Muddy Boots Fund created to benefit Boy Scouts and Stroud Center

Boy Scouts of all ages will now have more opportunities to spend time in the outdoors getting their boots muddy and becoming stewards of their local watersheds. As a result of a generous gift from brothers Greg, Barry, Keith, and Ray Bentley, the Chester County Council Boy Scouts of America and Stroud Water Research Center are expanding their partnership to offer additional outdoor and environmental STEM programs.

Stroud Center Director of Education and Eagle Scout Steve Kerlin, Ph.D., described the partnership as “a natural fit for the two organizations. Boy Scout programs offer leadership development, and many conservation-related badges, awards, and service projects align with the mission of the Stroud Center to promote knowledge and stewardship of freshwater systems through global research, education, and watershed restoration.” Stroud Center programs for Boy Scouts will build upon successful pilot programs for scouts and award-winning boots-in-the-water school programs.

“We are in the business of changing lives, and this generous gift from the Bentley brothers will help us accomplish that,” said Scout Executive Charles E. Rogers Jr. of the Chester County Council, Boy Scouts of America. Rogers went on to say, “We were overwhelmingly surprised when Greg (Bentley) announced the $55,000 gift establishing the Thomas P. Bentley Muddy Boots Program during the Scout’s November 15, 2017 Distinguished Citizen Award Dinner, which recognized Greg Bentley for his significant and enduring contributions to Chester County.”

Greg Bentley shared stories and pictures demonstrating the impact of his family’s experiences in scouting as the driver for this gift to establish the Muddy Boots Fund. He noted that he is especially fond of his time spent outdoors, and hopes this fund will help more youth of today’s digital age spend time outside learning about and protecting the environment. Bentley said “Scouts has given me and my family a love of the outdoors. With this fund, we want to encourage boys not only to love but to understand nature.”

Expanded Stroud Center programs for Boy Scouts will feature day and overnight programs at the Stroud Center, investigating stream and watershed health that include fun, hands-on educational activities such as night hikes to search for freshwater eels, collecting and identifying aquatic macroinvertebrates, water chemistry experiments, stream habitat assessments, and service projects including planting and monitoring of riparian forests. Other opportunities for scouts include: Eagle Scout projects, William T. Hornaday conservation award projects, Cub Scout activities, many Boy Scout merit badges, special conservation-related awards, training and assistance for summer camp staff and adults, real-time stream sensor stations on Boy Scout properties, future programming at the new CCCBSA PARC site in Exton, potential creation of a STEM Careers Explorer post for young adults 14-20, and many more ideas that will be discussed and collaboratively planned by Chester County Boy Scouts and Stroud Center education staff.

Please contact the Stroud Center at educationprograms@stroudcenter.org or the Chester County Council Boy Scouts of America at development@cccbsa.org for more information, or to register for a Muddy Boots Boy Scout Program, visit https://stroudcenter.org/education/scouts.

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