Big Changes Ahead for Scouting — and Scouting Magazine

The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.

The words might have changed some over the past 110 years, but the meaning of our mission is clear: The BSA is in the business of building better young people.

For 107 of those years, Scouting magazine has been the flagship publication for adults of the BSA. Note how the mission of the BSA and the mission of this magazine
support each other:

… to support all Scouting adults through content that is a mixture of information, instruction and inspiration, designed to strengthen readers’ abilities to better perform their leadership roles and enrich their experiences in Scouting and also to assist them as parents in strengthening families.

Strong leaders. Strong families. Strong youth.

Our duty with this magazine is to deliver on our promise to lead, inspire and explore. No matter our positions in the BSA, professional or volunteer, everything we create, deliver and do is ultimately for the benefit of one audience: the youth of the BSA.

It’s no secret our movement is going through some interesting times. Changes have been made, changes are being made and changes will continue to be made, all with the common goal of better serving our mission.

You’ll notice a change in Scouting magazine as well. You are holding the last printed issue of this storied publication. The end of Scouting? Hardly. Instead of this magazine being delivered to you five times a year, you will get almost instantaneous access to the content that has made and will continue to make Scouting — and Scouting — great. You will have choices:

  • A digital version of this magazine, now available for free on just about any device, will continue to deliver the great long-form and feature content you’ve told us you love.
  • The website, scoutingmagazine.org, will be updated almost daily with the latest and greatest Scouting content around.
  • And we will continue to evolve our online presentations to maintain Scouting’s status as your flagship source of Scouting news and resources.

As always, thank you so much for all you do for Scouting — past, present and future. You are guiding the next generation of leaders. And, as for the past 107 years, we at Scouting magazine will be with you every step of the way.

For the future of Scouting,

Roger C. Mosby
President and CEO

27 Comments

  1. Well it had to come, I guess. I’ll just have to find other mags to leave in my Dentist’s office when we get back to the New Normal.

  2. I am totally disappointed. One will have to sit longer in front of the computer screen. I read it from cover to cover. Now I probably won’t read it at all.

    I have been an adult scouter for 65 years.

  3. I, too, really enjoy the print edition. There is something visceral about turning the pages and reading from print. Will be missed.

  4. I understand that we in Scouting do what we have to do in order to preserve good order in Scouting now and keep up with the times. As editor of Scouting magazine from 1991-94, I am disappointed that I won’t now have a handful of paper to read at my leisure without cranking up my computer but I can live with it.

  5. It was in the making for a while!! It is disappointing and really I do not enjoy reading on line. I can’t say I won’t read it, but it will not be as enthusiastic as when I get the printed copy. Sorry here is where we start our separate ways…

  6. Sorry, you just lost me.
    I enjoy Scouting (and a few other printed magazines) precisely because they are printed. I spend more hours reading from the screen than I care to already. More important than the reading experience is the “workflow”. I read Scouting because I leave it sitting next to my chair for my relax time – at the end of the day when Im ready to be done with screens. I already have any number of electronic-only publications that I dont get around to reading.

  7. The way of run scouting was changing. The tools and the documentation is also changing. But the scout law and oath is still strong and living in our souls. Don’t be afraid of changes. Adapt, storm and perform to reach the Summit. Is good to be a scout.
    Scout me in scouters!

  8. Sad to read this. For me going back to reread something or share something from the past was great. Just don’t like the idea of not having it anymore.

  9. I am not a Luddite nor am I long in the tooth (early 40s) but I spend enough time on a screen for work (my optometrist told me this at my last visit) Without the magazine sitting on the table or stuffed into my bag to read on the airplane, I fear I will not remember to read it. This is what has happened with my other online newsletters and magazines. Out of sight, out of mind.

  10. What a bad idea!!!
    I enjoyed receiving the magazine in the mail and read it when upon receipt. Both printed and digital version would make sense. Major publications follow option. Wall Street Journal, New York Times

  11. I agree with everyone above. I will miss having a hard copy in my hands to read. We spend way too much time looking a a screen! This change will probably mean that I won’t read it much. I will truly miss reading it.

  12. Like many of my gen, been in and out of scouting over 60 years – raised one Eagle – real issue with all of the changes – this move to digital only just another in a long line of negative deviations from the the original scouting path.

    • It seems to fall in line with the original Scouting path. A Scout is Thrifty. Imagine the amount a paper, ink and postage that will be save.

      • …and how many Scouts will be lost. I believe the part of my dues paid for this publication or do I stand corrected perhaps? I really enjoyed the printed media. Just another loss to add to the list. Its good to constantly be chipper and pretend that things are always grand but when in reality, one really could assess needs as one as taught and address a concern when things can be detrimental to the cause. Again it comes back to MONEY, my money. It is ok I VOLUNTEER my service, my time, my heart for the cause however I do not recall anyone asking me about if I cared about my money or fees, magazines or such. They just simply make decisions.

  13. Bummer, but it makes total sense. We are in a digital era. Drastic times call for drastic measures – as we should consider where the national budgets are distributed. Bravo, Leading change!

  14. Reasons for “Paper” magazine copy:
    1) Ease of carry.
    2) no batteries or power necessary.
    . 2A) No need for expensive technology.
    2B) Less possible breakage.
    3) Permanent record of the past. My parent’s collection of Holiday, Saturday Evening Post and American Heritage were saleable and worth perusing.
    4) Something for children and grandchildren to explore.
    5) Good Scout PR to leave behind at Doctor’s, Dentist’s, Restaurant’s, . . .
    6) Able to pass to prospective Scout joiners.
    7) More adjustable to read : in poor light, without color filter, hold at distance, etc.
    8) Fly swatter.
    9) Dog toy.
    10) REAL Clip Art for school projects, collage art, game piece source, RoundTable exhibit.
    11) I liked the occasional crossword.
    12) Ease of finding old articles, leafing thru. Physical contact, “Palpability”.
    13) Less need for special eyeglasses.
    14) “( This space available)”

    • I agree with James. I have been a scout leader for 45 years now, with 2 eagle scouts and a life scout. I have been a cubmaster, assistantscoutmaster, round table staff member, unit & assistant district commissioner, and council member. all this time I have always looked forward to reading my scouting magazine without having to read it electronically. I had to deal with the computer for over 22 years in the military and I looked forward to being able to read something that was NOT on a screen that required me to use more power or lug around a computer to read it. I will miss the printed page that I can show my students/scouts something that worked and still works for them even in the field & something that can be carried around not only in the woods but on an airplane that the info could one day save their lives. Plus, in an emergency, if you have too you can always start a fire with it. it’s hard to do that with a computer.

  15. I think this is wonderful! They are still giving us the same great information without using all of that paper (SAVE THE TREES) and saving BSA funds that can be used in more useful ways! If we want this organization to thrive decisions like this must be made!

  16. Scouting continues to make decisions that are financially motivated. Those decisions have repercussions. Scouting needs to go on the offensive trying to repair it’s public image. We know that Scouting has a great program and has a lot to offer today’s youth but Scouting isn’t doing much to attract potential scouts and their families. If they put the printing cost toward some other kind of outreach advertising then I am ok with it. If they just do it to stop the bleeding and lick their wounds then this move isn’t going to help. I love Scouting and all that it has to offer but the future looks very bleak if things like this continue.

  17. I too understand the economics of this choice, but it is a sad day that we are losing the print edition. Like the comments before me, we all spend too much time in the digital world, and unfortunately, going digital means many will not keep up reading this great resource. We will all have good intent to keep up reading it, but as time passes, and screen time choices are made, it will fade away along with all the other well intended bookmarked articles saved for a later time to read…

  18. Better late than never. I don’t think I’ve even seen a hard copy of Scouting magazine in close to twenty years, they usually get misplaced in the mail, or arrive so late that I’ve already seen the good stuff shared online.

    I love reading hard copy books and papers, but realistically, if it isn’t online it doesn’t exist. That’s been true since I was a scout, and that was in the last century. Anyone under 40-45, this is de rigueur.

    Plus, that’s a lot of money that could be going to better use.

    Now, while we are phasing out century old technology, how about we switch from an annual recharter to a rolling, real- time membership and position update?

  19. I will likely miss the magazine, but am not surprised. When projected monthly lawsuit and bankruptcy attorneys fees are more than $650,000 (information available in bankruptcy dockets), there isn’t much of a belt to tighten. We were supposed to see the 2019 annual report this month.

  20. Not a happy camper. I’ve been a volunteer for over 30 years. Scouting Magazine has been a constant source of information and ideas. I to, spend way to much time looking at the screen. My last hard copy will probably be the last time I read a new issue. It is very sad it has come to this.

  21. Well that is sad, guess I will no longer read it, can’t stand reading magazines and newspapers online,

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