The pandemic continues to have a lasting effect on many businesses and community organizations.

Here in northwest Pennsylvania, the Boy Scout of America program is just now recovering.

There are upwards of 2,000 boys and girls involved in the Boy Scouts of America in the five-county region of NWPA (known as the French Creek Council). Girls have been welcomed into the Boys Scouts since 2019.

“We surveyed our membership across the country, and a lot of the families and parents wanted to have the ability to take their sons and daughters to just one meeting a week, rather than two separate meetings on two separate nights. That’s really where that came out of,” said Steven Dunn, Boy Scout executive.

Dunn said while cub scouting for youth is run by adults, scouting for boys and girls ages 11 to 18 teaches them character development and leadership skills.

“It’s about them taking over and becoming the leaders and running the program, so it’s a youth-run adult-advised program,” Dunn added.

Camping is still a big part of scouting, the outdoors is the classroom for learning skills and self-discovery

“We have over 160 merit badges. They range from architecture archeology to safety to environmental science and railroading. There’s a plethora of things for them to do. It’s really about helping them figure out what career they want to do,” Dunn continued.

If the scouting program interests you, there is now a very easy way to get involved.

“We have a website called be a You put in what organization you want to be a part of and your zip code and it will bring up a map with pins on it, with all the units in your vicinity,” Dunn said.

“When you think about Loving Giving Local, you think about the Boy Scouts and their involvement with youth in our community. We know when bringing a donation to the Boy Scouts, we know it’s going to stay right here in the community. With that donation, they’re going to inspire more people to become scouts, and that’s what Loving Giving Local is all about,” said Joe Askins, sponsor, Auto Express.