If your family lives in Southwestern Pennsylvania and portions of the Potomac region in Maryland and West Virginia, and your child isn’t already involved with the Scouts BSA, enrolling them as a Cub or Scout with the Laurel Highlands Council may well be the best decision you make for them.
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) provides the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training, which helps young people be “Prepared. For Life.®” The Scouting organization is composed of more than 1 million youth members between the ages of 5 and 21 and more than 628,000 volunteers in local councils throughout the United States and its territories. You can find more information about this time-honored national nonprofit organization here.
Here’s what you need to know about the Laurel Highlands Council and how it makes positive changes in the lives of its members and their families.
The Laurel Highlands Council Scouting Difference
The Boy Scouts of America Laurel Highlands Council serves nearly 9,000 youth members and 4,000 volunteer adult leaders throughout its multi-state footprint in Western Pennsylvania, Western Maryland, and parts of West Virginia, making it one of the largest councils in the Boy Scouts of America. It has a long history and a wide reach, and it makes outsized efforts to represent and serve the BSA mission.
A History of Scouting Excellence
In addition to its representation of multiple US states and regions, the Laurel Highlands Council (LHC) has been serving kids, families, and communities for over a century. Since 1914, the smaller councils in its region have been growing, merging, and evolving to create what is now known as the Laurel Highlands Council, which was officially established in 2011.
Championing Scouting Values Today
From the inception of its predecessors and today, the LHC has worked to lead by example in upholding the original Boy Scouts of America core values. These are reflected not only in how it practices the Scout Oath and Scout Law, but in how it works to make Scouting programs accessible and beneficial to every eligible child in the regions it serves.
Laurel Highlands Council does this in part by fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion that makes participating, volunteering, and working in the Scouting program enriching for everyone. It respects and honors perspectives related to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status, religion, physical ability, and political belief. The LHC seeks to create a positive and welcoming environment for all, which it believes is among the most important of Boy Scout values.
This is also part of the Laurel Highland Council’s two-point vision as it emerges from the pandemic:
- To put Cubs in Dens, Dens in Packs, and Packs in churches and synagogues
- To build sustainable financial mechanisms that re-invest in “number one”—its Scouts.
As a result of its efforts, the Laurel Highlands Council has grown its membership by 3.69% in the last year alone. If your family lives in a region it serves, odds are there’s a unit for your child to join nearby. Enrolling your child in one today can benefit them in rich and lasting ways. As a Scout, your child will:
- Learn to be a community servant
- Show leadership at school, at home, and in their community
- Tap into their creativity and capability, building self-esteem and key life skills
- Become a wilderness survivor
- Become a steward of the environment and an expert in safety and preparedness
Pioneering a Movement: Scouting 365
The Laurel Highlands Council is also working to promote core Scouting principles in innovative ways. It’s currently spearheading an exciting new campaign to engage Scouts, potential Scouts, their families, and community members more fully in the original principles established by the national Boy Scouts of America organization. That’s because these principles are anything but arbitrary: they are the Scouting way of life, and they work not only to promote Scouting, but to strengthen the lives and futures of Scouts—and everyone around them.
What Is Scouting 365?
The concept of Scouting 365 is simple: Scouting Every Day In Some Way. This motto embodies the LHC’s commitment to living life the Scout way, which ultimately benefits all Americans. It means that even when they’re not directly participating in Scouting activities, Scouts will find minor and major ways to use their skills, help other people, keep themselves physically and mentally healthy, and demonstrate a firm moral compass. This includes not only doing the right thing and honoring your beliefs, but treating all people with respect.
Make Your Mark in History With BSA Laurel Highlands Council
If you live in the western parts of Pennsylvania, Maryland, or West Virginia, enrolling your child in the Boy Scouts of America Laurel Highlands Council is an excellent way for them to become proficient in backpacking and camping.
Scouting’s programs and outdoor adventures give young people equal opportunities to try new things, provide service to others, build self-confidence, and develop leadership skills. These experiences not only help Scouts while they are young, but help them grow into exceptional men and women that respect their family, community, religion, country, and themselves.
The Boy Scouts of America, Laurel Highlands Council serves youth members and volunteer adult leaders throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania and portions of the Potomac region in Maryland and West Virginia. We aim to beneficially involve every eligible child and their family in the fun and adventure of our programs. We provide extraordinary youth development programs that develop and strengthen the values of the Scout Oath and Law. However, we can’t do it without you. Give today!