The Boy Scouts of America has been a prominent organization in the United States for more than 100 years. Throughout its history, it has made a difference in several people’s lives, including Louisville freshman Brandon Ray.

“When I was in elementary school, I was the class nerd that everybody picked on,” The 19-year-old said. “So now going through high school and college, I’m a lot more sociable and I know how to talk to people a lot better than if I hadn’t been in Boy Scouts.”

Ray said the BSA helped him communicate better with others when he was younger.

Ray’s parents were the reason he joined.

“My dad was in Boy Scouts, and my grandpa was a Scoutmaster back in the day,” Ray said.

Ray said his experiences in BSA include obtaining the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank attainable within the organization.

“It takes a lot of dedication,” Ray said. “You have to be able to get people together and get them to work with you and be able to communicate effectively.”

Ray said he uses skills he learned in BSA in his everyday life.

“Being an Eagle Scout has a lot of benefits,” Ray said. “It helps you stand out on your résumé in the hiring process.”

Ray said the Eagle Scout uniform plays an important role within BSA.

“It really teaches the younger scouts to be a part of the team,” Ray said. “It’s the biggest unifying factor.”

Louisville freshman Sara Aquadro is involved in Venture Crew, a co-ed development program sponsored by BSA for those between the ages of 14 and 21.

Aquadro said she decided to join Venture Crew because of her disinterest in Girl Scouts. She found herself wanting to do the activities her older sister did while she was in Venture Crew.

“My Girl Scouts troop was more arts and crafts,” the 18-year-old said. “It did not excite me, and it was not appealing.”

Aquadro said Venture Crew has some similarities with BSA such as volunteering time to do projects and help the community, but there were some differences between the two organizations.

“Venture Crew is youth led,” Aquadro said. “Primarily anything that we want to do, we set it up.”

Aquadro also said Venture Crew has taught her life skills.

“I’m more knowledgeable about a few things like first aid,” Aquadro said.

Aquadro said that there are two Venture Crew uniforms within the program, Class A and Class B. Class A uniforms are more stringent, she said.

She has been happy with her experience in Venture Crew.

“It’s been a very positive one,” Aquadro said. “It’s not for everyone, I understand that, but I do recommend it to people who are interested.”

Bowling Green freshman Patrick Stewart has been involved in Venture Crew and BSA.

Stewart said he joined BSA because of his interest in the activities he saw in a BSA presentation.

“I thought it was really cool,” The 19-year-old said. “I enjoy camping. I enjoy going outdoors.”

Stewart said he has many memories from his involvement in BSA and Venture Crew.

“We drove halfway across Canada and went sightseeing,” Stewart said. “I was able to see the Northern Lights. That was kind of a breathtaking moment.”

Stewart, also an Eagle Scout, said he joined the BSA in the sixth grade and didn’t earn the title until his senior year in high school.

“Just the fact that it takes that long and to get something like that, it definitely shows as far as determination and the work ethic towards it.”