RAYMOND – A Pine Tree Council executive board member Bill Thornton and wife Jacky have generously donated $75,000 to establish the Thornton Family STEM / Nova Center at Camp William Hinds.
"This gift together with 100 percent of our board participation will enable the PTC to take advantage of a 'once in a century' opportunity of working with the Pentagon's IRT program to improve our camps to some of the best in the country! We are extremely proud of our relationship with the military men and women who serve our country," said campaign co-chair Horace Horton.
STEM, or Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, is part of an initiative the Boy Scouts of America has taken on to encourage the natural curiosity of youth members and their sense of wonder about these fields through existing programs. Fostering STEM education has emerged as one of Scouting’s and our nation’s top priorities for youth. The BSA launched Project STEM in 2011 as a way of helping youth develop skills that will be critically needed in order to succeed in the competitive world market.
The Nova and Supernova Awards focus STEM activities and provide additional motivation for Scouts to participate in STEM-related activities. By working with an adult counselor or mentor, the various modules allow them to explore the basic principles of STEM and discover how fun and fascinating STEM can be. There are four Nova awards for Cub Scouts, Webelos Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venturers. Each award covers one component of STEM—science, technology, engineering or mathematics.
"Thanks to Bill and Jacky Thornton’s generous gift, we will dramatically increase our capacity to expose Scouts to our dynamic STEM programs for youth of all ages. Locating the Thornton Family STEM / Nova Center in the daylight level of our new Dining Hall will attract thousands of children from Maine and the Northeast to Camp William Hinds," said Scout Executive/CEO Eric Tarbox.