Boy Scouts of America Fund and the Rush County Community Foundation 17th March 2016 As a part of the ongoing series reviewing the Rush County Community Foundation’s “designated endowment” funds, we’ll be taking a weekly look at the Rush County nonprofit organizations that have funds that support their mission and work held at RCCF. This week’s installment focuses on the Boy Scouts of America. The Boy Scouts of America Fund was established in 2000 at the Rush County Community Foundation by William “Bill” Herdrich to provide financial support to the Rush County Boy Scouts and troops. Since that time, the fund has provided more than $4,000 to local boys interested in becoming more involved in Boy Scouts. Bill’s passion for the Boy Scouts of America organization began at an early age. Bill was raised in a Boy Scout family, with his father being a very active Boy Scout leader in Fayette County. Bill was an active Boy Scout for his entire youth and in college became the Aquatics and Water Activities Director for several years at Bear Creek Scout Camp. He was a Boy Scout leader for 10 years in Rush Country and lead several High Adventure camping trips. Bill and his four siblings all participated in Scouts, and Bill’s legacy has continued through his son Chad, his grandsons Walker and Lincoln Meckes, and several nephews. Walker and Lincoln are among two of Rush County’s active Boy Scout representation. Locally, 56 youth and 35 adults represent three Cub Scout Packs and two Boy Scout Troops. In 2014, 24 youth attended Boy Scout Camp and 26 youth attended Cub Scout Camp. Several of these youth were able to attend camp because of the Boy Scouts of America Fund at the Rush County Community Foundation. For those not entirely familiar with the Boy Scouts of America, the organization and involvement provides youth with programs and activities that allow them to try new things, provide service to others, build self-confidence, and reinforce ethical standards. Involvement in Boy Scouts ultimately provides essential needs of young men: mentoring, lifelong learning, faith traditions, serving others, healthy living, and building character. In 2014, 234 service hours were performed in Rush County alone – not including the Eagle Project. Bill’s experiences inspired him to begin a fund at the RCCF for local youth involved in Boy Scouts of America. From a young age he experienced firsthand the potential growth and life lessons learned by young boys while active in Boy Scouts. Bill wants to make sure that any boy, who has a desire to participate is scout camps is able to go, without worry of the camp fees. This fund was created to ensure that every boy could go to camp, even if the troop or family did not have the funds to pay for the camp fees. Grants have been made each year since inception to make camp affordable, often even free, for Rush County boys desiring to become more actively involved. Rush County is fortunate to have these youth involved in our community. Without the Boy Scouts of America Fund, many of our local Boy Scouts may not have had the experiences and subsequent outcomes made possible. If you would like to see the Boy Scouts of America continue to develop and grow locally, consider a donation to the fund at the Rush County Community Foundation! The endowed fund is set up to last forever, giving generations of young men opportunities that ultimately enhance the quality of life within Rush County. Contact the Foundation office at (765) 938-1177, visit our website www.rushcountyfoundation.org, or stop by our office at 117 N. Main St. to learn more about this fund, how to apply for grants, and/or to make a donation.