Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the BSA through Nothing but Nets
The United Methodist Church (UMC) has enjoyed a great relationship with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) for one hundred years. Over that time thousands of Boy Scouts have performed hundreds of thousands of hours of community service projects as members of troops sponsored by United Methodist churches. The UMC is the second largest charter organization of the BSA, ending 2009 with 370,000 youth in 11,400 units in 6,600 UM churches. Please join us in this year-long celebration by participating in the first-ever international BSA Good Turn-Nothing but Nets.
Nothing But Nets (NBN) is a global, grassroots campaign to save lives by preventing malaria, a leading killer of children in Africa. Inspired by Sports Illustrated columnist Rick Reilly, the NBN campaign was created by the UN Foundation in 2006. You can read the original article by Reilly here.
Malaria is a preventable disease. It infects 500 million people each year and kills more than one million of those who become infected. Ninety percent of these deaths occur in Africa as every thirty seconds a child dies from malaria. Malaria incapacitates people, keeps them from working and keeps countries poor.
However, in just three years, NBN has been able to distribute over two million life-saving bed nets in Africa. Bed nets work in two ways: (1) They stop mosquitoes from biting during the night and spreading the disease, and (2) The insecticide on the net kills mosquitoes when they land on it, preventing more victims. Bed nets can prevent malaria transmission by up to ninety percent.
The BSA joined the NBN campaign in 2009. NBN is included in BSA’s 100th Anniversary celebration and is its first international Good Turn. Lord Baden-Powell, BSA’s founder, developed the concept for Scouting while serving on a military mission in Africa. How appropriate it is to return a gift back to Africa in the form of a life-saving malaria relief project.
By raising awareness about malaria and the global effort to prevent this disease, Scouts from across the United States will be helping eliminate a disease that claims the lives of millions throughout the world!
We are asking every UMC sponsored BSA unit to participate in NBN. The NBN toolkit outlines ways that Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Venturers may participate. Download the NBN toolkit now. Any Boy Scout or Venturer who participates will be eligible to receive the Good Samaritan Award.
Larry W. Coppock
General Commission on United Methodist Men