Five Rivers Council Inc., BSAAbout UsWelcome to Five Rivers Council, BSA

Welcome to the Five Rivers Council, Boy Scouts of America and the greatest youth development program in the World!  

Scouting IS FOR YOUR FAMILY and every family in our communities.  At a time when many seem focused on division, Scouting provides an opportunity for everyone to come together and be part of the fun and adventure.  We offer safe, fun and educational age appropriate programs for boys from 1st grade to 20 years of age, and young women from age 14 to 20.  

Whether your child wants to go camping, provide service to their community, race pinewood derby cars, learn about STEM activities, or just hang out with their friends, we offer it all.  The Council provides first rate Scouting programming and facilities throughout the Twin Tiers of New York and Pennsylvania, serving the youth of eastern Allegany, Chemung, southern Livingston, Schuyler, Steuben, and western Tioga counties in New York, as well as Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan, and Tioga counties in Pennsylvania.

Please join in the adventure and I'll see you on the trail!









Gary Decker 

Scout Executive

Five Rivers Council, BSA


My family and I are very excited about the opportunity to become part of the Five Rivers Council family.  My first official day on the job is February 16, 2016, but in a way, I feel like I have been preparing to take on this role for a lifetime.  

I was born and raised in Cortland, NY (about an hour to the northeast of the Council office) and have been actively involved in Scouting most of my life.  I come from a family of Scouts and Scouters – my grandfather was a Scoutmaster and Exploring Post Advisor for 25+ years in the Binghamton area, my Dad and Uncle were both Scouts and Explorers growing up, and both my Mom and Dad were longtime volunteers in the Baden-Powell Council.  I joined the Cub Scouts in 2nd grade (back long before Tigers was developed) as a member of Pack 100 in Cortland and went up through the ranks to earn my Webelos and Arrow of Light.  After Crossover, I joined Troop 80 in Cortland and had many wonderful Scouting experiences.  I was Senior Patrol Leader for 3+ years, became a member of the Order of the Arrow, attended the 1985 National Jamboree, and in 1987 earned the rank of Eagle Scout.  Some of my fondest memories growing up include: racing my Pinewood Derby Car, attending Cub Scout Resident Camp with my Dad, going on numerous Spring Break Trips with my Troop, and hearing First Lady Nancy Reagan speak at the 1985 Jamboree.

Following graduation from Cortland High School I went to SUNY at Fredonia where I earned a Bachelors degree in Social Studies Education.  I then went to graduate school earning a Masters degree in Public Administration from the University at Albany.  After graduation I went to work for the New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee in Albany.  In 2001 I left the state of New York for 2 years to serve as the Director of Programs for the Century Council in Washington, DC.  Shortly after moving to Washington, DC I got married to my wife Lisa.  In 2003 I came back home to upstate New York to work at Cornell University.  In December of 2004 I joined the Baden-Powell Council, BSA as the Taughannock District Executive – serving Cortland and Tompkins County, NY.  I went on to serve the Council as Program Director and then Field Director.  In October of 2011 I was promoted to Director of Field Services and Chief Operating Officer of the Seneca Waterways Council in Rochester, NY.

Prior to becoming a professional Scouter, I served in a number of volunteer roles including: Boy Scout and Cub Scout Resident Camp Program Director and Camp Director at Camp Barton, Philmont Trek Advisor, Camping Committee Chair, and Pack Committee Chair.   I am a Brotherhood Member of the Order of the Arrow, served on the Northeast Region Headquarters Staff at the 2010 National Jamboree, and am in my 6th year directing the Cub Scout National Camping School at Alpine Scout Reservation.

Scouting remains to this day a large part of my entire family’s life.  My wife Lisa currently serves as the Den Leader for our youngest son Gary and previously served as Den Leader and Assistant Scoutmaster for our oldest son Matthew.  Matthew earned the rank of Eagle Scout in 2012 and is currently the Scouting Liaison to the Alpha Phi Omega Chapter at SUNY Brockport where he is a 2nd semester Senior.  Gary is currently a Wolf Scout in 1st grade.

As you can see from my background and experiences Scouting is and always has been an important part of my life.  My passion is to share Scouting with as many young people as possible!  I believe that today’s youth need Scouting more than ever.  As your new Scout Executive my goal is to share that message with all of the youth and families in our communities so, that they have the opportunity to become part of the greatest youth development program in the world!

Five Rivers Council has a truly remarkable Scouting tradition and I look forward to becoming part of the team that continues that tradition for future generations of youth.  We are blessed to have two amazing camp properties and programs at Camp Brule and Camp Gorton.  We are very fortunate to have a great team of high quality, trained volunteers and professional staff that are committed to growing and strengthening our Scouting units and programs.  We are also blessed to have a large number of friends in each of our communities (from parents to alumni to the United Way to corporations) that support us because they recognize the importance of what we do for area youth.  Most importantly, we have amazing young people in each of our communities that want and need the Scouting program in their lives.  

I look forward to joining with you to spread the message of Scouting to all of our area youth and families. Together we can build on the Five Rivers Council tradition of excellence and ensure that our local Scouting program remains relevant and vibrant for this and future generations.  I look forward to our journey together.


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