2006-2010 National Strategic Plan
2008 marked the midpoint in the BSA’s current five-year strategic plan. Dubbed “2010: When Tradition Meets Tomorrow,” the plan uses the legacy of success as a springboard to propel the BSA into its second century of service to America.
Every Eligible Youth Has an Opportunity to Be Involved in a Quality Scouting Experience
When boys spend time at camp, they usually get hooked on the fun Scouting provides and the values Scouting teaches. They must first join the program, of course, which is getting easier thanks to a creative, Internet-savvy marketing campaign called “Words To Live By.”
In 2008, a new membership campaign that relies heavily on the Internet titled “Words to Live By” was developed in Seattle with the help of a local marketing firm. It was piloted in 19 Northeast Region councils, as well as in a handful of Western Region councils. The centerpiece of this campaign is a Web site that uses mapping technology to help parents find a Scout unit and connect with the unit leader. When prospective parents of a Scout enter their street address, a map appears showing them the closest Scout units, along with meeting times and contact information.
Every Local Council Is Fiscally Sound
Strengthening local councils is essential to strengthening the Scouting program. In 2008, the BSA created the Council Solutions Group to enhance support of local councils.
Those efforts are paying off in places like the Great Southwest Council. Three years ago, the council had maxed out its $500,000 line of credit. Using support services from the National Council, the council has paid off its debt, balanced its budget, and hired five additional youth-serving executives. It even attracted a $1 million challenge grant to improve its camp.
Scouting’s 1.1 million adult volunteers teach Scouts how to face all sorts of challenges—from climbing a sheer rock face to making ethical decisions. In the year of the volunteer, the BSA worked to build strong regional committees to support the fast-growing Venturing program.
The Number of Engaged, Accountable Volunteers Is Dramatically Increased at All Levels of Scouting
2008 was the year of the volunteer—both those who work directly with Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, and Venturers and those who support them. The BSA celebrated these volunteers this year and worked to identify more volunteers.
An example of increasing volunteers was in the Venturing program. The National Council challenged the regions to develop and staff robust Venturing committees to support this fast-growing program at the local level. The regions responded, putting in place hundreds of volunteers who are coordinating training, promoting the creation of council-level Venturing Officer Associations, and connecting far-flung Venturers through technologies like Facebook.
Local, Regional, and National Chartered Organizations and Strategic Alliances Are Identified and Engaged
In 2008, the BSA renewed relationships with numerous civic, religious, and fraternal organizations across the country. Most notably, the BSA secured commitments from four national African American Baptist conventions to create more than 5,000 Scouting units to serve the needs of families in their communities.
The BSA also rolled out on a national basis a new-unit blitz program that re-emphasizes the important role volunteers play in starting Scouting units. More than 150 local councils used the program in 2008.
Celebrating the 100th Anniversary
Planning for the BSA’s centennial celebration moved into high gear during 2008. Working with volunteers from across the country, the BSA developed a comprehensive series of programs designed to engage Scouts and volunteers, Scouting alumni, and the general public in celebrating both the accomplishments and the promise of Scouting.
Late in the year, President Bush signed legislation authorizing a special commemorative coin to honor the BSA. The U.S. Mint will create 350,000 of the coins, and sales will generate donations of up to $3.5 million, which will be used to grow Scouting in hard-to-serve communities.