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Scouting Prepares Youth for the Future with the Help of the Greater St. Louis Area Council
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Scouting Prepares Youth for the Future with the Help of the Greater St. Louis Area Council

Over the years, Scouting has helped develop strong, independent, community-focused young adults, and the Greater St. Louis Area Council (GSLAC) – Boy Scouts of America has continued to provide opportunities for youth throughout the region. Whether through STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities, leadership development or workforce preparedness, Scouting has been there.

In 2013, GSLAC launched its Community Outreach Program, designed to make Scouting accessible to all by eliminating major barriers for inner-city and rural youth. Through the formation of strong partnerships with dozens of school districts and community agencies, they have been able to provide nearly 7,500 youth in grades K-8 with in-school and after-school Scouting programs.

“Scouts in the Outreach Program receive the same quality program as any Scout,” explains Outreach Coordinator Chrissy Fitzpatrick. “We have developed a comprehensive, year-round program including structured activities for each meeting and leaders to deliver the Scouting programs.”

With the support of the Outreach Program, youth membership fees are waived as necessary, and scouts are provided with official Cub Scout and Scouts BSA uniforms. Everyone involved in the program participates in all aspects of Scouting including Pinewood Derbies, STEM activities, citizenship and leadership training with opportunities to earn badges, participate in advancement ceremonies, outdoor experiences, and camping events.

Like many organizations, COVID-19 restrictions have caused GSLAC to pivot its traditional programming. “Of course, we have had to modify … just like the rest of the world. Our in-person delivery model has been put on hold,” Fitzpatrick says. “We have used a variety of unique ways to reach our scouts including live stream Zoom meetings, activity packet pick-ups and pre-recorded video meetings. Our partners have been amazing and receptive to helping us stay connected to our Scouts.”

Now more than ever, the GSLAC has made the Outreach Program a top priority to continue supporting youth within our community. “Right now, we’re faced with a very challenging moment in our community,” Fitzpatrick concludes. “It takes a village to support today’s youth, and every bit of support helps.”

To support this local Outreach Program call or go online to stlbsa.org. Opportunities include, but are not limited to, volunteerism, Adopt-a-Pack/Adopt-a-Troop programs, supply donations and monetary donations.

Greater St. Louis Area Council – Boy Scouts of America, 4568 W. Pine Blvd., St. Louis, 314-361-0600, stlbsa.org

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