New Northern Star Communications
Text, Live Video, New Emails, and More
If it wasn't before, it's more obvious today than ever that clear and well-working communications tools are important to any organization. In our case, with thousands of volunteers, families, and youth members, all expecting different experiences, it's even more important!
As part of the Unit's First initiative, a new council committee was formed, with staff and volunteers across the council. This committee took on the mission to expand our council communicatons, so that important and necessary information wasn't lost in the shuffle of districts changing.
That commitee has been meeting regularly for a few months now and is ready to present a roadmap of new communications tools we'll be using extensively in the future! Our goal is to make most of these methods custmoizable and targetted to you specifically - to your role in Scouting!
While not the newest or maybe the most exciting medium, email is still an important tool in the belt of communications. We plan to expand (and already have!) our use of email. Here's what we've got:
- eNavigator - Sent once a month to all Scouting families. Sections of this email will continue to be generated based on your Scouting role
Northern Starlight: Cub Leaders – A targeted message emailed to all these leaders monthly (2nd or 3rd week)
Northern Starlight: Scouts BSA/Venturing Leaders - A target message emailed to all these leaders monthly (2nd or 3rd week)
Northern Starlight: Council/District Volunteers - A target message emailed to all these leaders monthly (4th week)
This is our starting point and we'll evaluate whether more, less, or different email messages are necessary. As usual, you can expect other one-off emails from us about major topics or events.
You'll be able to customize your email options on our website!
Even before a quarntine made many of us experts in video streaming and virtual conferences, it seemed clear to us live video would be an important communications method. We plan to host at least 1-2 live video presentations or meetings for the entire council to join - and think they'll be an evolution of the weekly Leader Cracker Barrel videos we've been doing recently.
You can see all the previous cracker barrels on this page: https://northernstar.brand.live/leader-cracker-barrels
We hope these live videos will be able to provide answers to immediate questions, resources and materials for units, and much more.
A More Powerful Calendar
We've heard the calls, and we're going to answer them with a subscriabable calendar! We'll now have multiple calendars that you can subscribe to and receive instant updates in your own app(s). They'll be powered by Google Calendar, and to start we'll have four you can subscribe to.
- Northern Star Council Calendar
- Cub Scout Focused Calendar
- Scouts BSA and Venturing Focused Calendar
- Exploring Focused Calendar
These calendars are just in the process of launching now, you can find the different options on our calendar page here: https://www.northernstar.org/calendar/
SMS Text Messaging
We've been recently approved by all the major carriers for our own custom 5-digit text code! That's right, if you text the word SCOUT to the number SCOUT (72688) you'll be added to our text messaging app. We're just getting started, but again the goal with this is to synchornize your messages based on your role in Scouting. You'll also be able to manually opt-in to receive more or less text messages.
Our website will continue to be the central hub of all of our communications and where you can find all the stories, preference options, and latest news! Our goal will be to have a single page that allows you to find ways to custmize or view all of your communications preferences, as well.
Although less popular than it once was, we are not abandoning printed material! It's still VERY important for things like recruitment and areas where digital communication aren't possible. We will still be sending a printed version of the Navigator newsletter 4 times per year. Also, our printed Calendar and Resource Guide is still being made and will be distributed in early August as part of the next program year kick off.