The Scouts BSA program is meant to be led by youth and guided by adults. The National Youth Council — a group of youth that will help shape the future of the Scouts BSA program — is an extension of that philosophy.
The National Youth Council is made up of 30 youth with a wide range of experiences and backgrounds from councils across all areas served by the BSA. Their job is to share their perspectives on the program’s strengths and growth areas, and to initiate discussions on which topics should be important moving forward.
As the National Scouts BSA Committee develops programmatic ideas, the council has the opportunity to provide feedback and offer their thoughts.
“The Scouts BSA program is youth-led, and our vision as an organization is to prepare youth to become responsible, participating citizens and leaders,” says Angelique Minett, chair of the Scouts BSA committee. “We want to live our values and allow our youth to have an active role in the leadership structure of their own program.”
What is the National Youth Council?
Created in 2021, the National Youth Council requires its members to serve a one-year term. A new council with different members is formed for the next year. I’m calling this version the 2023-24 National Youth Council because its members will serve from November 2023 to April 2024.
During that time, the council will meet virtually once per month. Overall, the anticipated time commitment is around 3 hours per month, including the virtual meeting and other pre-meeting and post-meeting duties.
The first meeting is set for Nov. 5 from 7-9 p.m. Eastern. The council will continue to meet at that time the first Sunday of each month.
Who is eligible to serve on the National Youth Council?
The first requirement is that youth on the council must be available to meet on Sunday evenings and have the technology required to participate in Zoom meetings. (They do not need to purchase a Zoom license; the basic, free version will work just fine.)
After that, the National Youth Council members must be:
- currently a member of the Scouts BSA program;
- First Class rank or higher;
- at least 14 years old and not yet 18 during the entire term (Nov. 1, 2023-April 30, 2024);
- currently serving or having previously served in a position of responsibility in a Scouts BSA troop.
There is no cost to participate.
What is the application process like?
The first step is to ask a parent or legal guardian for permission to apply for the National Youth Council. The parent or legal guardian will have to submit a permission slip for the application to be considered.
The application will take about 90 minutes to complete and must be finished in one sitting. The Scout cannot save an application and return later, so make sure they block out enough time to fill out the entire thing.
The Scout will be asked to share some basic information about themselves and their parent/guardian, along with details about their Scouting experience, including positions held, honors, and awards earned, along with any council or national events they’ve attended or staffed.
The Scout should Be Prepared to answer questions such as:
- Why are you interested in joining the Scouts BSA National Youth Council?
- What 1-3 ideas do you have to improve the Scouts BSA program? Explain why you believe each idea would improve the program.
- What is one thing you would never change about the Scouts BSA program? Why not?
- What should Scouts BSA change in order to recruit more of your friends who don’t already participate?
Interested Scouts can apply between now and Aug. 31, 2023.
Applicants will be notified of the selection decision via email by Oct. 6, 2023.
Please note that many Scouts will apply, and not all will be accepted.
For more information about the National Youth Council, send an email to the Scouts BSA committee.