Scouting plays a large role in Southern Utah. I think that everyone in the community either knows someone who's involved in Scouting or has family members who are Scouts.
What many may not know is that the Utah National Parks Council, which covers central and southern Utah, serves the largest number of participants in the nation-currently more than 77,000. In addition, we have the largest number of adult Scout volunteers in America, with more than 42,000.
Each year, the local organizations that sponsor Scout units conduct a "Friends of Scouting" fundraising drive, where families, individuals and companies are asked to contribute to Scouting. These funds are used locally to deliver the Scouting program to youth and adult leaders in our council. Specifically, the money is used to recruit members, train leaders, develop and conduct camping and program activities for units, provide insurance, keep records of advancement and membership, and support the council offices and Scout stores. All money that is donated locally is kept locally to support Scouting in our community.
Utahns should be proud that the Utah National Parks Council is the most efficient council in the nation. Across the country, the average cost to deliver the Scouting program is approximately $190 per youth. In contrast, we spend approximately $87 per youth. We deliver a quality Scouting program with thrift and efficiency.
The Utah National Parks Council has recently developed a new website to highlight unique aspects of Scouting in our community, and to answer questions about how funds are raised and used. To see the site, please visit www.mylocalscouts.org. In addition, community members can ask questions and get answers on the Council's Facebook page.
This year, when you're approached by a Scouting volunteer in your neighborhood, please contribute to the Friends of Scouting campaign, helping to assure that Scouting remains an important force for good in the lives of Southern Utah youth.