· Scouting

Mike Surbaugh (center) congratulates Larry Coppock (left) and Gil Hanke for their role in increasing the number of Scouts involved in units chartered by United Methodist Church.

Chief Scout executive congratulates UMC

NASHVILLE, Tenn.––Michael Surbaugh, chief executive of the Boy Scouts of America, headquartered in Irving, Texas, visited the Nashville office of the General Commission on UM Men on January 9.

“The Boy Scouts of America congratulates the United Methodist Church for increasing its service to youth with a membership gain in 2016,” said Mike. “The BSA is appreciative and celebrates the partnership to serve our national youth.”

Scouting increases

At the end of 2015, there were 324,696 young people involved in UM chartered Cub Scout packs, Boy Scout troops and Venturing crews. At the end of 2016, that number had increased to 327,405.

“This is our first growth in several years,” says Larry Coppock, director of scouting ministries for the General Commission on United Methodist Men. “We continue to lead all denominations with 201,505 youth in Cub Scout packs and we are second to the Latter Day Saints (LDS) in the number of Boy Scouts with 119,592 Scouts in 4,634 troops. In addition, there are 6,308 young men and women involved in 689 Venturing crews chartered by United Methodist churches.

The number of youth involved in scouting organizations sponsored by religious groups at the end of 2016 totaled 1,477,843, down 6,778 from 2015. The UMC and the LDS churches were the only major religious organizations to experience growth in 2016.

An additional 228,177 youth are involved in packs, troops and crews sponsored by civic organizations, a decrease of 4,113 from the previous year.

Michael Surbaugh

After graduating from Salem College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in youth agency administration, Mike chose scouting for his career. He served as a district executive in Jacksonville, Fla., in 1984, and then served as a senior district executive and program director in Syracuse, New York. He then became director of field services, director of development, field director, and development director in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Mike’s real aspiration was to run a BSA high-adventure base. But rather than hold out for such a role, he served as the Scout executive in both Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Appleton, Wisconsin.

In 2007, he accepted the position of Scout executive in Pittsburgh. From Pittsburgh, he was promoted to BSA group director at the National Service Center in 2014, a position he held until being named Chief Scout Executive in 2015.



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