Serving the Youth of South-Central Pennsylvania
Boy Scouts of America

Upcoming Adult Leader Training Opportunities

trainedEvery Scout deserves a trained leader and as a council we are here to offer our leaders the best training that we possibly can. Starting in 2014 the New Birth of Freedom Council began requiring all of its Cubmasters and Den Leaders to be fully trained. In 2015, all Scoutmasters, Assistant Scoutmasters, Cubmasters, Den Leaders, and Assistant Den Leaders will need to be fully trained to recharter.

While all of the Cub Scout Leader Specific trainings can be taken online at there are trainings that do need to be taken in person. In order to help get our leaders trained we are offering many in person trainings this year that will allow our leaders to become fully trained so they will not have any problems when it comes to the recharter process in 2015.

Please find listed below a short description of each training and a link to register for some of the upcoming trainings that our Council will be offering. The links will allow you to view the location and details for each training and a confirmation email from the course director will be sent to each participant about a week before the course. If you have questions about any of the trainings please feel free to reach out to Council Training Staff Advisor at

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Update on New PA Law Regarding Adult Leader Background Checks

new-cspTo: Unit Leaders, Unit Committee Chairs, Chartered Organization Representatives, District Volunteers, and Council Board Members

Re: PA Act 153 of 2014: Requiring Comprehensive Criminal and Child Abuse Background Checks

Dear Scouters,

As you may or may not be aware, PA Act 153 of 2014 went into effect January 1, 2015. This law will have a direct impact on paid employees working with children and unpaid volunteers in Pennsylvania, including those involved in Scouting. This law requires that every person responsible for the welfare of youth obtain and keep on file, comprehensive and regularly updated criminal and child abuse background checks. This new PA law is applicable to any person “responsible for the welfare of a child or having direct contact with children.” The Child Protective Services Law defines “direct contact with children” as “the care, supervision, guidance, or control of children or routine interaction with children.”

This new law affects every Scout Council in Pennsylvania. Our Council has been monitoring this legislation and has been awaiting further guidance from our National Council. Like many of you, we have a very long list of questions and clarifications related to this law that we are seeking answers to. We, and every Council in Pennsylvania, are working on getting these questions answered so that we can provide the best information and directions possible to you. In the meantime, we felt it important to communicate with you what we do know at this point. Read the rest of this entry »

Youth Protection Training Automatic Notifications

csp-icon-100We want to inform you that a new notification email feature will be implemented on December 3. This feature will automatically and regularly notify registered adult leaders who have not yet taken Youth Protection Training, or whose training expired, or will expire in 30-60-90 days, about the importance of taking Youth Protection Training. The notification includes a direct link to the online YPT course to complete.

Please note, this feature can be successful with notifications provided there’s a valid, current email account in each person’s profile.

E-cigarettes now included in BSA smoking policy

BSA-color-logo-thumbnailThe BSA has added electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, to its tobacco-use policy, effective immediately.

Boy Scouts of America meetings, functions and activities continue to be smoke-free; that hasn’t changed. What’s new is the smoke-free policy now includes the use of electronic cigarettes, personal vaporizers and other electronic nicotine delivery systems.

In May, the Risk Management advisory panel, made up of two Scout executives from each region, passed a motion recommending to the Chief Scout Executive that “vaping” be added to BSA’s tobacco-use policy.

BSA Chief Scout Executive Wayne Brock approved the recommendation, and therefore, effective with the October 2014 electronic updates to the Guide To Safe Scouting, the Tobacco portion of “Section IV: Alcohol, Tobacco and Drug Use and Abuse” now reads:

Adult leaders should support the attitude that they, as well as youth, are better off without tobacco in any form and may not allow the use of tobacco products at any BSA activity involving youth participants. This includes the use of electronic cigarettes, personal vaporizers, or electronic nicotine delivery systems that simulate tobacco smoking.

All Scouting functions, meetings, and activities should be conducted on a smoke-free basis, with smoking areas located away from all participants.

The wording in bold text was added in October.

Richard Bourlon, Health and Safety team leader, confirmed that the BSA’s Health and Safety Committee agrees with Scout executives and our Chief on their decision.

Yes, some of our Scouters are smokers. But whether it’s a cigarette, cigar, pipe, e-cigarette, chewing tobacco, or dip, the practice — if it must occur — should only happen away from participants and out of view.

Merit Badge Colleges

In 2015, the council is sponsoring two merit badge colleges which are open to all NBOF Boy Scouts. Each college will feature a variety of badges, and they both will require pre-registration. Merit badge colleges are very popular, so please be mindful of the date that reservations will begin.

Harrisburg Merit Badge College

This event will be held on January 24 & February 21 at the LDS Church in Harrisburg.  Registration will be available beginning on Monday, November 10, at 9am.  For more information, please visit the Keystone Capital District webpage.

Badges available at this college will include:

  • American Business
  • Art
  • Citizenship in the Community
  • Citizenship in the Nation
  • Citizenship in the World
  • Communications
  • Digital Technology
  • Disability Awareness
  • Family Life
  • Fire Safety
  • First Aid
  • Genealogy
  • Indian Lore
  • Medicine
  • Music
  • Personal Management
  • Photography
  • Scholarship


Newville Merit Badge College

This event will be held on January 3 & February 14 at the First Church of God in Newville. Registration will be available on Friday, November 7, beginning at 7am.  For more information, please visit the Conococheague District webpage.

Badges available at this college will include:

  • First Aid
  • Citizenship in the Nation
  • Citizenship in the Community
  • Chemistry
  • Computers
  • Safety
  • Composite Materials
  • Architecture
  • Engineering
  • Drafting
  • American Business

Using “Fun With A Purpose” Slogan

BSA-color-logo.thumbnailThe Boy Scouts of America is asking for help from packs, troops, and crews to stop using the phrase “fun with a purpose” and to remove it from promotional materials and websites.  The phrase is a registered trademark owned by the publishers of Highlights children’s magazine.

Units do not need to stop using materials that have already been printed or distributed, but we’re asked to refrain from using the phrase on anything new.  The BSA’s marketing toolbox has a ton of other ideas and support materials that units can use.

To get additional details about this, please see the full story on the BSA’s blog.

FAQs About “Fun With A Purpose” Slogan

BSA health forms, now as easy as A, B, C

ahmr-featuredDeciding which version of the BSA’s Annual Health and Medical Record you need shouldn’t raise your blood pressure.

And starting today, you’re getting a streamlined version of the BSA health forms and an easier-to-use website to accompany them. The site is the result of several BSA teams (professionals and volunteers) joining forces to make this process a painless one for you and other Scouters.

The Annual Health and Medical Record (hereafter AHMR) comes in several flavors, and until now some Scouters and parents found it a little difficult to determine which version of the AHMR they or their Scout/Venturer needed.

Taking your Cub Scouts on a local tour or your Boy Scouts on a two-night camping trip? The forms you’ll need are different from those required on a camping trip lasting more than 72 hours.

Visiting the Florida Sea Base, Northern Tier, Philmont or the Summit? Be sure to print off some additional information to give your doctor.

It’s all spelled out for you on the new site. Figuring out which forms you need is a snap thanks to logos, clear language and so-big-you-can’t-miss-’em buttons you’ll click to download the proper form.

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Important Sales Tax Information for Unit Purchases at the Mechanicsburg and York Scout Shops


Effective January 1, 2014, the Mechanicsburg and York Scout Shops can no longer accept personal credit cards or personal checks for Tax Exempt unit purchases per Pennsylvania State Tax Law.

In order for a purchase at the Scout Shop to be tax exempt, it must be purchased by:

  • Cash
  • Unit Check
  • Unit Debit Card or Unit Credit Card
  • Unit Gift Card
  • Unit Account

We apologize for any inconvenience and late notice of this change.

NESA Offers Eagle Scout Scholarships

Did you know being an Eagle Scout qualifies you for numerous college scholarships? This year the National Eagle Scout Association will award 150 scholarships to Eagle Scouts through various Eagle Scout scholarship funds. These scholarships vary in size from $1,000 to $50,000.

The scholarships are for tuition, room, board, and books only, and are limited to use at a four-year accredited college or university that offers at least a bachelor’s degree upon completion of the course of studies.

Visit for a list of available scholarships. Be sure to check out the other links on the same page for religious, civic and institution-specific scholarships that Eagle Scouts are also eligible for.