On May 11th, a delegation of young men and women embodying the goals of Scouting and exemplifying the Scout Oath and Law presented the BSA’s 2018 achievements and 2019 goals during its Report to the State at the Arkansas State Capitol.
The Report to the State youth delegation included Scouts from each Council in the State of Arkansas to report to Governor Hutchinson on the numbers in each geographic area of the State. It began with a Flag Ceremony at the Capitol, followed by remarks by Governor Hutchinson. Cameron Rhoden of Little Rock gave a report on the Family Scouting initiative allowing girls into all Scouting programs. This was followed by the DeSoto Area Council report from Evan Phillips of Smackover; the Westark Area Council report from Jacob Causey of Russellville; and the Quapaw Area Council report from Mohammed Abuelem of Little Rock. Dr. James Hendren of Little Rock served as the emcee of the event.
The Report to the State will also kicked off a full day of activity as more than 1000 Scouts BSA youth participated in Merit Badge University. This program, conducted in various locations across Little Rock, provides Scouts aged 11-17 with opportunities to earn over 60 different merit badges in subjects such as Archeology, Architecture, Citizenship in the Nation and World, Cooking, Digital Technology, Geocaching, Lifesaving, Nuclear Science, Search and Rescue, Scuba, Space Exploration, Woodwork, and Metalwork.
In her remarks, Cameron Rhoden said, “I have personally seen the impact that the Scouting program can have on boys and girls, both in my own life and in my friends and family. I know that the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law are just as important for girls as they are for boys. I also believe that the future success of our state and nation depends on both men AND women who have been trained to be people of character, who have learned the secrets of servant leadership, and who believe that they can make a unique difference in their communities. I, for one, am thankful that the Boy Scouts of America has stepped up to answer that call.”
Mohammed Abuelem, a 16 year old senior who will be attending Harvard in the fall ended his report by saying, “I’ve heard it said that ‘Scouting is Changing the World.’ Well, I believe that! Just consider how the world would be different if the Boy Scouts of America hadn’t been here over the past century. And as I look at the world today, it sure looks to me like we need Scouting more than ever.”