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Site updated 18-MAR-2019

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.


Eagle Scout Split at the March Roundtable

There will be a special Eagle Scout split at the March Roundtable on Thursday the 14th.  This split will be separate from the regular Scout split.

Though all are welcome, this split is intended for Scouters, particularly unit Advancement Chairs, regularly involved with Eagle advancement and Boards of Review.  Scouters preparing to move into these positions are encouraged to attend.  If you're not a regular at Seneca Roundtables, please try to rearrange your schedule -- or get someone to fill in for you -- in order to attend.

Why a separate Eagle Scout split? With the many changes to Eagle at the district, council, and national levels, a separate split will have enough time to explain all of them in detail and still leave plenty of time for questions and discussion.

Topics to be covered include:
1) Changes to the mechanics of Seneca District Eagle Service Project Proposal Reviews and Eagle Boards of Review.
2) The Great Trail Council's new Outstanding Eagle Service Project recognition program.
3) National Council's new, limited time option to request an extension for earning Eagle -- an option brought about by the membership change allowing girls to join Scouts BSA beginning on 1 Feb. of this year.
4) Current requirements for Eagle.
5) Changes to the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook, the Eagle Rank Application, and other Eagle forms.

If you have a particular Eagle question or issue you'd like to have addressed at the split, use this link to send an e-mail explaining it.


Call for Nominations - Seneca District Annual Volunteer Recognition Night

At the April Roundtable, Seneca District will hold its annual Volunteer Recognition Night to publicly honor volunteer Scouters in the district who have, during the past charter year, demonstrated exceptional dedication and outstanding service to Scouts and Scouting. We will also recognize district units that have, during the past charter year, conducted outstanding programs that delivered the Promise of Scouting.

The success of this evening of recognition depends on you.  We need your nominations of individuals for Leader of the Year Awards in the following categories:  Cubmaster, Den Leader, Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster, Crew Advisor, and Unit Committee Chair.  We also need your nominations of packs, troops, crews, and posts for the Clyde Hazle Award for program excellence.

We are also accepting nominations for two additional awards for individuals.  The first award is the District Award of Merit, a council award presented by the district, which recognizes Scouters who have rendered outstanding volunteer service at the district level.  The second award is the Silver Beaver Award, a national award presented by the council, which recognizes Scouters who have rendered noteworthy volunteer service of exceptional character to youth within the territory under jurisdiction of the council.

Nomination forms for all these awards are available on the "Forms & Documents" page under the heading "Seneca District Awards."

Nominations should be submitted to Rob Balash, the Seneca District Executive, in person or by mail.

The deadline for Silver Beaver Award nominations is Friday, 8 March 2019.  The deadline for all other nominations is Friday, 15 March 2019.


"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