BLOOMSBURG — The Columbia-Montour Boy Scout Council is celebrating its placement — first in the Northeast Region, second in the nation — in the Boy Scouts of America “Journey to Excellence” for 2013, a press release says.
The rankings are based on a number of measures, including membership growth, Scout retention, camp attendance, and community service. In these and other categories, the local council exceeded national and regional averages.
“The ‘Journey to Excellence’ is how the national Boy Scout organization evaluates scout councils,” said Attorney Barry Lewis,
Columbia-Montour Council president. “Ranking first in our region and second in the nation is an accomplishment that our volunteers, youth members and professional staff can be very proud of.”
The BSA’s Northeast Region includes scout councils from Maine to Virginia as well as Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and 27 countries in Europe.
“We have 25 percent of the area boys in Cub Scouts, while nationally the average is 13 percent,” Lewis said. “And in Boy Scouts, nearly 26 percent of this area’s boys are in scouts, while only about 14 percent are nationally.”
At the high school level, both boys and girls can belong to the Venture program. The local council has four Venture Crews.
Among the statistics that led to the council’s high rankings:
• Membership Growth: up 3.5 percent (nationally, average membership declined 5.9 percent)
• Retention of Youth Members: 78.8 percent (national average: 70.2 percent)
• Cub Scout Rank Advancement: 84.5 percent (national average: 62.8)
• Boy Scout Rank Advancement: 46.8 percent (national average: 45.5 percent)
• Cub Scout Camp Attendance: 53.2 percent (up nearly 5 percent from previous year)
• Boy Scout Camp Attendance: 80.2 percent
• Community Service: 13,526 hours, an average of 10.7 hours per youth member
• Top leader in pack, troop or crew received training: 87 percent (national average: 54 percent)
“While the statistics are impressive, the most important fact is that it shows Columbia-Montour Council’s volunteer leaders and staff are providing a high-quality program for the youth in the area,” said James Shearer,
Area 4 Director for the national Scouts. Shearer and Area 4President John Mason
presented the “Journey to Excellence” award to the council at a meeting of the executive board March 15.