Washington, D.C. (February 5, 2016) — The Boy Scouts of America’s (BSA) Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh and American Gold Star Mothers Inc. (AGSM) President Cindy Kruger completed the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on February 5, 2016, at the AGSM national office in Washington, D.C.
The BSA and AGSM have both had a long history of supporting the members of the military, veterans, and their families. Both organizations strive to promote service and respect for the country and teach lessons of patriotism. The BSA is an active participant in the World Scout Committee’s Messengers of Peace initiative, a global program designed to inspire millions of young men and women across the world to work toward peace through service. All of these shared values and goals made a formal agreement between the BSA and AGSM a natural choice.
AGSM local chapters will work with BSA local councils to provide BSA members and units the opportunity to participate in local Messengers of Peace service projects that support the two organizations’ shared values and goals. The types of service projects undertaken will vary but will benefit veterans and their families, honor the memory of the fallen, promote service and respect for the country, teach lessons of patriotism, support gold star mothers, or benefit another common cause.
The BSA’s Messengers of Peace service projects facilitated as a result of this MOU could be as small as helping one gold star mother with home maintenance or as involved as planting and maintaining a group of trees in honor of local fallen service members.
Many of the service projects envisioned will have multiple beneficiaries. As an example, the planting and maintaining of trees mentioned earlier will honor the sacrifice of the sons and daughters of gold star mothers, improve the landscape of the community, encourage BSA members to be Messengers of Peace, and support the United Nations Environment Program’s Billion Tree Campaign project.
The BSA provides over 14 million service hours each year to communities in the United States and has helped contribute to the more than 650 million hours (and counting) of community service that Scouts from around the world have provided since the inception of the Messengers of Peace program. The MOU between the BSA and the AGSM will increase these numbers and provide service to the citizens most deserving of our respect.
About the Boy Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America provides the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training, which helps young people be “Prepared. For Life.®” The Scouting organization is composed of nearly 2.4 million youth members between the ages of 7 and 21 and approximately 960,000 volunteers in local councils throughout the United States and its territories. For more information on the Boy Scouts of America, please visit www.scouting.org.
About the American Gold Star Mothers Inc.
A federally chartered nonprofit organization, American Gold Star Mothers Inc. comprises American mothers who lost a son or daughter during a major U.S. conflict, in a strategic military area, or while in service to the United States. Its 150 chapters work to perpetuate the ideals of Americanism for which their children so gallantly fought and died. For more information on the American Gold Star Mothers, please visit www.goldstarmoms.com.
About the Messengers of Peace Initiative
Launched in September 2011, Messengers of Peace is a global initiative designed to inspire millions of young men and women in more than 220 countries and territories to work toward peace. Through the use of social media, the initiative encourages Scouts from around the world to share what they’ve done and motivate fellow Scouts to undertake similar efforts in their communities. Originated by the World Scout Committee, administered by the World Scout Bureau, and driven by youth volunteers worldwide, the initiative has provided over 600 million service hours around the world. For more information on the Messengers of Peace initiative, please visit www.scouting.org /messengersofpeace.