Even the Boy Scouts Are All About Hispanic Outreach

Everywhere I turn I hear about a new group doing Hispanic outreach, this time is the Scouts (Boys and Girls). In an article in yesterday’s Sun-Sentinel it outlines what the organization, which is about to reach its’ 100th year, is trying to do to keep up with the changing demographics. The Boy Scouts launched a $1 million pilot program to boost membership. The Girl Scouts have added Dulce De Leche to their cookies and much more.

Here is an excerpt from the article: Scouts reaching out to Hispanics to grow troops

LAKE CLARKE SHORES – The Boy Scouts turned Richard Hernandez from a gang leader into a troop leader. Now, the tattooed 28-year-old Eagle Scout wants to make sure Hispanic youths don’t make the same mistakes he did.

Hernandez is helping create the first all-Latino Boy Scout troop in Palm Beach County. He’s the kind of guy the Boy Scouts are looking for to keep the 99-year-old Scouting tradition alive.

The country’s population is changing, and Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts feel they need to change too if they want to keep bringing in new members. They’re reaching out to the Hispanic community to grow along with the booming minority population.

“We’re changing with the times,” said Marcos Nava, national director of Hispanic initiatives for the Boy Scouts of America. “We mostly serve white, middle-class families and we’re not staying in par with the growth in the
country.

“The Boy Scouts of America launched a $1 million pilot program this year to boost Hispanic membership in six U.S. cities, including Orlando. It’s the national council’s latest effort to attract minority groups and the plan is to
double Hispanic membership over the next year through bilingual outreach to parents and community leaders.

Recent numbers show that Hispanic Boy Scouts make up about 3 percent of the nation’s 3 million Scouts. By comparison, 14.7 percent of the national population is Hispanic, according to 2007 U.S. Census estimates….(MORE)

I know as a young child I really wanted to join the scouts. My VERY traditional Hispanic grandparents, who really ran the show at home, would have nothing of it. Sleep overs were not allowed, period. So alas, I never got my scout experience but my Primahermana’s children are all scouts. They have honor badges, go on trips, force me to buy one too many Girl Scout cookies and even have sleep-overs (usually at their house, we haven’t changed that much!)

The new more “Americanized” generation is experiencing this great American tradition. And we all know anything made with Dulce De Leche has to be good.

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