The leaders at the Sagamore Boy Scouts BSA have always aimed to help young people become the best version of themselves through their events, leadership training programs, and scouting programs. The Sagamore Boys Scouts BSA is housed at Camp Buffalo, just north of Monticello, Indiana. Their mission “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 Law.” Their scouting program serves White County and 15 other counties.
The Boy Scouts of America has traditionally structured the scouting program to be delivered in-person by volunteers in community spaces such as church basements, school cafeterias, community rooms, and parks all over the country. However, with public locations closing and social distancing recommendations put into place with the COVID-19 pandemic,
the Scouts were tasked with changing their traditionally in-person scouting program to an all-online format.
Some of the challenges the Sagamore Boy Scouts BSA has had to face with this shift is setting up Zoom accounts for all volunteers to be able to host virtual meetings and training, creating online learning modules and contests, and constructing and maintaining their website. All of these unexpected costs obviously put a strain on their budget, and unfortunately they could not rely on the funds that they usually receive from their annual events and fundraisers due to the impacts of COVID-19.
As a result, they postponed all of their fundraisers including their annual donor solicitation campaign and their largest special event, which would’ve provided the funds needed to sustain the new program and guidance of leaders and families. It was very clear that they would have to seek financial resources elsewhere in order to keep going.
Luckily enough for them, organizations like the White County United Way are always willing and able to help when an organization is going through hard financial times. Funding is made possible through the Economic Relief Initiative Grant, sponsored by Indiana United Ways, partnering with Lilly Endowment, Inc. The Community Relief Fund is managed through the White County United Way in partnership with the Community Foundation of White County, the Jasper Newton Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Pulaski County. The fund allows money to be distributed to various non-profit organizations in White, Pulaski, and Jasper counties that need additional financial assistance for programming during the pandemic.
The Sagamore Boy Scouts BSA received assistance from the COVID-19 Community Relief Fund to help fund all the necessary maintenance and construction that they needed in order to continue with their online scouting services.
Despite the many struggles that the Sagamore Boy Scouts BSA leaders have faced at the start of their online programming, in the end they still adapted and overcame their adversities like true Scouts should.
Jordan Day has been with the United Way since May 2020, and is currently working as a Social Media Consultant for WCUW.