Submitted by Komba Lamina, Beacon of Freedom District Executive
A few weeks ago, we blogged about the decline in bowling clubs and how it relates to trends across America with far fewer people joining organized groups. The piece also mentioned that even though there are fewer bowling clubs, the number of people bowling has actually increased.
The question that came to mind after reading that piece was: how come bowling clubs are disappearing when more people are bowling? The answer to this question could be a host of reasons: bad experiences with bowling clubs, the frequency with which people bowl nowadays is limited, and it is not worth paying a monthly fee… etc. All of this can be summarized as value. It seems to me that people do not see the value of bowling clubs, so why must they pay for it, attend meetings, or participate in its up-keep.
I view Scouting in urban communities through that same lens. The value Scouting aims to inject in every youth is directly in line with what parents in every community want for their child. Yet, a lot of people in the communities where I work are unfamiliar with the values of the Boy Scouts of America. Many recognize the brand, of course; on the other hand they are unaware that Scouting is for character development, citizenship, and physical fitness (and citizenship begins at home, the example of which is taking care of your home, your community then country). Because if they did, they will volunteer to be a Cubmaster, a Den leader, a committee member etc.
Why? Because their values are directly align with the values of Scouting.
Part of my job as the District Executive for Beacon of Freedom in underserved communities (known to many as ScoutReach) in Massachusetts’ largest Council is to communicate and showcase the value of Scouting in these communities; it is building awareness; it is building long lasting relationships.
In case you are wondering what ScoutReach is or the criteria used to determine where a ScoutReach unit is established: it is a Scouting Troop or Pack established in communities where half of the students qualify for the free lunch program. In the Spirit of Adventure Council, we serve communities in Boston, Chelsea, Revere, Lynn, Lawrence, and Lowell. Thanks to our great volunteers and few staff for ensuring that all of our Scouts are working on advancements, and are fully engaged in all that Scouting has to offer despite their economic background.
Please help us spread the value of Scouting in underserved communities. Here’s how:
- Donate to our camping fund
- Send us lightly used Cub Scout uniforms
- Become a volunteer/staff in the Beacon of Freedom District
On behalf of the youth in Beacon of Freedom District, thank you very much in advance for your support.