Greater New York Councils

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Greater New York Councils, Boy Scouts of America
Owner Greater New York Councils

350 Fifth Avenue, Suite 7820

New York, NY 10118
Country United States
Council President Ray Quartararo
Council Commissioner Thomas S. Bain
Scout Executive Ethan V. Draddy

Scouting portal

The Greater New York Councils (GNYC) serves the five boroughs of New York City area. The Greater New York Councils, Boy Scouts of America has helped over five million young people become “Prepared for Life”. Today, Scouting is the leading character education youth program nationwide. The programs of the Boy Scouts of America serve young people by enabling youth to develop healthy habits; teaching a lifelong appreciation of physical and personal fitness, including the prevention of bullying; instilling environmental stewardship and sustainability; and providing leadership development and STEM Education; reaching under served populations, while preparing young people for the workforce.

The mission of the Boy Scouts of America 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.

Greater New York Councils' staff and leadership[edit]

Leadership is provided by the Board of Directors, composed of business and community leaders, many of whom are former Scouts themselves. The GNYC, BSA board is led by Council President, Ray Quarteraro, International Director, JLL, Co-Chair Alair Townsend, Columnist and former Publisher, Crain’s New York Business, and Co-Chair and Distinguished Eagle Scout John Whitehead, former Co-Chairman, Goldman Sachs & Co. as well as former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State. Their Scout Executive and Chief Executive Officer, Ethan Draddy, has extensive experience in Scouting and a successful track record in urban communities. GNYC, BSA full time staff includes more than 60 professionals, and also employs more than 305 college-aged men and women who serve in part-time program leadership positions in low-income communities or who work at one of their three camps.

New York City scouting membership[edit]

The Greater New York Councils serves young people from first grade through high school in all five boroughs. Last year, they served nearly 46,000 boys and girls in their youth development programs. GNYC, BSA membership is composed of 37% Hispanic youth, 25% Caucasian, 25% African-American; 11% Asian, 1% Native American, and 2% are youth of other backgrounds. The majority of the families they serve are low-to moderate-income, and more than 70% of their youth require partial or full financial assistance to participate in programs or to attend summer camp.

Why is Scouting needed in New York City?[edit]

The values and programs of Scouting are more critical than ever before in addressing the needs of urban boys and girls, especially the growing numbers of disadvantaged and at-risk youth. New York City needs Scouting; our program is comprehensive in its efforts to help youth be successful in school, career, and life. A recent survey indicates that Scouting programs successfully address critical building blocks of healthy youth development (as identified by youth development researchers at the Search Institute).

They do this through weekly after-school meetings, weekend trips, and 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week during summer camp experiences. They operate 12 months of the year. Additional activities include community service projects such as their Scouts in Parks Day, numerous New York City cultural attractions, Camporees, Pinewood Derby competitions, Fishing Derby, Family Fun weekends, and much more.

Scouting is unparalleled in developing excellence in young people by building their character, values, and self-confidence so they can become thenext generation of leaders. The vision of the Greater New York Councils is to serve kids throughout the diverse communities of New York City and to help them to prepare for success in school, career, and life.

The Programs of the Greater New York Councils[edit]

Children learn by doing. Teaching Scouts how to innovate and invent is built into all Scouting programs. Whether creating a Pinewood Derby car, pitching a tent, cooking a meal, constructing a greenhouse, conducting a mock trial, making a video, designing a computer game, or building a robot, Scouts learn both practical and life skills that lead to success in school and the workforce.

Traditional Scout Programs[edit]

Cub Scouts The Cub Scouts motto is “do your best.” Boys in the first through fifth grades meet weekly for activities with other Cub Scouts and family members, where the Council emphasizes learning and being part of a team while having fun. Hands-on activities such as building a Pinewood Derby car challenge kids to develop practical skills while strengthening soft skills such as the ability to work as a team.

Many of the Cub Scouts also attend camp, where they are taught how to be good citizens of the outdoors. Cub Scouts take pride in personal achievement as they advance in rank based on program participation in activities that teach them to take care of themselves, their families, and their communities. Field trips that explore New York City’s culture and environment expand their horizons and engage boys in the community. Civic engagement through service projects is a fundamental way that Cub Scouts keep their promise to help other people. These projects include collecting food for food pantries, cleaning up parks, planting trees, and much more.

Boy Scouts Comprised of boys from sixth grade to age 18, Boy Scout groups meet regularly, earn merit badges, advance in rank, and enjoy camping at one of the Councils' three camps. The Councils' has weekly boy-led meetings with frequent camping trips and other outdoor adventure activities integrated with a comprehensive advancement program. Scout leaders emphasize developing self-confidence, project management, service, and leadership skills. The boy-led program and more than 120 merit badge programs offer unparalleled development opportunities for older boys. Last year, 131 New York City Boy Scouts attained the rank of Eagle Scout.

The merit badge system helps Scouts explore sports, crafts, sciences, trades, business, and future careers. Counselors who have special knowledge help Scouts learn about their chosen subject. Each Scout must demonstrate that he has met all the knowledge and project requirements to his Counselor to earn a merit badge. This system develops curiosity and tenacity in Scouts, and provides a level playing field for Scouts to pursue their interests and demonstrate their mastery of them. Last year, over 6,500 merit badges were earned by New York City Scouts.

Boy Scouts employ the “Patrol Method,” and patrols are the building blocks of a Boy Scout troop. A patrol is a small group of boys who are similar in age, development and interests. Working together as a team, members share responsibility for the group’s success. They gain confidence by serving in positions of leadership. All members enjoy the friendship, sense of belonging, and achievements of the patrol. Above all, they learn to be prepared for life’s challenges. This past year, GNYC, BSA announceed that several New York City Scouts were awarded the National Council Honor Medal for bravery, following heroic rescues of friends and family.

Venturing Young men and women ages 14–20 learn about leadership and teamwork through hands-on experiences with their peers and adult advisors. They are taught leadership, fitness, community service, and offer outdoor activities. Last year, 260 young men and women participated in Venturing.

Outreach Programs[edit]

Learning For Life This program is a contemporary approach to delivering the traditional values and character education of Scouting to urban youth. The lessons are incorporated into the school curriculum and delivered to students, both male and female, in public, private, and parochial schools throughout the city. Students participate in interactive ethics and life skills lessons to help them make positive choices, strengthen their relationships with others, and succeed in school. These units reinforce each school’s lessons in science, math, and other subjects.

Scoutreach Scoutreach partners with public schools to provide a unique Cub Scout program to boys living in New York City’s low-income, high-risk neighborhoods. Almost all Scoutreach participants are eligible for free lunch and come from families receiving public assistance. Boys in the five boroughs are offered a specially tailored Cub Scout program located at NYC schools that included extra mentoring, reading help, financial literacy education, community service opportunities, educational enrichment, and positive peer groups. This innovative program model is run by fully trained paid part-time staff members called Program Specialists, who are primarily college-aged young men and women who live in or near the neighborhoods they serve. They are positive role models who know firsthand what life is like for the participants.

The Greater New York Councils also provides handbooks, equipment and camping programs. Scoutreach offers at-risk boys a safe haven with at least 500 hours off the streets per year—or over an hour in fun, educational, character-building, activities for each and every day of the year. Last year, they served 9,204 Scoutreach Cub Scouts, an 11% increase over 2012. Close to 900 boys in Scoutreach attend a week or more of summer camp, which is always the highlight of their year.

Exploring This co-ed program serves New York City high school students ages 14–20, delivering a worksite-based transition program to help young people succeed in college and career. Students travel to businesses, governmental agencies, and community-based organizations for firsthand work experience in careers of their choice. GNYC, BSA offers a wide variety of industry placements, with prestigious partners in law enforcement, healthcare, hospitality, real estate, public administration, and finance.

Intensive summer sessions for students include participation in a National Mock Trial Competition, as well as participation in a national Law Enforcement competition and a three-week local law enforcement academy. The first two weeks are held at a university’s campus, which enables students to get a glimpse of college life. The third week is held at Ten Mile River Scout Reservation in upstate New York.

All Explorers perform a minimum of 100 hours of community service annually, in projects such as graffiti removal, participating in AIDS walks, and assisting at major events such as the NYC Marathon. Over 6,700 Explorers were served last year - a 15% increase in enrollment.

Scouting with Disabilities The Greater New York Councils' is the first Scout organization in the nation to design outdoor programs that can meet the needs of disabled children. Children with physical, emotional, and developmental disabilities are empowered to do their best and reach their full potential in life through Scouting. Many boys with autism as well as physical and emotional disabilities are fully integrated in mainstream Cub Scout packs and Boy Scout troops and receive recognition as they progress through the advancement system. Scouting programs and camping opportunities are specifically tailored to special needs youth, including a co-educational program for children and adults with autism spectrum disorder offered over two weeks at Alpine Scout Camp.

Outdoor Programs[edit]

Children in underserved neighborhoods have few opportunities to stay active and experience nature. At a time when many kids are spending more time on computers and other electronic devices, Scouting encourages youth to get outside and play together. GNYC, BSA camps offer an amazing array of sports and fitness activities, including mountain biking, rappelling and climbing, boating, and horseback riding. They offer 12 merit badges in ecology that Scouts can earn at camp, such as Sustainability and Environmental Science.

All Scouts are trained at camp in the “Leave No Trace” conservation philosophy of environmental stewardship, ensuring that they respect wildlife, leave what they find, and are considerate of others. The Councils' believes in the value of Scouts making lifelong friends in a campsite and not over a website.

The Greater New York Councils owns, operates, and maintains three outstanding camp faculties: Camp Pouch on Staten Island, Alpine Scout Camp in New Jersey and the Ten Mile River Scout Reservation in upstate New York. Last year, these three properties provided outdoor adventures for 75,380 people year-round, including day trips, weekend campouts, and special school vacation camps, a 19% increase over last year. Last year, 7,598 young people attended long-term summer camp, a 9% increase.

Ten Mile River Scout Reservation is located on the Delaware River in Narrowsburg, New York, and has been operating for over 85 years. The camp covers 12,000 acres—roughly the size of Manhattan—including four miles of frontage on the Delaware River.

The Reservation has 15 lakes and ponds for boating, swimming, sailing, canoeing, rowing, kayaking and other aquatic activities, as well as an Olympic size pool. The property also houses a state-of-the-art outdoor amphitheater, a high ropes team-building course, three climbing towers, and terrain that provides hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, and rappelling opportunities. Throughout the year its winterized facilities play host to weekend trips and in the summer it hosts multiple resident summer camps, each with unique facilities and programs to meet the diverse needs of the Scouts we serve. Specialty camps are offered during the summer, including Aviation Camp, National Youth Leader Training, Trail to Eagle Camp, Shooting Sports Camp, and Aquatics Camp. New features at camp that proved quite popular this summer include an All-terrain vehicle program, the reintroduction of horseback riding, and an improved sports complex.

Alpine Scout Camp, located adjacent to the scenic Palisades overlooking the Hudson River in New Jersey just 10 miles from the George Washington Bridge, is a popular weekend destination for their members. During the summer it hosts the John E. Reeves Cub World, which offers weeklong overnight camping experiences for 6-10 year old boys. Fully accessible, the camp hosts many of male and female campers with disabilities.

Our year-round Gary I. Laermer Activity Center contains indoor and outdoor climbing facilities, a game room, and technology center. Campers also enjoy Alpine’s baseball field developed in partnership with Major League Baseball. The Center is popular with attendees on both weekends and during the summer. Alpine also hosts the Reeves Conference and Training Center.

Pouch Scout Camp is centrally located in Staten Island and is used for day trips and weekend outings year round with archery, picnic groves, and sports fields. Its fully stocked lake is popular for fishing and it hosts a summer day camp designed especially for Cub Scouts drawn from the surrounding communities.

Diversity Statement[edit]

The Greater New York Councils, Boy Scouts of America is in business to help all children in the five boroughs of New York City. As the most diverse youth organization in the most diverse community in the country, they are committed to this mission and oppose any form of unlawful discrimination. All of its' members repeatedly pledge to respect all people and defend the rights of others. Prejudice, intolerance and unlawful discrimination in any form are unacceptable within the ranks of the Greater New York Councils, Boy Scouts of America.

GNYC Statement in Response to Membership Standards Decision[edit]

The National voting members of the Boy Scouts of America passed the resolution that eliminates membership standards for youth members. The Boy Scouts of America is a youth-centered organization and the Greater New York Councils is pleased that openly gay youth can participate in Scouting’s meaningful leadership development programs across the country. This is positive step in the right direction. However, they remain extremely disappointed that the resolution did not include gay adult volunteers and will continue to work towards a fully inclusive national policy. They strongly believe that both gay adults and youth must be welcomed in Scouting.

2013 Update[edit]

In its 100 plus year history, the Greater New York Councils has never denied membership to a youth or adult due to sexual orientation and is actively working to advocate for a more inclusive national policy. On May 3 their volunteer leadership released the following statement:

May 3, 2013

Dear Friend of Scouting:

As you may know, on May 23, 2013, the voting members of the national organization of the Boy Scouts of America will vote on a resolution that ends discrimination against gay youth. The Greater New York Councils views this resolution as a positive step forward that is consistent with our long-standing policy and beliefs. At the heart of our mission is the well-being and positive development of the young people of New York City.

Nonetheless, we are disappointed that the resolution does not remove the prohibition against gay adult volunteers as well. In its 103 year history the Greater New York Councils’ administration has never denied membership to a youth or adult due to sexual orientation. We affirm our inclusive policy and will continue to actively work to advocate for the same national policy. After receiving input from our registered leaders and other supporters—who overwhelmingly support a change in membership policy—our board approved the following statement:

We believe that the right, moral, forward-looking policy for the BSA nationwide is to have an inclusive policy that welcomes all to our program, without regard to sexual orientation.

We strongly believe that both gay adults and youth must be welcomed in Scouting. The strength of the Boy Scout movement has been its adherence to core values while adapting to changes in society. Changes such as the desegregation of units and the inclusion of female leaders, for example, have immeasurably strengthened Scouting, and we are confident that a more inclusive policy on sexual orientation will also have a positive impact.

American attitudes about the gay members of our society have changed rapidly and are continuing to evolve, for which we are grateful. We will continue to encourage this shift in attitude and believe that the Boy Scouts will come to recognize, as we do, the importance and value of diversity to our organization. We look forward to lending our voice to the ongoing discussion about Scouting in 21st century America and will keep you informed of the latest developments. As important partners to our work, we welcome your input and continued involvement in our efforts to help ordinary kids become extraordinary adults. We appreciate your support—now and in the future—for the 43,000 boys and girls served through our local Scout programs. Thank you.

Bronx Borough[edit]

Bronx Borough
Borough President Joseph Kelleher, RPA
  • Bronx River District

Brooklyn Borough[edit]

Brooklyn Borough
Borough President Vacant
  • Breukelen District
  • Lenape Bay District

Manhattan Borough[edit]

Manhattan Borough
Borough President Peter Micca
  • Big Apple District

Queens Borough[edit]

Queens Borough
Borough President Michael Sibilia
  • Founders District
  • Pathfinder District
  • Tomahawk District

Staten Island Borough[edit]

Staten Island Borough
Borough President Christopher Williams
  • Aquehonga District

See also[edit]


GNYC, BSA Facebook

New York City Eagle Scout Facebook

GNYC Twitter Feed

GNYC, BSA LinkedIn

New York City Eagle Scout LinkedIn