ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Seneca Waterways Council of the Boy Scouts of America is holding its annual membership drive this month.
As children return to school, now is a great time of year to find a local Cub Scout Pack to join as well.
Stephen Hoitt, Scout Executive/CEO for the Seneca Waterways Council, discussed the drive Tuesday during News 8 at Noon.
“Kids join Scouting for the fun of it – camping, outdoor programs, crafts, archery, and sports,” Hoitt said. “Parents put their kids into Scouting for the life-skills they get out of it – character development and leadership, and the confidence-building they gain from Scouting and they take with them throughout their life.”
Hoitt is optimistic the Scouting experience will be more traditional this year with fewer restrictions:
“We’re absolutely hoping it will. We’re just bouncing off a great summer camp season where we had about 1,900 kids go through camp and with a couple of exceptions it was pretty close to 2019. So we’re pretty optimistic that Scouting for us, especially in our Cub Scouting program, will be pretty close back to normal. But there’s still the obvious masking and other things that still seem to be with us at the moment.”
The Seneca Waterways Council serves all of the families in Monroe, Seneca, Wayne, Ontario, and Yates Counties:
“Collectively, we run four programs. Cub Scouting, pre-COVID, was the largest and that’s probably the one that has the biggest gain in the month of September. We’ll bring about 2,000 kids into our Cub Scouting program and that’s really for boys or girls in grades K-5. Kids can join any time of the year but about 2,000 kids will join in the month of September.”
The annual Scouts Popcorn Sale is underway as well. The fundraiser raises over $1 million annually for the Seneca Waterways Council.
“With the Popcorn Sale, kids learn a lot about earning their way and confidence,” explained Hoitt. “We do a great partnership to raise money to help support the individual programs, about 70 percent of that stays with us. Thanks to a great partnership with the Buffalo Bills as well as our partner Council in Buffalo we have a Buffalo Bills tin this year Scouts are selling. You’re only going to find it for Scouts who are attached to the Seneca Waterways Council, so our neighboring Councils – other than Buffalo – don’t have it. And you’re only going to find it when you see Scouts selling out in front of stores. So you’ll see it if they’re out in front of Walmart or Lowe’s, or one of those locations, you’ll see them with the tins. Scouts going door-to-door don’t have them. As I understand, we have about 1,200 cases – that’s just under 10,000 tins that came in – they’ve all gone out to our units. So if you’re looking for one of those Buffalo Bills tins you can hopefully find a Scout group one of the upcoming weekends in September or October.”
Learn more about Scouting and find a Cub Scout Pack near you online at beascout.org.