Northern Star Scouting’s Units First initiative took another step forward after several months of planning and input from Scouters across our districts and council committees.
On December 18 the Board of Directors approved an initial map of public School Districts contained within the 25 counties of Northern Star, changing the boundaries and the names of all of our Scouting districts to conform to school districts. The map and the listing of what units are proposed to be served by the new districts is on our website at https://www.northernstar.org/units-first Of course, the change goes further and deeper than just district names and relationships across our units.
We are working hard, in all ways possible, to streamline and simplify what we all do to support strong units – stripping away most of the old functionality that was assigned to a geographic territory called “A District.” The new role of these new districts will be to facilitate relationships, friendships, and mentoring that keeps Scouting strong, but to focus those relationships on only two categories of work. One, support of recruiting and retention of youth. Two, to provide all coaching and mentoring and problem-solving – the traditional Commissioner Service role – through one unit service team rather than across activities, advancement, training, camping, friends of Scouting, and more, as a district committee plan of operation.
Instead, those larger categories of work will be delivered through the Council Committees directly to units, sometimes using a regional approach – with the support of the Unit Service team at the district level. More to come, but this is a dramatic and important test of how we can best utilize the resources of Scouting to build and support strong units. Thank you for your work to give it the best possible chance of success – and together, we will resolve the challenges and find process improvements in coming months. There is always a role for every one of us! Here is a photo of the Units First workgroups, working out many details in a long planning session earlier this month.