The former head of Boy Scouts in the Pittsburgh region will become the next national head of the Boy Scouts of America Sept. 1.
Robert J. Mazzuca, 59, who has been involved in Boy Scouting for more than five decades, was a unanimous selection to the post by members of the national executive board.
"The chief Scout executive is the equivalent of being the CEO of a national corporation," said Alf Tuggle, scout executive of the Greater Pittsburgh Council of Boy Scouts.
Mike Daniel, who worked with Mr. Mazzuca as a former council president in the Pittsburgh region, said he wasn't surprised by his selection. He credits Mr. Mazzuca, who ran the Pittsburgh council from 1995 to 2005, with raising Scouting membership in Pittsburgh in the past 10 years.
The national percentage of youths involved in all Scouting programs -- Cub Scouts, for boys from age 6 to 10, Boy Scouts, for boys between 11 and 18, and Venturing, a coed program for youths between 14 and 20 -- compared to the overall youth population, is around 14 percent. In Pittsburgh, the percentage is more than double, at 30 percent.
"It's very difficult to get an increase in traditional scouting membership year after year," Mr. Daniel said, "especially in an area like Pittsburgh, where population is dropping like a stone."
He added that only a few other councils out of the 300 nationwide had a higher percentage than Pittsburgh's.
Jim Rohr, who raised money for scouting with Mr. Mazzuca, described him as a selfless man who could use his charisma to promote Scouts in the region and raise money. About five years ago, the two volunteers helped to raise $15 million for capital improvements and endowment.
After leaving Pittsburgh, Mr. Mazzuca served as national director of the development group at national headquarters in Irving, Texas. In 2006, he was promoted to assistant chief Scout executive.
Mr. Mazzuca is an Eagle Scout. He began a career in Scouting in 1971 in California and came to Pittsburgh in 1995. He earned his undergraduate degree in history from California Polytechnic State University.
He is currently in Gilwell Park, near London, celebrating World Scouting's 100th anniversary. The Boy Scouts began in England in 1907, then came to the United States in 1910.
"There was no doubt he would lead us into the second century of scouting," Mr. Daniel said.
Mr. Mazzuca is one of about 6,000 professionals in scouting. Professionals are in charge of the administrative work and responsible for raising money and membership. The professionals answer to the volunteers, who oversee the programs and councils.
Correction/Clarification: (Published Aug. 1, 2007) Bob Mazzuca, a former Pittsburgher who has been named national head of the Boy Scouts of America, has been in scouting for more than five decades and is one of about 6,000 professionals involved. This story as originally published for part of the July 31, 2007 news cycle gave incorrect numbers. In the same story, the last name of Alf Tuggle, another Boy Scout official, was misspelled. Also, only a small portion of $15 million raised in a capital improvement and endowment campaign went toward the Camp Guyasuta project.
Sara McCune can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1122.