Three Rivers Council prepares our local youth for life

Published 4:10 pm Saturday, October 27, 2018

By Krista Salter

The Orange Leader


Since 1919, the Boy Scouts of America Three Rivers Council has been preparing youth for life – this year with more than 4,000 boys, and now girls, participating in camping, activities and events across 10 Southeast Texas counties.

In Orange, seven packs serving youth in kindergarten through fifth grade, nine troops serving youth from fifth grade to adulthood, and one exploring post serving youth aged 14 to 21 in career-based programs adds up around 25-percent of the council’s total youth.

“We are educating the youth on how to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent,” Jeanna Gonzales, Sabine District Executive for Three Rivers Council, added.

Partnering with United Way of Orange ensures the areas’ local scouts are prepared for their future – through health and education, and regardless of socioeconomic status – by offering character-building programs through crafts, family activities and outdoor adventures, to name a few.

Gonzales said partnering with United Way is “vital to us remaining a local council. Most people assume because we are a recognized national organization that money is no object, but we struggle as a nonprofit to raise the required funds to operate.”

“One of the mottos of scouting is ‘no scout left behind,’” Gonzales said. “This is true in the fact that if you have financial struggles we are going to do everything we can for you and your son or daughter to be involved with our program.”

Gonzales said local scouts align with United Way’s themes of health, education and financial security for all through service hours as a requirement for rank advancement. She said all of the youth in Orange in the program complete these hours, which ends up providing valuable services in the community.

“One of our goals is to shape the next generation into serving their community,” Gonzales said. “The youth we are teaching this to are going to be the next leaders of our communities and … who may be a future police officer who serves Orange or a future teacher who is going to pass along the scouting traits to future generations of Orange citizens.”

She said the most rewarding part about being involved with the Boy Scouts is watching the youth take the knowledge they gain from their programs and watching them in action, effectively using the lessons in their lives, “whether it be at an event where they are getting to participate in learning to shoot a bow and arrow or … seeing them out serving their community in trash pick-ups.”

Gonzales said there are plenty of ways to get involved with the local Boy Scouts of America, and that they are always looking for more volunteers.

Den Leaders to work with cub scouts, Merit Badge Counselors to help Scouts earn Merit Badges and adults to serve on the district committee to help improve the local scouting community are always in high demand, she said.

Gonzales also said if anyone in the community has ideas for service projects to benefit Orange, to contact the Sabine and Spindletop districts’ leaders.

Gonzales, Sabine district executive covering most of Orange County, or Casie Harris, Spindletop district senior executive covering western Orange County, can be reached at (409) 842-5240 or by email at or