Area Boy Scout councils OK vote to consolidate in 2017

WARREN — The first quarter of the new year will be the start of a new era for the Boy Scouts of America in northeast Ohio as leaders of five area Scouting councils voted this month to consolidate to three councils by early 2017.

Todd Walter, BSA area director, said the five councils — the Greater Cleveland Council in Cleveland, the Great Trail Council in Akron, the Greater Western Reserve Council in Warren, the Heart of Ohio Council in Mansfield and the Buckeye Council in Canton — will merge into three to increase efficiency toward the mission to provide the area’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership.

The remaining three councils will be the Great Trail Council, encompassing the Warren, Youngstown and Akron communities; the Buckeye Council, with boundaries stretching from the Marion / Mansfield area to the eastern border of Ohio; and a new council, yet to be named, will be formed along Lake Erie from Ashtabula County to Erie County, incorporating Cleveland.

“Many factors go into the decision to realign councils, and the most important consideration is how we can best deliver Scouting to these communities,” Walter said. “Our priority is to provide a strong Scouting program for more than 36,000 youth we serve across Northeast Ohio — and we can better accomplish this with these five councils operating in a different manner.”

Darryl Dillenback, Northeast Ohio Sustainability Committee Chair, said, “The new structure will provide enhanced opportunities for our Scouts, more resources to recruit and support additional youth members and adult leaders, and far more opportunity to be innovative in making Scouting strong.”

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