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Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014

Boy Scouts: Another local group assisted by United Way

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Like the Girl Scouts of America, the Boy Scouts of America also receives funding from the United Way.

Although, the local troops do not receive the funding directly, it does go to the Boy Scout Council which in turn sends money to the troops for various things.

"The money that United Way in our community gives to boy scouting goes actually to the council. That would seem like it's leaving our community but for every dollar we send up there, they send back about 10 down here."

Everett Mobley, former scoutmaster of Troop 272, said. He added that this money goes to pay those professionals who train the volunteers with the organization as well as for the operation of scout day camps.

"It's just multiplied over and over," he said, adding, "So, we support the council but the council supports us 10 times over."

Mobley is also a former Cherokee District Commissioner and is currently a Unit Commissioner which is a liaison between Cherokee District and Troop 272 and Explorer Post. He is also a liaison with the Kiwanis, the troop's charter organization.

When asked about the history of Boy Scouts, Mobley noted that it is a values-based organization which had its beginnings with Lord Robert Baden-Powell's desire to help new army recruits be more capable and self-sufficient in the field. Many of the recruits were from urban backgrounds and had no understanding what it was like to camp, cook, and generally, survive in the countryside, away from the luxuries they had become accustomed to in the city. Baden-Powell's book that he wrote on the subject became immensely popular with boys in England.

Thus, scouting has grown from a few English boys to a worldwide movement.

According to Mobley, boys in scouting develop self-confidence and leadership ability by learning a variety of skills in a fun program which stresses a strong outdoor component as well.

Mobley notes that troop organization gives the boys opportunities both to learn and to lead as they plan their own activities which could include a day at the airport learning the aviation merit badge, whitewater rafting, a fishing trip, or rock climbing and rappelling.

In Kennett, boys as young as the first grade are introduced to scouting by joining Cub Scout Pack 89 which is sponsored by the First United Methodist Church. The program is open to any and all boys and is considered to be a family oriented program.

Another organization that also sponsors a troop is the Kiwanis Club of Kennett. Boy Scout Troop 272 is for boys ages 11 years to 18 years of age.

No previous experience in scouting is required. Even though, this is still considered to be a family friendly program, the young men in this troop begin to take a greater role in planning their own meeting and outings themselves.

At one of the meetings, the boys may learn first aid for medical emergencies or learn how to cook over an open fire.

The merit badge program that is offered gives the boys opportunities for learning everything from photography to robotics to wilderness survival.

Mobley added that the values of scouting that are expressed in the oath and boy scout law are integrated into every activity, instead of being preached to the boys.

Boy Scouts learn to set for themselves a higher standard and take to heart the Scout motto and "Be Prepared" for life.

According to Mobley, scouting is the game where every youth can win, unlike sporting events where somebody wins, somebody loses.

It also offers an array of opportunities for youth of any talent to stretch their limits and expand their abilities, ranging from camping to rock climbing, to boating, swimming and fishing. In other words, scouting has it all.

In programs for the older youth, such as Venturing, Varsity and Explorer, girls are also eligible to join. Mobley notes that the Kennett Fire Department sponsors and Explorer Post that gives the youth real hands on experience and training in fire fighting.

Mobley added that there will soon be a new television program entitled, "Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout?" This program will feature a group of young Eagle Scouts competing against a team of adult former scouts and athletes.

"Imagine a cross between 'Survivor' and 'The Great Race' with none of the dirty tricks, and you have a rough idea of what to expect," he said.

He added that the national boy scout organization also maintains several high adventure bases from the mountains of New Mexico and West Virginia, to the northern boundary waters, to the Florida Keys.

Mobley noted, "Our own Greater St. Louis Area Council maintains four major camping properties. Paid staff members maintain these properties and support the thousands of adult volunteers leading the program at the local area. Continuing he said that the scout slogan of "Do a Good Turn Daily" reminds participants to think of their duty to others, whether it's helping a neighbor, or a troop service project to clean up a trail, or Scouting for Food, which is the national event that collects millions of food items for the needy.

The following statements explain the mission of the Boy Scouts and what they stand for:

* Mission Statement-The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law;

* Vision Statement-The Boy Scouts of America will prepare every eligible youth in America to become a responsible, participating citizen and leader who is guided by the Scout Oath and Scout Law;

*Scout Oath-On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight;

* Scout Law-A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.

In closing, Mobley commented, "Every dollar given to the Boy Scouts of America is multiplied by the work of the thousands of volunteers and the millions of youth that they serve."

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