Goforth Accepts Dunlap Good Scout Award

Published 1:16 pm Wednesday, March 6, 2024

The 2024 Robert H. Dunlap Good Scout Award was presented to Tracy Goforth at a fundraiser for the Chickasaw Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Goforth, a longtime supporter of local Scouting and many other civic organizations, was presented the award by council field director Casey Manning. Also pictured is local Assistant Scoutmaster Johnny Pace. More than $10,000 was raised during the event thanks to generous donations from Panola County businesses and individuals. Chickasaw Council consists of Boy Scout Troops in eight counties located in NW Mississippi, E. Arkansas, and SW Tennessee, including Batesville’s Troop 478.

The mission of the Chickasaw Council is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetime by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law. The Chickasaw Council serves 17 counties in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas.

Scouting Deserts Initiative Drives Diversity: The Council continues to focus efforts to organize Scouting Units for youth and families living in economically challenged and declining areas absent of Scouting. Areas of focus include Binghampton, Frayser, Hickory Hill, Orange Mound and Whitehaven in the Memphis area. In the Mississippi Delta areas include Cleveland, Greenville, Greenwood, and Belzoni. Across the council in 2023 we had 18 units considered Scout Reach and served 214 youth compared to 79 in 2022 which was a 189.19 % increase.

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Scouting is Neighborhood Centered. The Council ended 2023 with 138 units which is a 1.5% increase in Cub Scout Packs, Scouts BSA Troops, Venture Crews and Explorer Posts who are chartered to community organizations and civic clubs. These are neighborhood centered programs. New units will be a major focus moving forward, our existing units cannot serve the amount of youth that we can recruit in the schools. 

Membership: The Council finished with over 3900 youth which was a 4% increase over 2022 and a 20.1% overall growth over the last two years in Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Exploring programs. With an aggressive membership plan our Cub Scout Program finished with over 2538 youth which was a 10.7% growth over 2022 and a 49% growth over the last two years. 

Continued Transformation of Council Camps. Celebrating 108 years of adventures in the Ozarks, Kia Kima Scout Reservation offers a wide variety of programming for Scouts and leaders. Everyone from a young Cub Scout to an experienced Eagle Scout will always find a new and exciting thrill in the heart of the Ozarks. Kia Kima Scout Reservation welcomed 1298 Scouts BSA, 211 Cub Scouts and 685 Volunteers to camp this year. In 2023 thanks to generous donors and Alumni  an Aquatics Center was built in Cherokee, two new Scout Craft Pavilions and refurbished the Chapel.

Camp Currier: Located in Hernando, Scouts and the community have been enjoying Camp Currier for decades. In 2023 there were approximately 9,000 nights of camping by youth and volunteers.  Spring and Fall Family Camps are held there and over 803 youth and 759 adults participated in these weekends, for many it was their first camping experience. In 2023 several Capital Projects were finished and a permanent Cub Scout Shooting Sports Range was installed, fencing along roadways, installed Scout Law Signs and purchased much needed mowing equipment.

Eagle Scouts. In 2023 over 115 Scouts achieved the prestigious Eagle Scout Award. 

Adult Volunteer Mentors. Over 1378 registered adult volunteers serve as positive role models for our youth members. That is an increase of 16% over 2022 which means we have more adults making a positive impact on youth throughout our communities.

Friends of Scouting and Special Events: Through the Friends of Scouting Campaign, $809,087 or 103.6% of the Goal was raised through  FOS Kickoff and Good Scout Award Dinners. The Distinguished Citizen Award Dinner raised $300,000 and the Sporting Clays Shoot raised more than $144,000, both Special Events exceeded the budgeted amount. Popcorn returns 72% back to local scouting to the units and Council. In 2023 popcorn sales increased by 1.5% for a total sale of over $445,000 with an average of 33% to units to help run unit programs.