GALLIPOLIS — The Buckskin Council and Tri-State Area Council, both members of Boy Scouts of America, have consolidated into the Buckskin Council, which now consists of Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia and Kentucky.
Jeff Purdy, scout executive of the Buckskin Council, said both groups served 7,000 Boy Scout members annually, and that the scout members and parents will see no negative changes from the merger. The Summit Bechtel Reserve, of West Virginia, is building a $500 million camp facility in the Charleston area, which will be available to scouts from all four states thanks to the merger. The scouts will also have access to six other camp facilities, so the only effect on scout members will be positive changes, Purdy said.
“We think this is the best way to serve our youth, now and in the future,” he said. “We believe we will become more streamlined in providing support services to leaders and providing camping facilities.”
Originally, the Tri-State Council office was in Huntington, with the Buckskin office in Charleston. Four employees from the Tri-State Council will remain in the Huntington area. The Huntington Scout Shop will remain open as well. Data entry and camp reservations will now be completed in the Charleston office, and executives, who do scout recruiting, already live in their service areas.
The office manager from Huntington will assume new responsibilities and will spend two days a week in Huntington and the other three days in Charleston. The accounting employee in Huntington only worked full time, and since a consolidation would mean full-time work, the employee sought a part-time job elsewhere before the consolidation. Since Huntington has not had a scout executive in two years, Purdy said he would assume the position.
“There is an inherent advantage of being a little larger Boy Scout council,” he said. “You have more attention, more resources and support, and we’ll be able to command that from our national office. We’ll be able to be more efficient in services, accounting, data, and we can be more efficient in our administrative costs as well.”