The Greater New York Councils of the Boy Scouts of America has just issued its 2013 annual report. It reveals a myriad of surprising facts about the organization, whose mission is to serve kids throughout the diverse communities of New York City to help them prepare for success in school and life. In 2013, more than 45,000 young people ages 6-20 participated in GNYC's programs and camps, and 2013 was the fourth consecutive year of membership growth for GNYC.
GNYC programs serve both girls and boys, since the Learning for Life, Exploring and Venturing programs are coed. Girls made up 14% of the GNYC's membership in 2013. Membership included 4,495 Cub Scouts and 4,809 Boy Scouts in volunteer-led units, and more than 9,200 Scoutreach youth participants. Scoutreach provides paid leadership to address the lack of volunteer capacity in low-income neighborhoods. Demographically, GNYC membership is 37% Hispanic, 25% African-American, 25% Caucasian, and 13% Asian, Native American, and other. In all, the GNYC has helped more than 5 million kids in its history.
The organization has an annual operating budget of $11 million. 80% of the expenses go to programs, with more than half a million dollars in the form of direct aid to individuals. 70% of youth receive some financial assistance, often in the form of "camperships" that help make summer camp accessible to all who want to attend.
More than 7,500 kids attended a GNYC summer camp in 2013, and nearly ten times that number participated in weekend activities such as camping and activity days at the three GNYC camps, William H. Pouch Scout Camp on Staten Island, Alpine Scout Camp in Alpine, NJ, and Ten Mile River Scout Reservation in upstate New York. More than 4,450 adult volunteers contributed over 250,000 hours of volunteer time in 2013.
There were several significant events for the GNYC in 2013. The council welcomed new Scout Executive Ethan Draddy in June. A marathon runner, Draddy has previously held Scout Executive posts in Baltimore, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. 131 boys achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in 2013. The GNYC also welcomed the national Boy Scouts of America's decision to lift its ban on gay Scouts, which was never supported by the New York City organization. Also, Phases II and III of the conservation easement to permanently preserve 50 acres of green space at Pouch Scout Camp for use by Scouts and Explorers were completed. In addition, local television channel New York 1 broadcast a feature story on the NYPD Exploring program, which served 6,755 young men and women in 2013—a 15% increase over the previous year.
Follow and learn more about GNYC news and happenings at facebook.com/BoyScoutsGNYC, Twitter @BoyScoutsGNYC, and youtube/user/ScoutingNYC. To locate a Scouting program in your community, go to beascout.scouting.org.