The summer season is fast approaching and one local youth organization is preparing to take advantage of it.

The Boy Scouts of America are one of the top organizations in the country and world for training young men to be model citizens. They aim to teach boys valuable life skills, help them build character, and participate in services that benefit the community. Many of the troops are sponsored by churches or the American Legion.

District director for the scouts in Livingston and Washtenaw Counties, Cristina Van Putten, came into scouting through an unusual route, not having children of her own. She says after working in retail for a number of years, a friend encouraged her to take a job with the Boy Scouts. "I was ready for a change...but I love my job. I would never go back. I'm very lucky." Van Putten said there were some interesting facts about the scouts that many people might not be aware of. She told WHMI that the Boy Scouts actually began in England, and they have programming for young men up to age 21. Cub Scouts start at the kindergarten level, and beginning at 14, they offer a co-ed venturing program for the older youths. As the weather warms up, the 13 troops in Livingston County are preparing for their yearly camping trips. Older scouts will go to a variety of camps across the state, while the younger Cub Scouts will participate in day camp at the Fowlerville Fairgrounds from June 24th to the 26th.

Van Putten said the biggest question she receives from parents is about the cost of scouting. She said they never want that to be an issue and are willing to work with families to ensure that any child who wants to participate in the program can. More information on the Boy Scouts and how to join can be found through the link below. (MK)