April 29th - Boy Scouts of America Plans Largest National Service Project Since World War II

Boy Scouts of America Plans Largest National Service Project Since World War II

Five National Forest Sites, 5,000 Scout Volunteers, Five Weeks of Service

DALLAS, April 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The Boy Scouts of America announced today that the Order of the Arrow, the BSA's national honor society, will conduct its largest national service project since World War II. The service project is called ArrowCorps5 (pronounced Arrow Corps Five) and will be conducted at five U.S. Forest Service sites across the country over a five-week period during the summer of 2008. This service project is expected to include 5,000 members of the OA providing more than 250,000 hours of service.

"ArrowCorps5 is the largest, most complex, most challenging conservation project ever conceived by the Order of the Arrow and Boy Scouts of America," said Brad Haddock, chairman, National Order of the Arrow Committee. "This project provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for each participant to set an example of leadership in service to those who treasure our national forests."

The national forest sites selected for this project are Mark Twain, Missouri; Manti-La Sal, Utah; George Washington and Jefferson, Virginia; Shasta-Trinity, California; and Bridger-Teton, Wyoming.

"Kids must understand why forests are so valuable so they will grow into citizens who support conservation. Building on the Forest Service tradition of conservation education, we will work with partners to ensure that American children have the opportunity to experience the great outdoors, whether it is a remote mountain wilderness or a spot of nature in the heart of a city," said Forest Service Chief Gail Kimbell. "Today's children -- and theirs -- will need to be able to take the baton and finish the race. For that, they will need a full understanding of why forests are so valuable, along with a strong land ethic. It is our job to give them both," Kimbell said.

Scouts from all across the United States will be given an opportunity to make significant and positive impacts on their national forests. These service projects will include ecosystem restoration, invasive plant and tree removal, trail construction and maintenance, bridge work, campsite improvements, erosion and weed control, and fence removal.

The project also serves as a precursor to the Boy Scouts' plans for its 100th anniversary celebration in 2010. "For nearly 100 years, the Boy Scouts of America has created a strong foundation of leadership, service, and community for millions of America's youth," Haddock said. "We celebrate this legacy as we reaffirm our commitment to inspire and prepare future generations of leaders through historic and meaningful projects and partnerships."

    ArrowCorps5 Service Project Schedule:

    Mark Twain National Forest         June 7-14, 2008             Missouri

    Manti-La Sal National Forest       June 14-21, 2008            Utah

    George Washington and

     Jefferson National Forests        June 21-28, 2008            Virginia

    Shasta-Trinity National Forest     July 12-19, 2008            California

    Bridger-Teton National Forest      July 26-August 2, 2008      Wyoming

About the Boy Scouts of America

Serving nearly 4.7 million young people between 7 and 20 years of age with more than 300 councils throughout the United States and its territories, the Boy Scouts of America is the nation's foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. For more information on the Boy Scouts of America, please visit http://www.scouting.org.

About the Order of the Arrow

More than 180,000 youth and adults are members of the Order of the Arrow, the national honor society of the Boy Scouts of America. The purposes of the Order of the Arrow are to (1) recognize those Scout campers who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives, (2) develop and maintain camping traditions and spirit, (3) promote Scout camping, and (4) crystallize the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others.

About the U.S. Forest Service

Established in 1905, the Forest Service is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Forest Service manages public lands in national forests and grasslands. These public lands encompass an estimated 193 million acres of land, an area the size of Texas. The Forest Service has a long and distinguished history of service to the public and stewardship of our national forests and grasslands. The agency's mission is best captured by the phrase "Caring for the Land and Serving People."

Website: http://www.scouting.org/