Hannibol Sullivan is a full-time Director of Field Services for Boy Scouts in the Pacifica District (the South Bay area, south of the 405 Freeway), one of 10 Districts in the Greater Los Angeles Council, and has been in Scouting for 20 years.  He was an Eagle Scout and is a member of the Inglewood Rotary Club. Dave Salzman, a Manhattan Beach Real Estate Broker, is a volunteer Scout leader.

The Boy Scouts of America was founded in 1910 to help boys to build character, learn responsible citizenship, and develop physical fitness. The Los Angeles Area Council was founded in 1915, and currently has 10 Districts including the Pacifica District (the South Bay area south of the 405 Freeway) with 4,800 boys in 200 Scout units. In addition to the traditional camping and hiking, they do cycling, backpacking, rock climbing, skiing, snowboarding, horseback riding, and water sports. Scouts learn through enjoyable interactive activities emphasizing age-related teamwork and leadership skills. Many new activities keep up with modern youth social trends, such as Internet skills and smart phones, as well as family relationships, strong values, life skills and career preparation.

Lions is a new Scouting program for kindergarten-age boys, led by parents (“Lion Guides”). They meet as dens of 6-8 kindergarten-age boys and occasionally attend a Cub Pack meeting. Lion Adventures assist Lion families in conducting enjoyable age-appropriate activities, exploring the world around them while developing citizenship and social skills. As they complete the requirements for each adventure, Lions earn an adventure sticker to be placed in their Lion Adventure Book. Their uniform is a Lion t-shirt. At the end of their kindergarten year, Lions “graduate” into Cub Scouting as a Tiger. Cub Scouts are now ages 6-10 and are taught new skills such as using a microwave, GPS, dailing 911, CPR, sports, and the traditional swimming and fishing skills.

Boy Scouts, ages 11-18, earn merit badges in traditional and new areas such as swimming, fishing, cooking, camping, chess, welding, search and rescue, skateboarding, first aid, climbing, back packing, archery, family relationships, and finance (budgeting and bill paying).

Explorers/Venturers, ages 14 to 20, are Coed (if you can’t beat’em, join’em).  They may specialize in potential career pathways such as law enforcement, fire-fighting, small business management, or healthcare, as well as sailing, cheer-leading, chemistry and horseback riding.

The Boy Scouts are funded by private donations, fund raisers and fees to scouts.  Uniforms cost $100, 6-day camp is $345, and annual fees are $250.  These expenses and obtaining adult volunteer leaders (5 adults are needed to start a Troop) are challenges, especially for lower socioeconomic boys who need these opportunities the most. Volunteers are needed for many different skills and expanding learning opportunities. Check the Pacifica District website at www.pacificabsa.org to see scheduled activities and how you can get involved.