Redesigned and refocused: The new Bryan on Scouting blog

After 22 months, and nearly 400,000 page views, Cracker Barrel is no more.

Scouting magazine’s official blog is now Bryan on Scouting, written by me, Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout and the associate editor of Scouting magazine.

Like you, I’m passionate about the Scouting program and am always looking for compelling stories, fascinating people, and innovative ways to improve the BSA.

Like you, I want to know about important BSA news as soon as possible, and I want the information to be clear and accurate.

Like you, I know the program is all about our young people but can’t exist without trained and motivated adult leaders.

So I’m bringing you a revamped blog that will have more of what you want presented in a clean, fresh format.

But before we look at where we’re going with Bryan on Scouting, let’s look at where we’ve been.

The Age of Cracker Barrel

On March 16, 2009, I started a little blog called Cracker Barrel. Emphasis on little, because we had just 27 visitors to the blog on that first day. By the end of the first week, that number had grown to a whopping 29 per day. How many of those hits were just me refreshing the page? I won’t tell.

But, under the invaluable guidance of my fellow editors at Scouting, the blog grew. Yes, our first priority is putting out a great magazine five times a year, but we also realize that there are more Scouting stories out there than we can fit into the pages of the print product.

So I wrote three basic types of posts:

  • Breaking BSA news
  • Tips about the program
  • Inspiring stories from volunteers who are on the front lines of the BSA

Some 460 posts later, I’m proud and grateful to say that the blog has grown from about 100 readers a day in the first few months to more than 1,000 a day today.

And we’ve only just begun.

The Journey Continues

Other than the blog’s title and the blogging platform (we switched from TypePad to WordPress), not much will change between Cracker Barrel and Bryan on Scouting.

The three types of posts I listed above will still be around, only I’ll write them in the first-person format. I’m hoping that will make the blog more personal and encourage you to contact me when you have an idea for a post.

It’ll also allow me to talk with you instead of at you.

Because, just like before, this blog is only as good as its readers. I know I have some great readers, so I’m counting on you to e-mail me with Scouting-related questions, BSA news, or outdoor tips that you want to share with fellow Scouters. I read every e-mail, so tell me what’s on your mind.

All of the other online tentacles of Scouting magazine remain unchanged. We’ll still have our main Scouting magazine site, Facebook page, and Twitter account.

It’s the same Scouting magazine blog that you’ve been loyal to for the past 22 months, only better. Come along for the ride, won’t you?

14 thoughts on “Redesigned and refocused: The new Bryan on Scouting blog

  1. The single most useful thing this blog can provide is coverage of breaking news affecting us volunteers. On Tuesday, the Health and Safety Committee posted a link to the new standardized Tour Planning form. Volunteers in the field had not heard of it, and it sent us into overdrive seeking information. By late Wednesday, the content owner to the H&S page pulled the content back, but the damage was done.

    We also need honesty, not advertising. The rollout of the Centennial 4 merit badges last year was abominable. The National Council wasted an entire quarter of the year … 1/4 of all the young men who aged out of Boy Scouting in 2010 were completely denied the opportunity to try and earn those MBs.

    We’re grown-ups out here. We can handle honest mistakes. It’s harder to handle what in our businesses would be buffoonery in making things happen.

    Look for the things that matter to a Program Officer (CM, SM, Coach or Advisor). Look for things that matter to Committee Chairs and CORs. That’s what we want and need from a blog.

    At least, that’s my two cents.

    Say hello to Mr Terry (Chief Eagle from the Sun in the Tribe of Mic-o-Say) from all of us in his old Heart of America Council.

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention Redesigned and refocused: The new Bryan on Scouting blog « Bryan on Scouting --

  3. With the switch to WordPress it seems like the RSS doesn’t provide full articles now. I’d like to see those return.

    • Hi Sheila,

      If you’d like to subscribe to the RSS feed, click the orange button to the right of your screen below the sliding graphics.

      Thanks for reading!

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