September 20, 2016
Dear Scouting Volunteer,
For several months now, our Council has been discussing alternative ways to generate the revenue necessary to fund our local programs. Of these, the method garnering the most support throughout the organization involves the institution of a Council Wide Family Program or Service Fee. Our Council held numerous “Fireside Chats” throughout the spring and fall to answer questions, and to get feedback from our families on this concept.
And we have listened. Our volunteer Executive Board met towards the end of August to discuss the matter in greater depth, and they determined while they felt something needed to be done, they were not able to reach a consensus as to an appropriate fee amount, how it would be structured and implemented, etc.
So what does that mean? What happens next?
Our Board has asked me to assemble a task force of volunteers made up of local unit, district, and board leaders from each of our service areas. This group will meet over the next several weeks, and is tasked with working through some of these questions, and presenting our Executive Board with a Resolution for their October 19th Board Meeting.
Please be aware that our intent is that should a resolution be passed, it will allow plenty of time to both communicate the message to our families, and implement the process itself. For those units currently collecting fees for things such as school nights and the recharter process, I do not believe that you need to collect additional fees at this time.
I will continue to remain in contact with you throughout this process. Should you have questions or concerns related to this, or any other issue in the meantime please do not hesitate to contact me at JerseyShore.Council@Scouting.org. Thank you for everything you are doing to help provide a quality program for our young people, and for all of your support.
October 9, 2015
Dear fellow Scouters,
Welcome to another exciting year of Scouting here at the Jersey Shore! Now that we’ve (hopefully) gotten the kids settled into their school routines, and are organizing our Scouting year I wanted to take a moment to say thank you on behalf of our children, and let you know about some of the exciting things taking place this fall.
If your family is just starting its’ Scouting journey … welcome! Scouting is a wonderful program that will help teach your children character, leadership, and instill in them a sense of positive achievement. To learn more about how your family can make the most of Scouting, please take a moment to view our new FAMILY ORIENTATION GUIDES. For those of us who are returning Scouters, and getting ready to welcome new families into Scouting you may find these guides helpful in explaining Scouting to your newer families.
This fall, thousands of new children will join the ranks of Scouting … are you ready to welcome them? To help plan your fall Open Houses, Boy Talks, etc. please take a moment to view our FALL MEMBERSHIP GUIDE. It will help you develop your fall recruitment plan, share tips and tricks for a successful open house, and let you know what support is available to help your unit succeed.
With new Scout Families, comes new Scout Leaders! If you have agreed to serve as a new Scout Leader, thank you … and don’t worry! We have a wealth of resources to help orient you in your new position. Your unit leader can help steer you in the right direction, and please mark your calendar for our FALL TRAINING WEEKEND taking place the first weekend in November at the Citta Scout Reservation, located in Barnegat, NJ. If you can’t make that date, please don’t worry … simply contact us at the Council Service Center, and we will help find a time that fits in with your schedule.
Like other activities, Scouting Units need financial assistance in order to have the quality activities they want for their children. Our Council has two wonderful opportunities to help fund a quality Scouting year for your boys. For the past 30 years, the TRAILS END POPCORN CAMPAIGN has helped fund Scouting programs … it offers a direct commission of up to 43% for the boys, has a great prize program, and even offers the potential for children to earn a college scholarship! And most of all, it’s easy! Or if you prefer, our Council also has (a few) leftover CAMP DISCOUNT CARDS … These $5 cards include hundreds of discounts throughout the area, including a $5 Shop Rite coupon (people automatically get their money back!) and are extremely easy for anyone to sell.
However, far and away the best part of Scouting in the fall is all the activities! Whether it’s a Fall Camporee, Webelos Woods, Merit Badge Fair, or simply camping at CITTA SCOUT RESERVATION, there are few things more fun than being outdoors with your friends in the fall. One great activity coming up later in October is our annual OPERATION HALLOWEEN. Now in its’ fourth year at Citta Scout Reservation, this event offers something for the whole family … face-painting and family activities like hayrides for younger children during the day, and at night … Haunted Hayrides and the Zombie Apocalypse! Trust me, if you’re a Halloween fan, you’ll want to join us the weekend of October 23rd at camp!
What are your Boy Scouts doing between Christmas and New Year’s? Why not join us at camp for WINTER THUNDER?!?! This great activity introduces boys to the concept of winter camping, and allows them the chance to earn a few Merit Badges, and get a jump on their advancement for the year.
Of course, fall also represents a time for us to give back. The weekends of November 13th and November 20th is our annual SCOUTING FOR FOOD Campaign, where thousands of Scout families go into the community, and ask for help in collecting food to help those less fortunate than ourselves. This annual drive collects hundreds of thousands of food items for local food pantries in your area, who are desperate for our support at that time of year.
We are so excited to have you as part of our Scouting Family for the 2015-2016 year! Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call us at either the Clayton Service Center (732) 349-1037 or Galloway Service Center (609) 272-6820 at any time. Thank you so much for your support, and I look forward to seeing you on the Scouting Trail!
May 21, 2015
Dear Jersey Shore Scouting Family,
This morning at our Annual Business Meeting, Boy Scouts of America National President Dr. Robert Gates informed our membership that the National Executive Board will be examining the current national membership standards policy for adult leaders. Please note that no specific changes were announced at the meeting, nor was a timetable set. Below you will find a link to hear Dr. Gates' comments directly.
As more information becomes available, I will be sure to share it with you. While this announcement is sure to generate discussion in the media, I would ask you to join me in staying focused on our core mission - providing a quality program of character, leadership and achievement to children throughout the Jersey Shore. To help further that goal, I would ask that should you be contacted, please direct any inquiries to my attention at James.Gillick@Scouting.org.
In the meantime, on behalf of the 6,000 children who lives are made better through your efforts, thank you for your support of Scouting.
WATCH: Dr. Robert M. Gates' Speech at 2015 BSA National Annual Meeting
May 19, 2015
New Animation Badge Draws on Scouts’ Interest in Animation
Many kids dream of being a movie star, but in animated films, the stars are those behind the scenes making the characters come to life. Animators do more than produce movies and cartoons, they’re also the artists behind the latest 3-D games and smartphone app graphics that give us simulations of what planets in other galaxies could look like. It’s an exciting world that Scouts will now get to experience thanks to the addition of the Animation Badge. It’s the 136th merit badge in Boy Scouts of America’s bank of programs available to Scouts nationwide.
“Boy Scouts of America programs are designed to reflect the changing interests of our youth members and the new merit badge is just one way the BSA continues to evolve its programs to give Scouts unique experiences they can’t get anywhere else,” said Jim Gillick, Scout Executive. “As Scouts become more interested in STEM-related topics, BSA is excited to expand its merit badge offerings to continue to show youth the exciting careers possible in these fields.”
Earning this badge will take more than watching a few animated movies, though. Scouts will need to demonstrate their knowledge of animation and its rich history. To help make the learning process more engaging and fun, an animated short film called “Baxter” was developed to demonstrate animation. After learning the basics, Scouts will complete hands-on design projects, have opportunities to participate in virtual or in-person tours of animation studios and businesses, and meet with career professionals to explore future opportunities.
The animation merit badge is the first to be delivered to Scouts in digital as well as print form. The digital functionality enables Scouts to achieve this merit badge using their wireless device and provides a new level of convenience and interactivity young people have become accustomed to. Complete with search capabilities and compelling visuals, the new digital format brings the merit badge to life with live examples to further engage and educate Scouts. And BSA is one of the first to make an interactive book like this to young people in this age group! Look for this capability to roll out to other merit badges in the near future.
To develop this robust program, the BSA partnered with several animation experts, including the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), to identify which components of animation would most appeal to youth and provide them with a window into the potential career opportunities this skill can provide.
Development of this merit badge began in 2014 when the merit badge committee identified animation as an interest among Scouts and teamed up with several animation experts. This team contributed their expertise in outlining the qualifications and projects now included in the merit badge curriculum and will begin hosting introductory sessions for Scouts in May 2015.
Tony Stanley, a Scout leader and animation professional who has been working closely with the BSA to develop this merit badge, said, “The merit badge is a great addition to the BSA program as it teaches youth the basics of animation from seasoned experts — and that’s hard to come by for youth at this age. Just like any other STEM career, it’s important for kids to gain hands-on experience to understand their passions and guide their career path.”
Rick Folea, the animation merit badge team lead and senior technical marketer for AnimationDirect.com, added, “Animation as a career or a hobby is all about teamwork, leadership and communication — the same values represented by Scouting. This merit badge is a natural fit.”
The animation merit badge is available to youth members, ages 11-18, who participate in the Boy Scouts program. For more information about the merit badge program, visit www.scouting.org/meritbadges.