What You Need to Know from the 2017 National Growth Conference

What You Need to Know from the 2017 National Growth Conference

If you missed last week’s Scouting Wire story highlighting the 2017 National Growth Conference, you’re in luck because it’s still available, and we’re giving you all the major take-aways you can use in your council today!

The 2017 National Growth Conference is designed to highlight successful implementation of the Membership Plan by local Scouting volunteers and professionals in addition to giving you information and inspiration as you work to further expand Scouting’s programs to more of our nation’s youth.

Where Scouting Grew

We recruited more Cub Scouts and organized more new units which are certainly positive indicators for the future. The Lion Pilot, STEM Scouts and Exploring programs all posted significant increases as well. Councils in the Western Region posted growth in 2016 and a total of 154 – nearly 60% of councils across the country – were up in membership.

“These are important times for the organization and we need your help to grow,” explained Randall Stephenson. “I know the impact Scouting had on my life as a youth, and I firmly believe we must adapt to reach the changing demographic of America.”

What’s New With the 2017 Membership Plan

The 2017 Membership Plan has the same four components as last year – Exploring Explosion, Build an Adventure, New Units and Pilot Programs. Continue reading to learn about how those components performed and what you can expect for the future.


  • A new engagement with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is bringing more career opportunities to youth across the country.
  • We’re continuing to offer Career Interest Surveys free online and offer a rebate for printed versions.
  • The Exploring Activity Library is continually refreshed with additional features. Everything you need to grow Exploring can be found at www.exploring.org.

Build An Adventure:

  • Last fall more than 408,000 Cubs were introduced to Scouting!
  • Traditional marketing tactics like fliers, posters, yard signs and billboards were supplemented with a significant social media effort and marketing playbooks. These efforts produced a 7% increase.
  • In addition to Hooked on Scouting, Rocket into Scouting, Science of Cub Scouting and Camping with Cub Scouts, we’re partnering with Daisy to add a playbook for On Target for Scouting. Note, this may not resonate with constituents in some areas, but for others this will be a great addition.

New Units:

  • New Units increased 3% from 2015.
  • 8 National Chartered Partners have expressed an interest in expanding their reach through Scouting.
  • We’re recognizing councils who grow units by mid-year with the distinctive Chief’s Growth Challenge coin.

New Markets:

  • STEM Scouts more than doubled in size and is now offered in 20 councils across the country. As many as an additional 20 councils are projected to join this fall.
  • Over 30,000 Kindergarten boys joined the ranks of Scouting in the first year of the Lion pilot.
  • The Pilots and Experimental Program Tracker has launched for councils to complete an application to run an experimental program they believe has the possibility to reach underserved markets and would be replicable in other councils.

Hear More Updates By Watching the Full 2017 National Growth Conference

This post was just a quick glimpse at all of the upcoming projects for Boy Scouts of America, and we’re excited to share the details with you via the 2017 National Growth Conference livestream. There you’ll hear more about online registration, the New Member Coordinator role, Adopt-A-School, and so much more!

Hayley Cordaro

Hayley Cordaro is a member of the Communications team at Boy Scouts of America. She loves sharing inspiring success stories and uncovering new ways volunteers and employees can make the most of their Scouting experience. If you have story ideas or questions, reach out to us at communications@scouting.org.


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What You Need to Know from the 2017 National Growth Conference
What You Need to Know from the 2017 National Growth Conference
What You Need to Know from the 2017 National Growth Conference