Jason Tewes gave an overview of the organization, functions, activities and recent developments of the Boy Scouts of America at our regular meeting on Wednesday, September 19th.
. Jason is currently the Director of Development of the Suffolk County Council, Boy Scouts of America.
Jason began with a brief bio, explaining how he became part of the organization, and his assignments during the past 13 years throughout Long Island and the New York metropolitan area.
The Boy Scouts of America (the BSA) is one of the largest Scouting and youth organizations in the United States, with more than 2.4 million youth participants and nearly one million adult volunteers. Since founded in1910, more than 110 million Americans have participated in BSA programs.
The BSA’s goal is to train youth in responsible citizenship, character development, and self-reliance through participation in a wide range of outdoor activities, educational programs,
The organization offers five Scouting divisions for youth ranging in age from kindergarteners through young adults of 20 years old: Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Venturing, Sea Scouts and Exploring.
Sea Scouts, Venturing and Exploring have been co-ed programs for the last 25 years. Beginning in 2018, girls have the opportunity to join Cub Scout dens, and in 2019, programs for older girls will make it possible to earn the rank of Eagle Scout.
Although scouting membership has fallen off nationally in recent years, it has been growing in Suffolk County, with over 13,000 youths and 4300 adult volunteers currently registered in scouting programs in 300 communities. The Suffolk County Council will be celebrating its 100th anniversary next year.
Jason described the SPARK program (Scouting Program for At Risk Kids). SPARK is a pilot program to bring scouting activities, guidance, and leadership to the underprivileged communities in Suffolk County. The plan is based on best practices from scouting groups in inner cities and elsewhere with similar socio-economic problems and a poor adult volunteer base. The primary element of the plan is in-school Cub Scout programs; the program is working well so far.
Jason concluded by outlining some of their fundraising activities, and inviting all to participate. For information about the Boy Scouts of America, visit their website: www.scouting.org, and for the Suffolk County Council: www.sccbsa.org.
Jason is shown above with Babylon Rotary Co-President Charlie Spencer.