In many communities, the mission to grow Scouting begins at schools. Oftentimes, that’s where young people first learn about Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. The alignment between schools and Scouting is natural. Leadership development is a priority of both educators and Scouting.
As we dive into recruitment season, district executives are invited to leverage a variety of tools that will help strengthen the connection between schools and Scouting, including school access bills in many states across the country. Continue reading to learn more about school access bills and additional ways Scouting and schools are working together to promote the importance of civics, preparedness and service to the community.
What Is a School Access Bill?
School access bills serve to strengthen opportunities between Scouting and schools. These bills designate that school principals allow patriotic organizations, such as the Boy Scouts of America, to speak to students during regular school hours about membership in the program. Currently, school access bills have been passed in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, North Carolina, and as of September 1, Texas. We expect the momentum to continue in more states, as well.
What Can a School Access Bill Do for Scouting?
Under the leadership of Terry Bramlett, Chairman of the Education Relationships Committee, we’ve seen great success in partnering with schools in states where bills have been passed.
These laws empower principals whose boards of trustees may have previously advised against such presentations out of concern that allowing one group to present would require the school to host similar presentations from many other organizations.
How to Partner with Schools This Recruitment Season
The Boy Scouts of America offers several programs to celebrate and strengthen our connection with schools, including the Adopt-A-School Program and the Elbert K. Fretwell Outstanding Educator Award.
As district executives introduce themselves to school administrators, we encourage DEs to foster the spirit of support for education in the community by discussing such programs. These conversations not only work to strengthen relationships with schools and Scouting, but they also help to meet the needs of local schools.
If school administration is unsure about how Scouting can benefit their schools, district executives are encouraged to point to this new legislation as a tool to reinforce the bond between schools and Scouting.
The BSA appreciates the support of many state legislatures that ensure all students have the chance to learn about the educational and service opportunities Scouting can provide. For questions or to learn more about Scouting and school access in your communities please reach out to Lee Shaw at Lee.Shaw@scouting.org.
Other resources available include:
- Report to the School District. Here is a link to the site: https://scoutingwire.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/522-057-Report-to-the-School-District.pdf
- School Access Training Module. Here is the link: https://scoutingwire.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/522-060_17SchoolIssuesFPO.pdf