West Side Sector (WSS)
Wapehani & White River Trails Districts
Proudly serving the youth and families of Brown, Daviess, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Monroe, Morgan, Orange and Owen Counties.
New Sector Management Team!
For Scouting to happen in the communities the Council serves, it takes many awesome adult volunteers to make things happen. Like a committee at the unit level, there is a Sector Management Team that oversees key areas that make up the overall program. Scouters with various skills and expertise are sought after to serve for a period to ensure membership, advancement, training, programming, and finance are managed in a way to meet that successfully meet goals and challenges for sustaining Scouting. It is my pleasure to introduce the Sector Management Team: James Smith, Sector Chair; Valerie Dewar, Co-Commissioner for Westside North; Frank Dixon, Co-Commissioner for Westside South; Tony Zizak, Program Chair; Jerry Hill, Co-Membership Chair-Westside South; Art Collins, Co Membership Chair-Westside North; and Amber Kent, Communications and Marketing Chair. Much gratitude is due to these passionate Scouters for their willingness to serve the communities on the westside of the Council. Thank You!
Planning Your Ideal Year-of-Scouting!
The end of the school year will be here before we know it. Most Webelos, if not all, will have crossed over into a Troop to continue their Scouting adventures. Cub Scout Packs will look forward to earning the Summertime Pack Award by holding at least one activity per month during summer break. Cub Scout Pack committees and the Patrol Leader Councils for troops, along with the troop committee, will begin working on their unit’s Ideal Year of Scouting (IYOS). What is the “Ideal Year of Scouting?” The IYOS is a calendar of events and activities that make up a unit’s programming. It is all the awesome activities the unit will do over the course of the next 9-12 months. How does a unit come up with the IYOS? First, the unit should consider making the planning process as fun and engaging as possible. It doesn’t have to take place in a board room or a large office. Options could include scheduling a time to meet outdoors at a park, or, hosting a cookout or some other fun activity. Secondly, planning the IYOS consists of reviewing the Council’s calendar for Council and District level events, determining months without scheduled activities for the purpose of adding in new ones, and calculating the cost for all events for figuring out a budget that works for the unit and it’s Scouts (hint: Spring Trails End Sale). Third, don’t forget to refer to the unit’s Journey-to-Excellence scoresheet as a roadmap for ensuring the unit is active and high performing. Sounds overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be. Not wanting to leave units feeling lost in the process, the Council and Westside Sector has resources for unit leaders to get the help they need. For starters, attending the Retention Convention and Join Scouts Recruitment Training, Scouters will be given resources and training to take back to the unit’s committee to help with their planning. Additionally, unit commissioners, district level leadership, and professional support are also available to provide resources, training, and encouragement. So, as this year’s programming winds down, begin looking ahead to the planning process for next year by adding the Retention Convention (May 13th) and Join Scouts Recruitment Training (June 10th) to your calendar.
Membership Growth is the Way Out of the Pandemic
With most units having completed recharter for 2021, it is painstakingly obvious that membership has taken a harsh blow. My purpose for this article is not to discuss the reasons for the unfortunate loss of Scouts and families, but, it is my every intention to encourage units to acknowledge the current status of their unit’s membership and begin looking at ways to overcome the results from last year’s unprecedented challenges. First, as I mentioned, is to take note of the current membership and set a goal. Next is for the leadership to consider ideas for growing the unit. One very viable option is to plan an open house for late March, or sometime during April. Having someone from the unit reach out to the schools and organizations the unit recruits from will result in knowing what options are available for getting the word out in those environments. Other ideas are to contact the local newspaper, radio station, and determine what social media outlets would best serve the unit’s purposes. Tried and true options are “word-of-mouth” and “peer-to-peer.” Are there any community events planned during the summer that may be an option? County Fair? Another option that gives Scouts lots of exposure is hosting show-and-sales during the “Spring Trail’s End Popcorn Sale”, which, runs from March 15th through the end of April. Contacting various businesses to setup storefront sales not only provides an opportunity for Scouts to earn their way in Scouting, but also affords the opportunity to recruit other youth and families to join Scouting. Whether your unit decides to hold an open house, sell popcorn in front of businesses, do both, or recruit by some other means, the Sector Management Team and unit commissioners are ready to support and assist you. Besides a unit setting a goal and working to reach it, Scouts who recruit a friend into the unit earn their “Recruiter Strip,” which, can be proudly worn on the youth’s Scout shirt.
A Scout favorite and always an exciting activity at Maumee for the districts, the Winter Rendezvous is scheduled to take place April 23-25. All aspects of the event are being reviewed in committee meetings, which recently began. The committee is considering best practices based on current restrictions, policies, and available resources to make the event safe and fun for all attendees. Every precaution will be taken to ensure that Scouts and adult leaders remain safe and healthy during the weekend. Also, the committee will make every effort to maintain the exciting and competitive activities that Scouts look forward to every year. Aside from all of these concerns, the hope is the only thing we will need to be concerned about is whether Mother Nature is going to practice social distancing.