WINSTON-SALEM — The Old Hickory Council, Boy Scouts of America, has been recognized for having the highest ranking among all Southern Region councils in the B.S.A.’s Journey to Excellence Achievement Program. The Southern Region includes 90 local B.S.A. councils in 13 states spanning from Texas to Virginia. The ranking is the fourth highest among all 273 Boy Scouts of America councils in the United States.
The Old Hickory Council serves youth and families through Scouting in the eight northwest North Carolina counties of Alleghany, Ashe, Forsyth, Stokes, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes and Yadkin. Last year, 4,525 area youth were registered in more than 200 local Scouting programs, with more than 2,200 adult volunteers involved. The council also partnered with 18 area schools to deliver the Learning for Life program, a school-based character education activity developed by the Boy Scouts of America, to more than 2,700 students.
“To be ranked among the top four councils in the Boy Scouts of America is something all of our volunteers, supporters, and communities can be very proud of,” said Steve Wilburn, scout executive of the Old Hickory Council. “This level of achievement reflects the great work being done to meet scouting’s mission and to have a positive impact on our area’s young people.”
The Journey to Excellence Program measures and recognizes local B.S.A. councils’ level of effectiveness in delivering high-quality scouting experiences to youth and families. The criteria is the same for all scout councils, and includes:
• Growth in outreach to youth and families through recruiting of new youth and retention of existing members
• Financial stability and sustainability through fundraising and fiscal management
• Service hours provided by Scouts to local communities
• Participation by Scouts in camping and other outdoor programs
• Activity level of Scouts indicated by their advancement through Scouting’s ranks
• Engagement and training of volunteer adult leaders and mentors
• Support of local Scouting units through staff and community level volunteers
• Level of customer satisfaction among volunteers, Scouts, and parents
• Continuous improvement in key areas of quality program delivery
The Old Hickory Council, headquartered in Winston-Salem, scored 2,450 out of 3,000 possible points in the 2015 Journey to Excellence Achievement Program. The program has three levels of achievement: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. In 2015, 105 local scout councils achieved the gold level, including eight of the 10 councils headquartered in North Carolina.
The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law. Additional information about scouting can be found at www.scouting.org or for information on the Old Hickory Council and how to get involved in scouting in Northwest North Carolina, go to www.oldhickorycouncil.org.