Brooklyn families – welcome back to the Scout year! We’re excited to welcome all our returning families, and meet some new faces. If you are a returning family, you should have received an email requesting that you pre-register for upload into our new platform. If you are looking to sign up for the first time, please see below for the email that went out to the general community earlier this week. Do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions as well at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you interested in signing your child up to be a Scout in Brooklyn?
Brooklyn Scouts (http://www.5thbrooklynscouts.org) is an all-inclusive Scouting organization dedicated to providing a traditional Scout program to Brooklyn youth and their families, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, faith, or economic circumstances. We are part of the Baden-Powell Service Association (B-PSA) (http://www.bpsa-us.org) , a national volunteer-run Scouting organization whose programs are rooted in the belief that by focusing on the original dual core of Scouting–service and the outdoors–children and teens gain valuable skills, a deeper understanding for their community, and an appreciation for the natural environment that enrich both them and the communities in which they live over the course of their lives.
Brooklyn Scouts and their families participate in camping trips, nature and culture outings, service projects, fundraising and regular meetings. We have a great recent article on our organization from Brooklyn Based here (https://brooklynbased.com/2017/02/21/brooklyn-scouts-a-scouting-troop-for-everyone/) that goes into detail on our group.
With the Scouting year starting soon, Brooklyn Scouts would like to provide an update on registration and wait listing for our inclusive, gender-equal Scout troops.
- The flagship Park Slope based group that was known as 5th Brooklyn is now 5th Prospect Park. Chance Michaels has taken over as Group Scoutmaster (email@example.com). This group had to expand to two Timberwolf (grades 3 – 5) packs in 2016 to accommodate demand, and both packs are anticipated to be full this year. There is some remaining space in the Otter section (grades K – 2); please contact Liza “Ahmeek” Pagano, Otter Leader with inquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org (mailto:email@example.com) . This group meets 2 Thursdays a month at 6:15pm in Prospect Park or at the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture
- The new Fort Greene based group, the 67th Wallabout Bay, is expected to be at about 75% capacity in Otters and Timberwolves due to non-returning families. We are currently doing a head count and will know availability soon. I have taken over as Group Scoutmaster for this new group and can be contacted at
firstname.lastname@example.org (mailto:email@example.com) . This group meets 2 Tuesdays a month at 6:15pm at Underwood Park or at the Brooklyn Free School depending on weather
- We are still accepting Pathfinders for a group that will be unified for at least the first part of this year. This group will meet with the Prospect Park Pathfinders.
No Scout should ever have to miss out due to finances, so we have a very flexible “pay what you can” policy. Standard dues are $180 per year, $230 with a new uniform and books – but we are happy to reduce or waive payments wherever it’s needed.
- The new Ditmas Park based 89th Flatbush group is only accepting Timberwolves, but may accept Otters with Timberwolf siblings on a case by case basis. Contact co-GSMs Tom Kozak and Olgierd Bilanow at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on this group, including their schedule of events and fee structure (This group is managed independently of 5th Prospect Park and 67th Wallabout Bay)
What do I do if the only spaces available aren’t possible for my family?
We realize that due to space limitations, we cannot accommodate every family who wishes to join with a space in a preferred group near their home. This is why we are also actively working to launch NEW groups in Brooklyn. We are therefore seeking families to act as “anchors” to help us launch new groups, including another group based in Park Slope. Please email me at email@example.com (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org) if you can help us expand and grow our Scouting family!
How do I register for the wait list & when will I be notified of space?
If you would like to register for the wait lis (https://goo.gl/forms/ClG9jyF3ZMUVNPRu2) t, we will not have confirmed numbers until early to mid September once all returning families have re-registered. At that time, we will review the Scouts on the wait list and allocate space based on our group priorities. These are:
1. Family volunteer roles: finance and quartermaster are our top needs (as always), followed by Grubmasters and Leaders. You can find a detailed list of all volunteer roles & responsibilities here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1L0c_8kSlbM8LqxAgwzDccjjrqDApcdPGBRUMNfhpAoQ/edit?usp=sharing
2. Gender equality: we are working to equalize the gender balance in the group and encourage girls especially to join.
3. Diversity: Brooklyn Scouts is working to make our group look more like Brooklyn. We would like to welcome families of color and of all cultures and backgrounds to our group as we seek to make Scouting an open, equal opportunity for all.
If you are wait-listing for this fall, you may sign up on the form here :
Does this group require me to volunteer and if so, what role can I take on?
Volunteer participation is required for all parents with enrolled Scouts.
You can review all volunteer roles here:
The volunteer roles are developed so our leaders can focus on leading. If our leaders have to spend time doing jobs that are best managed by group volunteers, we do not have bandwidth to plan camps, outings, and service projects for the group. This in turn detracts from your Scout’s overall experience. If you do not believe that you are able to take on any volunteer work for the group, Brooklyn Scouts might not be the best fit for your family. It is also only through the hard work of all families that we are able to ensure our leaders and our key volunteers can continue to plan the events and curriculum that makes this beneficial and engaging for your Scouts. The more people there are to take on priority roles like Quartermaster, Grubmaster, camp planning, finance, outings coordinator, and admin, the more bandwidth you give back to the leaders so they may plan curriculum, and outings.
What else is expected of parents with Scouts in Brooklyn Scouts?
We do ask that parents engage with the group to ensure their children are able to get the most out of the Scout experience
- Spend time with your Scouts reviewing their badgework and accomplishments, and helping them work towards their next badges and awards
- Reading all emails from Scoutmasters and leaders, as well as reviewing materials posted to TroopTrack
- Attending all meetings (unless not possible due to illness or conflict). Scouts who miss meetings miss critical badgework and instruction, and also do not bond as well with their dens/Sixes/patrols. This leads to less engaged, disappointed Scouts who do not enjoy the experience.
- Participating in weekend camps and outings. This is where the Scouts really get the most out of the program, both through bonding with other Scouts, as well as experiencing the core of the Scouting outdoor experience.
- Participating in service projects and community involvement. We believe service and community involvement is very important to our Scouts, and teaches our children the value of service to others
- Otter Parents are also expected to either attend or have another adult in the immediate vicinity of Otter meetings, as well as attend all Otter camps and outings. Timberwolf Parents may drop off their Timberwolves at both meetings and camps as the Timberwolf program focuses on independence.
- Assist leaders where needed at meetings and and camping trips/outings
Why is the wait list form so long and detailed?
All the Brooklyn groups are in the process of testing a new platform called TroopTrack (https://trooptrack.com/) . This platform is designed for B-PSA groups and should have many of the features we need for parents and families to be able to easily manage their group involvement. In order to complete the transition to TroopTrack as easily as possible, we are asking that all families assist us by entering their family information into the [https://goo.gl/forms/ClG9jyF3ZMUVNPRu2]. By providing your information here on the Google Form, you will help us build a document that can be easily imported into the new system, thereby reducing the effort required by admin staff and GSMs. (The wait list doc contains the same fields for easy import so you won’t have to provide your info twice)
If you have any questions, please contact email@example.com (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org) for the 5th Prospect Park and 67th Wallabout Bay groups, email@example.com for the 89th Flatbush, or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to welcoming new families to our Scouting community!
Yours in Traditional Scouting,
67th Wallabout Bay B-PSA