Local News

Local Scout Troop Near Top in Growth

(South Bend, IN) - A local group of Boy Scouts was the second fastest growing in the nation last year as the Boy Scouts of America LaSalle Council based in South Bend had its membership increase by 21 percent over 2023.


The LaSalle Council includes La Porte County and Berrien County in Michigan, along with other counties to the west and east and in southwest Michigan.


There are 245 Boy Scouts of America councils nationwide.


“The excitement and energy surrounding the recent achievements of the BSA LaSalle Council is like nothing I’ve ever seen before in my career. We’re not just growing, we’re thriving, and this momentum is showing no sign of slowing down,” said CEO John Cary.


Some of the demographics with the most growth locally include a seven percent increase in female scouts and a five percent increase in new programs for Cub Scout Packs and Boy Scout Troops. 


“We grew because we have great partnerships with our schools, we have great volunteers, and we were able to maximize a Lilly Endowment gift that allowed us to make scouting affordable for kids in economically challenged areas," Cary said.


Officials said the Lilly Endowment has given the LaSalle Council $1.35 million from 2023 through 2025 to expand programming into diverse communities throughout Indiana counties.  In 2023, those funds were used to provide over 600 kids with a scouting program during or after school, and for four weeks of summer STEM Day Camps for roughly 500 local kids.


The council also created the first Latino-based scouting program, which is a fully functional program in Elkhart County that has over 30 kids enrolled.


“Going forward, these recent achievements provide us with a new baseline from which to expand, and even more opportunities for a very bright future for all of our scouts and we’re ready for it," Cary said.

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