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.
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.