A Voice of the Scout survey goes out this week. Here’s why it’s worth your time

Voice of the Scout logo

Voice of the Scout, the BSA’s membership feedback program, isn’t merely a survey designed to collect data. It’s a way to amplify the voices of Scouts, parents and unit volunteers who might otherwise remain unheard.

The survey is designed to provide you with a direct channel to voice your opinion on all things Scouting. It’s the cornerstone of the BSA’s efforts to understand the perspectives, needs and aspirations of its members.

By participating in Voice of the Scout, your thoughts, suggestions and observations hold the potential to shape Scouting programs, policies and practices.

If you’ve been involved in Scouting for longer than 12 months and have a valid email address in your my.Scouting profile, you should receive a survey sometime this year, if you haven’t already.

Emails go out on the first Tuesday of March, June, September and December to Cub Scout parents, Scouts BSA parents with a child 13 or younger, Scout BSA youth 14 and over, Venturers, Sea Scouts, Explorers and registered unit leaders in all programs. Each email goes to 25% of those with valid email addresses, so each person will only get one survey per year.

How are responses from Voice of the Scout used?

Data from the Voice of the Scout surveys is used to:

  1. Enhance program quality. The survey serves as a compass guiding the refinement of Scouting programs. Feedback on activities, leadership and learning experiences empowers the BSA to shape its offerings to resonate with the needs and preferences of its members.
  2. Unveil areas of improvement. The survey acts as a spotlight, revealing areas that need attention. It addresses everything from communication gaps to safety measures, ensuring that concerns are met with prompt solutions.
  3. Measure satisfaction. The survey serves as a barometer of member satisfaction, enabling the BSA to compose strategies that foster engagement and loyalty.
  4. Inform strategic direction. As the BSA plans the trail ahead, insights from the survey become guiding stars. Long-term plans, goals and decisions find their roots in the feedback provided by the Scouting community.

Who gets the Voice of the Scout survey?

The survey gives voice to a wide spectrum of Scouting stakeholders:

  1. Youth members 14 and older. The beneficiaries of the Scouting program, whose feedback offers a candid glimpse into their experiences, challenges and moments of joy.
  2. Parents and guardians. Their perspectives are invaluable, shedding light on how the Scouting experience resonates with their children and family life.
  3. Volunteers and leaders. These pillars of support contribute profoundly to the Scouting program. Their feedback helps reveal the good and bad of their experiences and identify avenues to bolster their efforts.

How can I make sure I get the chance to contribute to Voice of the Scout?

  1. Keep your information current. Update your email address and other details within your my.Scouting profile to be part of the discourse.
  2. Check your spam folder. Check your spam folder around the first Tuesday of March, June, September and December. The sender of the survey email is “Voice of the Scout,” easily distinguishable among the rest.
  3. Complete the survey. The survey gives you two weeks to respond. It takes just a few minutes. You can respond on your computer, phone or tablet.
  4. Watch the timing. Not everybody receives the survey at the same time, and no one gets more than one survey per year. If you have already received a survey in the last year, you’ll get your next one the same month one year later. If you are new to Scouting, you will not receive an email until you have been in the program for at least 9 months.

How has Voice of the Scout shaped the BSA?

Data from Voice of the Scout surveys has at least in part helped the BSA:

  1. Allow Cub Scout family dens. Earlier this summer, family Cub Scout packs that serve both girls and boys were allowed to form dens with both girls and boys in kindergarten (Lion), first grade (Tiger), second grade (Wolf), third grade (Bear) and fourth-grade Webelos dens.
  2. Gain valuable insights on recruiting and marketing. Remember the story we did about what parents cherish about Cub Scouting? That very insight is derived from the Voice of the Scout.
  3. Decide to keep the printed Scouts BSA Handbook: Thanks to feedback from the survey, the Scouts BSA program retained physical handbooks, catering to diverse learning styles.

The Voice of the Scout survey is more than a survey. It’s your invitation to impact Scouting’s future. Your voice isn’t a statistic. It’s the force that propels change and shapes our Scouts’ experiences.

About Aaron Derr 457 Articles
Aaron Derr is the senior editor of Scout Life and Scouting magazines, and also a former Cubmaster and Scouts BSA volunteer.