Family Scouting has arrived in National Capital Area Council in the form of BSA’s Early Adopter Program. While the full roll-out begins n June 11, many of our Chartered Organizations were ready to go and just couldn’t wait to get started. In January and February of 2018, NCAC saw more than 60 Units launch Cub Scout Programs for girls.
“Early Adopter numbers were right where we expected them to be,” said Les Baron, Chief Scout Executive. “The enthusiasm from these Units, however, has been off of the charts.”
In order to be an Early Adopter, interested Packs ad a high bar to clear. To be considered they had to demonstrate the following:
- Be approved in “good standing” with the Council (think: recharter paperwork),
- Have their Chartered Organization Representative (COR) activate their BeAScout.org pin,
- Show that all leaders are 100% trained, including current Youth Protection Training,
- Have female leadership in place for any Pack or Den activities involving female members,
- Have a program plan that would enable all members – girls and boys – to complete rank advancement by May 31, and
- Agree to abide by the rules of the pilot program, including a minimum of 4 girls in a Den. (For this soft launch Packs could create an “All Ages Den” with at least 4 girls).
The new Packs have also been of help in dispelling myths that continue to crop-up around Family Scouting programs.
“One of the misconceptions that we keep hearing is the belief that Scouting has gone co-ed,” said Baron. “It hasn’t. These are single-gender Dens, just as was always intended and as is planned for the full roll-out this summer. What’s truly new is that girls who were, in many cases, previously attending meetings and participating with their brothers are now full-fledged members earning advancement.”
For Packs who haven’t yet launched, the Early Adopter Program still provides a good idea of what needs to be done to “Be Prepared!” for the full Family Scouting roll-out. Similar to the introduction of Lions a few years back, this “soft rollout” framework was sensitive to the needs of all families while providing a comfortable starting point for those Packs who are ready to embrace the updated program. And like the Lions rollout, the Family Scouting Program will continue to develop and evolve as feedback is received and new challenges are identified.
“Scouting is still Scouting,” said Baron. “The Scout Oath and Law still bind all aspects of the program. This isn’t so much a cultural change as a cultural addition, and we’re proud to be able to welcome these new members to the world of Scouting.”
To help answer questions and clarify any remaining areas of concern, NCAC will be hosting a live Family Scouting “Fireside Chat” webinar on May 15th; go to www.NCACBSA.org/FamilyScouting for details. In the meantime, those who have questions or want more information are encouraged to reach out to NCAC directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact your District Executive.