Frequently Asked Questions
Newest items are placed at the top of the FAQs.
Effective August 1, 2023, the BSA will implement the following national membership fees which were approved by the National Executive Committee:
- $80 for Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouting participants ($5 increase)
- $60 for all adult volunteers ($15 increase to provide general liability insurance and enhanced background checks)
- $25 one-time joining fee for new program participants in Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing, and Sea Scouting (Not prorated and no change in fee)
- $30 for Scoutreach (Not prorated)
- $25 for Merit Badge Counselors (New Fee applies only for Merit Badge Counselors not already registered as leaders)
- $50 for Exploring participants Youth & Adult ($5 increase)
- $100 for a unit charter/affiliation fee (no change in fee)
- $15 for Scout Life magazine
New Annual Membership Fee Process Announced – BSA Will No Longer Prorate Fees for New Members beginning August 1, 2023
Beginning August 1, 2023, all new youth and adult members who join Scouting will be enrolled in a 12-month membership cycle and BSA will cease prorating fees. Both youth and adults will pay the full annual membership fee and will renew their membership on the anniversary date of joining Scouting. All proration of membership fees will be eliminated. Each registered member of the BSA will receive an email notification with a registration renewal link beginning 60 days before the anniversary date they joined Scouting. Unit leaders will receive a copy of the email and should stay engaged in the membership renewal process just like rechartering.
It is important to note, existing members will renew their membership during their normal registration/recharter cycle through March 2024. Moving forward all members will renew on their anniversary date.
- Existing members’ Anniversary date will be their unit recharter month.
- New members’ Anniversary date will be the month they joined.
This new process will help streamline the rechartering and membership renewal process for units and councils. Additional information on this membership renewal process will be forthcoming in the very near future.
What is driving the youth and adult membership fee increase?
- General Liability Insurance costs to protect volunteer leaders, staff, charter organizations, units, and youth.
- BSA restructuring costs.
- Enhanced Criminal Background check processes and investments in Youth protection and safety programs.
What steps has the National Service Center taken to manage costs?
- Completed a new staff structure and streamlined both the professional workforce and the volunteer structure, while maintaining essential services.
- Reduced the National staff workforce to support essential services.
- Reduced expenses throughout the National organization.
What is the new membership fee for youth and adults? Will the fees go up again?
- The new adult membership fee is $60, and the youth membership fee is $80 annually.
- The BSA will continue to evaluate the membership fees and keep our councils and unit leaders informed of any further changes to the fee structure.
Is our Pack allowed to have mixed-gender Dens?
In Fall 2022/Spring 2023, BSA was piloting the mixed-gender dens in Packs. The Pack would need to sign-up for the pilot program. Starting June 1, 2023, all Family Packs can form mixed-gender dens (except for AOL dens). Hopefully, this change will make it easier to form dens and attract more girls to the Packs.
What fundraisers are supported by the Council and insurance?
Popcorn sales, in-person and online, are the only official, supported and covered fundraising projects. Some years, other items (e.g., Camp Cards or First Aid Kits) are available too. A unit can perform their own fundraising activities (e.g., mulch, wreaths, peanuts, etc.) after getting a Unit Money-Raising Application approved. More information is available in the BSA Fundraising Policies and Procedures Manual.
Our Treasurer is new. Are there any financial policies we should share with him?
Yes, BSA has issued a Fiscal Policies and Procedures for BSA Units FAQ sheet. The information can be found at: https://www.scouting.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Fiscal_Policies_and_Procedures_for_-BSA_Units_20210513.pdf and https://www.scouting.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Fiscal_Policies_and_Procedures_for_BSA_Units_20220322.pdf.
My son is looking at the Merit Badge classes from FCPA, but the MB Counselor isn’t listed in Scoutbook.
The National Capital Area Council has an agreement with the Fairfax County Park Authority that approves its staff to be Merit Badge Counselors, if they meet given controls. As a result, the instructors are not registered with either a specific District or the NCAC. Duston Meyers is the FCPA coordinator for this program.
We are buying needed items for our unit. How do we get a tax exempt certificate?
[Note: This is not legal advice.] Normally, the business just wants your tax-exempt number. However, they might want the Chartering Organization’s (CO) Retail Sales and Use Tax Exemption Certificate. You would get either one from your CO. If the chartering organization is a Religious institution, they can just fill out Virginia’s Form ST-13A.
If the person you talk with at the CO doesn’t know if they got a Tax Exempt status – they can look it up at https://www.npo.tax.virginia.gov/VTOL_External_Entity/NPOLogin.xhtml. They will need their FEIN or their exact name (the name feature doesn’t work very well – no partials).
More info is on the Virginia Tax web site: https://www.tax.virginia.gov/nonprofit-organizations.
We have a Scout that has trained to be a Den Chief. How do we add him to Scoutbook?
First the Troop needs to tell Scoutbook about the den chief.
From the Troop side, it starts just like adding any other position: click their leadership > add > select den chief and start date. Then, select the council, type the pack number and select the pack description from the dropdown. Select the den they are supporting if known (if not, the pack can fill it in). Select position approved, and hit update.
For existing Den Chiefs in Scoutbook, the unit admin clicks on the existing leadership position, and adds the pack (and den if known.)
Then on the Pack side, a Pack Admin or Den Admin finds the Den Chief on the Pack page or Pack roster (separate section for den chiefs), select the dens they support, check dens approved, and click update.
My Cub Scout is bridging to a Troop. How do we get him transferred?
Scoutbook can only make unofficial transfers. One way to transfer a Scout is for one of the pack leaders or a parent to add a connection between the Scout and a Troop Admin. After the Cub Scout’s awards have been processed and the Pack is finished with the Scout’s payment log, then the Pack should end the Cub Scout’s Membership with the Pack. Then a Pack leader, parent, or Troop Admin can add the new membership with the Troop on the Scout’s Membership page.
Official transfers can be made by using paper applications or the transfer button at my.scouting.org using the unit Roster tool. In this online transfer process, leaders in the pack make the transfer. Parents can also transfer their Scout(s) from one unit to another.
Scouts officially transferred using one of these two methods should show up on the gaining unit’s roster in about 24-48 hours after the transfer is completed.
I cannot remember what classes I signed up for at a scouting event. How do I look this up?
That happens to all of us. You can look up a single event (such as University of Scouting) or you can look up your entire sign-up history (at least for the last several years). Select the event you are interest in, or go to https://scoutingevent.com and on the top pulldown, select “Lookup.” The Lookup Registration will allow you to look up your previous registrations. If you want them all, select “Forgot Registration Number” on the bottom right. The system will email you a list of all your registration over the past few years. More information is available here: https://www.ncacbsa.org/george-mason/wp-content/uploads/sites/17/2023/03/BlackPug_RegistrationHistory.pdf
We found an Archery event hosted by a local vendor. Can our Cubs attend/participate? Could we host our own event?
Using the Shooting Sports FAQs (https://www.scouting.org/outdoor-programs/shooting-sports/shooting-faq/) you will find that archery (among all other shooting sports) for Cub Scouts has to be in a Council or District event only and is not approved as a unit event.
As we are getting ready for summer camp, we are doing swim tests. Who can sign off?
The swim classification test performed at a unit level should be conducted by one of the following council-approved resource people: Aquatics Instructor, BSA; BSA Lifeguard; BSA Swimming & Water Rescue; or other lifeguard, swimming instructor, etc. Test administrators should utilize chapter 5 of the BSA Aquatics Supervision Guide. It is strongly encouraged that the swim test is conducted by a “council-approved resource person” that is 18 or older. If the “council-approved resource person” is under 18, then an adult leader trained in Safe Swim Defense must be present during the testing.
Can Cub Scouts go overnight camping in the winter? If so, down to what temperature.
Yes, Cubs can camp in the winter. There are no specific temperature restrictions for Cub Scouts about cold-weather camping. There are some safety rules in the Guide to Safe Scouting:
Winter Camping Safety
There is magic to camping in winter. It is one of the most challenging of outdoor adventures. The Boy Scouts of America operates the National Cold- Weather Camping Development Center at Northern Tier through the Okpik program. Special considerations for winter camping are:
1. Qualified Supervision. It is vital that a leader be an experienced winter camper with strong character and
2. Equipment. Be completely outfitted for cold weather. Equipment should be checked to ensure good
condition for the activity and proper maintenance while in use. Youth should be adequately clothed, and blankets should be a suitable quality and weight.
3. Physical Fitness. Youth should be suitably fit for the activity. Periodic rests while building snow caves and
engaging in other strenuous cold-weather activities will help prevent accidents and overheating.
4. Buddy System. Having Youth paired aids in monitoring each other’s physical condition and observation of
surroundings and circumstances.
5. Planning. Safe activities follow a plan that has been conscientiously developed. In winter, plan to cover
no more than 5 miles per day on snowshoes or 10 to 12 miles on cross-country skis. Allow ample time to make it to camp at the end of the day.
6. Safe Area. Leaders should determine whether an area for winter camping is well-suited and free of hazards.
7. Weather Check. Weather conditions, potential hazards, and the appropriate responses should be
understood and anticipated. Go to my.scouting.org for Hazardous Weather training.
8. Burning. Never use flames in tents, teepees, or snow shelters. This includes burning any solid, liquid, gel,
or gas fuel; using features of tents or teepees that support stoves or fires; and use of chemical-fueled equipment and catalytic heaters.
9. Discipline. Rules are effective only when followed. All participants should know, understand, and respect the
rules and procedures for a safe winter camping experience. Applicable rules should be discussed prior to the outing and reviewed for all participants when leaving for the winter campout.
Many Packs chose to do their Winter Camping in cabins or as an overnight inside a commercial facility – such as a
climbing wall (e.g., Vertical Rock Indoor Climbing, Manassas). Other units do their outing nearby (e.g., Burke Lake) so that families that want to can participate in the activities and then go home for the night.
If the Cubs are camping overnight when the temperature goes below freezing, they are eligible for the Polar Bear
patch. The patches have been available at the Scout stores. The MSSC (Bethesda) is currently out of patches, but will reorder in mid-January (delivery end of Jan/early Feb). Cost is $3/patch. The NCAC Trading Post has the pre-order available at: https://councilstuff.com/082?item=7817
I have heard that there is some required training for leaders. What is it and when is it due?
Our Council (National Capital Area Council or NCAC) has decided that all Volunteer Adults must be fully trained for all of their leadership positions in Scouting. This is in addition to the National BSA requirement that all adults who have contact with the youth must complete Youth Protection Training (YPT). The five-year plan for accomplishing this goal is for the various leadership positions to be trained is as follows:
- Year 1 (2021) – Council Executive Board, Council Vice-Presidents, Council Chairs, and the Council Commissioner.
- Year 2 (2022) – Council Committee Members, Assistant Council Commissioners, District Chairs, District Commissioners, District Roundtable Commissioners, Merit Badge Counselors, Nova Counselors, and Supernova Mentors. This will be required by Recharter time this Fall. (All new Merit Badge Councilors are now required to be trained before they can register. Previously registered Merit Badge Counselors have until December 31, 2022, to complete the training.)
- Year 3 (2023) – Cubmasters, Scoutmasters, Crew Advisors, Skippers, Explorer Advisors, Laboratory Directors, Unit Committee Chairs, and New Member Coordinators. Those who are not trained would be dropped at recharter. This will be effective at recharter time next year (i.e., November 2023).
- Year 4 (2024) – Assistant Cubmasters, Den Leaders and Assistants, Assistant Scoutmasters, Crew Associate Advisors, Mates, Explorer Associate Advisors, Unit Chaplains. I.e., November 2024.
- Year 5 (2025) – Chartered Organization Representatives. I.e., November 2025.
Fortunately, almost all of the required training is available on-line at My.Scouting.org . The only required course that is not on-line is Introduction to Outdoor Leadership (IOLS) which is an in-person course. It is required for Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmaster.
I unsubscribed myself to the new iContact mailing list. Can I join back?
Yes, you can rejoin one or more of the lists you “unsubscribed.” The procedure is here.
Our unit has some online Adult/Youth Applications in my.scouting.org. How long before they expire?
Applications in my.scouting.org are good for 60 days. Youth Applications can be approved/accepted by any of the unit Key 3 (CM/SM, CC, CR). Adult Applications can be approved/accepted by the CR or the CR Delegate. After 60 days, if the application hasn’t been approved, it is cancelled, and any funds provided are returned within one to two billing cycles. However, it is best to not wait to approve applications for several reasons: 1) the person went to the effort and expense to input the application – they deserve the courtesy of a response (accept or reject); 2) if you don’t respond promptly, the submitter often starts asking Unit Leadership, District Leadership and Council about the status and takes time away from other services; and 3) the application may need more input (YPT, Scout Executive Signature, etc.) to be successfully approved. If you wait until the end of the cycle, there may not be time to do these other items before it expires.
I was reviewing an Adult Application and the adult only provided two references. Can I still approve?
The references are for the Unit/Chartering Organization Representative to have as part of their evaluation before the application is accepted and signed. The Unit/CR can decide how many references are needed. The Council will typically not reject an application unless there are no names/phone numbers listed on the Adult Application.
Our unit is going on a campout this weekend. Do we need parent signed Activity Consent Forms?
The BSA Activity Consent Form (19-673) is recommended for outings/activities, but is not required. The only exception is that the form is required when the Scouts are flying. If Scouts are attending BSA camps/High Adventure Camps, those locations may require their own parental consent forms.
Our Pack has girls, but not enough in each age level to make full dens. Can we combine with boy dens?
Beginning with the 2022-23 program year pilot packs may form Lion (Kindergarten), Tiger (1st Grade), Wolf (2nd Grade), Bear (3rd Grade), and Webelos Grade Only) dens with boys and girls in them. Arrow of Light (5th Grade) to prepare them for Scouts BSA are to remain in single-gender dens (this is a requirement and not optional). Multi-rank dens such as a den of Wolves (2nd graders) and Bears (3rd graders) working on their respective badges of rank may also be formed with girls and boys. To participate in this pilot program, please complete the MOU and provide to your District Commissioner or District Executive.
My unit was unable to send someone to the GMD Recharter Training Sessions. Is there a recording?
The training materials your unit Recharter Coordinator will need are available online. The video describing the use of the recharter tool is here. The PowerPoint with best practices is here. The NCAC Recharter Site is located here.
Is there a one-pager that describes the 2023 fees that I can share with parents?
Yes, click here.
My unit has submitted paper applications for processing, but does not have enough funds on account at NCAC. How do we add funds to our account?
Your unit can drop off or mail a check of “NCAC MSSC, Attn: Registrar, 9190 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20814-3897.” The check should be made out to “NCAC-BSA.” Alternately, your unit can call in a credit card number. Call the NCAC MSSC front desk (301-214-9100), open from 9am to 5pm weekdays, and let them know you would like to deposit money into your Unit’s membership account. The NCAC MSSC front desk, or your Unit Commissioner can tell you the current balance of your unit account.
We have an 11-year-old (still in 5th grade) that wants to join our Pack. The online application gives an error.
Since Scouts BSA age range is 11 – 17, the online Youth Application will give the error, “Birth date is not within the valid age range for this program.? However, the youth can still join a Pack by submitting a paper application.
Youth Applications have a signature block for the “Unit Leader.” Who can sign this?
The Unit Leader block on a Youth Application can be signed by any of the Key-3 (Cubmaster/Scoutmaster, Committee Chair or Chartering Organization Representative). Additionally, units can choose to have online Youth Applications automatically approved (go to my.scouting.org > Menu > Organizational Manager > Pin).
My unit is unclear about who is responsible for reference checks on Adult Applications.
Once the Adult fills out their application (paper or online), someone at the unit/Chartering Organization (CO) is supposed to check the listed references, the answers to the questions and confirm the applicant has a current YPT. Since the Chartering Organization Representative (CR) must sign the Adult Application before it goes to Council, if something comes up during the reference check, the CR needs to determine if that Adult is still acceptable to the CO. Once the CR accepts the application and forwards to Council, then it is again reviewed for any “Yes” answers to the questions. If there are any “Yes” answers, the application requires approval of the Scout Executive or designee. Additionally, if the Background Check turns up something negative or not listed on the Adult Application, future Council review will be needed. Some units have the CO/CR do the reference checks. Other units have a membership person in the unit do the reference checks and then discuss with the CR.
We had a scout registered online under one adult and now we need to change to a different parent. How to do this?
If the online application has not been accepted by a member of the Key-3 (CM/SM, CC, or CR) then the registering adult can just go to my.scouting.org and withdraw the application (Menu > My Applications). The correct adult can then submit an application. If withdrawing the application is not possible, then the Unit Leader can just reject the application. There is a strongly worded warning that appears when one tries to do this, but this doesn’t impact the submission of another youth application in the future.
Our Chartering Organization has changed our Institutional Head/Executive Officer. How do we update this info?
Fill out a New Unit Application with the new IH/EO’s information, get them to sign it, and provide to your District Executive. Across the top of the form, in big letters, write “CHANGE OF EO ONLY.”
Our Pack wants to go to a campground not listed on the Approved list. How do we get that campground added?
The unit would fill out a Pack Overnight Campout Site Appraisal Form and submit to NCAC Director of Camping Services (firstname.lastname@example.org) for review.
Our unit has youth that will turn 18 shortly after the new year and want to continue with scouting. How to do this?
If the Youth isn’t 18 at the time of the Charter Renewal submission, then the unit should submit them as a youth. The unit can hold their Adult Application (with CBC and YPT) to submit when needed (to fix a defective or after the charter is renewed). This application would be a “transfer” and be at no cost.
If the Youth turns 18 before the unit submits their Charter Renewal, then the unit should drop them as a youth and submit them as an adult.
Note, the Youth will likely not be able to do an online application to go from Youth to Adult in the same unit. The system, at least last year, didn’t allow an online registration to a unit where they were already on the roster. Obviously, if they want to join a Venture Crew that would be available online as that is a different unit.
A registered adult left our unit and we want them deleted from our roster. How do we do that?
Registered adults and youth can be removed from your roster at Charter Renewal time. They are “dropped” as part of the submission to Council. If there is a specific reason to drop them out of cycle, NCAC can do this. Contact the District Executive. If you just want to prevent them from accessing your unit records in Scoutbook, your Scoutbook Unit Administrator can change their access.
We have new leadership in our Pack. How do we get them assigned to their new positions?
As the Chartering Organization Representative, you can move any registered adult into a leadership position by logging into my.scouting.org. Follow the steps below:
https://my.scouting.org > login > Menu > select unit (if not already selected) > Organizational Manager > Position Manager > Registered Position tab
Then drag the registered adult from their current position to their new position. Then, remove the previous leader by dragging them down to a Committee Member, ACM/ASM or other position. Click Save Changes (at the bottom).
Changes will be in the system immediately. Alternately, the unit can provide a hard copy application for you to sign and then we can process through NCAC. It will take about a week.
What is the Family Den pilot program?
In the past few years, Packs that had boys and girls were supposed to have them in separate Dens. There is a new pilot program to allow Family Dens (mixed gender). The video and MOU below describe this pilot program in more detail. NCAC is accepting MOUs from Packs now.
Pack Kick-Off Presentation (video): https://public.3.basecamp.com/p/2L848enrxcUEX2S9uT7ogYvB
Pack Family Den MOU: https://public.3.basecamp.com/p/JUNX5ukZppTQjeubw9jZHhYs
Note: Two registered adult leaders 21 years of age or over are required at all Scouting activities, including meetings. There must be a registered female adult leader 21 years of age or over in every unit serving females. A registered female adult leader 21 years of age or over must be present for any activity involving female youth. Notwithstanding the minimum leader requirements, age- and program-appropriate supervision must always be provided.
Can the Institutional Head/Executive Officer also be the Chartering Organization Representative?
Can the Chartering Organization Representative also be the Committee Chair?
What are the annual membership fees that are paid to National BSA (not including any fees by the Unit)?
To ensure The Boy Scouts of America has the resources to fulfill the promise of Scouting, the following structure will take effect on August 1, 2022:
- $ 75 for Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouts participants ($6.25/month)
- $ 45 for Exploring participants ($3.75/month)
- $ 45 for all adult volunteers – includes cost of background check ($3.75/month)
- $ 2.04 for NCAC insurance (youth and adult). Note, collect separately for online registrations
- $100 for a unit charter/affiliation fee
- $ 25 one-time joining fee for new program participants in Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, and Venturing (Not pro-rated)
- $ 15 for Scout Life magazine; this is the first price increase since 2005
Having trouble with Scoutbook, my.scouting.org or any other BSA web site?
You may need to clear your browser cache and/or try a different browser.
How does our unit change Chartering Organizations?
From time-to-time units need to find another charter organization to sponsor their Scouting unit. Here is what needs to occur for these changes to be made in the Scouting system.
First, if the unit and the current charter organization are going their separate ways and it is an agreeable separation, the current charter organization needs to provide the unit with a Letter of Release. In the letter, the charter organization needs to state that they are releasing the unit number along with all assets, both equipment and finances, to the unit to take with them to their new sponsor (NCAC or other CO). If all assets are not being released, it should be specifically stated in the letter what is being retained by the current charter organization, i.e., the unit number will be retained because the current charter organization has other units using the same number and they may decide at a later date to re-activate the unit.
Second, the unit needs to obtain from scouting.org/forms a copy of the New Unit Application and complete it with all the pertinent data relating to the new charter organization. Also on the form, the unit will indicate what the number will be for the new unit. The unit should contact the District Executive (email@example.com) so they can see if the desired number is available for use. The unit should also ensure that the new charter organization is agreeable to using that number or if they would prefer something more closely aligned with their organization.
Third, the unit needs to have the Executive Officer of the new Chartering Organization identify and appoint a Charter Organization Representative (CR). This person needs to complete an adult paper application and have it signed by the Executive Officer. They will also need to complete the CBC form (part of the adult application) and take Youth Protection Training (my.scouting.org > My Training > YPT). The application along with the CBC and YPT forms need to be turned in altogether. The CR may be dual registered in the unit and could be the Executive Officer, the Committee Chair or a Committee Member. While the Executive Officer does not need to complete an adult application normally, they would if they were dual registering as the CR.
This paperwork should be submitted to the council Registrar’s Office as soon as possible after the charter renewal has been submitted. Including a copy of the charter renewal roster with the paperwork is recommended.
Can my Chartering Organization assign more than one COR – we have more than one unit?
No. The Chartered Organization Representative Guidebook indicates that, “Chartered organizations that operate more than one unit must register the same individual as the chartered organization representative.” That said, in https://my.scouting.org there is a field for a COR Delegate (Menu, Organizational Manager, Functional Roles) to allow for sharing the workload. Only the COR can assign a delegate – from the lists of registered adults. Note, for physical forms, the COR or COR delegate may sign.
Where can I find a listing of local Merit Badge Counselors?
Troop, crew and ship leaders can find the list of merit badge counselors on the unit page in Scoutbook. Scoutbook provides a search for merit badge counselors at that location. and scroll down the page.
District and council leaders can find a list of merit badge counselors at this link.
Merit badge counselors can find the badges they are approved to counsel by logging into http://scoutbook.scouting.org (use your my.scouting.org UserID and Password to login) and clicking on My Dashboard, My Account, My Positions.
I am a Merit Badge Counselor and want to change from NCAC-wide to my unit only.
Go into Scoutbook (https://scoutbook.scouting.org), My Dashboard > My Account > My Positions > Merit Badge Counselor, (select a MB), Listing Preference to “Unit List”, Update Button.
I am a Life Scout and will have completed my Eagle requirements soon. Do I need to complete the new eagle-required Citizenship in Society merit badge?
The Citizenship in Society merit badge became an Eagle required MB on July 1, 2022. Any Scouts that haven’t completed their Eagle requirements and the Scoutmaster conference before July 1 will need to make time to earn this MB. A list of CIS Merit Badge Counselors can be found in ScoutBook.
Do new cub scouts have to earn the Bobcat rank if they are older than the others in that group?
First graders, and anyone beyond that grade who is new to Cub Scouting, completes the Bobcat Badge prior to working on their grade-specific badge of rank. Kindergartners, who are Lions, do not work on the Bobcat Badge. More information about Cub advancement can be found here.
Can Cub Scouts plan a campout for any location, or do they need approval?
Cub scouts must be in an approved campout location. The National Capital Area Council has a listing of Certified Camping Areas for Pack Overnighters.
How can I learn more about assisting Scouts who experience a disability or have special needs?
The basic premise of Scouting for youth with disabilities and special needs is that they want most to participate like other youth—and Scouting gives them that opportunity. Thus, much of the program for Scouts with disabilities and special needs is directed at (1) helping unit leaders develop an awareness of disabled people among youth without disabilities, and (2) encouraging the inclusion of Scouts with disabilities and special needs in Cub Scout packs, Boy Scout troops, and Venturing crews. George Mason District’s Special Needs Scouting representative is Scott Willey.
Should the scout holding the flag salute during the Pledge of Allegiance?
Many flag ceremonies have the color guard “post the colors” before the Pledge. This allows the color guard to follow the same commands as the audience. However, if your unit wants them to hold the colors, that is fine. The color guard member holding the flagpole should use both hands and not salute. The other members of the color guard should salute. For more information about flag ceremonies, click here.
I have heard the term “Key 3.” What is that?
The Key 3 is a group of three top Scouting individuals within each segment of Scouting. Actively involved at the unit, district, council, area, regional, and national level, Key 3 leaders support and serve employees and volunteers that ensure youth members get the best Scouting experience possible. For a Cub Pack, the Key 3 are the Cubmaster, Committee Chair and Chartering Organization Representative. For a Scout BSA unit, the Key 3 are the Scoutmaster, Committee Chair and Chartering Organization Representative. For the George Mason District, the Key 3 are the District Committee Chair, District Commissioner and the District Executive.
Can adults earn scout rank and awards?
Adults could earn rank until 1965 when BSA added the Eagle requirement of “serve actively for 6 months as a troop warrant officer.” This requirement was added in a Handbook supplement in 1963 but was optional until 1965. Earning Eagle was discouraged after 1940 but there were service men that were not able to complete Eagle Scout before World War II and did earn their Eagle Scout award after the age of 17.
Effective January 1, 2021, local councils have the authority to grant limited extensions of time for certain youth complete Eagle requirements after age 18. These extensions are available only to youth members who qualify under the requirements listed in the Guide to Advancement (www.scouting.org/advancement).
Scout leaders can earn awards. Please be sure to review the Adult Awards and Recognition each year and plan, with your adult leaders, to recognize their accomplishments.
How do individuals, not associated with a Unit, pay for their Annual Membership in 2022?
This is the link to pay for a BSA membership for those individual members not associated with any unit.
I turned in an application but it does not show in my My.Scouting account.
Please wait two weeks from submission date to the District Executive. If you don’t see it in your roster, submit a copy of the full application to the District Executive for re-processing.
I’m being asked to submit a copy of my Youth Protection Certificate. How do I get a copy?
Login to my.scouting.org. Click on Menu, My Training, then locate the line that lists “Youth Protection Training Y01” and click on the printer icon (just to the left of the “Retake Course>”). When you print it, you can generate a paper copy or select PDF and name the file and email it to the person requesting the certificate.
I need a certificate of insurance for my unit, an event or the chartering organization.
Please fill out a Request for Certificate of Liability Insurance and return to the email listed on the form. You’ll receive a certificate of insurance back within two weeks. If the group requesting the COLI needs some special language, this needs to be put in writing and submitted with the request. This will add time to the turn-around.
Where do I turn in a Merit Badge Counselor application?
Go to the Merit Badge site on the George Mason web page for more information about the required documents. The documents are sent to Margee Egan (the GM Merit Badge Dean).
Where do I get or turn in an application for membership in Boy Scouts of America?
For a paper application go to: Scouting Forms from the National Council. As soon as you complete an application (including signatures), scan and send to the District Executive. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL ROUNDTABLE. Applications need to be received immediately for proper processing.
To apply online (the most efficient method) go to: BeAScout.org. Enter your zip code, select the closest unit to your home or a specific unit you know and click the “Apply Now” button.
How should we use the Leave No Trace/Outdoor Ethics training taken by our Adult leader or Scout?
Leave No Trace is an awareness and an attitude rather than a set of rules. It applies in your backyard or local park as much as in the backcountry. We should all practice Leave No Trace in our thinking and actions–wherever we go. We learn Leave No Trace by sharing the principles and then discovering how they can be applied. Leave No Trace instills an awareness that spurs questions like “What can we do to reduce our impact on the environment and on the experiences of other visitors?” Have your trained individual(s) review the rules/regulations of the location for your scout outing and discuss how to utilize the LNT principles. Use your judgment and experience to tailor camping and hiking practices to the environment where the outing will occur.
How do I report an Injury, Incident or Near-Miss?
Timely, clear, concise, and complete incident reports allow for an appropriate response and an opportunity for analysis while promoting continuous improvements of our programs. You can report incidents, near misses, and youth protection/membership infraction incidents by clicking here.
BSA has a mandatory Youth Protection reporting policy. All persons involved in Scouting shall report to local authorities any good faith suspicion or belief that any child is or has been physically or sexually abused, physically or emotionally neglected or exposed to any form of violence, threat or sexual exploitation. No person may abdicate this reporting responsibility to any other person. Youth protection/membership infractions can be reported by clicking here.
What activities and equipment can my Cubs/Scouts do/use on an outing?
Age-appropriate activities and equipment are listed in the Guide to Safe Scouting. In situations not specifically covered in this guide, activity planners should evaluate the risk or potential risk of harm, and respond with action plans based on common sense, community standards, the Boy Scout motto, and safety policies and practices commonly prescribed for the activity by experienced providers and practitioners.
What is Roundtable and who should attend?
The District Roundtable provides a monthly opportunity to gather with other unit leaders and share suggestions and best practices for providing the best possible program for youth involved in scouting activities. Separate Roundtable discussions for Cubs and Scouts BSA units take place on the second Thursday each month at 7:30pm at Thoreau Middle School in Vienna, VA. Any uniformed leader, Chartering Organization Representative or Committee Member is welcome.
Our unit used to get a Roundtable Ribbon (for our flag) for perfect attendance during the year. Didn’t get one this year.
The Roundtable Ribbons for your unit flagpole have been discontinued. Sorry.
What is Program Launch and who should attend?
The George Mason District’s Program Launch is an annual showcase of scouting programs, resources, activities, and information from GM scouters, our Council, and exhibitors from outside of scouting. Together, they all offer your unit great ideas and resources to help provide your scouts a great scouting program!
Every unit should have at least one leader at Program Launch. But don’t stop there! Scoutmasters and Venturing Advisors, bring your Senior Patrol Leaders and Crew Officers! Assistant Scoutmasters and Den Leaders should attend too! The more leaders that attend, the more you’ll be able to bounce ideas around.
What is the George Mason Troop Expo and who should attend?
Late in the fall (usually just before the November Roundtable) various Troops from around the George Mason district will host an information session with Webelos/AOL scouts that will be bridging in the first quarter of the next year. This gives an opportunity for the Webelos and their parents to learn about the various Troops, interact with Scoutmasters and scouts and plan their Troop visits before deciding on which Troop to join.
What is Wood Badge and who should take this course?
Wood Badge is an advanced, national leadership course open only to Scouting volunteers and professionals. Scouters from Cub Scouting, Scouts BSA, Venturing, Sea Scouts, and Explorers, and district and council Scouters all are welcome. Each Woodbadge course is offered twice a year (spring and fall). Scouters often indicate they wish that they had taken Wood Badge earlier in their scouting career. More information can be found here.
What is Powderhorn and who should take this course?
Open to both registered adults and youth who are at least 13 and have completed the 8th grade, Powder Horn is a hands-on resource management course designed to give you the contacts and tools necessary to conduct an awesome high-adventure program in your troop, team, crew, or ship. Contact the district training chair for information.
How does a Pack or Troop typically recognize their volunteers?
Each year, the George Mason District recognizes the Scouters and parents who go above and beyond the call of volunteer duties to provide exemplary service to their units, their district, and scouting in general.
To recognize adults who served/are serving at the unit level there are two types of awards:
- Unit Commissioner’s Unit Scouter Award – Limited to one (1) per unit
- Unit Appreciation Award – Maximum 8 per unit.
Please provide a sentence or two describing the individual’s service. Submit Unit Commissioner’s Unit Scouter Award to Unit Commissioner. Unit Appreciate Award to firstname.lastname@example.org. Submissions are due in early March each year.
Two awards available for uniformed leaders include Cub Scouter Awards, Scouter Awards, the District Award of Merit (the highest honor a local district can bestow upon a volunteer leader for service in Scouting) and the Silver Beaver Award (recognizes one scout who stands out among their fellow Scouters and is recognized by their council for their service). More information is available by contacting email@example.com.
How does one enter service hours (like Scouting for Food), camping nights, hiking miles and other outdoor activities?
The attached link include a three-and-a-half minute video that describes how to enter service hours, camping nights, hiking miles etc. in Internet Advancement 2.0. Please bring this video to the attention of the volunteer(s) in your unit that track unit activities. Note, the link’s label is somewhat misleading. Whether your unit uses Scoutbook or not, since July 2021, all unit activity is tracked in Internet Advancement 2.0 (not Scoutbook). Recording Activities in Internet Advancement and Scoutbook – Scoutbook Knowledge Base (scouting.org)
What is a Unit PIN?
The Unit PIN is the “business card” that is listed on the BeAScout.org web site. This is used by families that are looking for units to join in their area. It is important that the information on your Unit PIN is current. Your unit Key 3 members can make updates to the Unit PIN through the my.scouting.org application (Menu, Organization Manager, Unit PIN).
I have two different BSA IDs. How do I merge them together?
Log into my.scouting.org. In the upper left corner click on Menu and then select Manage Member ID. Make sure that the Member ID you want is there and if it isn’t, ADD it. If it is for your primary position(s) make sure to set it as PRIMARY.
I tried to get into my https://my.scouting.org account, but cannot remember my security questions. Who do I call?
Ms. Diana Medina is the NCAC Information Technology Director. She can reset your password and/or help you get your username. Ms. Medina can be reached at 301-214-9177 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
How do I transfer a scout/Adult to another unit?
Unit leaders or the parent/guardian have the ability to transfer youth from their unit to another – such as in Arrow of Lights transferring to a Scouts BSA troop. Unit leader transfers are done in my.scouting.org on the “Roster” tab of Member Manager or Organization Manager. Transfers or multiple registrations for members or youth can be done under Menu > “My Application” tab. Note, there are no transfers processed during the Charter Renewal period.
At the receiving unit, Youth transfers are approved by unit leaders and adult transfers are approved by the COR or their designee. Note, adults can only be self-transferred using the “My Application” tab. When an adult transfers, they will need to answer the basic Youth Protection questions again and cannot transfer if their Criminal Background check is not completed.
Specific steps to complete this transfer are located here.
We transferred from overseas – how do we register with a unit in the NCAC?
You will be able to see you scout’s record in Scoutbook until your registration expires at the overseas location.
To transfer the scout, you will need a copy of the scout’s Unit Advancement Details Report. This can be obtained through the Registrar/Advancements Office at your previous council. Contact information is below:
- Far East Council – Asia-Pacific Region
- Transatlantic Council – Europe, Arab, Eurasia and Africa Regions
- Interamerican Region – North, Central, South American and the Caribbean
You have two options for joining a new unit:
- Hardcopy Application – Fill out a hardcopy application and attach the scout’s Unit Advancement Detail Report. Be sure to include your previous BSA ID on the form. Have the Cubmaster/Scoutmaster sign it and they will turn it in to NCAC for processing.
- Online Application – Fill out a transfer request on my.scouting.org or beascout.org and have the unit populate the scout’s rank information in Scoutbook.
For an adult transfer, just use the online application in my.scouting.org.
What is the Peace Light of Bethlehem?
Each year, a child from Upper Austria fetches the light/flame from the grotto in Bethlehem. The light is carried in two blast proof miners lamps on an Austrian Airlines jet from Tel Aviv Israel to Vienna Austria from where it is distributed at a Service of Dedication to delegations from across Europe who take it back, with a message of Peace, to their own countries. Austrian Airlines then flies the miners lamps containing the Peace Light from Bethlehem to New York City. The goal of this group is to help the light spread like the branches of a huge tree rooted in New York and spreading across the continent. More information about the travel of the Peace Light can be found here.
When are the Order of the Arrow elections?
OA election season runs from the first of November to the end of May each year. However, the first Ordeal is usually in April. Better to get the elections done early. Your OA member that attends the monthly meetings can let you know which unit you are paired with for elections.
I am in the Order of the Arrow. How do I pay my annual dues?
Go to the OA web page and there is a link to pay your dues. There is a discount for paying early.
I signed up for an NCAC event (University of Scouting) but cannot remember my classes.
You can always look up your registered events at https://scoutingevent.com. Select the Council you registered in (some people go to events in other Councils). In the upper right, click on Lookup Registration. A pop-up will appear and ask for your email and the course registration number. If you don’t remember the number, click on the bottom right – Forgot Registration Number (the system will send you an email with all your courses for the last several years – click on the correct one).
I am American Red Cross CPR/AED certified. Can I teach scouts and scouters?
In addition to being certified to teach by ARC, you must teach either directly for the Red Cross or via an Authorized Provider (AP). NCAC BSA is an AP, and they have negotiated a significant discount on the ARC Fees and are tax-exempt. However, BSA can only use that AP designation to teach people directly associated with BSA. Mr. Johnathan Bjornson (email@example.com) is the administrator for the AP and manages the instructor list. There are some units (Crews) that have their own AP Agreements with ARC.
Alternately, if you wish to teach classes for non-Scouts, you can establish your own AP Agreement with some incorporated institution, company or group. It is a one-page form you can get from the ARC by calling the ARC Help line at 800-RED-CROSS (800-733-2767).
Can my unit use TikTok?
There are no restrictions on the use of social media sites for appropriate Scouting activities/communication. The NCAC also has Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok accounts. To access preapproved content, artwork, and logos, visit Scoutingwire. Thejjh