BSA Alumni affiliates connect alumni with shared experiences, be they happy memories of a national high adventure base, an Order of the Arrow Ordeal, or a community service project to earn one of Scouting’s top achievements: Eagle, Summit, or Quartermaster.
There may be several local associations or groups already active and engaging alumni in the council. Examples include but are not limited to a council National Eagle Scout Association (NESA) committee, a camp staff alumni association, unit alumni groups, and the Order of the Arrow.
These groups do not “report” to the council BSA AA committee. Rather, the council BSA AA committee assists these groups in the following ways:
Coordinating events between all groups
Assisting with keeping contact data up to date
Communicating group activities to internal and external audiences
It is suggested that members of specific associations have representation on the council BSA AA committee to aid in coordination. The following are a few of the affiliate groups active at the local level.
National Eagle Scout Association
The vision of the National Eagle Scout Association (NESA) is to support the BSA and fulfill the mission of keeping Eagle Scouts involved in Scouting. This is done through an impressive, all Eagle Scout volunteer group working in 120 local council NESA committees with over registered 140,000 NESA members.
NESA awards scholarships to graduating high school seniors to assist in the pursuit of higher education. In 2016, this program was expanded to include trade schools, and a record 167 scholarships worth $670,000 were awarded.
Membership in NESA is soaring-councils are forming active NESA committees, more troops are purchasing NESA memberships for their new Eagle Scouts, and in some cases, councils are purchasing NESA memberships for all their Eagle Scouts. Eagles set goals and achieve them; they go places physically, mentally, and spiritually. These life-changing experiences—and the confidence they provide—form a foundation a Scout can stand on to embrace opportunity and overcome obstacles in life.
To learn more, please go to: https://nesa.org/.
Life for Life
Life is the second-highest rank attainable in Scouting, above Star and below Eagle. Life is awarded when the Scout BSA serves actively in the troop or crew, serves in a position of responsibility for six months, and performs six hours of community service. A Scout BSA must also earn five merit badges (at least three of which must be required for the rank of Eagle) for a total of 11, including the six previously earned. Finally, the Scout BSA must pass a Scoutmaster conference, and board of review. The Life heart came to symbolize achievement in health and fitness, as the First Aid merit badge was required for both Life and Eagle until 1972, when it became required for all ranks above First Class.
Many in Scouting participate for years, but they do not complete the trail to Eagle. This could be due to family issues, time commitment, outside interests or other matters. Youth that have earned the rank of Life Scout may have gotten what Scouting has to offer: Good Citizenship, Leadership skills, Ethical Decision Making and Duty to God. Not completing the Trail to Eagle and ending their Scouting experience with the second to top rank, Life Scout, does not mean that these youth will be any less of a success in life than those who attain the rank of Eagle.
This group, LIFE for LIFE is for adults who want to be connected with others who are alumni of Scouting’s second highest rank and wish to stay connected over time.
The Facebook Page for the Life for Life group is located at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1805390576453201.
The LinkedIn Group is located at: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/12025054/.
National Organization of Sea Scout Alumni
The National Organization of Sea Scout Alumni (“NOSSA”) breathed its first breath in late 2015 at the onset of many requests for a specialized Alumni group catering to the specific needs of Sea Scouts. The group was created with the mission to “serve those previously involved in Sea Scouts who still believe in the program and provide ways for them to stay informed and involved.”
To focus on fulfilling the “stay informed” portion of the mission, NOSSA created a social media platform to connect the alumni base. In 2016, NOSSA surpassed its goal of connecting 200 alumni. With a fully functioning Job Board, the NOSSA website now has the capability to advertise different roles available to volunteers and alumni who want to stay involved with the program. As NOSSA looks to the future, it has dreams of providing greater avenues of connection for its member base – focusing on that second half of the mission “to stay involved” – and eventually the ability to provide scholarships to deserving Scouts.
To learn more, go to https:/seascout.org/alumni
Venturing Alumni Network
We have developed a Venturing alumni affinity group, operated by a subcommittee of the National Venturing Committee, and supported by the Boy Scouts of America, Venturing BSA, and BSA Alumni, to service and support the alumni of the Venturing program, help them find purpose, empower them to reconnect and reengage, and retain all those positively impacted by the Venturing program. Since 2018, this group has been identified as the Venturing Alumni Network.
Our team assists with helping to identify past (& current) youth and adult members that were (or still) involved in Venturing, establish opportunities for fellowship and social engagement, secure and grow additional financial support for Scouting, rekindle the memories from their time spent in the program, reengage former or inactive members with Scouting, provide opportunities to leverage professional skills and talents to support and grow Scouting, and recruit additional adults to support Venturing and Scouting on all levels.
To learn more or to sign up, please go to: https://www.scouting.org/programs/venturing/connect/alumni-network/.
National Explorer Alumni Association
The National Explorer Alumni Association. While most of our members were active in youth leadership roles between the birth of contemporary Exploring in 1969 and the Venturing split in 1998, we welcome anyone who enjoyed their Exploring experience and would be excited to welcome more recent members of the program. The Association’s activities are relatively informal, and our primary objective is to foster alumni communication and encourage reengagement, as adult volunteers, with the Exploring program. We hosted our second reunion in 2019 in Washington, DC – site of the annual National Explorer Presidents’ Congress during the 1970s.
Check us out, join the conversation and sign up on Facebook page at
Association of Top Achiever Scouts (ATAS)
The Association of Top Achiever Scouts (ATAS) was formed in 2004 in the Asia Pacific Scouting Region to unite those who have earned the top Scouting award in their particular National Scout Organizations (NSO). ATAS is recognized by the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) as an international fellowship of Scouting. The Mission of ATAS is to promote and assist Scouts in their respective NSO’s to achieve the same level of success and provide a network of top achievers for fraternity and Scouting fellowship.
The ATAS – BSA Chapter recognizes BSA’s top achievers, including recipients of the Eagle Scout Award, Sea Scouting’s Quartermaster’s Award, and Venturing’s Silver and Summit Awards. ATAS – BSA Chapter seeks to:
Strengthen friendship and solidarity through continued relationships amongst ‘Top Achiever’ Scouts in the Boy Scouts of America.
Support and complement the work of the NSOs
Conduct regular activities and /or projects to foster fellowship amongst members, their families, and guests.
Develop networking amongst members for sharing of knowledge and experiences.
To learn more, go to: https://www.atasapr.org/
Alpha Phi Omega
Alpha Phi Omega is the single most represented co-educational intercollegiate service organization in the United States. Since 1925, more than 500,000 members on over 375 campuses, continue to provide more service on more campuses than any other collegiate service organization.
It is the vision of Alpha Phi Omega to be the premier, inclusive, campus-based, leadership development organization through the provision of service to others and the creation of community.
Alpha Phi Omega members are welcome to serve as chapter officers, plan and execute volunteer projects or social programs, and participate in sponsored leadership development programs – to improve the members’ skills for work within Alpha Phi Omega and in their professional lives. More details at www.APO.org.
American Wood Badge Association
Recognizing the spirit and enthusiasm of Wood Badgers, American Wood Badge Alumni (AWBA) is designed to take us all back to Gilwell – happy land. And, of course, to continue working our ticket, if we can. It is designed to reconnect all who have completed Wood Badge and engage them in activities that benefit local councils through training, service, and communication. AWBA launched in 2017 and celebrated the 70th anniversary of the first official Wood Badge course in the United States in and marked the centennial of the first Wood Badge course in England in 2019. Our website is www.americanwoodbadge.org and we can be followed daily on Facebook at facebook.com/Wood Badge Alumni/.
Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association
The Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association, Inc. (“SAA”) was founded by former staff members, long-time volunteers, and supporters of Northern Tier High Adventure. The organization provides continuing support for its mission and programs. Through its members, it has impacted the thousands of Scouts who have participated in canoeing and winter adventures. Support ranges from direct financial support to volunteer service.
The SAA’s programs included its almost 30-year-old volunteer “Work Week.” The annual two-week event allows members to volunteer to provide direct service. Efforts involve work to preserve and enhance the Northern Tier programs and facilities. During this event, the members host an annual “Seminar Day” for staff to provide education on outdoor and interpretive skills.
As having the tools to perform a role leads to a quality program, the SAA has also established a staff support program. The program provides items to all seasonal staff based on their year of service. First-year staff members receive $40 credit at the trading post to buy necessities. The SAA also publishes the “Charlie’s Guide” book to support staff in providing an outstanding experience to Scouts. The book contains the knowledge of campsites, portages, points of interest, fishing, and history.
To encourage quality staff to return during their college years, the SAA has established a scholarship program. The program provides $1,000 academic scholarships each year to qualified individuals. It was the first national association to create this scholarship program, a program since adopted by others.
The SAA is preparing for Northern Tier’s 100th season in 2022 and the 100th anniversary in 2023. It is undertaking writing an updated history of the Northern Tier program. A continuation of its book “A Diamond in the North,” published in 1998, which chronicles the first 75 years. When the SAA’s members rendezvous for its biennial reunion in 2023, it will celebrate Northern Tier’s 100th anniversary, and the over 250,000 lives it has changed.
To learn more, go to: https://www.holry.org/
Philmont Staff Association
The Philmont Staff Association (PSA) reunites staff members who have hiked Philmont’s rugged mountain trails, met her challenges, and are vitally interested in and dedicated to her future. PSA is a community of 4,000 men and women who have had life-changing experiences as Philmont staff members that is dedicated to giving the current generation of Philmont staff members the same great an experience.
Members are welcome to participate in summer and autumn treks, attend the annual reunions in July at Philmont, volunteer and serve in our Volunteer Vacation & PhilBreak Fire Recovery programs. The 2019 scholarship program awarded $65,000 to current staff members who are also members of the PSA; another $11,000 was awarded in 2019 trek scholarships to youth pioneering their Philmont experience through a Rayado, ROCS, or STEM trek. PSA has raised and gifted over $4 million dollars for several projects including the Staff Dining Hall, The Silver on the Sage Staff Activity Center, Baldy Pavillion, handicap accessible bathrooms at Dining Hall II of the Philmont Training Center, new camp furniture at backcountry camps, Fire Recovery and most recently the PSA Office Building & National Scouting Museum.
To learn more, go to: https://www.philstaff.org/
Sea Base Alumni and Friends Association
The Sea Base Alumni & Friends Association (“SBAFA”) is the staff association of the Sea Base High Adventure program. Its mission is to support current Sea Base staff and the programs they deliver, connect past and present staff members to each other, and advance the overall mission of the Boy Scouts of America.
SBAFA, formed in 2004, welcomes not only the past staff, but also friends of the incredible programs offered at Sea Base. Whether you have spent your summers down on the rocks or you simply long for the taste of saltwater in your snorkel, SBAFA is the place for you.
SBAFA supports Sea Base in several ways at the Florida Keys, Bahamas, and Virgin Islands program locations, but also through ambassadorship to the Scouting community. Members support fundraising campaigns that allow us to provide staff hydration devices, welcome baskets, staff sparklers and fun activities to the Sea Base staff. Its scholarship committee provides deserving staff members with financial support to achieve their educational goals. SBAFA members give Sea Base program presentations to their local councils and represent Sea Base at national meetings, jamborees, and other events.
To learn more, go to: https://www.sbafa.org/
Summit Bechtel Reserve Staff Association
The Summit Bechtel Reserve Staff Association (SBRSA) promotes a continuing interest and support for the vision, mission, and programs at the Summit Bechtel Reserve. The association is 700 members strong, comprised of Scouts and Scouters who have staffed SBR’s seasonal, jamboree, shakedown, and training programs. In 2016, the groundwork was laid for a seasonal staff scholarship program with the first recipient being announced in the summer of 2017; provided seasonal staff with Klean Kanteen cups as a thank-you gift; created a membership system and website; and planned activities at the 2017 National Scout Jamboree, including sponsoring the Staff Appreciation Show the night before participants arrive.
Members join the SBRSA to share their enthusiasm for the Summit and its programs with like-minded individuals. The wide variety of program opportunities available at the Summit Bechtel Reserve results in a diverse set of members, all of whom are passionate about the property and the special role it plays in the BSA.
To learn more, go to: http://sbrstaff.org/
Scouting Historians is a community of past and present Scouters who are interested in our shared history, serve as local historians for the Scouting movement, or actively work with our history through various mediums. Our community is comprised of Scouters who embody a passion to share the story of Scouting by focusing on their history, from the local unit to the council and beyond, including the Order of the Arrow and summer camps. Each of these individual key elements weave to create the fabric of our shared Scouting history.
Scouting Historians are invited to actively share ideas, resources, tools, and stories with other members of our community. Various local and national training experiences and programs are available to members, such as the National Scouting Historian Summit (NSHS), National Order of the Arrow Conference Goodman Edson Observatory (NOAC GEO), Scouting Memories Project, and more. Members are encouraged to share the Scouting story through oral history, written word, presentations, exhibitions, and programs. Each of us is an integral part of the Scouting movement, so, naturally, we are all Scouting Historians! To learn more, contact, ScoutingHistorians@gmail.com.