What Is Scoutreach?
The Scout reach Division gives special leadership and emphasis to urban and rural Scouting programs. Scoutreach is the BSA's commitment to making sure that all young people have an opportunity to join Scouting, regardless of their circumstances, neighborhood, or ethnic background.
Today, young people are faced with many challenges including fragile families and disintegrating neighborhoods. Scoutreach meets the developmental needs of youth in urban settings as diverse as the Latino neighborhoods of South Central Los Angeles and the housing developments of Washington, D.C. The program also focuses on the U.S. rural population, which constitutes approximately 25 percent of the total U.S. population. Some rural communities are stable and growing, whereas others are characterized by decentralized, low-density populations and/or poverty.
Scouting, by emphasizing ethics and moral values, addresses many of the social concerns of parents and youth in our country. Scouting prepares urban and rural youth to be leaders, to accept responsibility, and to care about principles and causes beyond their own self-interest.
Our biggest asset in urban and rural neighborhoods is a well-defined program based on values, learning by doing, fun, and positive role models.
Cub Scouting. This part of the BSA program is for younger boys. Boys who are in the first grade or are 7 years old are Tiger Cubs; boys in the second and third grades or who are 8 or 9 years old are Cub Scouts; and boys who are in the fourth and fifth grades or are 10 years old are Webelos Scouts. The emphasis is on family-centered activities, group activities, learning, and fun.
Boy Scouting. This part of the BSA program is for boys and young men not yet 18 years old, and who are at least 11 or have completed the fifth grade. Boy Scouts advance through Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, and Life ranks to Eagle Scout. The emphasis is on outdoor activity, learning skills, developing leadership ability, and service.
Venturing. This youth-development program of the BSA is for young men and women who are 14 (and have completed the eighth grade) through 20 years of age. Venturing's purpose is to provide positive experiences to help young people mature and to prepare them to become responsible and caring adults.
Venturing is based on a unique and dynamic relationship between youth, adult leaders, and organizations in their communities. Local community organizations establish a Venturing crew by matching their people and program resources to the interests of young people in the community. The result is a program of exciting and meaningful activities that helps youth pursue their special interests, grow, develop leadership skills, and become good citizens.
To recruit strong adult leaders and to develop solid relationships with chartered organizations in urban and rural communities nationwide to ensure that culturally diverse youth have the opportunity to join the Scouting program.
· More than 70 percent of the projected growth in America's youth population will take place in or near our major urban centers.
· Almost one in every five children in the United States lives in poverty (18.3 percent: Current Population Survey Report, 1998).
· Minority children are likely to be poorer than white children from low-income families.
· Since the 1970s, the population of American children living with just one parent increased from 10 percent to 28 percent in 1997 (Current Population Reports, March 1997, pages 20-509).
· Minority groups are growing more than seven times as fast as the majority population.
· The highest rates of increase will be in the Hispanic-origin and Asian populations. After 2020, Hispanic populations are projected to add more people to the United States every year than all other race/ethnic groups combined (Current Population Survey, 1996, pages 25 and 130).
· Half of all Hispanic Americans (17.7 million) live in just two states: California and Texas.
· Nearly 65 percent of Asian Americans live in just 25 metropolitan areas, 12 of which are in California (Current Population Survey,, 1996).
· African American population increased faster than the total U.S. population between 1990 and 2000, according to the 2000 U.S. Census Report.
· Create awareness of Scouting's benefits in underserved urban and rural communities.
· Develop strategic support to ensure that emphasis is funded and pursued for the long term.
· Develop strategic partnerships in the community with potential chartered organizations.
· Develop stable units.
· Increase the number of youth participating in traditional Scouting programs.
· Quantify results.
The Scoutreach Division designs literature, audiovisuals, training workshops, and awards to assist local councils in delivering the Scouting program to youth in urban and rural communities.
Literature and Audiovisuals. A variety of books, pamphlets, and videos are being developed to assist councils in marketing Scoutreach programs.
Training. Professional and volunteer training workshops on how to market and serve urban and rural areas, and on working with foundations and corporations to help fund Scoutreach programs are conducted through the four BSA regions.
Scoutreach Web Site. Introduced to local councils in January 2005, www.scoutreachbsa.org was designed to give both professional and volunteer Scouters, as well as the general public, an up-to-the-minute overview of the latest resources provided by the Scoutreach Division. Resources include current Scoutreach training conferences, the Scoutreach Newsletter, literature and audiovisual resources, and target-marketing success stories.
· Whitney M. Young Jr. Service Award
This national award is used by councils to recognize outstanding service by an adult individual or by an organization in the development of Scouting for rural or low-income urban youth. Sometimes this award helps councils recognize "unsung heroes"—people who might not otherwise receive recognition for exceptional service to disadvantaged youth.
· The National President's Service Award
The National President's Service Award, introduced in 2002, recognizes a select group of professional Scouters for their outstanding achievements in quality units and membership growth in an urban or rural community. A total of 64 youth-serving executives and their spouses have been honored at the BSA National Annual Meetings.
· Dr. Frank "Tick" Coleman National Service Award
The Dr. Frank "Tick" Coleman National Service Award, rolled out in 2005, is a local council recognition for full-time para-professional Scouters coordinated through each of the four regions. Criteria for the award includes excellence in on-time unit rechartering, trained volunteers, and youth summer camp attendance. A handsome acrylic desk trophy with an inspirational quote from Dr. Coleman is the award recognition instrument.
· The Spirit of Scouting Award
The Spirit of Scouting Award is designed for presentation to a noteworthy individual who has performed exceptional and unusual service to young people in urban and rural America over a long period. The award is presented to individuals at the unit level and to people of all races and income levels.
· Scouting—Vale la Pena Service Award
The Scouting—Vale la Pena Service Award is used by councils to recognize Scouting volunteers, community leaders, or corporations that have had a positive impact in the service of Hispanic American/Latino youth in urban and rural communities.
· Asian American Spirit of Scouting Service Award
The Asian American Spirit of Scouting Service Award is used by councils to recognize Scouting volunteers, community leaders, or corporations that have had a positive impact in the service of Asian American youth in urban and rural communities.
· Order of the Arrow Scoutreach Mentoring Program
The Order of the Arrow Scoutreach Mentoring Program is a joint effort of the national Scoutreach Division of the Boy Scouts of America and the Order of the Arrow. Its purpose is to identify and assist urban and rural Scout troops whose camping and advancement programs are below standard.
The Scoutreach Division has secured national letters of endorsement, which prove valuable to unit-serving executives as they call upon organizations to support Scouting.
For a list of Scoutreach endorsements, please contact the Scoutreach Division at 972-580-2449.
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