When one mentions scouting to parents of children not involved in that program, they usually think almost exclusively of such Scout outdoor activities as camping, horseback riding, and whitewater rafting.

However, DeKalb County resident Mitch Leff, assistant scoutmaster with Troop 77 in Druid Hills and an adviser to that troop’s coed Venture group for children 14 through 20, said there is so much more to scouting than just recreational activities that parents who do not have kids in scouting may be unaware of.

That is why he has also become the metro Atlanta spokesman for a new program developing in the Boy Scouts of America called BSA Parents.

“This group was formed for primarily two reasons,” Leff said. “Scouting officials wanted to not only give parents of boys and girls in scouting a better forum to discuss scout-related ideas but, in addition, we have found that parents of non-Scouts find out about scouting and its advantages from talking with parents of Scouts, and we want BSA Parents to be a forum for such communications regarding the advantages of scouting.”

In May, Scout officials in Atlanta launched its BSA Parents program as an independent advocacy organization dedicated to amplifying the voices of those who believe in the values and mission of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) program, a news release on the program stated.

That program, Leff said, is rolling out into additional communities in metro Atlanta as well as nationwide.

Midtown resident Maricela Romero said BSA Parents is a great tool for parents who know little about scouting but want to know more and for parents who may know something about scouting but also want to know more.

“When my son was 6 years old, I enrolled him in the Cub Scouts and watched him proceed to be a Boy Scout,” she said. “It was a learning experience for me to find out more as to what the scouting program was all about and the level of parental involvement.”

Romero also said that now with her son is in college, “every skill he has accomplished in college he learned from the Boy Scouts.”

The aim of BSA Parents is to give parents and others a platform to talk about the ways scouting has positively impacted their children and their communities, the release stated.

“The values that scouting teaches youth, such important life lessons as integrity, service, citizenship and leadership, will help them be successful wherever they go in life,” Leff said. “These values are especially important right now as the more young people engage in scouting today, the stronger our national fabric will be in the future.”

Osama Mourad, who lives in Roswell and has two sons in the Boy Scouts, agreed.

“There are a lot of sports that want kids to do their best to score a goal or hit some other target,” she said in a news release. “In BSA Parents, the target is the boy and the goal is to build his character and build his morals.”

For more information about BSA Parents and the mission, visit www.bsaparents.com.

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