Thank you for visiting our website. We are a group of dedicated volunteer Scouters who have brought the resources of the internet to Scouting and built an online community of resources to help all within our Scouting organization. The U.S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. (USSSP for short) is not affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). However, we support the BSA and all of its programs. We operate the USSSP as a non-profit and as a public service to the Scouting community.
Our "project" is to gather as much resources, graphics, clipart, and associated reference material as possible about Scouting and post it on the internet for public access. We DO NOT maintain unit-specific information such as Scout names, meeting places, or personal information. The information we provide is of general Scouting interest. Information on how the programs operate, guidelines, requirements and most importantly support documents and image archives. When a Scout or Scouter (adult leader) needs help in a particular subject area, we want to be able to fill their need. From clipart for Unit newsletters to ideas about games, songs, or activities to make Scouting fun!
We welcome all Scouts or Scouters who are interested in dedicating time in helping us with one or more specific content areas of our site. Our website is maintained by Volunteer Team members who spend untold hours bringing this great resource to you. Many thanks goes to these dedicated Scouters who have built this site and provided this wonderful resource to all.
In the earliest days of the Internet, Scouting's first presence was an email
listserv known as Scouts-L started by Jon Eidson in 1990 and an FTP server in
Dallas a few years later called Pluto operated by Jeff Webb that allowed
modem connected users to upload and download files. Pluto was the first
repository for Scouting clipart and documents. In those heady days of
experimentation and tinkering with this novel thing called the Internet, that we
all take for granted today, most of us on the U.S. Scouting Service Project Team
met via email conversations. Folks like Mike Walton, Gary Hendra, and Kyna
Hendra were uploading clipart to Pluto back in 1994 and chattering by primative
email even earlier. Others of us joined in over the next few years.
By 1994 the first U.S. Scouting Service Project website was launched.
It was a simple site in those days with little more than a search engine and a
graphical map of features. But it was the genesis of an idea that took
root thanks to Chris Marsey who pioneered what would become one of the largest
Scouting websites in the world with monthly visits from Scouters in more than
150 countries. From that simple start in 1994 a small group of dedicated
Scouters working as volunteer team members has built this website without having
ever met face-to-face as a group. When the owner of Pluto passed away, we
took over the file library left behind with the help of Jon Eidson, a current
board member of the U.S. Scouting Service Project. For several years we
operated an FTP site as a successor to Pluto and in 1998 converted it to web
content.Today - 2007
Since our beginning we've built and developed all that you see based on email
friendships, Scouting trust, and good natured phone calls. When you think
about it, it is pretty amazing that a small group of Scouters without ever
meeting as a group and with only the tools of the Internet has been able to
forge together a website that became a Scouting community featuring more email
lists, discussion forums, databases, and more than 30,000 content files.
Over the years we have been fortunate to find a succession of hosts that helped
support us and keep us running. Most recently the kind folks at
www.data393.com in Denver stepped in when
we were about to close down and offered us a home and a server.
Today you'll find monthly issues of Baloo's Bugle, which features Cub Scout
theme material, monthly cartoons, an advice column that is published every few
weeks, a growing content collection, updated andvancement requirements, a news
blog, more than a dozen email lists, an active online forum for discussions, and
much more. In our first year we operated one website with a single domain
name. Today we operate 27 domain names with all of our websites integrated
into a common navigation system allowing visitors to quickly switch from site to
site without getting lost. Future
Our future is always uncertain and depends on the kindness and support of
Scouters from around the globe, but because we are Scouters and have the help of
so many, we think the future is bright. Over the years we've been
fortunate to have help from hundreds of Scouters from around the globe who have
supported us with content contributions, donations, and labor. We at the
project team are fortunate to crew a vessel crafted by many, many hands and
strengthened by that wonderful fellowship of Scouting that transcends borders
and all manner of distinctions. In many ways the existence of this website
is a tribute to the Spirit of Scouting started 100 years ago by Robert
Baden-Powell at Brownsea Island with a small group of Scouts that has since
grown to millions.