Welcome to the Suwannee River Area Council!

Our council’s goal is to provide a quality, dynamic program of learning and adventure that builds well-rounded young people. The Suwannee River Area Council, Boy Scouts of America was incorporated in 1924. Since then it has been our honor to instill in the youth we serve the character, values and traditions that make Boy Scouts of America stand apart in the crowd.

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SAVE THE DATE: The Suwannee River Area Council’s preparation for the 2026 National Jamboree has begun.   We are pleased to announce that Thomas Smith, 1st Asst Scoutmaster for the 2023 Jamboree, has accepted the role of Chair of the 2026 Jamboree Planning Committee.

Adult leaders are needed to serve in various positions including Contingent Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmasters, and Jamboree Planning Committee members.  Committee members should be well seasoned with experience in planning and attending scouting events. 

Committee members are not required to attend the Jamboree. The Contingent Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters must be able to attend Jamboree the  last two weeks of July 2026.  Position descriptions can be found online at https://jamboree.scouting.org/councils/ under the Organization tab.  If you are  interested in serving in a position, please contact Thomas Smith at tcsmith19@aol.com or 850-459-2662 before July 15, 2024.  Space is limited, so please act now.

The total cost of participation is still being determined.  Please keep an eye on our Jamboree Webpage, Social Media and your inbox as more information becomes available in the coming months.   We expect to have our leadership recruited and the cost for the Jamboree trip determined by the end of the summer of 2024.

SRAC Youth Protection Training Policy Update

As the Suwannee River Area Council turns into its second century, we look back at the time that our council has been active in providing a world class program to youth and adults in this area, and we look forward to ensuring this program can be continued for another 100 years. One aspect of this is providing a safe environment for our youth to thrive. For decades, the Boy Scouts of America has been a leader in youth protection, having created and continuously revised the best expert-informed policies to ensure youth safety. These Barriers to Abuse have been a huge part of our program here in the Suwannee River Area council and will only continue to help strengthen our youth.

The National Boy Scouts of America policy states that Youth Protection is required for all registered adult volunteer leaders, and that the training must be renewed every two years. Registered leaders include all adult volunteer leaders in Scouting. For additional information on Youth Protection, please visit www.scouting.org/training/youth-protection.

As of Dec 21, 2023, the Suwannee River Area Council Key 3 has reiterated and reemphasised the need for this by approving a new process reiterating the Council’s zero-tolerance requirement that all our volunteers, regardless of position, must always maintain a valid Youth Protection Training certificate.

In addition to the national BSA requirements stated above, all adult volunteer leaders in the Suwannee River Area Council must always hold a valid two-year Youth Protection Training certificate, regardless of the annual charter renewal process. While we recognise there are some inconveniences associated with a zero-tolerance policy, any adult volunteer leader whose Youth Protection training certificate lapses will have their membership suspended from the membership system at the end of the month of their training expiration, and no refunds will be approved for fees paid for membership, insurance, or Scout Life magazine. We firmly believe in our adult leaders and that you will support this because we need to take every possible step to protect our youth and the future of Scouting in North Florida and South Georgia.

This new policy became effective as of Jan 1, 2024. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us, your District Executive, or Program Director.

Thank you for your leadership in ensuring that all our Scouts receive a safe, quality Scouting program.

Jeff Barbacci
Council President
Dale Austin
Council Commissioner
Terry Whitaker
Scout Executive

National Membership Change to Criminal Background Checks

In keeping with the highest standards for safety, a change in the processing of adult applications has gone into effect beginning January 16, 2024. As of that date, the adult application flow has changed to require the completion of the Criminal Background Check (CBC) before the new Adult volunteer can assume any leadership role in the BSA.

  • Once an adult application is processed (online or via the Council Office) the person is entered in a “pending” status.
  • The new adult leader and unit key 3 will receive an email informing them not to assume any leadership roles until this CBC is cleared.
  • Once the CBC is cleared and there is no follow-up needed, the system will finish registering the person.
  • An email will then be sent to the unit key 3 and the individual letting them know that they are registered as an active leader.
  • CBCs typically take 24–48 hours to complete. Depending on the volume of applications at any given time, this could take up to a week.

This change only impacts new adult leaders who join the BSA after January 16th, 2024.

Please reach out to Dean Parrish at Dean.Parrish@scouting.org if you have any questions regarding this change.

Centennial Logo

100 Years of Legacy, Leadership and Adventure!

#SRAC100 Celebration!

 

Did you know that even though our council has been continuously chartered since 1924, individual troops had been active in the area that would become the Suwannee River Area Council for 12 years before that.

Thomasville had the honor of being the first town to start a troop in the region that would later be served by the Suwannee River Area Council. The driving force behind that first troop was Will Watt, an enterprising young businessman with a strong dedication to meeting the needs of local youth. After graduating from Presbyterian College in 1908, he returned to Thomasville to work for his family’s hardware business.

In June 1912, Watt traveled with a few Thomasville boys to Staunton, Virginia to take part in a summer camp program put on by the local Scout troop there. About fifty Scouts and adult leaders convened at a campsite on the South River near the town of Grottoes, where they spent two weeks practicing first aid, signaling, boating, swimming, and campcraft.11

Watt must have liked what he saw. Once home from the trip, he wasted no time gathering community support to start a Boy Scout troop in Thomasville.

For more information and an update on the planning and our CSP Design contest, please visit our #SRAC100 Web page!

Changes to 72 Hour Rule – Barriers to Abuse

Effective Sept 1, 2023
 
Starting Sept 1st, 2023, National is changing adult requirements for who must register at the unit level. All adults in the Scouts BSA, Venturing, and Exploring program that attend an overnight event are required to submit an application for that unit, and any adult that is not the parent or legal guardian enrolled in Cub Scouts, or a Cub Scout volunteer that holds a position such as Den Leader where they are interacting with more than just their child that attend an overnight are required to submit an application for that unit. All Cub Scout parents and guardians are recommended to submit an adult BSA application.
 
All adults who accompany a unit camping must be approved by that unit’s Charter Organization Representative. District and Council Activities have a similar stipulation that all adults are registered at the unit or the District/Council level. The key takeaway and best mindset to approach this is to consider who has “overnight access” to youth, and if an adult does have access to any Scouts BSA Scout, Explorer, or Venturer or a Cub Scout that is not their biological or legal responsibility, they should be registered.
 
While this may be a change from how things have been in the past, this change is solely for the safety of the youth, for which we are responsible. As a unit, a council, and a program we must continually strive to ensure that our children, friends, and family are in a safe and nurturing environment.
 
Resources
  • Guide to Safe Scouting Link
  • The PDF version is still being updated. The HTML version of the Guide to Safe Scouting is always current.
  • Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse Link
  • Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse FAQs Link
  • Information on “What is a Legal Guardian” Link

So... what's going on around #SRACBSA?

The Suwannee River Area Council, Boy Scouts of America was incorporated in 1924. Since then it has been our honor to instill in the youth we serve the character, values and traditions that make Boy Scouts of America stand apart in the crowd. Thirteen counties throughout south Georgia and north Florida are served by Suwanee River Area Council. If you are not involved in Scouting today please let us know how we can serve you!