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To find out where Scouting units are located in your community click on the "BeAScout" banner above.

It's Popcorn Time in the Old Hickory Council!

  • Don't forget to include your popcorn sale in some fashion at every den, patrol, pack and troop meeting during these last few weeks of the sale period. Remind your Scouts about their sales goal and what they can earn for their sales effort. Ask them if they've signed up for an online account and sent emails out to relatives in other states. Hold weekly drawings or giveaways for the top seller in each den or patrol. Plan something fun - like a pizza party or pie-in-the-face - when your Scouts achieve your overall unit goal.

Click here to go to the council popcorn page for more information and downloadable items.

Recruiting New Youth Critical to Scouting’s Future

Steve Wilburn, Old Hickory Council Scout Executive

    An entrepreneur spent years planning a new business.  He got the right education and training, got some investors to support his idea, found a great location, bought all the necessary tools and equipment, had some nice golf shirts embroidered with the new company logo, put an “open” sign on the window, and then waited for customers to flock to his door.  Weeks went by, yet not one person took advantage of his great new services and products.  Where were all the customers that he had imagined?  What did he forget?
    In all the excitement of getting ready to start this new endeavor, the owner had failed to promote his business and to identify, cultivate, and recruit potential customers.  It wasn’t long before the doors would be shut and this man’s dream would come to an unhappy ending.
    Scouting in northwest North Carolina is not unlike the situation described above.  Thousands of enthusiastic volunteers have dedicated huge amounts of time and effort into building quality programs in their local Cub Scout packs, Boy Scout troops, Venturing crews, and Explorer posts.  They have taken training, put all the materials and equipment in place, and planned exciting adventures for youth.  Our product – preparing youth for the challenges and opportunities of life through the ideals, values, and methods of the Boy Scouts of America – is unmatched.
    Unfortunately, as a whole, we are not being as successful in attracting new youth and families to Scouting as we have been in planning and delivering outstanding program experiences.  While the Boy Scout and Venturing programs have held fairly steady, our Cub Scout membership has declined in each of the last five years.  This is in line with national BSA trends.  In fact, Cub Scout membership in the Old Hickory Council has declined nearly 40% since 2009.  Many area Boy Scout troops have already felt the effects of this decline, as the youth who joined (or didn’t join) as new Tiger Cubs five years ago are just crossing over from Webelos.
    There are a number of bright spots in this situation, though.  First, we are blessed to have nearly 2000 of the most dedicated volunteers of any youth program in northwest North Carolina.  Second, we have a great program that has a tremendous positive impact on youth and families.  Third, there is a huge market of kids and families who are not involved in Scouting, but would join if asked.  Finally, the need for young people to learn positive values, life skills, personal responsibility, and leadership that Scouting offers in a fun and safe environment has never been stronger.
    Volunteers at every level of Scouting must focus efforts on recruiting more youth and families – especially at the Cub Scout level - if we are to reverse the current trend.  We can no longer just rely on the traditional “school night” programs and expect new members to flock to our doors.  A robust and proactive year-round (or at least seasonal) recruiting plan should be a part of every unit’s annual program.  Parents must be encouraged to share their families’ Scouting experiences and to actively invite other parents to enroll their children and become involved.   Local Scout groups will have to take advantage of school, church, and community events to share their activities and to raise awareness among their local community.  A “grass roots” social media campaign driven by local pack leadership and parents could be a great and innovative way to reach the parents of younger boys.
    A revitalized emphasis on reaching more youth and families will not be an easy task.  But, the work pales in comparison to that of millions of people who have worked for the last 104 years to make the Boy Scouts of America the world’s foremost values-based youth movement.  Let’s do our best to make sure that the dream of Scouting continues for generations to come. 

Note:  To learn more about recruiting ideas and best methods, attend one of our local Pack Marketing sessions, attend monthly leader roundtables in your district, or contact your local District Executive.      

If your pack has had success with a unique recruiting effort or event, please share it with us!

Watch for exciting changes in the Cub Scout program being rolled out in the spring of next year!

The Old Hickory Council

Serving Northwestern North Carolina's young people and families with a program of fun, excitement and outdoor adventure for over 100 years. We achieve character development, citizenship training and physical and mental fitness through a program of challenge,personal achievement, leadership training and association with positive adult role models - all while we're having lots of fun! To find out where a Scouting unit is located in your area click on the "Be A Scout" logo at the top of this page.

Three Generations of Eagles: Thor Davidson Gignac’ s Eagle Ceremony held on 26 April at Kernersville Moravian.  130 folks attended, including Congresswoman Virginia Foxx, Mayor Dawn Morgan, Town Manager Curtis Swisher, and guest speaker, Major General Cornell Wilson, USMC(ret).  One photo(DSC 0650) shows 7 of the 8 Gignac family Eagle Scouts (L-R Dave Gignac’ s uncle, G. Michael Gignac(earned Eagle rank early 50’s, Franklin, NH), John D. Gignac Jr.(Dave)(1972, Algonquin Council, Troop 1, Southborough, MA), Dave Gignac’ s five sons: L. Lee Gignac(1996, Gulf Coast Council, Troop 192,Laredo, Texas), John D. Gignac III(2003, OHC, Troop 944, Kernersville, NC), Mark S. Gignac II(2005, OHC, Troop 944), Zachary S. Gignac(2007, OHC, Troop 944), and Thor D. Gignac(2013, OHC, Troop 944). This represents three generations of Eagle Scouts.  The eighth Gignac Eagle Scout, not present, is Mike Gignac’ s son, Dave’s cousin,  J. Paul Gignac of Santa Barbara California (Eagle scout out of Linfield, MA in late 70’s).   

For the most up-to-date information and council activities,

and to view the October issue of the online newsletter, The Raven,

click on the Raven logo above.

Fact vs. Fiction - Membership Standards

      The following is meant to clearly explain the effect the membership standards policy could have on local units and members and to answer frequently asked questions. Click here for more...

You can also click here to go to the National Boy Scouts of America site where other resources about the membership policy change can be found.

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The Old Hickory Council is a member agency and receives support from the following United Ways and United Funds:
United Way of Forsyth County
United Fund of Surry
United Fund of Stokes County
Yadkin Valley United Fund
Yadkin County United Fund
High Country United Way
United Way of Wilkes County
Old Hickory Council Statement of Privacy 

Old Hickory Council,BSA
6600 Silas Creek Parkway
Winston-Salem, NC  27106
Phone: 336-760-2900 Fax: 336-760-4222
Email: webmaster@oldhickorycouncil.org

Administrative Office Hours of Operation: M-F  9 AM to 5 PM

Winston-Salem Scout Shop Open M-F  10AM to 6 PM  Saturdays 10 AM to 4 PM  Phone: 336-768-7205

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