Because the BSA can’t read your mind …

Ever wonder who signs off on major changes to the Scouting program?

Instead of wondering, why not be one of those people?

Yep, by joining the Research & Program Innovation team’s Scouting Research Panel, you’ll be one of the insiders who give their thumbs-up (or down) to new merit badges, updated rank requirements, or other major changes to the Boy Scouts of America.

As a member of the panel — which I first told you about in 2009 —  you’ll get three or four surveys per year regarding new programs or proposed changes to existing BSA programs.

The panel is open to all current Cub Scout parents, Boy Scout parents, Boy Scout and Venturing youth members, and registered volunteers (Scouters in any BSA program).

One note on youth members who want to lend their thoughts: “By law we are not allowed to send surveys directly to youth ages 13 and under.  However, if a younger Boy Scout would like to participate in our surveys, he can do so by having his parents register in the Boy Scout Parent Panel and indicate that their son is interested in participating.”

Visit the Scouting Research Panel page to get started. 

Photo via Florida Center for Instructional Technology and ClipPix ETC 

10 thoughts on “Because the BSA can’t read your mind …

  1. Hope this group sends surveys about proposed uniform changes. The last go round tried to fix something that wasn’t broke.

      • Our troop used velcro for years (back in the 1980’s) for the POR and Ranks. Most boys would advance quickly and it saved mom (or boys) the time for sewing a badge that would be replaced in a short period of time.

        We also told the boys that if they screwed up or did a good job, the POR patch would be quickly removed with out tearing the uniform. At first it was mentioned as joke after elections, but the boys showed up at the next meeting with velcro. So we ran with it. Most boys got bumped up in POR with only one having a field demotion on a campout. He was restored to his POR at a later date.

        Royal Rangers uses velcro for their rank, so why not for the BSA? They are also using it for event badges on the right side pocket. Just make the velcro footprint tan so it matches the shirt color. I am sure that National could work out a deal with YKK to purchase the velcro.

  2. My concern is we open a badge like search and rescue without requirements, or anything instead of finding some units, councils or events where it could be vetted before released so when it is released everyone can get on board quick. Our San Francisco Bay Area Councils have no counselors because no one knows what the badge entails. Just my suggestion.

    Steve Hoagland
    Eagle Scout 1974
    AdvanceCamp Founder
    Crew 48 CoR
    Troop 49 CC

  3. It seems to me that I signed up for this when it first was announced, but I can only recollect one, if that, actual survey that has been sent to me. Certainly I was not included in anything to do with the “tools” decision that caused such an uproar. Nor have I been vetted about the “tour plan”, or the decision regarding the Oath. One might think as a SM and NESA member they might use me more than once in 2 to 3 years. So, I have resubmitted my email based on this notification. We will see.

  4. I suppose I am just STUPID because this blog site is the only one I have found which allows me to partially communicate with Scouting magazine. Could, and would, someone provide me with an address, or even a phone number, to contact a human (live preferred) at the magazine.

  5. I’m not sure I’m a big fan of the ‘6 core requirements’. In particular, my experience has been that the current Tiger and Wolf programs are very diificult to implement for new den leaders with no scouting experience (which is most Tiger and Wolf den leaders) because they offer no options as to how to acheive rank. Bear and Webelos are a big improvement and relief because they give a chinese menu approach (choose any 2 family, any 4 self…).

    The issue is few scouts have 100% perfect attendence at all den meeting and outings. Its not practical (or in some cases reasonable) to ask a family to make up activities like firehouse visits or building projects at home for meetings missed. And it puts an undue burden on these new den leaders to try and track this and ‘keep after’ parents. I’ve seen it done in almost every den and its a big net negative on the program, especially for new 6 year scouts and families who are getting their first taste of scouting. So at the end of the year, does the leader decide not to give little Timmy his Tiger badge because he missed that required outing and his mom or dad never made it up.

    My hope is that the new program will be designed with a stong focus on the practical considerations and needs of the Den Leader. This is the most difficult job in scouting and we need new parents with no prior experence to fill this role. If the program is:

    1) not easy to implement with minimal experience and training
    2) during two weekday evenings per month
    3) at night,
    4) in a school/church room,
    5) during the winter months
    6), with no more than a few weekend hours for an outing,
    7) and with about 80% attendence at each event,

    then it will NOT be fun or rewarding for the kids no matter what the topic is and retention will be impacted.

    Most of the leaders who are working on this new program or reading this blog constitute the ‘choir’ who beleive in the benefits of scouting. But the typical family just entering cub scouts still needs to be sold as to why this is a better sacrifice of their family’s time than basketball practice or lego club. This new program will make or break that decision for many families.

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