Past accomplishments, future endeavors noted during Scout Week
Week dedicated to youth and volunteers
Scout Week will be celebrated in the Valley as the area’s district of the Great Trail Council enjoys some accolades of its own — an increase in recruiting and membership in 2022.
The anniversary of Boys Scouts of America is recognized during National Scout Week, Feb. 5 to 11, with activities that recognize the contributions of young people and adults to Scouting while honoring the organization’s history.
Mike Kupec, public relations chairman for the Stambaugh District of the Great Trail Council of Boy Scouts of America, said the Feb. 8 anniversary signifies 113 years of Scouting in the United States and 115 years in Great Britain.
Kupec said recruitment was up in 2022 for Trumbull and Mahoning counties. During the coronavirus pandemic, fewer activities and meetings were taking place in person, but the number of Scouts joining troops increased locally.
The Great Trail Council was recognized at a recent conference in Pennsylvania for adding to recruiting and membership rolls.
Two troops in Mahoning County — Scouts BSA Troop 8025 for girls and Scouts BSA Troop 9025 for boys — meet Tuesdays at Canfield Presbyterian Church. They have a Sunday morning service together and will host a pancake breakfast Feb. 12 at the church.
Suzanne Heino, Troop 8025 scoutmaster, said while the girls are separate from the boys, they often join forces for events, including an upcoming Scout Sunday on Feb. 12.
Meeting on the same night helps families who have both sons and daughters in Scouting, Heino said. In addition, Cub Scouts Pack 9025, which serves kids in kindergarten through fifth grade, meets on the same night every other week.
“We have only been around for three years, so the Scouting has done well for the girls participating. I think after COVID, people wanted to see the Scouts get together. It is important for them to have socialization and gain leadership skills,” she said.
The girls troop has “been growing since we first started. There was an interest for girls to be in Scouting. We do a lot of things together with the boys. When you join forces, a lot can be accomplished,” Heino said.
Don Duda, scoutmaster for Troop 9025, said the program has been around locally for 96 years and has been meeting at the Canfield church since November.
“Scouting is a unique opportunity to engage in activities that kids today don’t do as much as they did before. Scouting teaches how to be self-sufficient and helps Scouts to earn their Eagle award, how to survive in the outdoors and to have fun,” he said.
“I credit the success of the Scouting program to the numerous volunteers who come and help out individual units. They help cover costs and help with transporting Scouts to different places. The parents are very supportive,” he said. “One of the strengths is, the members of our adult committee is more than the number of Scouts we serve. When you have that many committed adults, it helps make the program successful.”
Kupec explained that the BSA designates the Sunday that falls before Feb. 8 as Scout Sunday, which is the primary date to recognize contributions of young people and adults to Scouting.
Each chartered organization, however, can use either of two other options to celebrate the special day. An organization can adopt a specific Sunday to celebrate. It also is permissible for a local church to celebrate on the Sunday most acceptable to the pastor and congregation.
Scouts BSA is the nation’s top youth serving organization. Scouts will celebrate the occasion of its 113th birthday in a variety of ways, from fashioning Scouting uniforms to serving in religious ceremonies in churches.
It all began when American businessman William Boyce met with Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts movement in Great Britain. Boyce brought Scouting to America and incorporated the Boy Scouts of America on Feb. 8, 1910.
Other ways to celebrate the anniversary of Scouting include a special hike, flag-retirement ceremony, service project, blue and gold banquet, court of honor, troop reunion, or a conversation with an older person who was once a Scout about his experience.