Please ask your council to request to national to reinstate the program forums

It seems as though the BSA wants to focus the Scouting Forums only on IT matters and are steering people to their councils for program related items.

Please ask your Scout Executives to request that the forums get reinstated. It isn’t clear if it will make a difference, but it could help.

Our councils are overworked already. This was a great central location to discuss all sorts of info related to the program and overall movement. While the forums would at times get heated, the mods did a great job of making sure things did not get out of hand. This was also a very good place for national to know how clear (or unclear) parts of the program, including safety, are.

Facebook isn’t great for these types of discussion as they are much more of the wild west. The forums made Scoutbook the true one-stop shop for all things Scouting.

National could even appoint forum commissioners to help foster the discussion and point people to the official sources.

“The Scouting Discussion Forums will focus on questions related to Scoutbook, Internet Advancement and all other BSA IT software and resources.”


@Matt.Johnson - the unfortunate part of this wax that there was nobody from National involved in the forums especially the program sections. That had been stared many times and as is often the case misinformation was presented as fact. That is at the very least my observation


Agreed. This is where a commissioner corps of forum commissioners could help with policy dissemination chapter and verse. It would help not hinder.

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This is a place I looked forward to checking to see what was happening around the country. I also enjoyed the fellowship with other Scouters. I feel this place made me a better leader.

This is yet another example of paying more to be a member of a program that is offering fewer services.


@Matt.Johnson - the most glaring and annoying thing was folks not knowing who is a registered leader. That really got me every time


We will still enjoy those posts in the Scoutbook and my.scouting forums. :slight_smile:


@Matt.Johnson - on my goodness yes but it was sad to see so many of them and again something UC’s could work on with units.


I respectfully submit to whomever is listening (maybe nobody) that deleting the program forums was a bad idea.
This forum had become my go-to place for Scouting topics. Yes, there are other boards out there that discuss Scouting topics, but they are independent. Even though this board has the large banner at the top that the opinions are those of the participants, rather than the BSA, the collective wisdom of the participants and the great work of the moderators made this a really useful destination and community. I’m sure this decision was either made by finance people or lawyers - but it doesn’t seem like it was made by anyone who wanted to see better Scouting. :rage:

I will send a note to my Scout Executive about this, but honestly don’t have much hope that it will make a difference. Assuming this decision sticks, I will be on this forum much less frequently.


Saw our district rep yesterday he had no clue they were gone and knew of no notice from national.

The district staff is legitimately overworked due to layoffs two years ago. The council office might be at 200% work load and it’s stressing basic services to the point that I try to NOT send questions to them and increase it further.

You might mention using our unit commissioner. We don’t have one right now. There’s a shortage locally of adults in that position.

More and more of the program is being put to local unit knowledge coming from online resources and we’re going to start and see units diverge in how they do things more and more as a result.

When we add in sometimes difficult to find policy knowledge that portion of this site was invaluable.



As BSA circles the drain, we Scouters should make our own way. Scouting can continue if BSA does not. It’s that simple.

Come over to the campfire at

2 Likes may be the way i go

Meh…they are so “woke” they cancelled B-P

This is where I moved to recently. So far so good!

You would think they would want to hear the voice of the customer directly, but I think it’s been clear for a while they don’t want to hear anything from anyone. The councils can barely support even basic needs like registration and advancement and program with the small staff they have. This was a great resource where volunteers could really step up and help. I guess we’ll just have to take the campfire elsewhere.


As a local council Scout executive, I appreciate reading the needs and concerns of Scouters in councils throughout BSA. I support the various forums both within and outside of official BSA channels, and participate in quite a few. My suspicion is that the the BSA “official” program forums will come back when there is a national committee and a staff member able and willing to manage them. For now, please take advantage of those still in place, and please be supportive of our great Scouting movement as we all tackle challenges with limited resources.


I know I had a number of problems resolved via these forums, especially as they related to adult training questions, issues with the site, and more.

Although you have struck a nerve here as shown by the responses, I’m guessing that National will continue down the path they have been on for some time.
They have the same response to the changes they are proposing for the STEM program.
The end result will be that very few Councils will upload complaints and National will be able to say they didn’t hear any response.

What I find most interesting is that while this is advertised as not a National site, but rather only supported by volunteers, it seems to be very much controlled by National. Bit of a dichotomy.

There is a way around what is going on.
I think back to a school admin I worked with who complained about teachers leaving their rooms. He mandated that they inform him every time they did so. So whole faculty emailed him every time they so much as stepped into the hallway. Didn’t take long for his email box to let him know he had made a bad decision.
We can just do what you have done and post in the existing categories.



OUR principle of decentralisation is the accepted method for the administration of the Boy Scout Movement.

Scoutmasters are given a free hand in the management and training of their Troops under the general supervision of the representative of Headquarters, viz. the Commissioner, whose business it is to see that the lines of policy on which our charter was granted are not departed from.

These Commissioners also act as the representatives to Headquarters of local needs.

For committees we substitute individuals as responsible heads of the different departments of administration. Then the Local Association gives the necessary backing and help that may be needed by the Scoutmasters in their work.

Thus these officers are not bothered with committee or office work, as is so often the drawback in other societies, but are free to devote the whole of their spare time and energy to the main work, namely, the training of the boy.

Frequent conferences of officers give full ventilation to the various questions requiring it, and supply all with a better understanding of what is going on and of what is needed in the Movement.

If and when they find this method does not work satisfactorily, it is open to officers – indeed it is their duty to the Movement – to represent the fact to their Commissioner.

The system has been arrived at after very full consideration and after much experience – sometimes bitterly bought. The point is that officers come into the Movement with their eyes open and that this is the form of administration which they accept in doing so, and to which they further bind themselves where they take the promise to carry out, inter alia, the Law of Loyalty.

Every horseman knows that the only successful method for managing a spirited horse is to be on good terms with him, through the rider having a firm seat and giving him his head with a light hand on the guiding rein.

I am certain that it is through our use of this same principle in the form of local government under a light-handed supervision on a well-defined policy that our brotherhood has already shown such splendid corporate energy coupled with that united spirit which is the driving force behind it.

  • B.P.’s Outlook, November, 1917

Unfortunately - from an IT prospective, I had real concerns when Scoutbook was rolled out. I understand the costs and time it takes to make a system like they want and need successful. To that end, I was concerned that it would end up taking a back seat to other needs and become a roadblock.