How the BSA is using email to welcome new families into Scouting

When you buy an iPhone, Apple sends you a series of emails to help you get the most out of your new device.

A new initiative from the BSA aims to bring that same concept into the world of Scouting.

The series of customized emails welcomes Cub Scout volunteers and parents to the Scouting family. By the time they’ve received the final email in the series, recipients will feel prepared for the exciting journey ahead.

More than 35,000 Cub Scout families have received the emails so far, and feedback has been positive.

I asked Marjorie Johnson, the BSA’s email marketing manager, for more info. Here’s what you need to know, whether you’re a new Scouting family who received these emails or a longtime volunteer interested in knowing what’s being sent to the new families in your pack.

Who gets the emails?

The emails go to parents or volunteers who signed up for a Cub Scout pack using online registration.

They’re designed to feel welcoming to all members of the family, meaning parents of Cub Scout boys will see images of boy Cub Scouts, while parents of Cub Scout girls will see images of girl Cub Scouts.

As for parents or volunteers who signed up using offline registration, a series of emails for them is in development.

What’s in the emails?

Each email contains bite-size chunks of essential info to help parents and Scout leaders get the most out of Scouting. These are resources parents will want to bookmark so they can reference them later.

  • Email 1: Welcome (sent upon registration approval)
    • Parents: Welcome, pack contact info, video from real Scouting families
    • Volunteers: My.Scouting info, training, pack contact info
  • Email 2: Welcome From Unit (sent the day after joining)
    • Parents and volunteers: Customized content provided by unit
  • Email 3: Gear (sent three days after joining)
    • Parents: Cub Scout uniform, handbook, Scout Shop info
    • Volunteers: Cub Scout leader’s uniform, handbooks and guide books for leaders, Scout Shop info
  • Email 4: Resources (sent seven days after joining)
    • Parents and volunteers: Online resources to get questions answered, such as the order of Cub Scout ranks and how to volunteer
  • Email 5: Boys’ Life (sent 14 days after joining)
    • Parents: Parents who did not subscribe to BL when they registered will learn how to get the official magazine of the BSA.

The emails are designed to support — but not usurp — any type of communications a local Scout council might be doing. That’s why they don’t cover specific unit reminders, such as pack meeting times, or council info, like camporees.

OK, but what specifically is in the emails?

Here’s what they look like.

The emails are customized based on the Cub Scouts’ gender.

What’s coming soon?

  • An email series for Cub Scout families who signed up using offline registration.
  • An email series for other BSA programs, such as Scouts BSA.
  • An email series with information specifically tailored to your Scouting position.

That, plus the original email series is always evolving based on feedback from volunteers.

What if I haven’t received the emails?

If you’ve made sure the email wasn’t flagged as spam/junk, your next step is to update your email address in your My.Scouting.org account. Go to “My Dashboard” and then ‘My Profile.”

You won’t get the emails you missed, but you will stay in the know with all future emails from the BSA.