Irving, Texas—On February 5, local religious and community
organizations across the nation pledged to start 5,974 new Scouting
units by the end of June 2003.
The pledges were made during a nationally broadcast videoconference
coordinated by the Boy Scouts of America. The broadcast was the official
kickoff of "Character Connections—Reaching Youth With Scouting," a
nationwide new-unit organization campaign. The campaign focuses on
expanding the positive impact local organizations have had on their
communities and neighborhoods for years through cooperative efforts
Community leaders gathered at meeting sites across the nation to
watch the broadcast and consider organizing new Cub Scout packs, Boy
Scout troops, and Venturing crews.
The goal of the campaign is to exceed the number of new units
organized during the first half of 2002. The 5,974 new unit commitments
reported on the first day of the campaign represent a 21 percent
increase over the total number of units organized during the same
period last year. With the campaign scheduled to end on June 30,
the number of new unit commitments is expected to increase even
BSA National President Roy S. Roberts said he was pleased with the
successful kickoff and with the enthusiasm for Scouting shown by
religious and community organizations.
"The success of this effort goes a long way toward helping the Boy
Scouts of America fulfill its larger goal of establishing Scouting
units in every neighborhood and community in the nation," said Roberts.
"Religious and community organizations understand the important role
young people play in our future and also see the value of Scouting in
developing strong families and neighborhoods," Roberts said. "Through
their support of Scouting, they're making a positive impact in their
communities and in the nation."
The videoconference, hosted by Roberts, Chief Scout Executive Roy L.
Williams, and National Commissioner Rick Cronk, included testimonials
from representatives of national community and religious organizations,
including U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige; NAACP President and
Chief Executive Kweisi Mfume; the president of the National Council
of La Raza, Raul Yzaguirre; and a special message from President
George W. Bush.
In taped remarks, Bush thanked organizations for their commitment
to youth and the nation.
"For more than 93 years the Boy Scouts of America has taught young
men how to be citizens as well as Scouts, and our nation is a better
place for it," Bush said.
Today, the Boy Scouts of America serves more than 5 million youth
with the help of more than 1.2 million adult volunteers. Since its
inception in 1910, more than 110 million people have been involved
in the BSA. For more information about the Boy Scouts of America,
please visit our Web site at old.scouting.org.
Boy Scouts of America—Connecting youth
with communities and families.