Southeast Boy Scouts Council looks at merger

Posted: Sunday, August 07, 2005

The Southeast Alaska Council of the Boy Scouts of America is looking to provide better service by merging with another council, said Jerry Wells, its interim scouting executive.

The council board has unanimously voted to propose a merger with another council, Wells said, but wouldn't say which one. "Until they decide, it wouldn't be right to say," he said.

Wells said he expects a reply to the offer in mid-September.

The proposal seeks to join Southeast Alaska to a broader economic base so that it can provide better scouting services, he said.

The Juneau-based Southeast Council has 1,010 Scouts - Cubs Scouts, Boy Scouts, Explorer Scouts and Adventure Scouts - from Skagway to Ketchikan, Wells said. It has 580 adult leaders.

But unlike other councils, its communities are cut off from each other, making fund-raising difficult, he said.

A Scout pays the council $10 a year, and scholarships are available for those that can't afford the fee, Wells said.

"It costs us $330 per youth to provide scouting in Southeast Alaska. We need to do fund-raising," he said.

Fund-raising opportunities are limited in small communities, he said.

The Southeast Council also maintains the Eagle River Camp, about 26 miles outbound from the Mendenhall Valley. In addition to scouting activities held at the camp, the Southeast Council rents it to other groups when it otherwise wouldn't be in use, Wells said.

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