To the Editor:
I have been volunteering with the Boy Scouts of America for nearly 30 years and am honored to be serving now as the president of the new Laurel Highlands Council.
The year 2014 is the start of an exciting new era for the Boy Scouts of America in the Western Maryland and West Virginia area.
On Jan. 1, two great Boy Scout councils, the Laurel Highlands Council and the Potomac Council joined together to form the newly expanded Laurel Highlands Council.
The Laurel Highlands Council, headquartered in Pittsburgh, now encompasses 16 counties in three states and serves over 30,000 youths.
As many of you know, the Boy Scout councils in this area have a successful history of growth through collaboration, and this latest partnership will offer expanded and innovative opportunities for local youth.
In 2013 alone, the Laurel Highlands and Potomac Councils achieved the BSA’s Gold standard, in part by providing approximately 125,000 hours of recorded service to their communities.
The Boy Scouts of America enjoys a rich local history here and we look forward to continuing these traditions to an even greater degree through this consolidation.
At its core, Scouting is a local movement aimed at helping youth grow into confident and strong adults. It is about strengthening our families and serving our communities.
While most families involved in Scouting won’t notice a change to their usual Scouting activities we believe this new council will help further our goal of securing a long-term role in positively shaping young lives in the communities we serve.
Through my work with the BSA, I have seen firsthand how children benefit from the variety of experiences and opportunities that are made possible through Scouting.
I know that in many ways 2014 will be a landmark year for the Laurel Highlands Council as our volunteers work hard to deliver Scouting’s promise of character development, citizenship training, and personal fitness for as many young people as possible.
To learn how you or your children can be a part of the new Laurel Highlands Council, please visit http://www.lhc-bsa.org.
Bernie Lockard, council president
Laurel Highlands Council