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Manchester resident John Judge has taken the position of Scout executive for the Boy Scouts of America Spirit of Adventure Council, heading up the largest council in Massachusetts, which includes 76 cities and towns, including all of the North Shore. In his new role, Judge, who himself earned the rank of Eagle Scout as a teen, aims to revitalize scouting in urban areas and address outdoor equity, to help give children of all backgrounds opportunities to deepen their connection to nature.

“There’s been a big drop in terms of getting young people into the outdoors,” Judge told attendees at the Spirit of Adventure Council’s recent holiday reception. “We need to reconnect people with the natural world. Scouting really gives you the toolbox you need to have a life in the outdoors. Kids have got to get away from technology, get into the outdoors and build friendships within the outdoors as well.”

The new position is something of a homecoming for Judge, who upon graduating from Stonehill College, took a job in development and marketing for the Boy Scouts of America, leaving behind his prior plans to work in investment banking. He has spent the 30 years since working in leadership positions for mission-driven organizations including the Trustees of Reservations, the Appalachian Mountain Club, and Habitat for Humanity Greater Boston.

As scout executive, Judge will be dedicated to increasing access to the joys and benefits of nature for underserved children in the city. Judge envisions a council where every child is given equal opportunity to connect with the outdoors and build long-lasting relationships with nature.