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.
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.