Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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July 10, 2014

Change coming to local scouting organizations

CHARLESTON — Change is on the horizon for local scouting organizations, but the leadership of the Buckskin Council of the Boy Scouts of America don’t think the changes will have any impact on the scouts and leaders of the local troops.

“We’re hoping that local scout leaders and scouts won’t see any changes other than increased opportunities for scouts,” Jeffrey Purdy, Scout Executive of the new Buckskin Council said.

The BSA announced in a press release on July 8, that the former Tri-State Area Council and the Buckskin Council were combined on July 1, by act of the volunteer leaders of both councils. The new council will be known as the Buckskin Council, serving a 32-county region in four states (West Virginia, Ohio, Virginia and Kentucky) that includes almost 7,000 scouts.

“At the local level, where most scouting takes place, I don’t think there will be any difference except for expanded opportunities for weekend, seasonal and resident camping facilities,” Purdy said. “Boys in camp will still have a great opportunity and that’s important.”

The regional BSA councils have a successful history of growth.

The old Appalachian Council merged with the Buckskin Council in 1989, and within the next few years, the Buckskin and the old Cornstalk Council joined Buckskin as well.

“In addition to maintaining the use of properties belonging to the Tri-State Area Council, outdoor adventure opportunities will abound as the councils are located near the expansive Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in Fayette County,” according to the press release announcing the new merger. “In 2013 alone, the Buckskin and Tri-State Council sent more than 200 youth to the National Boy Scout Jamboree in its inaugural year at the Summit. The council looks forward to continuing these traditions to an even greater degree through the new council,” according to the press release.

— Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com

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