HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree welcomed community leaders to a boy scout luncheon Thursday.
"We want all kids to have the opportunity in scouting, that's why we have a scout reach program," said Zach Ross, field director of the Pine Burr area. "Events like this help us raise the funds necessary and to support scouting, but more than anything it gives inner-city kids a chance to do a flag ceremony and a public speaking opportunity to help develop their character and leadership. It just gets people in the community in front of the kids to raise awareness of what these kids are doing on a weekly basis."
Pine Burr Area Council of the Boy Scouts, which consists of 17 area counties, has had the largest growth rate percentage of membership growth percentage in the country in 2016.
The group also had 75 Eagle Scouts in 2016.