Spark Sessions

 

By participating in Spark Sessions, you will gain knowledge, skills, strategies, and solutions to help you grow Scouting in your council. These sessions will offer diverse perspectives from subject matter experts.


The NAM Spark Sessions will inform you with knowledge, inspire you with excitement, and equip you with the tools and passion to share new information with others.


All Thursday and Friday Spark Sessions are designed in tracks around Culture, Fund Development and Management, High Adventure and Camps, Membership, and Safe Environment.


Each Spark Session promises to be dynamic and dialogue driven. Facilitators have been listed to help you select the most valuable presentations—for you.


Your role in Scouting is important—leading and developing the volunteers and staff in your council. Be prepared to do your best.


To get details about sessions which may be of interest to you, click on individual session titles in the following list:


Thursday, May 24, 3:30–4:45 p.m.

Track: Culture

Healthy Initiatives—Nutritional Needs of Campers


Track: High Adventure and Camps

BSA World Scout Jamboree Information
Improving NCAP to Improve Camp and Council Viability: What’s Next?


Track: Membership

Two Key Membership Resources for Your Local Council
What’s New in Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, and Venturing?
What’s the Future of Lions? Let Your Lions Roar!
What’s Up With Generation Z (and Their Parents)?
STEM Scouts—What You Think You Know and What You Need to Know


Track: Safe Environment

BSA Incident Reporting: What’s It All About and What’s in It for Me?


Friday, May 25, 9:30–10:45 a.m.

Track: Culture

The Polaris Method: Implementing LEAN Thinking Into Scouting


Track: Fund Development and Management

No Money, No Mission


Track: High Adventure and Camps

Your Summit: How the Summit Bechtel Reserve Can Enhance Your Older Scouts’ Outdoor Experience


Track: Membership

Disabilities and Special Needs Awareness & Scouting
Diversity and Inclusion—Powerful Catalysts of the BSA Growth Plan
Making the Most of Online Registration
Positive Youth Development (PYD) Is Vitally Important to Scouting in Your Council


Track: Safe Environment

Our Program as Designed Is Safe—Delivering the Safe Program
Preventing Youth-on-Youth Abuse Training for Camp Directors


Friday, May 25, 2:00–3:15 p.m.

Track: Fund Development and Management

Managing Your Endowment Investments


Track: High Adventure and Camps

How Do You and Your Council Define “Adventure”?
Successful Camp Operations Can Drive Membership Recruitment and Financial Success


Track: Membership

Cub Scouting: New Horizons
Everything Exploring! (Empowering Your Volunteer and Professional Staff)
Growing Membership and Measuring Success
Let’s Be Ready, Commissioners


Track: Safe Environment

Two New Insurance Resources for Local Councils
Youth Protection Is Much More Than “Check the Box”—How to Deliver This Vital Message

What’s Up With Generation Z (and Their Parents)?

Thursday, May 24, 3:30 pm to 4:45 pm

Track: Membership

Come learn more about the current youth generation. What do they like? What are they doing? What are their aspirations and fears? How do they interact with their parents? How can Scouting be relevant in the lives of these youth?


Facilitators: Pat Wellen, Department Manager, Research and Strategy, Scott Olson, Data Analyst, Dan Warren, Team Leader, Research, Paige Paradis, Performance Analyst

BSA World Scout Jamboree Information

Thursday, May 24, 3:30 pm to 4:45 pm

Track: High Adventure and Camps

Learn all about the World Scout Jamboree—registration, staffing, operations, host efforts, program, and much more! Unlock your world, discover the adventure that awaits, and chart your course.


Facilitators: Dan Ownby, US Contingent Chairman, BSA International Commissioner, Marty Walsh, Director, World Scout Jamboree, Fred Wallace, US Contingent Advisor, Chris Sawyer, Support, World Scout Jamboree

Two Key Membership Resources for Your Local Council

Thursday, May 24, 3:30 pm to 4:45 pm

Track: Membership

New Member Coordinators: A membership game-changer in the BSA. Learn how the unit position of New Member Coordinator can be a game-changer for your council, districts, and units. Learn information and strategies on how this position can strengthen membership and retention in every unit, district, and council.


BSA Access in Public Schools: Do you have school access in your state? In September 2015, bipartisan legislation in North Carolina was signed into law that gave patriotic groups like the Boy Scouts of America greater access to public school facilities for meetings, activities, and recruitments. Since then, similar legislation has passed in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia—and legislation is pending in Florida. Find out how to begin such an initiative in your state, which will increase your access to students and help with membership recruitment.


Facilitators: Oscar Santoyo, Membership Growth Coach, Mark Francis, Advisor, National Education Relationships Subcommittee

BSA Incident Reporting: What’s It All About and What’s in It for Me?

Thursday, May 24, 3:30 pm to 4:45 pm

Track: Safe Environment

The BSA requires and makes it easy to report incidents including accidents, injuries, near misses, abuse, and membership infraction. See how your council has performed, and learn how to use the information to prevent repeating mistakes.


Facilitators: Jessica Carmona, Insurance Management Specialist, Richard Bourlon, Team Leader, Environmental Health and Safety, Mark Dama, Team Leader, Insurance and Risk Management

What’s New in Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, and Venturing?

Thursday, May 24, 3:30 pm to 4:45 pm

Track: Membership

Learn about the newest program updates in Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, and Venturing from the three national directors. How is each program focused on continuous improvement? Identify ways to make the program more accessible to today’s families.


Facilitators: Anthony Berger, National Director, Cub Scouting, Garfield Murden, National Director, Boy Scouting, Owen McCulloch, National Director, Venturing

What’s the Future of Lions? Let Your Lions Roar!

Thursday, May 24, 3:30 pm to 4:45 pm

Track: Membership

Come hear from a panel of experienced Lion approved councils as they share their exciting success stories. Learn from what other councils have done well. Do you know what’s changing in the Lion program? Do you have questions? Come explore this and much more.


Facilitators: Janice Downey, Senior Strategic Innovation Manager, Robert D’Avignon, Director of Field Services, National Capital Area Council, Danny Tucker, Deputy Scout Executive, Orange Council, Ken Ruppel, Field Director, Crossroads of America Council, Michael de los Santos, Scout Executive, Alamo Area Council

STEM Scouts—What You Think You Know and What You Need to Know

Thursday, May 24, 3:30 pm to 4:45 pm

Track: Membership

Explore everything you need to know about STEM Scouts. Learn about how it benefits your council. Explore the application process for your local council to apply for a pilot program in the Boy Scouts of America.


Facilitators: Wendy Chien, National Assistant Director, STEM Program, Paul Sharp, National Assistant Director, STEM Program

Improving NCAP to Improve Camp and Council Viability: What’s Next?

Thursday, May 24, 3:30 pm to 4:45 pm

Track: High Adventure and Camps

Like all camps, NCAP itself continuously seeks to improve its effectiveness in elevating camp performance, youth experience, and the council’s bottom line. With camps providing 27.6 percent of the average council’s revenues, NCAP is vital to your council’s well-being. In 2019, NCAP will complete a major review to enhance its—and your camps’—effectiveness. Come share thoughts on how to make camp an even better experience for our youth and a bigger positive contributor to the council’s bottom line!


Facilitators: Brian Gray, Outdoor Program Coordinator, Mark Rose, National NCAP Chairman, Eric Hiser, NCAP Standards Coordinator

Healthy Initiatives—Nutritional Needs of Campers

Thursday, May 24, 3:30 pm to 4:45 pm

Track: Culture

See the research behind introducing healthy options in the dining hall and trading post. Dispel popular myths that your campers will not eat healthy options or buy healthy products in your trading post. This study monitored everything from the trash (waste) to the cash drawer!


Facilitators: Dr. Jeannie Arnold, Executive Board Member, Frank Reigelman, Team Leader, Outdoor Programs

Disabilities and Special Needs Awareness & Scouting

Friday, May 25, 9:30 am to 10:45 am

Track: Membership

Learn how to inform Scout leaders about proper modifications and implementations for merit badges. Express that Special Needs is a DIVERSEability that strengthens your communities. Fifteen percent of Scouts have a disability or a special need; some are physical, but most involve cognitive, behavioral, or learning disability. Discover the BSA policies of acceptance and special needs with the emphasis that every child should feel included and welcome. Recommended for councils supporting Scouts with special needs and disabilities.


Facilitators: Tony Mei, Chairman, Disabilities Awareness Committee, Jane Grossman, Disabilities Awareness Committee Member, and Amy J. Hutcherson, Growth Coach, Northeast Region

The Polaris Method: Implementing LEAN Thinking Into Scouting

Friday, May 25, 9:30 am to 10:45 am

Track: Culture

Are you looking to focus on the essentials and trim wasted motion and processes from your Scouting-related area? In this session, you will discover how saying “no” to non-essential actions and applying LEAN thinking to your Scouting Council, National Department, or National Committee will eliminate layered processes and build a stronger team around you and spending time on the few things that matter most.


Facilitators: Erin E. Eisner, Chief Strategy Officer for Culture and People, Bill Goebel, Polaris Method Volunteer Advisor

Diversity and Inclusion—Powerful Catalysts of the BSA Growth Plan

Friday, May 25, 9:30 am to 10:45 am

Track: Membership

The BSA is dedicated to building a diverse and inclusive Scouting culture where the uniqueness of beliefs, backgrounds, and capabilities is welcomed and leveraged to ensure all families have the opportunity to benefit from the mission of Scouting. Join us as we share practical applications of BSA’s Diversity and Inclusion Plan.

  • • Celebrate individual differences and similarities in ways that positively influence our organizational culture, our people, and the membership we serve.
  • • Develop a diverse nominating committee in order to attract and recruit diverse board members.
  • • Introduce Scouting as a career of choice at local colleges and universities with the new Careers With Merit recruiting campaign.
  • • Establish strong community partnerships with new and diverse organizations and associations.

Facilitators: Sam Dunn, Retired CFO of Walmart, Maria Dahl-Smith, National Diversity Director

No Money, No Mission

Friday, May 25, 9:30 am to 10:45 am

Track: Fund Development and Management

Do you want to make improvements to your camp? Do you want to serve more kids? Do you want to hire some more staff? Do you want Scouting to have a greater and more positive impact on the youth in your council? If you can’t increase revenue, it’s virtually impossible to deliver the BSA mission in the territory covered by your council. Learn how your council can determine your best growth opportunities and then how you can take bold steps to increase your revenue.


Facilitators: Patrick Sterrett, Assistant Chief Scout Executive, National Director of Field Service, Joe Wiltrout, Scout Executive, Crossroads of America Council

Making the Most of Online Registration

Friday, May 25, 9:30 am to 10:45 am

Track: Membership

Online registration has been available to units for more than a year. Come learn what new features are rolling out and how to get unit buy-in to use the online system. Discover other practices and lessons learned from councils that are using the system successfully.


Facilitators: Pat Wellen, Department Manager, Research and Strategy, Debra Kendrew, Team Leader, Member Applications

Positive Youth Development (PYD) Is Vitally Important to Scouting in Your Council

Friday, May 25, 9:30 am to 10:45 am

Track: Membership

Positive Youth Development (PYD) is the core of everything that we do in Scouting. This session will discuss what PYD is, why it is the core of all Scouting, and how it can help you to grow Scouting in your council. The Bechtel Foundation has generously funded a large-scale study of PYD in the BSA that can positively impact all of Scouting. Learn what that study is about and why it matters to you and your Scouts.


Facilitators: Trent Nichols, Department Manager of Pilots and Program Development and National Director of STEM Programs, Jennifer B. Urban, Professor of Family and Child Studies and Co-Director of the Institute for Research on Youth Thriving and Evaluation

Your Summit: How the Summit Bechtel Reserve Can Enhance Your Older Scouts’ Outdoor Experience

Friday, May 25, 9:30 am to 10:45 am

Track: High Adventure and Camps

Your Summit: Discover what’s new at the Summit Bechtel Reserve (SBR). Learn about the new and exciting programs planned for 2018 and beyond. Also, discover how the SBR can add to and strengthen your older youth programs, which will result in stronger recruiting and retention of this important and growing market.


Facilitators: Jim Rushton, Senior Business Development Officer, Summit Bechtel Reserve, Mike Kaufman, Senior Business Development Officer/Department Manager, Summit Bechtel Reserve

Our Program as Designed Is Safe—Delivering the Safe Program

Friday, May 25, 9:30 am to 10:45 am

Track: Safe Environment

What can you do as a leader to keep safety front and center? It’s not just about “permitting” a tour anymore. Learn how to use Safety Moments, Checklists, and Incident Reviews to build an understanding of how to discuss and think about safety before and during Scouting activities. This session will also discuss BSA’s new liability policies and the registration consequences of engaging in unauthorized activities.


Facilitators: Richard Bourlon, Team Leader, Environmental Health and Safety, Mark Dama, Team Leader, Insurance and Risk Management, Mike Narvaez, Sam Houston Area Council, Sven Rundman, National Capital Area Council, David Berry, Circle Ten Council

Preventing Youth-on-Youth Abuse Training for Camp Directors

Friday, May 25, 9:30 am to 10:45 am

Track: Safe Environment

Consider ways to identify and prevent youth-on-youth abuse in resident camping environments. Youth-on-youth abuse is something you would rather not talk or even think about, but you must. Abuse does not always fit neatly into one category or a typical pattern or type of behavior. It may cross into multiple areas, including bullying, hazing, physical contact, sexual talk, initiations, games, exposure to inappropriate materials, and sexual contact and assault. This new training is designed to help camp directors and key staff reinforce the barriers to abuse and to bridge the generational gap that could exist in the camp setting.


Facilitators: Frank Reigelman, Team Leader, Outdoor Programs, Michael V. Johnson, Youth Protection Director

Cub Scouting: New Horizons

Friday, May 25, 2:00 pm to 3:15 pm

Track: Membership

The path ahead is exciting as we introduce girls and their families to the Cub Scouting program. Get an update from the early adopter program and lessons learned so far as we prepare for the full launch. You will also hear from councils that participated in the early adopter program and what adjustments they are making for their fall recruitment.


Facilitator: Anthony Berger, National Director, Cub Scouting

Let’s Be Ready, Commissioners

Friday, May 25, 2:00 pm to 3:15 pm

Track: Membership

We'll share everything you need to know to be ready for Commissioner Service in 2018–2019. We have Commissioner’s Corner and tech support available all week for additional learning experiences. We will discuss tips for Commissioners and Family Scouting. We will cover upcoming Commissioner Training and the College of Commissioner Science. We have methods, best practices, and success stories that work when recruiting commissioners. Lastly, we will top things off with a Q&A session with the Support Team.


Facilitators: Darlene Sprague, Resource Chair, Rick Hillenbrand, Communications and Technology Chair, Debra Kendrew, Team Leader, Member Applications, Ellie Morrison, National Service Team Chair, Tim Acree, Outgoing Training Chair, Larry Chase, Incoming Training Chair, Kevin Baker, Recruitment and Recognition Chair, Rick Cordray, Past Council Commissioner, Chief Seattle Council, Bruce Anderson, Council Commissioner, Chief Seattle Council, Steve Sawyer, Senior Program Administrator Specialist

Growing Membership and Measuring Success

Friday, May 25, 2:00 pm to 3:15 pm

Track: Membership

Is your council looking for ways to increase membership while accurately tracking the effectiveness of the tactics you are using? If so, join us for a discussion on council membership recruitment and retention using data, market research, and other tools that can increase effectiveness and help you see what is working for you.


Facilitators: Wendy Shaw, Group Director, Membership Growth, AJ Wilson, Data Scientist, Michael Ramsey, Department Manager, Marketing and Experience

Managing Your Endowment Investments

Friday, May 25, 2:00 pm to 3:15 pm

Track: Fund Development and Management

Come learn about best practices for investing your council’s endowment assets. During this interactive forum hosted by BSA Asset Management (BSAAM), BSA’s in-house investment management team, there will be lively discussion and Q&A on the challenges and best practices for endowment investment management, as well as an overview of BSAAM’s services and the BSA Commingled Endowment Fund, LP.


Facilitators: Faisal Rajani, Chief Investment Officer, Ken King, Director, Client Services and Operations

Two New Insurance Resources for Local Councils

Friday, May 25, 2:00 pm to 3:15 pm

Track: Safe Environment

Cyber Liability—Hackers want your system information. What are the consequences of a data breach? What is cyber extortion? These questions and others will be discussed along with ways that you can be prepared to prevent and respond to a data/cyberattack.


Non-Scout Use of Council Facilities—Does your council generate revenue by making your facilities available to outside groups? This session will provide important information regarding insurance and guidelines that will assist in maximizing the revenue while protecting your council.


Facilitators: Mark Dama, Team Leader, Insurance and Risk Management, Philip Moore, Risk Management Administrator

How Do You and Your Council Define “Adventure”?

Friday, May 25, 2:00 pm to 3:15 pm

Track: High Adventure and Camps

Come take part in an engaging conversation about how the BSA could and should define “Adventure.” What does that experience look like? What words would you use to describe that experience and convey that special Adventure feeling with BSA members—and with those seeking to join the BSA? Who can you reach with Adventure? Where can it be offered—at one of the four national high-adventure bases, at your local council camps, or at a district or unit venue? Help the BSA refine the dialogue about Adventure and how your local council leadership can bring Adventure to more youth.


Facilitator: Alan F. Lambert, Assistant Chief Scout Executive, National Director of Outdoor Adventures

Successful Camp Operations Can Drive Membership Recruitment and Financial Success

Friday, May 25, 2:00 pm to 3:15 pm

Track: High Adventure and Camps

Learn how successful camps should be tools for recruiting and retaining members and how they contribute to the financial success of your council. Discover how robust and vibrant camp operations support recruiting and retention AND lead to financially sustainable camps.


Facilitators: John L. Stewart, Consulting Engineer, Outdoor Programs and Properties, Salvatore P. Ciampo, Past President, Theodore Roosevelt Council and Chair, Strategic Analysis and Facilities Management Task Force

Everything Exploring! (Empowering Your Volunteer and Professional Staff)

Friday, May 25, 2:00 pm to 3:15 pm

Track: Membership

In this high energy session, you will learn about all of the vital resources, tools, and support materials that will allow you to create or reignite an Exploring Explosion within your council. We have created and updated many new tools that will allow you to be the Exploring guru. You will leave with a wealth of knowledge and a simple plan to empower your fellow volunteers and professional staff quickly and effectively.


Facilitators: Tim Anderson, Senior Director of Exploring, Angela Sanchez, Senior Program Administration Specialist

Youth Protection Is Much More Than “Check the Box”—How to Deliver This Vital Message

Friday, May 25, 2:00 pm to 3:15 pm

Track: Safe Environment

The new Youth Protection Training shows how to recognize, respond, and report all forms of abuse. How can you deliver this program and help leaders internalize the learning?


Facilitator: Michael V. Johnson, Youth Protection Director