outdoor, scouting program just like the boys – and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be able to do so.  Like my wife would tell you, don’t ever tell her there’s something that a guy can do that she can’t.  And she’s absolutely right.

The second point wasn’t brought up as much, but the fact that some parents expressed this seemed to me to show a very pragmatic approach to how children learn.  Adults have to work across gender, so why wait until kids grow up completely before they understand how to do it?  Having a co-ed program allows for this kind of learning and growth.  It’s important for boys and girls to know how to work together, in a small unit like a patrol, to accomplish great things.  Now, there are many ways to organize boys and girls in our co-ed program, and that option is left to the local group to implement; but either way, being co-ed means that boys and girls get to participate in the same program and interact with each other in meaningful ways to learn.

3) We start at age 5 with our Otter program:  This was important, if only because the youngest age you can start in the BSA is 7, with Tiger Cubs. A handful of mothers, when offered a flyer, noted their son was too young according to the other scouting table. Once I explained that we were a different organization, and we started at age 5 with our Otter program that changed things. This also afford us the opportunity to grow our youngest section of Otters and prepare them for Timberwolves.  This also kept the parent interested so that I could cover the points above, which almost always went over well once at this stage.  The Otter program is provisional at the National level here; but in my local implementation, it is a very valuable program and it gives us a bit of an edge in recruiting efforts.  Having an Otter at the Open House helped out a bunch too!

4) We’re part of a wider, international scouting movement under the World Federation of Independent Scouts:  This is usually what helped in setting us off as a different organization than the Boy Scouts of America or the Girls Scouts, USA.  It also gives us a credibility point with the parents to know that there are MANY other BPSA and traditional scouting programs out there in the worldwide scouting movement. This opens up the door to talking about international opportunities like the WFIS World Jamboree, EuroCamp and more.  And, oddly enough, a lot of parents’ interest was peaked when I mentioned we weren’t the BSA or GSUSA and were a separate organization under WFIS.  This is new and exciting stuff that most parents in the US have never even heard about.  Tell them all about it!

Some more points to bring up…

Some other items that came up, but typically after the initial conversation, that are important to stress are the following:

  • We are open and inclusive – we don’t discriminate for any reasons on our membership. This is BPSA-US policy, and part of our policy of inclusion.  I didn’t hear anything about this at the recruiting event tonight, but I have in the past.  This is important for some parents to know that they are volunteering and participating in an organization that understands diversity and wants to reflect that.
  • Low cost barrier to entry – This is another good point. For local groups, there is only a yearly Charter fee ($35/yr). This means that there is no individual registration fee if you are registering with a newly chartering (or renewing) group. The only real costs for entry into the program are the uniforms.  The handbooks and other resources are freely downloadable from our web site.  This makes a difference to parents with more than one child.

In Summary

Overall, we had lots of interest tonight.  I talked at length with a number of parents; and even had a mother sent back to the school to get a flyer by the father!  I’ll stress again, that the 4th point of the Scout Law needs to be kept in mind.  We make no headway as an Association by bad mouthing or stressing any negative points about other US scouting organizations.  They are, after all, our brothers and sisters in Scouting.  And, if an opportunity should arise, we welcome them to participate with us in any national or other events we might put on in the future.  What we, and those of you interested in recruiting, want to stress are the above mentioned points and the positive aspects of OUR organization and program.  Catch their interest.  Draw them into a conversation; and let THEM ask the questions.  Answer all you can and provide a simple informational flyer and enough contact information so they can follow up.  A bit of effort in putting things together and working the open houses, school nights for scouting and other events will be rewarded by enthusiastic interest and continued (or new) growth for your local group!

Get a flyer together (see our previous blog post) and a couple other interested Rovers or parents and start recruiting.  With school beginning it is an opportune time to talk with parents about the positive aspects of the BPSA’s traditional program, it’s history and the opportunities their children can have with us.

Yours in Traditional Scouting,

David Atchley
Commissioner, BPSA-US
Group Scoutmaster, 10th Daniel Boone Scout Group