Skip to comments.Scouts look to recruit Hispanics
Posted on 01/16/2009 8:31:05 PM PST by Coleus
As it prepares to turn 100, the Boy Scouts of America is honing its survival skills for what might be its biggest test yet: drawing Hispanics into its declining -- and mostly white -- ranks. "We either are going to figure out how to make Scouting the most exciting, dynamic organization for Hispanic kids or we're going to be out of business," said Rick Cronk, former national president of the Boy Scouts and chairman of the World Scout Committee.
The venerable Scouts remains the United States' largest youth organization, with 2.8 million children and youths, nearly all of them boys. But that is nearly half its peak membership, reached in 1972. Its rolls took hits through the 1980s and '90s over a still-standing ban on gay or atheist leaders and scandals surrounding inflated membership numbers. In addition, teenagers raised on TV and shoot-'em-up games had less use for learning to build a campfire or memorize the Scout oath.
The country changed too. One in five children under 18 is Hispanic, according to the U.S. census. But they make up only 3 percent of Scouts. Cronk made Hispanic outreach a focus after he realized that just translating brochures into Spanish or combining Cub Scouting with soccer was not enough to meet the goal of doubling Hispanic membership by the group's centennial in 2010.
"We were nibbling around the edges," Cronk said. "We knew very little about the Hispanic family, how they see us, what they value." Cronk, past president of Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream, grew up a city kid in Oakland, Calif. He fell in love with Scouting in the Sierra Nevada, during his first backpacking excursions. He looked at the problem of Latino underrepresentation as a businessman.
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“”We either are going to figure out how to make Scouting the most exciting, dynamic organization for Hispanic kids or we’re going to be out of business,” said Rick Cronk, former national president of the Boy Scouts and chairman of the World Scout Committee.”
Why will the Scouts go out of business just because one specific demographic group that has never really been interested in scouting chooses not to participate?
You don’t know what your talking about- go crawl back under the rock you came.
I dunno about that. My troop was probably about 40% hispanic.
This was in New Mexico and in the late 70’s and early 80’s.
The out of wedlock birthrates for Hispanics is 50%, topped only by the black rate of 68%. By 2050 one in three residents of this country will be Hispanic. And by 2023, half of the children 18 and under will be minorities.
Demography is destiny. According to the Bureau of the Census:
Minorities, now roughly one-third of the U.S. population, are expected to become the majority in 2042, with the nation projected to be 54 percent minority in 2050. By 2023, minorities will comprise more than half of all children.
By 2050, the minority population everyone except for non-Hispanic, single-race whites is projected to be 235.7 million out of a total U.S. population of 439 million. The nation is projected to reach the 400 million population milestone in 2039.
The non-Hispanic, single-race white population is projected to be only slightly larger in 2050 (203.3 million) than in 2008 (199.8 million). In fact, this group is projected to lose population in the 2030s and 2040s and comprise 46 percent of the total population in 2050, down from 66 percent in 2008.
Meanwhile, the Hispanic population is projected to nearly triple, from 46.7 million to 132.8 million during the 2008-2050 period. Its share of the nations total population is projected to double, from 15 percent to 30 percent. Thus, nearly one in three U.S. residents would be Hispanic.
The black population is projected to increase from 41.1 million, or 14 percent of the population in 2008, to 65.7 million, or 15 percent in 2050.
The Asian population is projected to climb from 15.5 million to 40.6 million. Its share of the nations population is expected to rise from 5.1 percent to 9.2 percent.
In 2050, the nations population of children is expected to be 62 percent minority, up from 44 percent today. Thirty-nine percent are projected to be Hispanic (up from 22 percent in 2008), and 38 percent are projected to be single-race, non-Hispanic white (down from 56 percent in 2008).
Looks like the USA is destined to be a third world country by 2050. The silver lining is I’ll probably be dead.
Our troop is organized according to Lord Baden Powell’s principles of youth leadership and multiple patrols. Each boy of 1st Class rank and above has a leadership role in the troop. The older ones take on more responsibility, with the highest rank being Senior Patrol Leader. Younger Scouts take on simpler “jobs”. Each boy has the opportunity to grow in leadership skills over a period of years, and much of the work of organizing camping trips, first aid meets, summer camp, etc. is largely delegated to the Scouts. The adults on the troop committee take care of financial aspects, permitting, transportation and overall organization. It works well for us, and we have a vibrant troop of ~70-80 youngsters.
This organization of the troop fits very well with what he is describing as a family-oriented structure. Our older Scouts teach the younger ones and guide them in their development, much as older brothers or cousins. We have found it very important to get adults involved in the troop. Not only do they help with the larger organizational issues and teach merit badge classes, but they also help create a community. Scouts have a large number of adult mentors they can turn to for guidance in their lives, and many fathers (and some mothers) are involved in the troop. Again, this contributes to a family orientation.
I see a very good fit between many of the goals and structures of the BSA organization with what is described here for the Hispanic community. The notion that kids won’t leave their electronics to go camping or hiking is another matter. My experience with it is that they usually like getting outdoors and away from the usual constraints of homework, chores, (showers!) and parental nagging. The troop needs to have plenty of activities, and sufficient variety. Our high adventure trips to Philmont Scout Ranch, SeaBase, and whitewater canoeing are always well attended and typically have a waiting list. Scouting isn’t dead, but it does require strong leadership and many helping hands to make it work. I’d love to see a stronger recruitment effort among Hispanics. I think there is a lot of potential and it’s a great way to reinforce traditional American values and personal responsibility.
Like the previous poster said, if they haven't taken an interest in scouting by now, they won't, period.
I dunno about that. My troop was probably about 40% hispanic >>
so was mine, i was generalizing, if the hispanics wanted to be in the scouts they wouldn’t have the membership problems they have today.
How many of the troop leaders in your troop were hispanic, the same percentage?
You dont know what your talking about- go crawl back under the rock you came. >>>
I sure do know and don’t need you to enlighten me.
I'm as opposed to illegal immigration as a patriot can be. In any case, we have a large number of Hispanic families which are here legally, and I think it's safe to assume that they will have more children, and that we will have continued in-migration. The illegals ones I'd as soon deport, but that's another discussion.
Youngsters who haven't been introduced to Scouting aren't likely to "take an interest". If it's not been part of their community, they may simply be unaware or even mis-informed about the program. Our most successful recruiting has been through Cub Scouting. There are many wonderful activities available to the little guys, who then grow into bigger guys with a desire for more challenge. The satisfaction that comes with meeting challenges and growing in self-sufficiency knows no demographic bounds, in my experience. Scouting teaches wonderful leadership and life skills, which support upward mobility for the next generation. It's not just camping, even though many of us think that's the most fun.
they've been watering down the standards since about 1972 when they came out with the green book and skill awards. It was pathetic and the Boy Scout Handbook is just as bad today with too many pictures and not enough skills. Just try to teach some Nature, you can't find it! And try to find a troop that still cooks its meals with wood fires, nope it's low-impact camping with chemicals: propane--the easy way out.
well I don’t know where you light from under a mossy rock with the other slugs.
NM was different than the rest of the Hispanic population at the time. Most were many generational Americans from Spain and Mexico.
We elected Conservative leaders to the US Senate and House. We also elected libs though.
without white liberals we’ll be a better country... and yes about your second point... that is a silver lining.
and what’s been your contribution to Scouting in the US? and with Scouting in the inner city? I bet none.
Well- meeting folk like yourself certainly discourages any type join... unless folks like to join groups with folks like yourself frothing from the mouth with anger.
Well- meeting folk like yourself certainly discourages any type join... unless folks like to join groups with folks like yourself frothing from the mouth with anger. >>>
Anger? LOL, you are a dope.. And I guess the answer to my question was no. So, before you make more of a fool of yourself, get off your rear and help out an inner-city boy scout troop.
My poor dying dumbed down country...
You can thank our immigration policies that have had a huge demographic impact since the passage of the 1965 Immigration Act pushed by among others, Ted Kennedy.
Many of my friends growing up were from Spain and Portugal. Their families settled the Rio Grande valley before Texas was a country. They had no appreciation or links to Mexico.
We never used the words Mexican or Hispanic or Latino in their homes. Spanish was acceptable.
You are ignorant.
If some hispanic boys don’t have a proper male role model, why not the Boy Scouts? >>>
oh, there is nothing wrong with it and I wish them much success. The program is great and I think every inner-city boy should be in the program.
Then there is reality and I stick to my comments. The fathers are not involved, Hispanic parents don’t like their little “juniors” going out into the woods over night, the few boys that want to join won’t due to peer pressure and if Hispanics haven’t embraced the Scouting program in all these years, they most likely never will.
I think it’s too little, too late. The BSA tried dumbing down (changing) the program in the 1970’s which didn’t work and I haven’t seen much since then.
I understand your frustration, I want our borders sealed and illegal aliens to leave with no amnesty. But with all due respect, I think this is a good thing. No, we may not get many to join, but if we save some and they remain here, it may save us in lowered crime and more productive citizens. If they go back to Mexico or El Salvador or wherever (as they should if they are not legal)perhaps they will take some of those values back and improve themselves and their countries, and we wouldn’t have as many flocking to get in here.I just fail to see a downside.
Do the Jehovah Witnesses allow their children to join scouting?
I see a very good fit between many of the goals and structures of the BSA organization with what is described here for the Hispanic community. >>>
so do I, and I agree with your post, scouting works and every boy including minorities would benefit; however, scouting works well in middle class & working-class communities with nuclear families and parental involvement with good and active troop committees. In the poor, inner-city communities, where scouting is mostly needed; it’s a whole different world.
I say NO to pandering to Browns, Blacks, Yellows, Reds, or Whites...It’s the Boy Scouts of America, NOT the Boy Scouts of Mexico...
The Boy Scouts are made for Americans...ALL Americans...Take it for what it is, or leave it alone...
Do the Jehovah Witnesses allow their children to join scouting? >>>
I think they do.
I agree with you up to a point, and I see you are from a different part of the country, and therein may be the difference. I am from a small city (10000) in Arkansas, and I think this could possibly work good here. I don’t know about the dumbing down, I’ll take your word for it.Just to let you know, I view this through the prism of my faith and that means if I can improve a childs life, be they hispanic or muslim then that is what I must do. I hope I don’t sound like a liberal! But I am a Christian before an American.
Respectfully - JM
Indeed, that's a big challenge. The inner city schools face many of the same issues. Youngsters with involved, supportive parents have a better shot at academic success and a productive life. Many inner city families fail to provide this. To be successful in bringing kids into scouting, we'll need a variety of approaches. I see a lot of Hispanic families living in the borough adjacent to our township. They aren't in the inner city, and there are a lot of fathers around. Reaching out to their sons is a different proposition than dealing with inner city youth from single parent households.
The fact is that boys like outdoor adventures, no matter their race. “Boys will be boys” in the truest sense of the word. Maybe they just need to be introduced to the concept of scouting/made aware of the opportunities.
I hope the scouts try to appeal to them on that basis and don’t take some other tack. I’m surprised at some of the ignorant comments on here. These are kids we’re talking about. “Courses in fence jumping an trunk hiding?” Come on.