Update your BeAScout pin today, so future Scouting families can find you tomorrow

Today’s parents can do it all online. With a few taps on their tablet, they can buy school supplies, sign up for soccer or hire a babysitter.

And, more and more these days, they’re finding out about Scouting online, too. Today’s parents want, and expect, to learn more about the BSA through a simple-to-use, nicely designed website.

BeAScout.org is that website. It is the first thing many prospective Scouting families see about the BSA, and it tells them what Scouting is, why it’s a good fit for their family and where they can find a pack, troop, crew or ship near them.

That last part — the where — is where you come in. It’s time to update your unit’s listing on BeAScout.org, and I’ll tell you why.

You see, when moms and dads visit BeAScout.org, they can enter their ZIP code to find all the Scout units near them.

These results show up as pins, with each representing a pack, troop or crew nearby.

If your unit is one of those pins, you want that prospective Scout parent to have a direct line of communication to you. That way you can tell them all about how awesome Pack 123 is or what makes Troop 456 so great.

There’s just one problem: some units haven’t updated their pins, meaning there’s an extra obstacle between you and a new member of your unit.

But don’t worry. Updating your pin is easy, and it’s well worth your time.

Two types of pins

There are two types of BeAScout.org pins: council-owned and unit-owned.

Council-owned pins give parents the council’s website or phone number. Unit-owned pins allow parents to communicate their interest directly to the unit leader.

Here’s what the difference looks like on BeAScout.org:

You can see that updating your pin is the way to go. But how’s it done?

How to update your BeAScout.org pin and who can do it

This Scouting Wire post outlines the steps for updating your BeAScout.org pin.

It’s simple, and it’s a good way to make sure your information is current — that it doesn’t list last year’s Cubmaster or meeting time, for example.

Not all adult volunteers can manage the unit’s pin. The capability is restricted to the primary unit leader, unit committee chair and chartered organization representative.

Parents incoming

Last year, there were more than 600,000 visits to BeAScout.org. This year, that number could be even higher.

That’s because the BSA will put some money into paid search results and boosted posts on Facebook — both directing traffic to BeAScout.org. That will ensure that prospective Scouting families come out in full force to the site this fall.

Once there, they’ll learn about Scouting, find units and access the lead form and membership application in the BSA’s new online registration system.

11 Comments

  1. What is not mentioned in this article is that they did something recently (my guess is when they set up the toggle for Council Owned and Unit Owned Pins) that reverted every unit that had previously loaded their contact information on the web site back to a Council Owned Pin. So if you had already loaded your Unit Information, it would be a good idea to go back and check to make sure your pin has your unit contact information vs your Councils.

      • It does middletownscouter. When your council is live on online applications. You changed When apply status to active and you will receive an additional bubble to apply now under Request more Information

  2. What if your unit does not have a pin? How do we get on the map? Our troop has been part of Central Georgia Council since 2014 and we have rechartered every year since.

    • How to Update Your BeAScout Pin
      1.The unit leader (Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, crew advisor, along with the unit committee chair and the chartered organization rep) must update the BeAScout pin by logging into their my.Scouting Tools account.
      2.From the top left menu, select Legacy Web Tools and then BeAScout.
      3.Set your unit’s pin status to Active.
      4.Select Unit Mode in the Unit Pin Mode drop-down menu.
      5.Enter your unit’s current information and save!

  3. If your council has rolled out online registration, I suspect units should consider setting the “Apply Status” dropdown to [Active]. Or perhaps seek guidance on the matter from their district professionals. The very good http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/BeAScout_UnitPin_Management.pdf document doesn’t mention the “Apply Status” field at all, probably because online registration wasn’t yet in place. I have one unit that has done this and their Be A Scout pin information now has an [Apply Now] button in addition to the previous [More Information] button.

  4. There are several points of failure in the BeAScout.org system, and many of them lie at the unit level:

    1. There will always be units with incorrect info–and my hunch is this is a significant percentage of active units. Reminding people to fix their listing will help, but not solve, this issue.

    2. Of the units with correct info, many of the leaders who are listed simply do not login very often (or at all) to see if there are any prospective scouts/parents waiting for more information. Others are simply poor at responding to email.

    3. I’ve heard from leaders who have had difficulty using the interface to respond.

    4. I have seen firsthand that the response mechanism results in blank emails going out to prospects, to no response being sent at all.

    5. District Executives simply do not have the time, the drive, or the experience to police follow-ups with their units.

    I experienced some of these issues firsthand as both a parent (who reached out to a unit for my son and never received a reply) and later, as a volunteer (who tested the system with four different units in a council and received only a single response that read “I’m having trouble with the system–let me know if you receive this”).

    600,000 visits a year–how many of those Scouts are falling through those cracks, never to return?

    There are a few possible solutions:

    1. Require EVERY unit to confirm their listing and designate a BeAScout.org contact each year at the point of rechartering.
    2. Assign a Council-level employee to follow up directly with every BeAScout.org lead to shepherd them to a scheduled unit meeting.
    3. Instead of funneling parents to BeAScout.org, Councils could bypass BeAScout.org entirely and set up their own system with fewer levels of responsibility.

    BeAScout.org is good in theory, but poor in execution. It presents an organized system to prospective parents, but then shifts all the responsibility to DEs and disassociated or untrained volunteers. It needs to be reexamined from the top down PRIOR to promoting paid search or social media marketing. Sending more people to a broken system will only help more people decide that Scouting’s not right for their family!

    • Under the new online registration system that went line in August, all requests for information and applications are logged in my.scouting and not only can the unit see them,all the commissioners within the district can see them along with the number of days they have been sitting in the system waiting to be acted upon. Under the old system, the unit key 3 would get a notice of inquiry that they needed to log in and act upon. Nobody else could see it or know it was there.

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