Groups team up to boost statewide SCOUTStrong Healthy Living Initiative
RALEIGH, NC—September 22, 2016: The North Carolina ABC Commission announced today an official partnership between the Occoneechee Council of the Boy Scouts of America and the Talk It Out campaign, a statewide initiative focused on reducing underage drinking. Launched in 2014, Talk It Out seeks to educate parents of middle and high school students on the dangers of underage drinking, and to empower them with tools and resources to talk with their children about it.
Through the partnership, the Occoneechee Council will expand its SCOUTStrong Healthy Living Initiative to include a deeper focus on underage drinking prevention, and share Talk It Out resources with Scout leaders across the state. SCOUTStrong is a nationwide primary prevention program that draws on physical and emotional fitness to equip youth with skills to resist drugs and alcohol, and how to make healthy choices.
“Educating young people on the benefits of living healthy lifestyles free of the dangers associated with underage drinking is at the very core of Scouting’s mission. We are thrilled to partner with the Talk It Out campaign and Chairman Gardner to help protect North Carolina’s children and reduce underage drinking in our state,” said David Powers, Occoneechee Council SCOUTStrong Committee.
To fulfill the current SCOUTStrong Challenge, Boy Scouts currently must meet four requirements:
- Commit to a daily physical activity-and stick with it;
- Commit to living the Scout Oath and Law daily;
- Set realistic goals to encourage fitness and healthy eating habits for a lifetime; and
- Commit to choose to refuse drugs and underage drinking.
Beginning in January 2017, North Carolina Boy Scouts will have one additional requirement to fulfill the SCOUTStrong Challenge: Commit to having open, honest family discussions about the dangers of underage drinking, starting within 48 hours of accepting the challenge. Through its partnership with Talk It Out, the Council hopes to provide youth and parents with more than 8,000 educational opportunities in Wake County alone to meet the challenge.
“The Occoneechee Council is one of the largest and most prominent youth development organizations in North Carolina, and our missions are very much aligned. We hope this program will encourage parents and their kids to have meaningful discussions about the real dangers of underage drinking—honestly, openly and often,” said NC ABC Chairman Jim Gardner. “We are proud to partner with the Occoneechee Council and Boy Scouts across the state in their mission to prepare our youth to face they may encounter in a positive, healthy way.”
For more information on the Talk It Out campaign, visit www.TalkItOutNC.org.