About: Scout Executives Updates

For more than 100 years, Scouting has helped build future leaders by combining educational activities and lifelong values with fun and adventure in the outdoors.  At Boy Scouts of America, we are dedicated to developing leaders of character by preparing young men and women for life by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.  The timeless ideals of the Scout Law, such as being trustworthy, helpful, kind and brave, make up the foundation young people need to address and overcome challenges in their lives and the issues facing their generation.

Here in the Greater New York Councils, Scouting serves more than 20,000 youth in all five boroughs of New York City.  Now as we continue the Scouting mission, it is important that we keep pace with an ever-changing world.  While costs to the organization have increased every year, the Boy Scouts of America has worked to keep the annual membership fee as low as possible by subsidizing core costs, including liability insurance we must carry to cover all official Scouting activities.  Unfortunately, it is no longer possible to subsidize at the level we have in the past, especially as the cost of insurance has increased dramatically.  We kept the cost low to make Scouting available to as many young people as possible but keeping the cost artificially low for many years now magnifies the impact of changes.

To ensure we have the resources to fulfill the promise of Scouting despite increasing operating costs, the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America has made the difficult but necessary decision to increase the annual membership fee effective January 1, 2020 to:

  • $60 for youth members in Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouts, from $33
  • $36 for youth members in Exploring from $33
  • $36 for adult members from $33
  • $60 for unit charter fees

Every dollar of the national membership fee will go toward the cost of essential services, including liability insurance for those participating in approved Scouting activities, program resources, safety standards, youth protection and personal safety training, and services to Councils nationwide to sustain Scouting.  The National organization will also continue to develop and improve resources that support our volunteers and youth members such as online registration, Member Care and Scoutbook, which now includes the Den Leader experience to ensure the safe and consistent delivery of Cub Scouting; as well as improvements aimed at simplifying the annual renewal process.  In the Greater New York Councils, we will continue to bring Scouting to our communities and families throughout the five boroughs of New York City.

Across the country and in our own community, we know that Scouting remains one of the most valuable investments we can make to support young men and women today so they can become the leaders we will turn to tomorrow.  From once-in-a-lifetime adventures to merit badges that spark interests and future careers; from campouts under the stars to service projects that leave a lasting impact on our communities; Scouting’s year-round program expends horizons and provides young people with a safe and welcoming place to learn, grow and thrive.

Thank you for your continued role in empowering a generation of future leaders of character through Scouting programs,

Richard G. Mason, Esq., President

Ethan Draddy, Scout Executive

Read more and see the FAQ




Parents and Volunteer Leaders:

Recent news reports remind us that our first priority is the safety of our kids. Youth protection is core to our program, and we thank those of you who have completed the Youth Protection Training and promote its guidelines each day.  

Even one incident of abuse is too many. You may have seen recent media coverage about decades-old allegations of abuse, some dating back more than 50 years. These stories stem from a coordinated media campaign launched in New York and New Jersey last week by attorneys.  None of the individuals named in their press conference has worked in the Greater New York Councils for at least 30 years, and in some cases almost 60 years.

It is helpful to understand the background regarding the National BSA’s database. The BSA has worked diligently for decades to keep people suspected of posing a risk to children out of and away from youth in the Boy Scouts of America. Long before today’s modern methods and electronic databases were available to track predators, the BSA took a vital and important step to protect children by creating the Volunteer Screening Database. The purpose is to ensure that anyone seen as unfit to be a leader – even those not charged or convicted of any crime – would be banned from the Scouting program.

The BSA always immediately, proactively and thoroughly cooperates with Law Enforcement, and 100% of this database has been shared with Law Enforcement officials.

The creation of those files in the 1920’s was just the first step in the BSA’s development of a comprehensive set of leading-edge strategies designed to provide the best possible youth protection system. We are committed to creating the safest possible environment for children and adults.

As a reminder, all registered leaders must complete Youth Protection Training, submit to a mandatory criminal background check and are required to report any signs of abuse. Also, Scouts and parents receive Safe Scouting procedures and policies in the first section of the Scout handbook. Our latest youth protection guidelines are available on the Council website at https://www.scouting.org/training/youth-protection/.

Greater New York Councils will continue its role as a leader in Youth Protection. This November, we will host a Youth Protection symposium to bring together some of the brightest minds in the field to discuss best practices and prevention techniques. The safety of children in Scouting has been, and remains, our absolute top priority.

If you have ANY questions or concerns about this news, please call or email any member of our staff or me:ethan.draddy@scouting.org or 212-651-3060.

Thank you for helping make Scouting one of the safest youth-serving organizations in America.

Yours in Scouting,

Ethan V. Draddy

Scout Executive & Chief Executive Officer

Greater New York Councils

Boy Scouts of America

Dear Greater New York Councils Volunteers,

We write to you today in regards to an article you may have seen in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal concerning National Council Boy Scouts of America hiring a bankruptcy attorney. This news should not raise concerns for you about the financial stability of the Greater New York Councils and future of our programs. We are fully confident in the long-term stability of Scouting in New York City.

The Greater New York Councils, a 501(c)(3) incorporated in the State of New York, operates as a financially independent not-for-profit organization, separate from National Council Boy Scouts of America. William H. Pouch Scout Camp, Alpine Scout Camp, Ten Mile River Reservation and all Greater New York Councils endowment funds are owned and controlled by the Greater New York Councils and overseen by our volunteer board of directors. The Greater New York Councils does not receive funding from the National Council. In fact we pay a chartering fee to the National Council, much like your Pack, Troop and Crew pay with your unit’s charter, for support. GNYC tax filings and financial statements are available on our council website.

GNYC's fiscal health, program quality, board and volunteer dedication are all very strong. We are proud to be locally run by our dedicated and involved volunteers from the Greater New York area.

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Yours in Scouting,

Ethan Draddy 

Joseph Schiltz

Scout Executive & CEO  Director of Field Service




Dear New York City Scouting Friends,

I grew up in a family with two sisters. It was my mom and dad, me, my younger sisters, Colleen and Nina. No brothers.

Joann and I are very blessed with two healthy, intelligent daughters: Taylor Marie and Lara. No sons.

As many of you know, I am an Eagle Scout myself and proud, honored really, to be your Scout Executive.

I believe very strongly that if my own girls are smart enough, possess the requisite skill sets and leadership ability, then anything in life should be possible.

I could not be more proud that we will have Scouts BSA Troops in all five boroughs ready for young ladies now, not months from now, to meet the wonderful market demand for our Scouting programs here in the most diverse and greatest city on the planet.

I am grateful and gratified to all the wonderful volunteers and staff who are ramping up these programs that, in many cases, will be around serving girls for years and years to come.

I personally look forward to greeting them at Ten Mile River Scout Camps next summer. I personally look forward to greetings them just as I greet all of our Scouts who adventure into Scouting’s phenomenal outdoor programs.

Game on, and GREAT Scouting!


Yours in Scouting,

Ethan V. Draddy

Scout Executive


Scouting Cultivates Patriotism and the Best in our Youth and Adults

From NYC Scouter December 2016 - December 2017

    We teach boys and young adults to “cultivate courage, loyalty, patriotism, brotherliness, self-control, courtesy, kindness to animals, usefulness, cheerfulness, cleanliness, thrift, purity and honor.”  It says so in the preface to the Scout Handbook.  
If you are like me then you just love that about Scouting.

    We also cultivate a certain type of citizenship that speaks to the best of mankind. No matter the political persuasion or appetite for politics, we in Scouting and Exploring mandate an earnest, honest respect for the office. We strive to instill this in our Scouts and Explorers, and for the most part, live that as adults.

    It is also interesting that Boy Scouts of America doesn’t endorse any political party. You could say that rather than being pro-left or pro-right, the Boy Scouts of America is pro-America.

    The same applies to your pack, troop, team, post, ship or crew. You and your Scouts should Do Your Duty to Country but not by endorsing any one candidate.

    During election years, especially contentious ones like this one, the line between patriotism and political favoritism becomes thin, making it important to reinforce our official policy on Scout participation in political rallies.

    The fact is it’s perfectly fine for our members to provide a color guard flag ceremony, in uniform, at political events. It’s just that a unit serving as color guard must then immediately depart the stage and the premises. Think of it this way:  they provide a patriotic service and depart before things get political.

With some help from ‘Bryan on Scouting’, here’s some frequently asked Q&A:

Q: Could a pack, troop, team or crew provide a color guard flag ceremony for a candidate’s public speaking event or rally?
A: Yes. But, BSA Policy requires our adult and youth members in uniform to leave immediately after the presentation of colors and the Pledge of Allegiance. Should they want to stay they must do so as individuals, not Scouting representatives. That means they would have to change out of their uniforms.

Q: So Scouts and Scouters can’t stand on the platform for the remainder of the speech or presentation?
A: No, they should not remain on the speakers’ platform or in a conspicuous location where media could construe their presence as an endorsement or symbol of support.

Q: Why is this the rule?
A: The policy is meant to prevent someone from using our BSA brand to convey support of a candidate or ideology. This prevents Scouts from being used by any party in campaign advertisements or materials.

Q: So then why is it OK to even present the colors or lead the Pledge of Allegiance at all?
A: Those are displays of loyalty to the nation, something the BSA has always endorsed. Regardless of the outcome of the political race, the candidate and supporters pledge allegiance to the U.S. Because of this, it is always acceptable and deemed to be a part of the civic process. Also, this “service” is offered to any party, regardless of political affiliation.

Q: Can Scouts and Scouters pose for photos with political candidates at these events?
A: Yes. But photos of candidates or Scouts in uniform or BSA marks and logos are not allowed in political campaign materials of any kind.

Q: Can adult leaders or Venturers who are 18 or older vote in elections?
A: Not only can they — they should! This policy isn’t meant to limit the freedom of thought or action of any official or member acting as an individual. Scouters, Explorers and Venturers shouldn’t wear their uniform to the polling place, but they should vote for whichever candidate they prefer. That’s all part of being a good citizen — something the BSA has taught for more than a century.

Q: What can Scout leaders do to support this policy?
A: Volunteers (and professionals) must be alert to situations that would imply that the BSA favors one candidate or party over another. Strict observance of our long-standing policy against the active participation of uniformed Scouts and leaders in political events is mandatory.

Q: Does Scouting still teach patriotism and citizenship?
A: Yes! The Boy Scouts of America teaches the ideals of patriotism and good citizenship as required to fulfill its purpose.

    I hope you will not only talk about this in your Scouting circles, but promote these ideals.
    As always, I warmly welcome and appreciate your ideas, concerns and feedback.
Thank you for all you do!

Yours in Scouting friendship,

Ethan Draddy
Scout Executive


Read the GNYC President Richard G. Mason's Statement on the President's National Jamboree address.


Click here for the official Scout Executive Update's site.