I am both a volunteer and a former consultant for the South Texas Council, Boy Scouts of America. I worked with the South Texas Council officially in 2005. During that time, I produced two videos, conducted prospective donor research, developed a VIP prospect mailing list, and designed and wrote three newsletters to this influential list. I also orchestrated initial donor meetings, and wrote a few grant proposals for the Council's capital campaign, to help launch a major gift effort.
I am a big fan of the Boy Scouts of America. My father was a "star" Scout, and his father knew some of the founders of the organization from his work in New Mexico during the first half of the twentieth century. My father raised two little girls - my sister and me - who came to appreciate Scouting "second hand." Dad shared with us many of the incredibly helpful life skills and ethical teachings that he was taught during his days as a Boy Scout.
For a large part of my career, I have worked with environmental and conservation nonprofits. A standout from those experiences is my awareness that there is an urgent, continuing need to educate young people about nature, so that they understand and respect it. "Leave no trace" is one of my favorite BSA mottoes. It would seem to me that the Boy Scouts of America should consider partnering with some of the larger conservation education nonprofits to help address this need. Scouting has touched the lives of hundreds of thousands, many more young people than the conservation organizations have - or could - do on their own.
It has taken several years and the outstanding leadership of several Eagle Scouts who are now successful civic leaders, to finally complete this Council's first major gift effort. They accomplished it during one of the most difficult economic climates our nation has ever faced. Just as the Boy Scout Law requires, the Council's leadership has been: "trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, [VERY] brave, clean and reverent."
I understand the Council would like to conduct additional fundraising. I urge everyone to support them. Their longstanding camp needs and deserves additional improvements. Once those improvements are made, they will be able to host more young people in a safe natural environment - not only to learn skills that will carry them successfully through life - but also to learn about and appreciate nature and our shared natural resources. That will ultimately translate into knowledgeable land stewards and intelligent future voters.