SCOUTING AND YOUTH ACTIVITIES

Boy Scout Program Overview
Every VFW Post has an opportunity to work in partnership with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), and Girl Scouts of America (GSA) when they charter/sponsor a scouting unit. Direct involvement in the Scouting program presents the VFW Post with the opportunity to positively affect the lives of the youth in our communities while developing positive youth/adult partnerships.

Through Scouting, VFW Posts can expand their community outreach while developing a clear resource for veteran families and their children. Posts that sponsor Scout units have an excellent opportunity for the following advantages:
Scouts are often willing to do service projects that benefit the Post directly such as Flag retirement, maintenance of Post facility and grounds, assistance with Buddy Poppy distribution, color guards, and participation in Post community activities and events.
Working with scouts provides incentives for veterans with young families to join and become active members.
Post members can serve as mentors and provide a positive image to a new generation of potential service members.
Recognition of scouting provides Posts with positive public visibility.
Scouts often join the military and become eligible for Post membership.

Post and District Scouting Chairman should refer to the National VFW Programs Leadership Reference Guide and Youth Activities Chairman’s Manual. Both are available on-line at www.vfw.org. Click on "Login” and either login or "create an account”. Click on My VFW and go to VFW Training & Support. Click on Community Service & Youth Programs. "VFW Programs Leadership Reference Guide” and "Programs Leadership Reference Guide” are on right. On the left click on "Scouting, Other Youth Activities and Safety” and find "Promoting Youth Programs Guide”.

Organizing a Scout Unit
To start or sponsor a Scout unit of any kind, contact your local Scout Council, or contact the Department Chairman.

Service to Veterans - Scout Projects
One of the requirements for Eagle Scout, Sea Scout Quartermaster, Venture Summit Award, and GSA Gold Award Recipient is the Service Project. This is a project the Scout must plan, develop and give leadership to. Its emphasis is on service to the community. Here is an excellent opportunity for our Posts and membership to become involved. Scouts who are planning their Service Projects are always
 
looking for a meaningful project to do. Your Post can become involved by sponsoring their projects and at the same time help our fellow veterans.

Our Veterans Homes, Hospitals, Convalescent Homes and Clinics are excellent places for the Scouts to perform their projects. When you sponsor a project, help the Scout by letting him or her know who to contact and with ideas for his or her project. Contact the above-mentioned facilities and make arrangements for the Scout to meet with them. It also helps if you let the facility know what your Scout and his or her project can do for them and how they can help.

Post and Auxiliary members can also help out with the projects. But remember the Scout must plan, develop and direct the project. Posts that do not have a Scout Unit can contact a local Scout unit or Scout Council to let them know that you are willing to sponsor an Eagle Scout, Quartermaster, Venture or GSA Gold Project. If assistance is needed, contact the Department Chairman. Report all your Scouting related activities.

Eagle Scout, Quartermaster, Venture Summit Award, GSA Gold Project Award
This award program is designed to recognize a service project that helps United States Veterans. Eligible service projects:
Must have been completed as a final project for one of the following:
oBSA Eagle Scout Project
oBSA Quartermaster Project
oBSA Venture Summit Award Project
oGSA Gold Award Project
Must have been completed between March 31st (previous year) and April 1st in the submission year
Must benefit United State Veterans

NOTE: The project submitted does not have to be from the same candidate as the Scout of the Year candidate. This should be submitted as a separate entry from the  Scout of the Year application.

VFW Department of California Scout of the Year
The VFW Scout of the Year program is designed to recognize a Boy Scout of America or Girl Scout of America who exemplifies not only the core values of their respective Scouting program, but values set forth by the VFW in continuing to serve community, state, and nation. Official rules and guidelines for the Scout of the Year program are set forth by VFW National. Application and guidelines for the Scout of the Year program can be found at: https://www.vfw.org/community/youth-and-education/scout-of-  the-year

Required Documentation
The following documentation should be submitted to the Post:
3X5 Photograph of the Scout – in correct, complete uniform for their current rank.
High School Participation Record – a single page, one sided resume of the candidate’s school activities indicating academic achievement, offices held, honors received and significant participation in other activities.
 
Scouting Record – maximum of three pages, one side only, listing all Scouting participation beginning with Cub Scouts/Brownies – years of participation, unit numbers and sponsors. Also include when Eagle, Gold, Summit or Quartermaster Award was received and Palms. Identify leadership positions held at all levels, participation in Scouting activities (jamborees, Order of the Arrow conferences, etc.) and the candidate’s Eagle Scout, Girl Scout Gold Award, Venture Summit, or Sea Scout Quartermaster Project.
Community Service Record – a single page, one-sided resume listing participation in community and religious service organizations (excluding Scouting and school), noting leadership positions held and any recognition received.
Letters of Recommendation – submit three letters, no more than two pages in length from:
oA scout leader
oA community leader
oA teacher/faculty member (if homeschooled, a parent letter is allowed)
oIn addition, you may include one or two letters, no more than two pages in length, from local community members who have special knowledge of the candidate’s abilities and accomplishments.

Submission Deadlines
A candidate’s complete entry package is due to:
Post Scouting Chairman- March 1st
Post winner due to District Scouting Chairman- March 15th
District winner due to Department Scouting Chairman – April 1st. Along with the winning package, the District Chairperson is REQUIRED to submit the District Scout of the Year form. If the District Report is not submitted with the winning package, the district winner WILL NOT be considered for Scout of the Year!!!

NOTE: The March 15th deadline appears differently than what is posted on National Application. This will ensure that sufficient time is given to thoroughly evaluate all candidate packages submitted to Department.

NOTE: Do not submit photo-copies of the Scout of the Year application package. District and Department Scouting Teams must have originals of all documents and pictures.

Only those Posts entering a winner to the District Competition will receive credit for All-State.

Department Scout of the Year Awards
The Department of California will present the following awards during the annual VFW Department of California Convention (District or Post will receive award if candidate is unable to attend and deliver to candidate):
Department of California Scout of the Year
oFirst Place
Certificate
$500.00 check payable to the winner
 

oSecond Place
Certificate
$300.00 check payable to the winner
oThird Place
Certificate
$200.00 check payable to the winner

The following are award recommendations for Posts and Districts:
Post Scout of the Year
oCertificate
o$100.00 check payable to the winner
District Scout of the Year
oFirst Place
Certificate
$200.00 check payable to the winner
oSecond Place
Certificate
$150.00 check payable to the winner
oThird Place
Certificate
$100.00 check payable to the winner

Reporting Your Activities
You may have heard it said that "the job’s not over until the paperwork is done!” That is especially true of VFW Programs. Chairman must regularly report their Post activities in their respective areas. If we do the work, then we should be proud enough to record these accomplishments. Documentation of your programmatic efforts is the thing that ensures the VFW’s reputation and our not-for-profit status.

***Note: District Chairs MUST submit their report of who participated within the district to the Department Chair. The report attached below MUST accompany the District winning package. If it does not, the District submission will not be considered for Scout of the Year.

VFW On-line Program Reporting at www.vfwca.org. Any reporting for the Scouting, Youth Programs, and for any  other youth activities will be reported under the "Scouting, JROTC, & Youth related activity” portion of the reporting system.

With respect to reporting, rather than providing individual multiple reports that take up time, you may make monthly reports on the system.  In the comments section, you might consider stating "Provided
        hours and $         in support of Scouting (or JROTC/ROTC), or other activities.”

Lastly, reporting for Scout of the Year will come from the Department Chair (via the District Chairs). There is no need for an individual post to submit that they submitted for Scout of the Year.

Scouting Awards/Scholarships
 
Note: All awards will be determined by the Department of California Scouting Chairman. The Department Scouting Chairman will confer with the Department Scouting Team prior to final decision.

VFW Scholarship for Wood Badge and Sea Badge Training
The Wood Badge and Sea Badge programs are the highest level of advanced adult leadership training provided by the Boy Scouts of America for adult volunteers. The VFW National Headquarters, as part of its longstanding commitment to and support for the Scouting program, provides scholarships for eligible VFW members who are active in scouting to attend the Wood Badge or Sea Badge training course. Applications from interested members are countersigned for approval by the local BSA council and forwarded to  VFW  National Headquarters for  consideration and approval. Scholarships are  for an amount not to exceed $200, which is in most cases sufficient to cover the course fees incurred by the participant. A copy of the Wood Badge Scholarship application form is available online from:  http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/Media/Relationships/VFWWoodBadgeScholarship.aspx.

Outstanding Scout Leader Award
Only BSA registered Scout Leaders of VFW Post chartered/sponsored Scout Units are eligible for this award. This award is restricted to Cub Masters, Scoutmasters, Venture and Explorer Advisors, Team Coach, Sea Scout Skippers and Girl Scout Leaders Troop Leaders. They do not have to be a VFW member. Posts will submit a narrative of the Scout Leaders achievements and what he or she has done to be considered for this award. Include awards earned and training. Submit to Department Chairman by April 1st. A certificate will be presented to the Scout Leader selected by the sponsoring Post.

NOTE: This award is an annual based award. A Scout Leader can earn this award multiple times; however, the content of the Post’s write up should focus on the past year’s accomplishments.

Outstanding Scout Unit of the Year
This award is to recognize Scout Units that go above and beyond to provide an outstanding scouting program for their youth and work closely with their Post to do such. Scout Units must be chartered/sponsored by a VFW Post and includes Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Venture Crews, Sea Scout Ships, Explorer Posts, Teams, and Girl Scout Units. Posts must submit a pictorial book with photos and a narrative of all your Scout Unit’s activities, to include Post involvement for the year to the Department Chairman by April 1st. A Flag Streamer will be presented to the VFW Post and Scout Unit.

NOTE: This award is an annual based award. A Scout Unit can earn this award multiple times; however, the content of the Post’s pictorial book should focus on the past year’s activities/accomplishments.

VFW Post Most Active in Scouting
This program is to recognize VFW Posts that, through proper reporting procedures, have demonstrated a level of excellent participation in the Boy Scouts of America Program. Award determination will be done through the Department of California Online Program Reporting system. Grading will begin on April 1st. Any report submitted after that date will not be considered for that year’s award. Posts do not need to be a charter/sponsor of a Scout Unit to be considered for this award. A Flag Streamer will be presented to the Post most active in the Boy Scouts of America or Girl Scouts of America programs.

National Youth Cadet Awards Program
 
The National Youth Cadet Awards Program allows Posts to recognize outstanding achievement and leadership in Junior ROTC programs, Naval Sea Cadets and Civil Air Patrol Cadets. These awards provide your Post an outstanding opportunity to honor these young patriotic people and spread the word about the good works that the VFW does in communities.

Awards may be initiated by a Post or by the Cadet’s unit. All Posts should make every attempt to honor these requests by purchasing a certificate and medal from VFW Emblem & Supply Store and having a representative make the award presentation on behalf of the Post. Please refer to the VFW Youth Activities Chairman’s Manual for more  information on the Youth Cadet Award Program.

VFW Post Most Active in Youth Cadet Programs Award
This program is to recognize the VFW Post that, through proper reporting procedures, has demonstrated a level of excellent and well-rounded participation in the VFW National Youth Cadet Programs. Award determination will be done through the Department of California Online Program Reporting system. Grading will begin on April 1st. Any report submitted after that date will not be considered for that year’s award. A Flag Streamer will be presented to the Post most active in the VFW National Youth Cadet program based on Chairman recommendation.

Deadlines to submit applications for Awards
Eagle Scout, Quartermaster, Venture Summit Award, GSA Gold Project Award
Due to Department Scouting Chairman by April 1st
Scout of the Year
Application to Post by March 1st
Post winner to District by March 15th
District winner to Department Scouting Chairman by April 1st
Eagle Scout, Quartermaster, Venture Summit Award, GSA Gold Project Award
Due to Department Scouting Chairman by April 1st
Outstanding Scout Leader Award
Due to Department Scouting Chairman by April 1st.
Outstanding Scout Unit of the Year
Due to Department Scouting Chairman by April 1st.
VFW Post Most Active in Scouting
Award  determination  will  be  done  through  the  Department  of  California  Online  Program Reporting system. Grading will begin on April 1st.

VFW Post Most Active in Youth Cadet Programs Award
Award  determination  will  be  done  through  the  Department  of  California  Online  Program Reporting system. Grading will begin on April 1st.

Department of California Scouting Team
The Department of California Scouting Team is made up of VFW members. They may be members of
 
troops/posts/packs/ships/crews sponsored by VFW posts or units sponsored by other activities or at district or council level.
Team members must demonstrate the following attributes and as required by the National bylaws:
Demonstrate a history of B.S.A. participation and adult leadership experience.
Demonstrate  a  history  of  commitment  to  the  VFW  as  indicated  by  successful  leadership positions held.
Be the Department "expert” on all phases of Scouting.
Must cooperate with Department, District and Post leaders and B.S.A. leadership.

Department Scouting Team members work to provide the maximum impact of VFW support to the Scouting program and to achieve the maximum visibility for VFW efforts. They assist in developing Scouting within the VFW and promote VFW programs in Scouting. All VFW Posts that sponsor or charter a Scout unit could have a member on the State Scouting Team.

If you would like to be part of the Department Scouting Team, please contact the Department Scouting Chairman.

VFW Scouters Achievement Award
The VFW National Headquarters, in cooperation with the Boy Scouts of America, has developed a VFW Scouters Achievement Award for those individual VFW members who have been active and dedicated volunteers within the Scouting program. Those VFW members eligible to receive this award must have been registered and active in the Scouting program, have been a member of the VFW State Scouting team for at least three years, have completed the requirements for the award as outlined, and have the recommendation of the Department Scouting Chairman and the Department Commander. Eligibility and applications for this award are processed through the Department’s Scouting Chairman through the Department Commander to VFW National HQ. Recognition items for recipients will be provided by VFW National HQ. Requirements for the VFW Scouters Achievement Award are found online from  http://faq.vfw.org/kb_upload/file/VFW%20Scouters%20Ac.hievement%20Award.pdf

Useful items from VFW Store:

Eagle Scout Certificate4366Naval Sea Cadet Medal4393
Girl Scout Gold Award Citation4371Naval Sea Cadet Medal1207
VFW Scouter Patch8775Civil Air Patrol NCO Citation4395
VFW Scouter Pin1785Civil Air Patrol NCO Medal1209
Jr ROTC Citation4387Civil Air Patrol Officer Citation4394
Jr ROTC Bronze Medal1229Civil Air Patrol Officer Medal1208
Sr. ROTC Citation4386Civil Air Patrol Officer Medal1208
Sr ROTC Silver Medal1226Youth Recognition Certificate4367
Leaders of Youth Program Recognition4368Custom-Lettered Citation4360
 
https://vfworg-cdn.azureedge.net/-/media/VFWSite/Files/Community/Youth-and-Education/Scout-of-the-Year/ScoutoftheYearBrochureandEntryForm.pdf?la=en&v=1&d=20190417T205942Z