Boy Scouts of America Joins With Duke of Edinburgh's Award Program to Inspire Youth Across America

May 20, 2010, 16:00 ET from Boy Scouts of America

IRVING, Texas, May 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) and the Duke of Edinburgh's Award program announced today a new collaboration to promote the Young Americans' Challenge to youth members of the BSA. The award program aims to involve youth in challenging educational and nonacademic programs in community service, adventurous journeys, and physical recreation activities to achieve a balanced development of life skills.  

BSA Chief Scout Executive Bob Mazzuca and His Royal Highness Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, officially launched the program nationwide during a special reception at the National Scouting Museum. During the event, the two discussed the complementary efforts of both organizations to strengthen communities, families, and young people.    

"It isn't every day that we have the occasion to welcome royalty, but this very special visit does highlight the everyday commitment we share with Prince Edward to enrich the lives of young people," Mazzuca said. "The Young Americans' Challenge provides yet another opportunity for our nation's youth to fulfill their potential. We are excited to offer it to our membership."  

The award, introduced to the United Kingdom in 1956 by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, has since traveled to more than 130 countries around the world, inspiring youth (ages 14 to 25) to achieve personal discovery and growth through self-reliance, perseverance, responsibility, and service to the community. Every year, there are approximately 700,000 youth worldwide who undertake these programs of development in order to achieve either a bronze, silver, or gold level of achievement. Since 1956, more than six million awards have been presented.

Although the award will be available to all Scouts, the BSA will specifically promote it to members of its Venturing program. Venturing is a youth development program for young men and women between the ages of 14 and 21. The program provides positive experiences to help young people mature and to prepare them to become responsible and caring adults.

"The Boy Scouts of America is a wonderful organization that has inspired America's youth for 100 years," said Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex. "We believe that this award is a great addition to their already exceptional program of motivating young people to achieve great things."

For a century, the BSA has helped build the future leaders of America by combining educational activities and lifelong values with the inspiration required to ignite action. It has remained the nation's leading youth organization through its dedication to the core values of Scouting—service to others, personal achievement, and respecting and embracing the outdoors—while continuously adapting to new technologies and communication platforms to help deliver its programs in relevant and meaningful ways.

Contact: Virginia Starr 1-214-665-1330

SOURCE Boy Scouts of America