11/17/11 — Boy Scouts to start new pack for local disadvantaged students

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Boy Scouts to start new pack for local disadvantaged students

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on November 17, 2011 1:46 PM

Thanks to a grant from the United Way -- and the dedication of local volunteers -- a group of boys who would likely never otherwise get the opportunity are now Boy Scouts.

And Tuscarora Council Scout Executive Tim Harper said he believes the new Cub Scout pack will represent something far more valuable than the uniforms and supplies funded by the $3,220 donation.

"This is an opportunity for them -- maybe the only opportunity they'll ever have -- to go through a Scouting program," Harper said. "Every young man deserves that."

And it's a chance, he added, to bring more role models into the lives of those who might really need them -- the children inducted into the pack come from underprivileged families.

The 20-boy pack, which meets once a week at the Boys and Girls Club, is being mentored by the Victory Faith Center.

"They see it as an outreach -- as an opportunity to have a positive influence over these young men," Harper said. "So we feel fortunate that we were able to find a church whose men's group would provide that kind of leadership."

And Harper feels good about the fact that as this new pack grows, the Boy Scouts will finally be able to say that they, truly, serve "the total community" -- a goal he first outlined more than a year ago when he took on his current post and said "if there is a young man out there looking for something, for some guidance in his life, it's our responsibility to offer that programming to him. All young men."

There are no plans to expand the pack this year, but if interest grows within the Boys and Girls Club, Harper said he believes even more at-risk boys will get their chance to put on a Boy Scout uniform.