Boy Scouts of America to Host Open House at Camp Howard M. Wall
Free Event to Offer Fun, Interactive Activities for Youth, Information for Adults
CHRISTIANSTED, VI (May 5, 2017) – United States Virgin Islands, Boy Scouts of America (USVI, BSA)–a district of the Bethesda, MD-based National Capital Area Council (NCAC)–is inviting the community to visit Camp Howard M. Wall (Southside Road @ Milord Point, Christiansted) from 9-11 a.m. on Saturday, June 3, 2017 for an Open House. The event will feature interactive, fun, informative experiences for youth and adults to ‘show and tell’ the impact of Scouting’s programs.
“Scouting has been a part of the USVI community for almost a century,” said Virgin Islands Presiding Superior Court Judge (Retired) Darryl D. Donohue, Sr., a former BSA youth member with Explorer Post 101 when it was associated with St. Croix’s St. Joseph High School who now serves as an assistant Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 7227, which is chartered to St. Croix’s Good Hope Country Day School, and as a district merit badge counselor. “It helps young people develop better academic habits, self-confidence, self-respect, respect for others and healthy living habits as well as the life and leadership skills necessary for them to thrive personally and as productive members of our—or any—community.”
As a volunteer-led organization, BSA underpins a local community’s efforts to ensure its young people have every opportunity to grow into their personal and professional potential. The aims of its youth development programs, which serve males ages 7-21 and females ages 14-21, are to nurture young people into quality citizens by developing their character, fostering their understanding of participatory citizenship, and promoting a commitment to mental and physical fitness.
“Scouting programs are fundamentally a form of education, workforce development and juvenile diversion,” said NCAC’s Deputy Scout Executive/Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey S. Berger, CNP. “They help young people make positive decisions and develop a personal code of morals and ethics that every community needs at its core to not just survive but thrive.”
Recent changes in the USVI’s economy have affected involvement in and financial support for local Scouting just as with other local community organizations. To address this situation, the USVI, BSA District is launching a bold new initiative–USVIsion 2020: Scouting Forward–with a goal to serve 1,000 young people between St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John by the year 2020. In partnership with public, for-profit and nonprofit organizations, the BSA will assist the USVI community’s short- and long-term health and welfare, safety and economic needs by actively engaging youth in a variety of educational, cultural and character-development experiences as well as mentoring opportunities beyond the classroom.
“According to available 2014-2016 statistics from the Virgin Islands Department of Education, there were upwards of 17,000 young people enrolled in USVI public and private/parochial during that time period,” said Berger. “And during that same timeframe, the BSA served an average of 246 young people. Together—the BSA and the local USVI community—can offer more opportunities to help prepare today’s youth to be tomorrow’s leaders.”
For youth attending the June 3 Open House, there will be several age-appropriate activities to showcase the combination of education and fun that is fundamental to all Scouting programs. For adults attending that day, there will be an informative and interactive session offering details about the value and benefits of Scouting as well as available youth membership and adult volunteer opportunities.
The event is FREE but REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED to ensure event organizers can ‘be prepared’ to accommodate as many youth as possible in the planned activities and as many adults as possible in the planned informational session. Snacks and water will be available. No rain date scheduled at this time. Visit www.NCACBSA.org/USVI for the link to register. Questions can be directed to USVIScouting@NCACBSA.org.