U.S. Scouting Service Project

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The U.S. Scouting Service Project (USSSP) is one of the largest online collections of Scouting resource and reference materials. USSSP is organized as a non-profit corporation founded in 1998 named "The U.S. Scouting Service Project, Inc." and is maintained by volunteer Scouters. While the Project supports the programs of the Boy Scouts of America (www.scouting.org) or the World Organization of the Scout Movement (www.scout.org), neither organization contributes financially or provides direction to the USSSP.

Web site sections[edit]

The USSSP website has several areas of resources, being mostly a combination of file servers and sites with links to other sites.

In addition, other member sites (for instance, several branches of Mike Walton's Tree; Mike Kauffmann's Merit Badges.org; and Don deYoung's Cub Scouting website) are elements of this "largest community of reference and resource materials geared to the American Boy Scouting programs found on the Internet's World Wide Web".

Discussion groups and lists[edit]

The USSSP hosts some 11 electronic mail distribution discussion groups,[1] ranging in topics from programming (Cub Scouting, Venturing) to program support (Philmont, Jamborees, and Commissioners). There is also a USSSP discussion group called "Embers" which offer reflection, support and inspiration to volunteers and parents.

Additionally, the electronic mail discussion group which started "electronic Scouting" in 1989—the Scouts-L youth discussion electronic mailing list co-hosted by Jon Eidson, Kyna Hendra and Mike Walton—is also a component of the USSSP's outreach to parents, volunteers and professionals in the United States and around the world.

Board of directors[edit]

The USSSP operates under a national board of directors. The current officers are:[2]

  • Gary Hendra, President
  • Mike Bowman, Vice President - Web Development
  • Mike Walton, Vice President - Communications
  • Paul Wolf, Secretary
  • Kyna Hendra, Treasurer
  • Hal Daume, Board Member
  • Jon Eidson, Board Member
  • Judy Harper, Board Member
  • Ed Henderson, Board Member
  • Mike Kauffmann, Board Member
  • Dave Lyons, Board Member
  • Don Roberts, Board Member
  • David Tracewell, Board Member

The board conducts business virtually using various electronic methods, to include video teleconferencing, voice conference calls via Skype, and electronic mail.

History and background[edit]

The U.S. Scouting Service Project (USSSP) was the idea of past board member Chris Marsey who helped bring together one of the largest repositories of Scouting Clip-Art to the world Scouting community in 1996.[3] Soon thereafter, Dave Tracewell and Gary Hendra added their vast clip-art collections to the collection and the USSSP continued to grow, adding Scouters from around the country with specialized talents who contributed many hours of time and resources to the project. Michael Bowman has contributed his expertise in web development. All of the USSSP Board members are volunteer Scouters who support Scouting on the Internet.

More than 375 years of collective Scouting experience is represented by the USSSP's board members. Most of the board members were Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts in their youth and have obtained their programs' highest youth honors. All of the board members have served at the local Council level as unit leaders, commissioners and committee chairs. Many of the board members have served as part of a summer camp staff for two or more summers; three have taught courses at the BSA's Volunteer Training Center at Philmont. Two of the board members serve local Councils as professional (career, employed) Scouters; another board member served for several years as a Paraprofessional Executive. Board members are Wood Badge trained and many have been honored with the BSA's Silver Beaver Award for distinguished service to one or several local Councils.

Their long Scouting tenure, personal and professional experiences, service, training, and insight are reflected through the content found within their pages and sites. On average, various USSSP board members respond to between 50 and 100 questions posed by parents, volunteers and professionals daily via the USSSP's family of websites and resources.

The USSSP encourages individuals with questions or concerns to first contact their local BSA Council through their online presence or local Commissioners because "that's what WE do first...contact our local Council" when responding to a question or issue.

Many local Councils utilize the USSSP's vast resources to assist them with responding to volunteers needs and with development of innovative ways to communicate the Scouting story in their territories.