Just a few years ago, the announcements portion at a Scout meeting went something like this: “Check the bulletin board for details about the weekend camp-out, and make sure to write down April 10-12 in your calendars. Here’s a handout.”
Now, you might hear this: “Check out the troop Web site or Facebook page for details about the weekend camp-out, and don’t miss our weekly podcast. We’ll also be sending out an e-mail reminder for the trip that you can check on your Blackberry, iPhone, desktop, or laptop. We will let you know about last-minute changes via text message, and, as always, check Twitter for some helpful tips to get you ready.”
Whew! Now that may look a little extreme, but it’s not too far from the truth. Scouting units across the country have embraced technology as a way to keep in touch with increasingly busy Scouting families. Keep reading for the complete story.
For more proof of the tech-savvy BSA we looked in our own backyard: the national office of the Boy Scouts of America.
The BSA has its own Facebook page and Twitter account. And 12,000 members have discovered Scouting Community, a social networking site where volunteers are already busy sharing ideas and information about Scouting.
Facebook, the social networking phenomenon that made its name on college campuses, now has members of all ages. Become a “fan” of the BSA, and your Facebook friends will know of your passion for Scouting. Let’s be honest, your friends will find that information more useful than the fact that your favorite movie is “Airplane!”
Twitter, a “micro-blogging” service that allows users to post 140-character-or-less blasts of information, also gets the BSA treatment. When you're done reading that your buddy Patrick had a tuna sandwich for lunch, follow the BSA’s Twitter feed and get breaking news straight from the source.
Like it or not, the technological revolution has arrived. Twitter has six million users, and more than 175 million people have Facebook accounts. The BSA is harnessing the reach of this technology, so shouldn’t you?
Chime in: How has your unit embraced technology to make things easier for your Scouts? Let us know in the comments section.