Local district of Boy Scouts shy of goal

Published 8:22 pm Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Boy Scouts of America’s Crane district, which includes Dallas, Perry and Wilcox counties, is about $33,000 shy of its goal for the annual Friends of Scouting Campaign. This money supports more than 1,400 scouts in 45 units spread across the three counties.

“We’re going to have to keep at it,” senior district executive Leith Wilson said.

Wilson said it costs about $100, in addition to the cost of a uniform and handbook, to provide scouting services for an individual. Each district pays this cost with financial pledges from individuals, businesses and organizations in its communities through the campaign.

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“They get behind it financially,” Wilson said. “It helps to offset that cost.”

Until the end of May, Wilson, other scouting executives and volunteers will burn up the phone lines soliciting pledges for the Crane district, which is part of the Tukabatchee Area Council. If the goal is not met, Wilson said he would work until they reached it.

“We’ve got to come up with the funds,” he said.

Because, Wilson said, he could not imagine a world without scouting.

“I had the opportunity to do things in scouting I never would’ve been able to do on my own,” he said.

He said scouting gives children the chance to travel places like the Rocky Mountains, build lasting friendships, and learn skills that will benefit them long after they hang up their khaki scouting shirt.

“It helps you build self-confidence and life skills,” Wilson said.

District chairman James Bearden said these skills do not come cheap, either. The district needs money to host day camps for Cub Scouts or take a Boy Scout troop to a Montgomery Biscuits baseball game, along with day-to-day operating costs throughout the district.

Bearden said scouts are like one big family, from the volunteers to the people, businesses and organizations who pledge money. This is why the goal will be met, he said.

“We try to focus on the people who came up through scouting,” Bearden said. “We get good support out of them.”

To contribute funds to the Boy Scouts of America’s Crane district, you can contact Leith Wilson at the Selma office located at 816 Selma Ave. Room 5 or contact the Tukabatchee Area Council in Montgomery.