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WASHINGTON, D.C.—Two years after helping refugees obtain travel visas to visit their home countries, Senator Hatch reunited with one of Utah’s refugee Boy Scout troops, Troop 3253, in his Washington office this morning. The young boys are Karen and Karenni refugees who came to Utah from refugee camps in Thailand after fleeing from Myanmar. The troop is in Washington for the National Scout Jamboree later this week.

For Pictures and Videos from the meeting click here

Since Senator Hatch first met the Scouts in July 2015, the program has grown tremendously as refugees become actively involved in scouting in an effort to strengthen ties with the larger Utah community.

Chairman Nebeker said, “Without Senator Hatch and his team getting us to Japan, we would be nowhere near where we are today. Refugee Scouting is now springing up all over the country thanks to the example set in Utah. Once again, Utah leads the way for a better country, better citizenry and work ethic. 

There are now 250 refugee scouts and there will be 500 by the end of 2017. Michael Nebeker serves as chairman under the auspices of the Boy Scouts of America and the Salt Lake Council, along with six Vice-Chairs. These leaders have recruited 70 men and women adult Scout Leaders to direct the following Troops:

  • Karen & Karenni
  • Nepali
  • Thai/Laotian
  • Swahili-speaking from East Africa
  • Vietnamese
  • Three Muslim Troops under the auspices of the Islamic Society of Utah, including scouts from Africa and the Middle East.

These troops have received funding from the LDS Church, The Larry H. Miller Foundation, Utah Senate Appropriations, the Yamagata Foundation, the Eccles Foundation, 100 Women Who Care, and private donors.