Boy Scouts of America

Prepared. For Life.

aka Greater Niagara Frontier Council, BSA   |   Buffalo, NY   |


The Mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical choices over their lifetime by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.

Ruling year info


Scout Executive/CEO

Mr. Russell D. Etzenhouser IV

Main address

2860 Genesee Street

Buffalo, NY 14225 USA

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Formerly known as

Buffalo Council

Erie County Council

Buffalo Area Council

Niagara Falls Council

Niagara Frontier Council



NTEE code info

Scouting (O40)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Recreational and Sporting Camps (Day, Overnight, etc.) (N20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

For more than 100 years, Scouting programs have instilled in youth the values found in the Scout Oath and Scout Law. Today, these values are just as relevant in helping youth grow to their full potential as they were in 1910. Scouting helps youth develop academic skills, self-confidence, ethics, leadership skills, and citizenship skills that influence their adult lives. The Boy Scouts of America provides youth with programs and activities that allow them to Try new things. Provide service to others. Build self-confidence. Reinforce ethical standards. While various activities and youth groups teach basic skills and promote teamwork, Scouting goes beyond that and encourages youth to achieve a deeper appreciation for service to others in their community. Scouting provides youth with a sense that they are im

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Cub Scouts

Lions BSA A school year program for kindergarten boys and their adult partners. Tiger Cubs BSA A school-year program for first-grade (or 7-year old) boys and their adult partners that stresses shared leadership, learning about the community, and family understanding. Each boy-adult team meets for family activities, and twice a month all the teams meet for Tiger Cub den activities. Cub Scouting A family and home-centered program that develops ethical decision-making for boys in the second through fifth grades (or who are 8, 9, and 10 years old). Fourth and fifth-grade (or 10-year-old) boys are called Webelos Scouts (WE'll BE LOyal Scouts) and participate in more advanced activities that begin to prepare them to become Boy Scouts. Cub Scouting s emphasis is on quality program at the local level, where boys and families are involved.

Population(s) Served

A program for boys and girls 11 through 17 designed to achieve the aims of Scouting through a vigorous outdoor program and peer group leadership with the counsel of an adult Scoutmaster. Scouts BSA is a year-round program for youth 11-17 years old that provides fun, adventure, learning, challenge, and responsibility to help them become the best version of themselves. For the first time in its 100+ year history, the iconic program of the Boy Scouts of America is open to young women as well as young men, all of whom will have the chance to earn Scouting’s highest rank, Eagle Scout. In Scouts BSA, young men and women go places, test themselves, and have one-of-a-kind adventures that can’t be found anywhere else.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Scouting program has specific objectives, commonly referred to as the “Aims of Scouting.” They are character development, leadership development, citizenship training, and personal fitness. Leadership development is also one of Scouting's eight methods contributing to both good character and good citizenship.

The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.

Ideals – The ideals of Scouting are spelled out in the Scout Oath, the Scout Law, the Scout motto, and the Scout slogan. The Scout measures themselves against these ideals and continually tries to improve. The goals are high, and, as they reach for them, they have some control over what and who they become.
Patrols – The patrol method gives Scouts an experience in group living and participating citizenship. It places responsibility on young shoulders and teaches Scouts how to accept it. The patrol method allows Scouts to interact in small groups where they can easily relate to each other. These small groups determine troop activities through their elected representatives.
Outdoor Programs – Scouting is designed to take place outdoors. It is in the outdoor setting that Scouts share responsibilities and learn to live with one another. It is here that the skills and activities practiced at troop meetings come alive with purpose. The outdoors is the laboratory for Scouts to learn ecology and practice conservation of nature’s resources.
Advancement – Scouting provides a series of surmountable obstacles and steps in overcoming them through the advancement method. The Scout plans their advancement and progresses at their own pace as they meet each challenge. The steps in the advancement system help a Scout grow in self-reliance and in the ability to help others.
Association with Adults – Scouts learn a great deal by watching how adults conduct themselves. Scout leaders can be positive role models for the members of their troops. In many cases a Scoutmaster who is willing to listen to the Scouts, encourage them, and take a sincere interest in them can make a profound difference in their lives.
Personal Growth – As Scouts plan their activities and progress toward their goals, they experience personal growth. The Good Turn concept is a major part of the personal growth method of Scouting. Young people grow as they participate in community service projects and do Good Turns for others. The religious emblems program also is a large part of the personal growth method. Frequent personal conferences with their Scoutmaster help each Scout to determine their growth toward Scouting’s aims.
Leadership Development – The Scouting program encourages Scouts to learn and practice leadership skills. Every Scout has the opportunity to participate in both shared and total leadership situations. Understanding the concepts of leadership and becoming a servant leader helps a Scout accept the leadership role of others and guides them towards participating citizenship and character development.
Uniform - The uniform makes the Scout troop visible as a force for good and creates a positive youth image in the community. Scouting is an action program, and wearing the uniform is an action that shows each Scout’s commitment to the aims and purposes of Scouting. The uniform gives the Scout identity in a world brotherhood of youth who believe in the same ideals.

Young people need mentors. Positive relationships with adults—community and religious leaders and, of course, parents—provide youth with good role models and have a powerful impact on their lives. Young people of every age can benefit from constructive, one-on-one interaction with adults beyond their own families. Scouting provides such adult interaction. We have a process that screens, selects, and trains the leaders who can provide that extra attention all young people need to succeed in life.
Lifelong Learning
People need to learn all through their lives. We live in a society that rewards continual acquisition of skills and knowledge. Scouting provides structured settings where young people can learn new skills and develop habits of continual learning that will help them succeed. From its foundation, Scouting has offered a concrete program of discovering, sharing, and applying knowledge and skills.
Faith Traditions
Young people need faith. There is abundant evidence that children benefit from the moral compass provided by religious tradition. We acknowledge that faith can become an important part of a child’s identity. Each of the major faiths breeds hope, optimism, compassion, and a belief in a better tomorrow. Scouting encourages each young person to begin a spiritual journey through the practice of his or her faith tradition. One of the key tenets of Scouting is “duty to God.” While Scouting does not define religious belief for its members, it has been adopted by and works with youth programs of all major faiths.
Serving Others
Young people need to serve. The level of community service is a good indication of the health of any society. Scouting has, from its inception, been deeply rooted in the concept of doing for others. “Do a Good Turn Daily” is a core Scouting precept. Scouting encourages young people to recognize the needs of others and take action accordingly. Scouting works through neighborhoods, volunteer organizations, and faith-based organizations to help young people appreciate and respond to the needs of others.
Healthy Living
Young people need to be well. To get the most from life, one must be both mentally and physically fit. A commitment to physical wellness has been reflected in Scouting’s outdoor programs such as hiking, camping, swimming, climbing, and conservation. First aid, lifesaving, and safety programs are synonymous with Scouting. Our programs today include strong drug abuse awareness and prevention programs emphasizing the value of healthy living habits.
Building Character
Young people need to know to be good and to do good. Few will argue with the importance of teaching values and responsibility to our children – not only right from wrong, but specific, affirmative values such as fairness, courage, honor, and respect for others. Beginning with the Scout Oath and Scout Law, the Boy Scouts of America program is infused with character-building activities that allow youth to apply abstract principles to dail

Camping is a centerpiece of Scouting. Our council operates and maintains three camp facilities in Western NY and one program in Canada. Camp Scouthaven in Freedom, NY, features boating, swimming, hiking, archery, BB gun shooting, games, nature studies, canoeing, arts and crafts, obstacle courses, and BMX bike riding for Cub Scouts. Schoellkopf Scout Reservation in Cowlesville, NY, features orienteering, geocaching, shotgun, rifle, hiking, archery, mountain biking, scuba diving, stand-up paddle boards, year-round trading post, technology center, and chalk ball shooting program for members of Scouts BSA. Camp Stonehaven in Ransomville, NY, offers four spacious cabins, five lean-to’s, and numerous campsites located a short ride from Niagara Falls. Volunteers of the Greater Niagara Frontier Council operates the Birchbark Expeditions program. Members of Venturing and Scouts BSA enjoy ecology, canoeing, history, conservation, and hiking with veteran guides during a week in the Canadian wilderness of Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada.

Our council has funded over $22,000 in camping scholarships to camp. We have trained over 2,093 adult leaders. 136 Scouts BSA members have achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.

We maintain training for over 2,600 volunteers at valuable events: FastStart Training, National Youth Leadership Training, Woodbadge (advanced leadership training for adults), the University of Scouting, and Commissioner College, advanced training to support Commissioners as they serve local Scout troops. Our council holds events such as the First Aid Rally, Camporees, Scout-O-Rama, Klondike Derby, and Winter Fun Days, that engage Scouts throughout Erie, Niagara and neighboring Counties.


Boy Scouts of America

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Boy Scouts of America

Board of directors
as of 11/08/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Dr. Richard Vienne


Term: 2016 - 2017

Board co-chair

Ms. Darlene Sprague


Term: 2017 - 2017

Nan W Ackerman

Divitta Alexander

Cannon Heyman & Weiss LLP

Mitchell Banas

Bond, Schoeneck and King

Sean Beiter

Goldberg Segalla LLP

Jack Bertsch

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A. J. Block

Christopher Collins

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Sean Costello

Rupp, Baase, Pfalzgraf, et al

Steven Detwiler

Donald I Dussing

Ed Bedient

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David Bliss

Paul Converso

Brian D'Arcy

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Gary Geartz

J.W. Danforth

Edward J Graber

M&T Bank

Jeffrey Hahn

S C Parker

Timothy Howard

Sheriff, Erie County

Thomas Keller

Keller Williams Commerical

Paul Kendzierski

Buffalo Federal Executive Board

Brett Kennedy

Vitec Solutions

Darlene Kihlberg


Ronald Krawczyk

Joseph Lane

AXA Advisors, LLC

Ramona Lloyd

M&T Bank

William Loockerman

Scott M. McCarthy

Cambridge Advisors, LLC

Bart McGloin

Dopkins & Company

Michael Meyers


Steven Molik

John Moscati

Colligan Law LLP

Shawn Nickerson

Thomas O'Donnell

City of Niagara Falls

Robert C. Patterson

John Philipps

David Powers

John Pustulka

National Fuel Gas Supply Corp.

Sergio Rodriguez

Peter Sayadoff

Uniland Development Company

John G. Schmidt


John Siegel

SR Instruments

Larry Skerker

Demone Smith

James S. Smyczynski

National Fuel Gas Company

Michael J. Stachowski

Attorney/Counselor at Law

Chantele Thompson


Patrick M. Tronconi

Tronconi Segerra & Associates

James van Oss


E Daniel Walther

Brian Welsh

Brian R. Welsh, PLLC

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes