This post is not a news release or story, it is my personal opinion…
I have for the past few months, after seeing a promotion for it on the National Eagle Scout Association website, been excited for the release of myNESA.org. I was a little turned off by the online shadow box format it appeared to be taking, but was excited that it appeared NESA and the BSA had established a social media type website to allow Eagle Scouts to connect. Just think of the possibilities! Unfortunately after seeing the myNESA.org I have once again been disappointed by NESA and the BSA’s attempt at social media.
Being advertised as an online Eagle Scout shadow box, the premiere online showcase for Eagle Scouts and their families, here is the description I received:
As part of the 100th anniversary of Scouting celebration, The National Eagle Scout Association is introducing an interactive website that will allow you to celebrate your Scouting stories and awards and preserve them for family and friends to enjoy. In essence, myNESA.org produces an “interactive shadowbox” for the display and preservation of your Scouting experience. Your participation will help spread the spirit of Scouting to new Scouts while also helping us carry out our mission of service.
Your showcase can be personalized to reflect your personality and interests. Various themes are available and you can choose from over 300 interactive Scouting awards, badges, and insignia to add to your showcase. Not only can background stories be associated with each award, but you can:
Celebrate Scouting highlights
Customize showcase skin & Design
Invite friends to view awards, badges, stories and more!
Sounds great doesn’t it? Why wouldn’t you want to sign up and share your story and “spread the spirit of Scouting?” For most the answer will be $14.95 (NESA members) or $19.95 (non-members). The signup page forgets to mention it, but according to the FAQ that is only for a year’s subscription to the service.
Why isn’t this service being offered for free? Why isn’t NESA spreading the stories of Scouting for free? Why isn’t NESA allowing Eagle Scouts to reconnect and network for free? Does anyone at the National organization understand that if we share the story of Scouting, it’s easier to recruit new members and its easier for Scouts to fundraise? If we keep Scouting Alumni engaged they are more likely to donate and stay involved in the program?
Just look at the comment left on the Subaru Forester Pinewood Derby Commercial post by ScoutAbout:
Around the campfire at our recent pack family campout we asked new families why they had joined cub scouts. SEVERAL of them said they saw the car commercial with the wooden car race and it sparked good memories and better values. They knew the actors were not real Scouts, they knew the scouts did not drive Subarus, and they were reminded that there was a program out there that emphasized good old fashioned values and fun. Kudos to Subaru for helping my recruiting effort.
I’ve heard similar stories after Councils have held community Pinewood Derbies, or an Eagle Scout project received major media attention. We need to encourage people to tell the story of Scouting as much as possible, and a $14.95/year fee for people who have already paid for a NESA membership just won’t cut it.
That is my two cents, take it or leave it. If you wish to view the stories of fellow Eagle Scouts and to create your own interactive showcase, go to www.myNESA.org. Check it out, you may disagree with me.