10 Jan Member Spotlight – Boy Scouts of America
Boy Scouts of America is hands-on learning. It lets kids have fun while they learn skills that will help them as they grow older. Scouts are involved with community service projects. They learn leadership development. They have opportunities to experience camping and outdoor activities. It’s a year-round program that provides fun, learning, and lots of adventures.
Mark Hunter is the District Executive for the Pawnee District of the Quivira Council for Boy Scouts of America in McPherson. Mark Hunter started with the Boy Scouts back in 1978 when he was 13 years old. As He got older, he became a volunteer and then eventually moved into the position of Executive Assistant for the Pawnee District. Hunter really enjoys Boy Scouts of America and is very enthusiastic about the different programs and opportunities that youth have by participating in the organization.
In McPherson there are currently three Cub Scout troops for children kindergarten-5th grade. There are also five Boy Scout troops for young men and women ages 11-17, four of the troops are male and one is female. “Girls have been participating in program since the 70’s” Mark Hunter said. On family days parent would bring their sons and daughters to participate. This was the first year the girls had their own troop and were able to earn badges.
“The Cub Scout program in McPherson was the pilot program when Boy Scouts of America looked at lowering the membership age level to youth in kindergarten, the tiger program”, Mark Hunter said. Because of its success in McPherson, it is now available at that age level nationwide. Over 4,000 cub scouts were added just this year alone. “Boy Scouts of America experienced a real growth spurt last year” Mark Hunter said, and the Quivira Council will also be growing this year. Currently the Quivira Council has five districts and it will be expanding to seven. Mark also mentioned how Boy Scouts of America is now in school classrooms, teaching skills and earning badges thanks to the help of ESSDAK, an organization on helping learners prepare for the future.
“Boy Scouts of America raised over $40,000 in donations in 2019 and intends to raise that goal for 2020. Each Scout cost about $360 a year” Mark said, and “there is no way the Boy Scouts of America could cover the cost without the donations and support of its communities”.