Housatonic Council, Boy Scouts of America
111 New Haven Avenue
Derby CT 06418-2700
Contact Information
Address 111 New Haven Avenue
Derby, CT 06418-2700
Telephone (203) 734-3329 x
Fax 203-734-0222
E-mail john.zseller@scouting.org
The Mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical choices over their lifetime 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:
At A Glance
Year of Incorporation 1920
Organization's type of tax exempt status Public Supported Charity
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years Yes
CEO/Executive Director Mr. John A. Zseller II
Board Chair Mr. Gary Parker
Board Chair Company Affiliation Milone and MacBroom
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses Bar Graph - All Years
The Mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical choices over their lifetime 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:
Background The council originated from the Derby Council, voting to organize as a first class council at its annual meeting on January 25, 1923. And since that time has been providing quality Scouting programs to boys throughout the Lower Naugatuck Valley. The council has jurisdiction over Scouting in Ansonia, Shelton and Seymour in addition to Derby, with the town of Oxford incorporated into the council at a later date. Since its founding it has been headquartered in Derby, CT. 

In 2019 the Housatonic Council achieved the Boy Scouts of America’s Journey to Excellence status of Silver.  Eighteen young men achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. One requirement of an Eagle Scout is to create, and lead other youth and adults in a community service project. These service projects led to over 1,800 hours of community service.  Our Council's day camps and long-term camping program continues to provided summer camp to over 300 youth. We continue to build upon our endowment, as well as our general operating budget's fundraising dollars to continue to provide worthwhile programs.

The Council continues to instill the importance of "doing a good turn daily" and community service projects remain a priority of Scouting, and in 2019 over 3,000 service hours were donated and recorded by our units. Service projects included Scouting for Food, clean-up projects, beautification projects, and environment sustainability. Scouting for Food mobilized Scouts to collect food items to replenish the shelves at local food pantries, in 2019 our units continued to assist other organizations with food collection, sorting, and stocking of food pantries.

Goals for 2020, include increasing membership to all youth and young adults of the Lower Naugatuck Valley enabling them to participate in an outstanding Scouting program, and to celebrate our 100th Anniversary as a Council.

Our Friends of Camp Strang continues to be a strong bridge between current and former scouts, scouters, and friends of the Housatonic Council to help with fundraising, marketing, and carrying out of our important mission.

The Council's most pressing need is continuing to deliver the time-tested Scouting programs (Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, and Venturing) in a manner that meets the needs and realities of today's families.  Additionally expanding membership by way of increasing the number of youth in current cub and boy scout units, as well as looking into opportunities for growth (adding new packs, troops, crews, or posts), promoting the co-educational Venturing Program, Exploring programs.  The Council is trying to expand Scouting in the Lower Naugatuck Valley to other organizations, schools and after-school programs.  
The Council established an in-school Cub Scout Pack at Irving Elementary School in Derby to provide the Cub Scout program to students whose families may be unable to enroll them in a traditional after-school Cub Scout Pack.  Delivery of in-school Scouting programs requires additional financial support from the Council for staff, over traditional volunteer-led Scouting programs.  Council staff members hire and train "program-workers" and meet with them frequently to prepare programs and secure program supplies.
We want to maintain, preserve, and expand the facilities, and program offerings at Camp Strang, and continue providing a quality Boy Scout camping program. 
Expanding our fundraising and marketing efforts.  Our scouting families have been generous, but it is important to reach into new markets, especially the corporate and community markets, that can assist the Council with financial support, in-kind gifts, and volunteer support.
CEO Statement
In 1920, a group of community-minded business leaders acted on their commitment to provide high-quality Scouting programs to the youth of the Lower Naugatuck Valley and established the Housatonic Council.  In 2016, that same commitment to youth is the reason that the Housatonic Council continues to thrive.
The Boy Scouts of America has long recognized the Housatonic Council, while one of the smallest councils in the BSA, as a leader of the Scouting movement.  In 1927, local leaders established Cub Scouting for elementary school-age boys three years before it became an official Scouting program.  In 2010, the Housatonic Council had 24% of its eligible members attend the National Scout Jamboree, one of the highest attendance rates by any council in the BSA.  In recognition of its achievements, the BSA honored the Housatonic Council as a "Gold Council" in 2012, 2015, 2016 and as a "Silver Council" in 2013, 2014, 2017 and 2018.
Board Chair Statement

As we reflect on today’s Housatonic Council, we see an organization committed to serving the youth of our community for over 98 years. The Council has established a strong history and continues its tradition for supporting excellent programing, delivered by the Cub Packs, Scout Troops, Explorer Posts and Venture Crews throughout the Lower Naugatuck Valley. Additionally, Council activities in the form of spring & fall camporees, the Klondike Derby and the Pinewood Derby provide great opportunity for our units to gather, compete, build fellowship and lifelong friendships, all under the banner of Scouting. Of course, our jewel of Camp Strang in Goshen and our local gem of Cub Day Camp held at Camp Cedar Crest in Orange, offer opportunities like no other for scout campers to engage in the best in learning skills, gaining experience and adventuring to their comfort limits, but most importantly having fun. All of this delivered in safe, structured and respectful environments maintained at all times and by all levels of adult and youth leadership and by scouts alike. The dividends of delivering scouting, gained from tremendous investment with equal portions of finance and volunteer time can readily be witnessed with the contributions realized by the tens of thousands of good citizens, quality leaders and downright great people who have come through the Housatonic Council in the last century.

2019 has again proven to be an outstanding year for the Housatonic Council. In the eyes of the Boy Scouts of America, the Council attained Silver Status on the Journey to Excellence (JTE) scale, judging us among all councils nationwide large and small. The Council has consistently achieved a high status since the JTE scale was established. Of course, we here in the Housatonic Council know well, it’s the not recognition associated with JTE that drives the volunteer leaders, the committees, chairs, the camp staffs, the directors and the professional staff to dedicate the countless hours they have and continue to provide. It’s all about the youth, sharing in their adventures, mentoring along the way and witnessing their growth. We are forever grateful for each and every one of you and thank you for your commitment to our organization.

Although we experienced a drop in membership we did increase our community impact in 2019. We look forward to partnering with each of our units to continue the growth through the next year and beyond. An achievement of the year was the development and implementation of year round program activities at Camp Strang. Through this innovative approach, the resources of the beautiful property along with the talents of the program directors will combine to provide opportunity for more scouts to experience our camp than ever before.

The Housatonic Council remains steadfast in our mission and committed to continue delivery of a quality Scout program for generations to come. We thank every individual, family, agency and foundation supporting us historically and in the years to come. Our reward lies in the ability to pay forward a strong Housatonic Council to those that follow us.

Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Youth Development / Boy Scouts Of America
Secondary Organization Category Education /
Areas Served
Lower Naugatuck Valley
CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments
Cub Scouting
A family and home-centered program that develops ethical decision-making for all youth in kindergarten through fifth grades. Fourth and fifth-grade (or 10-year-old) youth are called Webelos Scouts (WE ll BE Loyal Scouts) and participate in more advanced activities that begin to prepare them to become Scouts. Cub Scouting's emphasis is on quality program at the local level, where the whole family can be involved.


A program for youth 11 through 17 designed to achieve the aims of Scouting through a vigorous outdoor program and peer group leadership with the counsel of an adult Scoutmaster. (Boys and Girls also may become Scouts if they have earned the Arrow of Light Award or have completed the fifth grade.)


A program for young men and women who are 14 (and have completed the eighth grade) through 20 years of age to provide positive experiences through exciting and meaningful activities that help youth pursue their special interests, grow, develop leadership skills, and become good citizens.

Exploring is a unique career exploration program for young men and women ages 10 - 20. The program provides students with an opportunity to learn about a wide variety of career fields and network with professionals already working in those fields. You get hands-on experience to determine whether or not a particular career field is right for you. You develop valuable networking contacts with professionals working in your selected career fields, and you get to know other youth with your same interests and aspirations.

Exploring is the first step in identifying career possibilities while having fun in an exciting and informal environment.

Population Served K-12 (5-19 years) / /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.
Short-term success is measured by the percentage of youth who advance in Scouting, the percentage of youth who are retained in Scouting on an annual basis, the amount of community service hours provided by members.
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state. To continue to prepare young people to make ethical choices over their lifetime by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.
Program success is measured by a multi-component tool called "Journey to Excellence."  In addition to youth recruitment and retention, the tool also measures program quality, financial stewardship, leadership development, and governance.
Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.
The Housatonic Council is retains 81.5% of registered members, compared to a national average of 74.6%.
Youth in the Housatonic Council are attending summer camp (where leadership skills and environmental awareness is taught) at higher rates than the regional average.  29.03% of Cub Scouts and 86.5% of Boy Scouts attend summer camp.
The Housatonic Council was designated as a "Silver Council" by the Boy Scouts of America using it's Journey to Excellence criteria in 2017.
Program Comments
CEO Comments The Housatonic Council is addressing several of the "realities" of modern family life (single-parent families, families in which both parents are full-time employees, etc.) by working with local school administrators to deliver the Scouting program to youth during the school day.   The Council began this approach to program delivery in 2014 by conducting a Cub Scouting program at the Irving Elementary School in Derby.   The program was very well received by youth and faculty members and continues in 2019.   Other community organizations have expressed interest in in-school Scouting program for their organization.
CEO/Executive Director
Mr. John A. Zseller II
Term Start Oct 2015
Email john.zseller@scouting.org

John Zseller has a proven record of membership growth, fundraising success, campaign management, and staff empowerment that spans over 25  years.

John began his career as a District Executive in Greater New York Councils with the In-School Scouting Division, now Learning for Life. He then moved to the Career Awareness Exploring program where he served as a District Executive and later as District Director. After serving as the Queens Field Director, in 2005 John accepted the position of Borough Scout Executive.

In February of 2009, John began his tenure with the Theodore Roosevelt Council as a District Director serving two districts, with a total of 5,000 youth, 2,000 volunteers, and 120 units.  Within 18 months John was promoted to Field Director, and one year later accepted the title and responsibilities of Assistant Scout Executive.

During his tenure as a Scouting professional John lead and managed various camp staffs; including a Special Needs Boy Scout Camp, a Cub Resident Camp, Cub Day Camp, and Cub Family Weekends.

John is an Eagle Scout from Troop 429 in Queens, NY. He is a Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow, Suanhacky Lodge, and was recently awarded his Woodbadge beads. John is the proud father of an Eagle Scout.

Number of Full Time Staff 1
Number of Part Time Staff 2
Number of Volunteers 406
Staff Retention Rate 75%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 3
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 0
Female 0
Unspecified 3
Former CEOs and Terms
Kevin BishopDec 2008 - July 2015
Mr. Steven McEwan2002 - June 2008
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
The Housatonic Council collaborates with 23 organizations (5 schools, 13 churches, 2 veterans organizations, 3 service clubs) that serve as chartered organizations for local Scouting units (Cub Scout Packs, Boy Scout troops, Venturing crews).  In addition, the Council works with the Spooner House, Salvation Army, and local churches to conduct the annual Scouting for Food collection to restock local food pantries.  Community organizations throughout the Lower Naugatuck Valley are beneficiaries of community service projects conducted by Scout groups throughout the year.
Valley United Way2018
Journey to Excellence - GoldBoy Scouts of America - National Office2016
Journey to Excellence - SilverBoy Scouts of America - National Office2017
Journey to Excellence - SilverBoy Scouts of America - National Office2018
Journey to Excellence - SilverBoy Scouts of America - National Office2019
Board Chair
Mr. Gary Parker
Company Affiliation Milone and MacBroom
Term Feb 2016 to Feb 2021
Board of Directors
Mr. Jeff AndersonCommunity Volunteer
Mr Wally Archer
Mrs. Julie BlakemanBlakeman Construction
Mrs. Hilary Coons
Mr. Matthew Decho
Mr Rodney Erickson
Mr. Michael GloadePartnerRe
Mrs. Kendra HoytIon Bank
Hon. Mark LaurettiMayor, City of Shelton
Ms Karen Lord
Mr. Patrick McDonnell
Mr. Kevin MoyherTimes Microwave
Mr. Joseph NesteriakCommunity Volunteer
Mr. Bruce RichardSikorsky
Mr. Randy Ritter
Rev. Christopher Tiano
Mr Richard Williams
Mr. Robert Wnek
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 16
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 2 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 15
Female 4
Unspecified 0
Risk Management Provisions
Accident and Injury Coverage
Automobile Insurance and Umbrella or Excess Insurance
Directors and Officers Policy
Fiduciary Liability
Standing Committees
Program / Program Planning
Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)
Additional Boards: Advisory Board Members
Mr. Troy AdcoxCommunity Volunteer
Mr. John AnglaceCity of Shelton
Mr. Walter Archer Jr.Community Volunteer
Mayor David CassettiCity of Ansonia
Mayor Richard DziekanCity of Derby
Ms. Marilyn GannonCity of Shelton
Mr. Donald PendagastCommunity Volunteer
Mr. John RakCommunity Volunteer
CEO Comments

The members of the Area 2 Progress Review Team greatly appreciated your warm welcome at the progress review meeting for the Housatonic Council.  I hope that your group felt, as we did, that our discussion was worthwhile, provocative and quite productive.  

Based on the review of the selected measurements in the Journey to Excellence slide set as well as from reports we heard from your volunteers, it is clear that the Housatonic Council is performing well in most areas. You have a strong leadership group that is experienced and deeply committed, and the Council is well positioned for further achievement and accomplishment.

As you know, the slides and other information used in the progress review are significant resources that contain significant and useful data. We encourage you to review these items in detail and hope that the information can help in examining, and perhaps eliminating, any challenges. Please remember that all of these measurements, including strong financials, are designed to meld together in support of increased membership in tandem with a solid program.

Fiscal Year Start Jan 01 2020
Fiscal Year End Dec 31 2020
Projected Revenue $482,660.00
Projected Expenses $482,660.00
Spending Policy Percentage
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund No
Detailed Financials
Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities Chart
Fiscal Year201820172016
Total Assets$1,020,059$1,107,816$1,132,661
Current Assets$156,190$164,929$230,118
Long-Term Liabilities$30,490$25,000$24,630
Current Liabilities$40,536$74,137$113,329
Total Net Assets$949,033$1,008,679$994,702
Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201820172016
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount --Valley United Way $32,000Valley United Way $46,823
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount --City of Shelton $18,000The Valley Community Foundation $30,000
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount --The Bassett Foundation $7,500Katherine Matthies Foundation $22,000
Capitial Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? Anticipated In 3 Years
Goal $500,000.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
CEO Comments
At the close of fiscal year 2019 the Housatonic Council posted a deficit.  Through expense reduction, and a hiring freeze the Council accepted a budget that anticipates a balanced budget in 2020.
Foundation Staff Comments This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by the Foundation. Some financial information from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved has been inputted by Foundation staff. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. A more complete picture of the organization’s finances can be obtained by viewing the attached 990s and audited financials. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.
Foundation Staff Additional Comments

This organization receives designated funds from The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven and has completed an abbreviated profile. 

Address 111 New Haven Avenue
Derby, CT 064182700
Primary Phone 203 734-3329
CEO/Executive Director Mr. John A. Zseller II
Board Chair Mr. Gary Parker
Board Chair Company Affiliation Milone and MacBroom


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