How the National Baptist Convention of America plans to grow Scouting

A new, two-year initiative launched by the National Baptist Convention of America International is aimed at growing Scouting in five states.

By focusing on Scouting in Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, New Mexico and Texas, church leaders are integrating the BSA’s life-changing programs into their missions.

The goal: recruit 200 new units by Dec. 31, 2018.

The Rev. Samuel Tolbert is president of the NBCA. He and five NBCA state presidents met with the BSA’s Gene Butler and Lee Shaw last month to cross the T’s and dot the I’s on the initiative.

“Scouting is a mission for the National Baptist Convention of America International Inc.,” Rev. Tolbert said. “We will focus on new unit and membership growth, reaching out to more families and youth through the Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Venturing and Exploring programs.”

With 3.5 million members in thousands of congregations nationwide, NBCA’s new-unit initiative surely will result in more Scouts joining this incredible movement.

The BSA’s existing memorandum of understanding with the NBCA will be updated in June.


  1. This is great news.

    What are Districts, Councils, and National going to do to support this initiative? It’s time for them to get involved in recruitment and advertising.

    Loving the NBCA’s plan for growth!

  2. I would like to see “The Plan” referred to. If you anyone could point me in the right direction to see this plan in writing to read about it and hopefully add my support.

  3. To be totally honest, I was going to blog over on LinkedIn about this and express my dissatisfaction with this “decision”. While I applaud ANY GROUP who wants to further Scouting (particularly in our urban and within our traditionally “hard to reach” areas), this reads to me to be a little short-sighted and a little “let’s do the bare minimum” to help the BSA along…

    It’s a half-step, in other words in *my estimation*.

    3.8 million members of some 3, almost 4 thousand Black congregations nationwide and they are focusing their efforts in the South and Southwestern parts of our nation.

    Many of their member churches are where we need Scouting more and more — in the Northeast, Midwest and Midsouth parts of our nation.

    A lot of their member churches at one time had Cub Scout Packs and Boy Scout Troops…instead of creating whole cloth units, how about encouraging and strengthening those churches by providing more adult leadership — paying for their leadership training, for instance (your national budget will allow for this), and sending a few more Black faces to Wood Badge and NYLT in those Councils.

    From my look, it appears that those Councils involved with the church’s assistance will organize 3 or 4 new units each year to make up its 200 unit commitment.

    Before the BSA signs off on this, I would certainly ask for the NBCA to assist ALL of their member churches around the nation to increase the number of adult volunteers, relieving those one and two leader Cub Scout Packs and Boy Scout Troops who have to meet together because, to be honest, the adult leadership simply isn’t there. If your member churches can produce some great quality singing and preaching, surely they can also produce some great quality volunteers who will spend “one hour a week” to provide young men with a character citizenship and personal and mental fitness program which is Scouting!

  4. May the “Master of All Scouts” provide this group guidance to lead us as individuals to grow the units for this most needed implementation of Scouting’s principals. When this happens, the Districts, and Councils have a history of following through in lockstep.

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