Independence, MO – I was pleased last week to join top volunteers and professionals from the Boy Scouts of America’s nearly 300 councils at the organization’s annual national meeting in Orlando.
Hartsook supports the fundraising work of about a dozen local BSA councils and the national council. It’s a growing and important partnership.
BSA has taken big steps in the right direction under the leadership of national Chief Scout Executive Bob Mazzuca, who retires later this year. Program information is now available on the iPad and iPhone. Cutting-edge high adventure opportunities at the new Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia and elsewhere are coming on line. And the organization is doing a better job sharing its potent formula for character and leadership development with those not involved in Scouting but whose goals align with its own.
Most exciting to me, though, are BSA’s continuing efforts to deliver Scouting to boys who lack the financial and family support to participate in the program. Through Scoutreach, local BSA councils hire leaders – a role performed by volunteers in most units – to guide packs and troops. Scoutreach also provides scholarships that help pay for uniforms, summer camp and other important support items out of reach for some.
The BSA Heart of America Council’s Blue Elk District, which serves the same Eastern Jackson County communities the Examiner covers, serves 150 youth through 12 Scoutreach units. A single hurdle continues to limit every available young person’s ability to participate in Scouting in our district: Money.
I’m the Blue Elk District chairman. We’re working hard to secure the resources we need by June 30 to secure Scouting’s life-changing programs and experiences for every family in our district with Scouting-aged kids.
We need to raise another $13,000 in 2012. You can help us meet our goal in several ways:
• First, consider making your own gift if you haven’t already. You can contact Blue Elk District Director Grant Dealy at 816-942-9333 or [email protected] or me at 816-876-9393 or [email protected] No gift is too small, and your charitable support will have a leveraged and lasting impact.
• Tell others you know who understand the value and impact of Scouting about the opportunity to help the Blue Elk District. Have them call or write Grant or me.
• Share the opportunity to sustain Scouting in the Blue Elk District with civic organizations, service clubs and other groups in which you participate. Again, encourage them to call or write Grant or me.
There are few investments in people whose benefits grow over time. The value of Scouting becomes greater with each passing year.
I became an Eagle Scout in 1984 in Troop 223 at Stone Church in Independence. Some of my best friends today were my Scouting buddies, and the program’s leadership and problem solving lessons still serve me well.
I’ve seen these same qualities emerge through Scouting in Joe and John Hennessy, my son and nephew. They became Eagle Scouts last year in Troop 228 at Christ United Methodist Church in Independence and are emerging as strong young leaders.
I suspect Scouting has shaped people in your life, too. Think for a minute about those you know who have benefited.
Thank you in advance for helping me ensure Scouting’s benefit is available for every youth in the Blue Elk District.