Now well into our second century, the Boy Scouts of America has been providing our youth positive growth opportunities for many generations, and we are proud to say that the scout oath and law have not changed one word since their inception. We continue to be the largest youth movement in the United States, and scouting worldwide constitutes the largest youth program in the world.
The Allegheny Highlands Council, Boy Scouts of America is responsible for a program of values and character development to 4000 youth a year, delivered through 1000 plus volunteer leaders in 130 Cub Scout Packs, Boy Scout Troops, Venture Crews, and Explorer Posts. Our Council is geographically large, and includes Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Allegany Counties in New York, and McKean and Potter Counties in Pennsylvania.
We provide a long list of services that helps all our leaders to provide our kids an exciting program, whether they're Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Venturers, or Explorers.
Our Council Service Center in Falconer, New York is where unit leaders get badges and awards, literature, register new members and leaders, and receive up to date program information. It also has a large meeting room where key meetings are held throughout the year. The Service Center is staffed by career scouters and support staff that assist leaders with rechartering, recruiting, council and district activities, summer camp, and training.
Our council publishes a newsletter three times a year to keep our leaders up to date with the latest happenings. This keeps leaders current on what's available and what's new to support and enhance unit's program. We have also have a great council webpage that allows leaders to access the latest information, get forms, and have a wealth of scouting knowledge right at their fingertips.
We operate Elk Lick Scout Reserve in Smethport, Pennsylvania, and Camp Merz in Mayville, New York. These well-attended facilities operate year-round, and during the summer we hire full time staffs that conduct nationally - accredited programs for Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. Our camps have two rangers that accommodate our weekend guests and work closely with our summer camps staffs to insure our facilities serve the needs of our scouts.
Over two million dollars of capital improvements have happened at our camps since 2000, and many new projects are in the works as we speak. Our Council is striving to make our camps better every year to give our kids the best possible outdoor programs and facilities. Also activities like Cub Fun Days, Camporees, and High adventure opportunities are also organized by our council. We coordinate the annual Scouting for Food Goodturn, which supports many of our local community pantries with needed food. Collectively, over 25,000 hours of community service work is done by all of our scouts every year, everything from park beautification to building renovations. Where there is a good deed to be done, scouts continue to make a difference.
Camperships for needy youth to go to summer camp are also one of our many services. Every year we raise funds that help over 150 boys experience the magic that is summer camp. Besides what has been mentioned, out council pays over $8000 a year to provide liability insurance for leaders and our chartered partners.
Every year each member pays a twenty-five dollar registration fee, which goes directly to our national office. None of that stays in the local council. As a matter of fact, our council pays the National Office over $12,000 a year for our charter and services. Like your home, our council has the same kind of expenses: There's electric bills, phone bills, heating bills, office supply bills, postage, and the list goes on. Even though we're a non-profit organization, we still pay the going business rate. We are a business...And our business is young people.
The true lifeline of our council comes from our Friends of Scouting. It costs our council well over $150 a member each year to maintain our camps, the service center, and provide all our services. Making a gift to the Allegheny Highlands Council provides a guaranteed positive return on your investment.
Please be generous to an organization that is directly helping your child, or has had an impact on you, a friend or a loved one. This year our council must raise over $700,000, which as mentioned before, is over $150 a youth. We need your help!
You can make a difference in the lives of our local youth; and please keep in mind that no gift is too small. If you would like to make a financial gift as a Friend of Scouting, CLICK CLICK HERE, and Thank you!
If you would like to mail a check directly to us, our address is: Allegheny Highlands Council BSA, 50 Hough Hill Road, P.O. Box 261, Falconer, New York 14733. You can reach our Scout Service Center by calling 716.665.2697 during normal business hours, or (CLICK HERE) to email us.