To all Unit Leaders, Pennsylvania Dutch Council

Subject: Family Friends of Scouting Campaign

From: Bill Curtis, Chairperson, Family Friends of Scouting Campaign

I wanted to take time to address our on-going Family Friends of Scouting program, here at the Pennsylvania Dutch Council, BSA.  This is our annual giving campaign which provides Scouting’s families, volunteers and friends the opportunity to financially support the operations of their local council.

The Pennsylvania Dutch Council is a non-profit organization.  We cannot operate without the assistance of our leaders, who are our cheerleaders, and we need the support of every unit, and their members if we want to continue to bring a quality program, which we strive to do each day.

The Family Friends of Scouting campaign for packs, troops and crews is done through presentations to families and friends of Scouts while at their unit meetings.  Usually this is done between the months of January and April.  Presentations are made by unit leaders, or trained presenters.

The Pennsylvania Dutch Council is proud of the fact that we are leaders in our field!  Other Councils throughout the country look at us for guidance and for the past 4 years we have been a gold JTE Council.  As a Scout leader, YOU can be proud that you have assisted in making this happen.

Our Council services approximately 5,000 youth and 2,800 adults!  Soon we will be inviting girls into our programs! With your leadership, we provide character, citizenship training, and physical fitness through challenging yet fun activities.  Scouts learn honesty, leadership skills, bravery, teamwork, and respect through peer groups and parental guidance.  As your Chairperson for the Family Friends of Scouting campaign, this is important to me.  I am excited about the Pennsylvania Dutch Council and the volunteers who make this program work.  This valuable program, that reinforces character, values and life skills cannot succeed without your assistance, and the families who help us with their financial donations.

I get asked sometimes what does the Family Friends of Scouting campaign funds go towards?  I have outlined some of programs and services supported by Friends of Scouting.

  • Camping Properties – our Council is blessed with two outstanding accredited camping facilities.
  • Summer Camp Programs – we offer two full Summer camp programs at both Camp Bashore, and Camp Mack.  They are designed to be a fun-filled highlight of an exciting year in Scouting where Scouts can earn merit badges and other badges.
  • Organized Council-Wide Activities – Our Council coordinates many activities and events throughout the year.  Our Districts hold campouts, and many other activities, along with Winter cabin camping.
  • Youth & Leader Recruitment – we are always looking for more youth and adult leaders to join Scouting.  Fliers are distributed and our Hooked on Scouting program is an exciting time of the year where a new youth joining Scouts receives a new fishing rod and tackle box, then is afforded an opportunity to use that rod at one of our lakes!
  • Adult Leader Training – Our Council adult leaders are required to be trained in their positions in order for their unit to be chartered.  Through Leader Specific Training, University of Scouting, Outdoor leader Training, Wood badge, National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) and more, our Council stays on top with a highly trained group of adult volunteers.
  • Full & Extensive Insurance Policies – Liability insurance coverage is provided for all registered volunteer leaders and chartered organizations for all Scouting activities.  Certificates of insurance are provided to units that need one for an event or activity.
  • A Scout Service Center – The Lebanon & Lancaster counties are serviced by a center located in Lancaster which host a Scout shop where uniforms, and equipment may be purchased.
  • A Dedicated Professional & Support Staff – Our Council employs Commissioned Professionals, Support staff, and two Certified Rangers to ensure your unit and your Scouts receive a quality program experience.
  • Support & Communications – Sending timely information, distributing program planning tools, organizing council wide fundraisers, and providing unit service all help to keep units healthy, active and strong.  Our Commissioners visit units, and do a lot of behind the scenes activities to make sure we have quality programs.  Our Camp Card and Popcorn programs assist our youth with skills in selling, finance, and speaking.