Scouting on Atlanta’s Historic Westside

Konnech Williams knows the positive impact the Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts can have on a young person’s life. Both of her older children, now in their 20s, were proud scouts.

When she moved to the Westside with her 8-year-old son Brian three years ago, Konnech wanted him to follow the same path. Unfortunately, there was no troop available.

“I knew it was something I wanted Brian to get into,” she said. “I know it is a very good program for boys growing up. It gives them somebody to look up to and different activities to do, a structure they need.”

So Konnech took it upon herself to lobby for and support a Scout Pack for her son and other young boys in their neighborhood, and it is already making a difference. For more than 100 years, scouting has helped build future leaders by combining educational activities and lifelong values with fun and outdoor adventure.

For Brian, scouting provides opportunities for fun and interesting experiences with his friends. “We went on a Halloween camping trip where we all wore cool costumes,” he said, “and we’ve been to a fun house with food, slides and bouncy houses.”

His Scout Pack meets on Tuesday afternoons from 2:45 to 4 p.m. in the cafeteria of their school. “We usually play games,” he said.

While it is fun for Brian, it is work for Konnech. Scouting isn’t just daycare, where parents can just drop their kids off for a few hours. It requires parental involvement, a responsibility Konnech takes very seriously.

“This is just my passion. I love the kids,” she said. “You have to step up as a parent. My role is to organize the committee and help with transportation. I also try to do snacks for them every Tuesday and get them situated, quiet down. It’s a lot.”

Beyond the trips and activities, scouting reinforces the qualities Brian’s mom hopes her son will reflect as he grows into a thoughtful, strong, mature young man.

“Scouting creates productive, concerned members of their communities, and it gives them some place to go to be involved,” she said. “Boy Scouts sees kids overflowing with potential and encourages them to become their best selves.”

Boy Scouts offers boys like Brian Williams the opportunity to build character, life skills, leadership skills and resilience.

According to the organization’s website, Boy Scouts of America (BSA) trains youth in responsible citizenship, character development and self-reliance through participation in a wide range of outdoor activities, educational programs and, at older age levels, career-oriented programs in partnership with community organizations.

With 32,030 Scouts in metro Atlanta, 758 partnerships across the city and 8,500 volunteers, BSA continues to make a profound impact on the community and on Atlanta’s Historic Westside, helping youth build character, life skills, leadership skills and resilience.

BSA challenges youth to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent, as the Boy Scout Law states, making Brian’s pack a positive outlet, just as the organization is for countless others across the Westside and around the world.

BSA’s Atlanta Area Council offers Scouting programs at City of Refuge, The Salvation Army Bellwood Boys & Girls Club, Woodson Park Academy, Rose Park, Concerned Citizens and Odyssey Villas, Ashview Heights Community Association and M. Agnes Jones Elementary School and is working to begin programs at the At-Promise Centerand at Hollis Innovation Academy. For more information about BSA and the Atlanta Area Council, check out our Sept. 6 Summit recap.

Konnech Williams understands the positive impact scouting can have on young boys because she has seen this happen in her son, Brian.