Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of stories that explain what programs funded by United Way do to help this community.
Boy Scouting works with youths today to produce better adults tomorrow. And it does this through traditional packs, as well as a fairly new community pack.
United Way of Wayne County funds Scouting within the Housing Authority here, said Jason Smith,Scout executive and CEO of the Tuscarora Council Boy Scouts of A merica. It has been funding the pack for about two years now.
“We’ve got Pack 30 with 63 youths in it that we work with to ensure that any of the young men or young ladies in the Housing Authority who are interested in being a Cub Scout have that opportunity,” Smith said. “They are elementary school age, grades kindergarten through fifth.”
Smith said that for youths living in the Housing Authority community, transportation may be an issue. So the pack meets within the Housing Authority. He said the goal is to expand from one community pack to having a pack in every Housing Authority community.
“United Way funds everything we do with the community pack — uniforms, registration fees, insurance, activity fees — so there’s no out-of-pocket expenses for them,” he said. “That’s the only difference between that unit and a traditional unit. They do everything a traditional pack does. They’re all just Scouts.”
Smith said if there was no community pack, these youths would probably not be in Scouting.
“Whether in a Housing Authority pack or a traditional pack, you see the same changes in the boys,” he said.
“They have fun, but at the same time, they’re learning leadership and self-reliance. They’re learning skills that will take them through the rest of their lives.”
Smith said that studies have shown that youths who are Scouts for any length of time learn skills that will affect the decisions they make the rest of their lives.
“Scouting makes better people,” he said.
“It’s a good wholesome organization that produces strong leaders, strong community members. Our Scouts are taught to give back to the community, to lend a helping hand, to be there. So when they grow up, that’s what they’re doing.
“We’re here to help the youths today become better adults tomorrow.”