December 27, 2008

THEY'RE PREPARED...TOO BAD THE GOP ISN'T:

Boy Scouts out to attract more Hispanic youths: Mostly white ranks declining (Washin gton Times, December 27, 2008)

"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 nation's 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 as 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 younger than 18 is Hispanic, according to the U.S. Census. But they make up only 3 percent of Scouts.

Mr. 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," Mr. Cronk said. "We knew very little about the Hispanic family, how they see us, what they value."

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 27, 2008 8:03 AM
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