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Site updated 16-AUG-2019

Order of the Arrow Brotherhood Membership Requirements Changed

Effective 10 June 2019, only 6 months of service as an Ordeal member is required to be eligible to take part in the Brotherhood ceremony.  All other requirements for Brotherhood membership are unchanged.

For a full explanation of this change and all Order of the Arrow membership requirements, visit the Membership page on OA-BSA.org.


Order of the Arrow Election Changes

Beginning 1 February 2019, Order of the Arrow elections are permitted in Scouts BSA Troops, Venturing Crews, and Sea Scout Ships.  Also, the camping and rank requirements for membership have changed.

For a full explanation, visit the Membership page on OA-BSA.org.


2019 Merit Badge Requirement Changes

National Council has changed the requirements of the following merit badges:

Required Merit Badges:
Communication, First Aid, Lifesaving, Personal Management

Elective Merit Badges:
American Business, American Labor, Archery, Bird Study, Fly-Fishing, Forestry, Geocaching, Golf, Law, Motorboating, Railroading, Reptile and Amphibian Study, Rifle Shooting, Rowing, Scouting Heritage, Soil and Water Conservation, Woodwork

A detailed list of the changed requirements for each of these merit badges is available on the "Scouts BSA" page.  Just open this link and follow the "Merit Badges" link.

The current requirements for each merit badge can be downloaded from the Merit Badges page on Scouting.org.


"Scouts BSA" Brand Guidance Training

In preparation for the startup of girl troops in the renamed "Scouts BSA" program on 1 February 2019, National Council has released a new training to provide guidance on the proper use of the name "Scouts BSA."

The training, titled "Scouts BSA Brand Guidance Training -- A Step-by-Step Guide to Using BSA Brands Given GSUSA Litigation," gives examples of proper and improper ways of using "Scouts BSA" when talking or writing about girls registered in the program or about girl troops.  It also identifies acceptable and unacceptable "Scouts BSA" marketing materials -- logos, images, posters, and the like.

A key takeaway from the training is that the proper use of the new name, also called the new brand, as well as only using acceptable marketing materials, will avoid confusing the public about the difference between Scouts BSA girl troops authorized by the BSA (Boy Scouts of America) and Girl Scout troops authorized by the GSUSA (Girl Scouts of the United States of America).

Unit leaders should download the PDF copy of the new training, review it carefully, and distribute it to all registered adults in their units.

You can download the PDF copy of the Scouts BSA Brand Guidance Training using this link.


BeAScout.org Links on SenecaDistrict.org

National Council has recently completed a major update of BeAScout.org, the BSA's "find a Scouting unit near you" website, and a key element of the "Scout Me In" recruitment campaign.  The update makes it possible for each and every unit in Seneca District to appear on the Web, even if a unit has no website or social media account.

Here's how it works.  BeAScout.org creates a contact page for each unit in its database and a link to go with it -- a link that can be sent by e-mail, shared on social media, and added to other websites.  Using the third choice, each Seneca unit's contact page link has been added to the district website, SenecaDistrict.org.  Links for packs are on the
"Cub Scouts" page, links for troops are on the
"Scouts BSA" page, and links for crews are on the
"Venturers" page.

Since these three program pages are visible to any search engine, anyone searching the Web for a Seneca unit should be able to find SenecaDistrict.org and use the unit's contact page to get in touch.

How exactly are the contact pages linked?  If a unit has a website or social media account, the link is the letter "r" in parentheses next to a unit's number (i.e. (r), which stands for "Request More Information").  Otherwise, the link is the unit's number.


Unit Websites and Official BSA Forms

Some Seneca units are storing official BSA forms, from both the National Council and the Great Trail Council, on their website.  These documents include the Youth Application, the Adult Application, and the Annual Health and Medical Record.

No doubt done as a convenience for unit members, this practice should stop.  Instead of storing such forms on a unit's website, it is best to link to the official download pages on National Council's website, Scouting.org, and the Great Trail Council's website, GTCbsa.org.

By linking to the official download pages, your unit will always have direct access to the current versions of official BSA forms.  Forms will never be rejected because they're out of date, and your unit's webmaster won't need to spend any time checking for the latest forms and uploading them to your unit's website.

Links to download pages do change, but not that often.  If a link does change, there's a good chance you'll be automatically redirected to the new page.  If not, at worst, your unit's webmaster will need to update that link.

To save your webmaster time, here are the links to some key download pages:

National Council Forms

The Youth and Adult Applications can be found on this page:
Scouting Forms from the National Council

The Annual Health and Medical Record can be found on this page:
Annual Health and Medical Record

Great Trail Council Forms

GTC Forms can be found on this page:
Council Forms and Resources


SenecaDistrict.org Post Archives

Looking for an old post?  If you can't find it on this page, look for it in the Post Archives.


Seneca District

Great Trail Council

National Council