by Ed Henderson
With any worldwide organization there
is always the need to communicate.An increasing amount of that is being accomplished today
by the Web and e-mail but there will always be a need for the written word.
Just in the United States practically
every council has some form of periodic publication. It may be anything from a simple
photocopied newsletter to elaborate full color magazines and multi-section newsletters.
Every registered adult should get their council's newsletter as a part of their annual
Beyond the Council level the BSA has
Scouting and Boy's Life Magazines. Scouting is for adult leaders and is a part of
every adult leader's registration fee. Each issue gives a profile of the program for the
month and includes history tidbits, stories to inspire and to explain the policies and
programs of the B.S.A. Depending on an adults primary registration Scouting Magazine also
includes inserts called Program Helps that are directed to either Cub Scout or Boy Scout
Boy's Life is a Subscription based
magazine available to Scouting's youth. Each issue is packed with fun and interesting
article that get youth interested in Scouting and its programs as well as fun things to do
away from Scouting. Some of the more popular parts are the comics, including TRUE STORIES
OF SCOUTS IN ACTION as well as that wacky hay headed mailboro, Pedro and his jokes that
are always in every issue.
Scouting used to produce Exploring Magazine but as that program is folded into Learning
for Life the future of that program will be changing.
Scouting also has other national
newsletters that are written and directed to different segments of the Scouting Community.
ProSpeak is a newsletter that serves the 6000+ strong Professional Scouters who serve the
BSA. BSA Today is a newsletter of the Relationships Division which gives the news and
activities of the various religious groups and other chartered partners that make Scouting
possible. The Eagleletter is a quarterly publication of NESA, the National Eagle Scout
Association. The National Order of the Arrow Committee has their own newsletter that is
sent to all National, Region, Section, and Lodge key officers. The BSA has other
publications that are directed to 1910 Society donors as well as other groups.
Even with all of the official
communication coming out of the BSA there was a need for still more resources, a
publication written from the Scouter's perspective, written by volunteers for volunteers.
SCOUTER Magazine is such a publication. Started in 1995 as Scouter's Journal Magazine by
Terry Howerton, the personal Assistant to "Green Bar Bill" Hillcourt the last
three years of his life, the Magazine is supported by its readers and is filled with ideas
tools and resources to aid the leader. SCOUTER Magazine in no way speaks for the Boy
Scouts of America or any other Scouting Organization but rather serves the Movement of
Scouting which exists in over 140 nations worldwide on a macro scale and also positively
impacts that very special relationship between a Scoutleader and a young scout as they
explore the Scouting program together.
SCOUTER Magazine has also grown to encompass the 1-800-SCOUTER Catalog and the huge
SCOUTER.com web site where you are now. With offices in Kansas City's historic Westport
District and a staff of seven, SCOUTER Magazine is constantly developing new resources for
the Scouting Community.
There are other private publications
that also meet a critical need like Paul Ferris's excellent Scouter's Digest of Menominee
Michigan or Leader Lore out of Taylorsville Utah.
Even at a worldwide level there are
publications. Many American Scout Leaders have seen copies of Scout Canada's "The
Leader" and we have begun to feature the magazines of other national Scouting