Last night I was listening to the live podcast An Hour A Week with Cubmaster Chris. Chris is a great guy and a partner of mine in the PTC media podcast. He brought up the topic of Scoutparents.org.
Scoutparents.org is a program designed to engage Parents, especially those new to Scouting, getting them to be active participants within the units their son participates in.
As the conversation went on I was called in to talk about a comment I made in the chat room that shadows the show.
The comment had something to do with the fact that we need the Scoutparents.org site and program because units do not do it right to start with.
“Do it right”?
Yes, Do it right. IF units (COMMITTEES) were fully staffed and executed the program correctly, they would already be engaging parents and soliciting from them the much needed help that often find ourselves in need of.
IF unit committees were defining the jobs of the committee and seeking qualified help to fill vacant positions, or ask for help in subcommittees, or fundraising drives, or providing program help. Then we would not need the materials from Scoutparents.org.
But as it is… units have not been doing right and so Scoutparents.org came to the rescue.
Scoutparents.org started in Georgia by a Scouter named Gerald Lawhorn.
“All parents of Scouts should be encouraged to be a volunteer and make it known that they desire to participate, help and enjoy Scouting with their child. Those that choose to will be the ones who become ScoutParents or other Dedicated Scouting volunteers.” One of Scoutmaster Mr. g’s quotes: “Scouts of ‘drop off’ parents generally drop out!”
The BSA adopted the ScoutParents.org program after a pilot session in the Central region. Councils now have ScoutParent coordinators and after some training, the program is surely going to raise retention rates and increase participation.
Out of the necessity of units not doing it right ScoutParents.org was born. Not according to Gerald Lawhorn, according to me. Some units have been doing this sort of thing in the course of their annual programs. ScoutParents.org put it all together in a neat package that is worth every penny.
Remember that the program is not about Parents, or Scout leaders.. its about those boys.
And anything that we can do to provide a better program, retain young men, and grow Scouting we need to put our effort into it.
ScoutParents.org is a great program and is going to have a lasting impact on units and Scouts.
Visit their site at http://www.scoutparents.org/ and get involved at the unit level by becoming a ScoutParent mentor, unit coordinator, or be a part of the ScoutParent family team. You can get details at their website, or check with your Council office.
Have a Great Scouting Day!