The Boy Scouts of America and the Great Smoky Mountain Council offer numerous resources to simplify the important work of volunteer leaders:
Reporting advancement is a requirement of the Boy Scouts of America. Tracking the progress of unit members is made simple with the Activities module in Scoutbook. As of Jan. 1, 2019, Scoutbook subscriptions are free to all Scouting units. Scoutbook is the BSA’s online unit management tool and helps Scouts, parents, and leaders track advancement and milestone achievements along the Scouting trail.
Each year, all units are required to renew their affiliation with Scouting. Districts recharter all units in December. Through the process, chartered organizations, youth member, and adult leader information is updated as well as registration fees and Boy’s Life subscriptions are collected/paid.
A representative of each unit completes the paperwork for renewing a charter online. With Internet Rechartering, units can indicate returning members, add new members, and update information for an individual or the chartered organization.
Journey to Excellence
Journey to Excellence — often referred to as JTE — is a planning, performance, and recognition program designed by the Boy Scouts of America to encourage and reward the success of units, districts, and councils.
JTE measures planning and budgeting, members, program, and leadership areas, ranking units, districts, and councils as bronze, silver, or gold. But JTE is more than a measurement; it is also a comprehensive and valuable planning tool.
Cub Scout Packs, Scout BSA Troops, and Venturing Crews participate in fundraising activities to help offset the cost of Summer Camp and other adventures.
The Fall Fundraiser in the Great Smoky Mountain Council, Scouts sell Popcorn by taking orders from family, friends, and neighbors and selling directly (“show and sell”) at pre-approved locations, like neighborhood grocery stores. Top sellers can earn exciting prizes, and exciting incentives help keep Scouts engaged.
As the parent of a Scout, chances are you’ll end up eating a lot of Popcorn over the winter as well as helping your Scout with transportation, record keeping, and setting up to show and sell.
The Spring Fundraiser in the Great Smoky Mountain Council, Scouts sell Camp Cards. These are “snap apart” discount cards containing various valuable discount offers at local businesses. They are also risk-free for units, which may return unused cards to the council.
Units receive a commission on all sales, and Scouts can earn exciting prizes. Your commitment level will be similar to the popcorn sale.
Cub Approved Camping Locations
Pack camping is a family-centric program. Cub Scout youth should attend the camping event with their parent(s) or legal guardian(s). Cub Scout youth may tent with a parent or legal guardian as outlined in Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse.
Only Webelos and Arrow of Light dens may conduct den campouts, and those campouts can only include the Webelos or Arrow of Light youth. As with pack-coordinated campouts, the den must have a BALOO trained adult leader in attendance and all Youth Protection policies apply.
Webelos and Arrow of Light dens may participate and camp at a Scouts BSA troop unit campout; however, all Cub Scout camping and YPT requirements still apply, including having a BALOO-trained adult leader in attendance.
Council approval is required when units from different chartered organizations camp together, including when a den camps with a Scouts BSA troop.
Units are not allowed to do their own site appraisals. However, if you have a site in mind that is not on our council’s list of Approved Sites, you can reach out to us and request an appraisal using the Pack Overnight Site Appraisal Form.
Camping with your Scouts
Effective September 1, 2023, BSA is enforcing an updated Adult Supervision policy. If you are 18 years of age or older and plan to spend one or more nights with a troop, crew, or ship, you must be currently registered in an adult position as listed in this FAQ or as an adult program participant. Limited exception below for Cub Scout overnight Programs.
Cub Scout Programs – Overnight Exception:
Cub Scout parents or legal guardians taking part in an overnight Cub Scout program with their own child or legal ward are not required to register as leaders. All adults must review the “How to Protect your Children from Child Abuse: A Parent’s Guide” that can be found in the front of each Cub Scout Handbook. In addition, the parent or legal guardian must be accompanied by a registered leader at any time they are with youth members other than their own child/ward. All other overnight adults must be currently registered in an adult position (see FAQ above for approved positions). As a reminder, unit Cub Scout camping can be up to two nights.
Unit Money-earning Application
If your unit is planning a money-earning project that is not coordinated by the Great Smoky Mountain Council, you must complete an Money-earning Application at least two weeks in advance of the proposed date of the project for approval.