Day of service (Los Padres Council, BSA photo)

Give back to your community this holiday season by showing support to one of the many nonprofits in the area. Join Noozhawk on #GivingTuesday and donate to one of the local nonprofits listed in our Giving Guide!

Noozhawk is teaming up with local nonprofits to encourage you to take part in this international day of giving, which takes place on November 29th, 2022.

It is no secret that these past couple of years have been full of challenges and thats why local nonprofits need your support now more than ever. Our Good for Santa Barbara Nonprofit Section provides all the resources you need to donate this holiday season!

In this interview, Noozhawk spoke with Carlos Cortez, Scout Executive & CEO at Los Padres Council, Boy Scouts of America to learn more about their goal to help local youth become future leaders.

Los Padres Council, Boy Scouts of America (BSA)

Question: What is the name & mission of your nonprofit?

Answer: The mission of Los Padres Council, BSA is to prepare young people in all of our communities to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.

Scout Oath: On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my Country and to obey the Scout Law. To help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.

Scout Law: A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent.

Eagle Scout ready for the future

Eagle Scout ready for the future (Los Padres Council, BSA photo)

Q: What was the inspiration behind your nonprofit?

A: The purpose of our council is to help local youth become our future leaders by providing them access to the resources that will inspire them. We provide access to adventures and activities they could not otherwise afford.

Q: How is your nonprofit primarily funded and what are your greatest needs?

A: Los Padres Council and The Outdoor School is primary funded by individual donors that belive in our cause. Our donors contribute directly to our council or participate in one of our 3 fundraising events.

Q: In what ways does your nonprofit utilize its funding?

A: Funding is used to give access any youth into our program. To develop activities and experiences that support the growth of our youth, train staff and volunteers. For material for our programs and activities and for staff cost.

Q: What types of fundraisers and/or programs does your nonprofit run?

A: Our council conducts 2 honoree driven dinner fundraisers and one competitive shooting fundraiser. These are meant to support our various programs that serve youth ages 5 to 20 all directed at leadership development and educational enhancement. Our programs include outdoor discovery, environmental exploration, learning of basic life skills, career identification experiences, STEM, outdoor science education, and much more.

Q: What makes your nonprofit different from others?

Family fun day at camp

Family fun day at camp (Los Padres Council, BSA photo)

A: Los Padres Council and The Outdoor School are unique because we involve a large range of adult volunteers with various talents to play the role of mentors and guides to our kids while using the outdoors as one fo the tools to support their growth. We use our volunteers expertise to expose all youth to activities that supports their growth in development and enhances their leadership skills.

Q:  How do people get involved/volunteer for your nonprofit?

A: People can get involved in our organization by simply joining a pack, troop, or exploring post in their local community at  or by reaching out to us and becoming a Merit Badge counselor where they would use their expertise to work with young people on particular interest.

Q: What is one best kept secret or fun fact about your nonprofit that not everyone knows?

A: Los Padres Council owns and operates The Outdoor School Science camp at Rancho Alegre. Since 1985 every 6th grade kid that has attended science camp with their local school has participated in our program and been influenced by us.

Q: How does the work of your nonprofit get communicated to the public?

A: We utilize local media and our social media channels. Our families also share their stories with friends.

Q: Why should donors trust your organization and are there other ways to help outside of donations?

A: Los Padres Council, BSA has been part of Santa Barbara county since 1919 and have produced many youth leaders that have donated millions of hours of service time to our local communities. Year over year we receive a positive audit on our financial statements and demonstrate that 80 of funding gets invested in our youth. We have a long history and tradition to assuring our Scouts and kids understand their responsibility as leaders of their community.

Q:  Can you tell us one short-term goal AND one long-term goal that your nonprofit has for the next year?

A: Our short term goal is to finish construction of our camp Rancho Alegre in order to keep serving 7,000 youth annually and give them all equitable access to the outdoors. Our longterm goal is to grow the number of youth we impact to 10,000 by utilizing our various programs in local communities.

Click here to support the Los Padres Council, BSA mission to prepare young people in all of our communities to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes.

Check out Noozhawk’s Guide to Giving for a full list of nonprofits to donate to this giving season.