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.