(Memphis) Boys in Memphis now have a chance to be a part of the boy scouts for the first time because of a historic gift from a Memphis eagle scout.
The Chickasaw Council chapter of the Boy Scouts of America is based in Memphis, and just received their largest single donation of one million dollars.
Scout leaders call this gift a game changer.
They say it will allow boys in urban parts of the city a chance to experience the outdoors and the values of being a boy scout.
They say this could transform the way Memphis looks ten to fifteen years from now.
“It’s a life changing experience. It makes a big difference in those young men’s lives,” said Scout Executive Woody Woodard.
Woodard says the Scoutreach program serves about four thousand boys right now, but with the million dollar gift they will be able to give more boys a chance to be a scout and have life experiences they would never know otherwise.
“What this will allow us to do is go in there and start Boy Scout packs, start Cub Scout groups and give these kids a chance to go on high adventure trips and get to go to summer camp. It will open up a whole new world to them,” said Woodard.
The Boy Scouts will now expand the Scoutreach program to Frayser, Hickory Hill, Millington and Raleigh.
Woodard says money will not be a barrier for any young men in these neighborhoods to join a pack.
If needed the Boy Scouts will provide the uniform, camping equipment and registration fees.
After boys get involved they will have opportunities to make money to pay for any other scouting costs.
“It really gives them life lessons about earning your way. It also sends a message that you know what there are people out there who care about you,” said Woodard.
To learn more about the Scoutreach program visit their website at http://www.scouting.org/About/AnnualReports/PreviousYears/2003/scoutreach.aspx