Volunteers needed to lead regional Boy Scout troops | Community Spirit
For more than 100 years, The Boys Scouts of America have taught young boys how to grow into strong young men with good citizenship, good character and self-reliance. Those are three traits that have been the backbone of America.
But in the last forty years, while America's population has grown from roughly 200 million people to more than 300 million people, the number of scouts has dwindled from 5 million to about 2.7 million.
Tim McCandless, Scout Executive in Spokane says kids today have a lot more options for activities than 40 years ago.
"The main challenge is there is more competition for kid's time. "
Now the national organization has named two new leaders who hope to boost participation with high-energy, high-tech activities including adrenaline rush zip lines at new adventure camps, apps and a television show.
McCandless says it's also the simple, traditional things that Boy Scouts do that are a big attraction for kids.
On June 9th, kids are invited to put down the virtual fishing pole and pick up a real one during the Hooked On Scouting, fishing derby.
"We'll be doing fishing up a Bear Lake County Park, kids love to fish and we'll have all the equipment." Said McCandless.
While there is a nation of boys who aren't interested in scouting, there is also the problem of finding men who are willing to give their time and train the boys in the Aims of scouting; character development, citizenship and personal fitness.
"We don't have a problem recruiting boys it's the challenge of finding parents who have the time or are willing to devote the time to volunteering.
The 1966 movie "Follow Me Boys" starring Fred MacMurray tells the story of a wandering musician, Lemuel Siddons, who finds his purpose in life when he becomes a Scout leader. At the ends of the movie, Siddons sees the impact he's made on his community when his original group of kids return to the town for a parade in his honor. The group of misfits is now filled with a lawyer, a doctor, a mayor and even a governor.
"It's one of the best things I do, volunteering with these kids. It's a great blessing to those who do volunteer." Said McCandless.