PARKERSBURG - For over 100 years, the Boy Scouts of America has been working to teach leadership and instill values in boys and young men through a variety of activities and programs.
Locally, the Allohak Council of the Boy Scouts of America is a member agency of the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley.
Dale Musgrave, Scout Executive for Allohak Council, said the local council serves 17 counties, 15 in West Virginia and two in Ohio stretching from Nelsonville, Ohio, to Davis, W.Va. As of the end of 2011, there were 3,683 youth in the program, ranging from the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts for boys to the Venturing and Exploring programs for teen boys and girls.
The annual Davis Anderson Memorial Cub Scout Pinewood Derby in February is among many activities and programs offered each year for Scouts of all ages in the Allohak Council.
In the five years since he came to Allohak Council, Musgrave said it has continued to experience growth each year through young people joining the program, totalling about 10 percent for the five-year period.
The main purpose of Scouting has always been to develop leadership skills in young people, instill values of citizenship and a strong moral character, Musgrave said. The program uses a variety of ways to teach those things to young people, not always directly.
Among the administrative expenses covered by the Allohak Council are salaries for staff who work to find new places to start packs and troops and to find volunteers to work with the young people, sickness and accident insurance for all members, liability insurance for members and national service fees as part of the BSA.
This is the next in a series of articles about the member agencies of the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley.
"The United Way is terribly important to us, the United Way is crucial to us," Musgrave said.
Musgrave said the United Way provides about $50,000 locally in the Mid-Ohio Valley and about $75,000 council-wide to help the BSA with its programs and services.
"It's less than 10 percent of our total expenses for 2011, but if we didn't have that United Way support then our staff would have to spend time raising money and less time delivering programs to youth, working with volunteers and training them," he said.
In the Allohak Council, there are over 1,700 volunteers working with youth, so the funding helps the staff to better help and train them, Musgrave said.
"If the volunteers are recruited well, trained well and provided the things they need to be successful, they will stick with the program. If they stick with the program, the kids will stick with the program. If the kids stick with the program, then they will receive the values of the Scout Oath and the Scout Law," he said.
Looking ahead at the new year, Musgrave is hoping for the completion of a volunteer project to build a new administration building at Camp Kootaga on West Virginia 47. There are also a number of special activities, camp programs and projects planned throughout the year for local Scouts.
"The United Way is an important part of our success," he said.
To learn more about the Allohak Council, visit allohak.org.