Scouting will ultimately be judged by how we serve our most vulnerable youth and families in communities throughout America. The interest is always there among these youth populations and the need for a program like Scouting may even be greater than for other youth with more assets of support built into their lives. However, serving them often requires a unique approach and many of these solutions also require extra funding. As a result far too many young people fall through the cracks and are left unserved by Scouting. The Blue Mountain Council will make serving these youth a priority and will lay the groundwork to implement adapted variations of the following best practices from other councils into our membership development efforts.
Scouting Through Soccer
Working closely with local school officials and volunteers, we can pioneer in our own communities the delivery of Scouting through Soccer, blending Scouting values and activities into soccer practices and Saturday games. By collaborating effectively with local community services like police, fire, air ambulance, and the local television station, we can help enhance Cub Scout advancement opportunities and set ourselves apart to parents as much more than a traditional soccer program. Scouting through Soccer presents a very unique approach that connects Latino families with the values of Scouting.
After School Programming
For a wide variety of reasons, sometimes parents are simply not as available to support a traditional Scouting program. Amid these challenging circumstances, two barriers often keep Scouting out of some communities: a lack of family funds to access membership in Scouting and a lack of volunteer leaders to deliver the program.
We will seek specific funding support to make Scouting accessible to youth in these neighborhoods. We will identify and collaborate with schools most needing this customized afterschool Scouting approach and will hire program aides to serve as the primary den leader at several identified school based locations.
Native American Scouting
Local Native American populations in our area primarily receive services through the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. We will seek to develop and foster a relationship to serve youth and families in their communities with the values of Scouting, building for their youth and families every possible opportunity to achieve their greatest potential.
Juvenile Diversion: Scouting for Adjudicated Youth
Sometimes youth find themselves trapped onto a path of deviant behavior, not because they are bad kids, but because they haven’t been shown a better way by people who care. We will explore opportunities of partnering with juvenile diversion programs in our communities in an effort to give youth a second chance and a glimpse at a better life guided by the values of the Scout Oath and Law. Young men who have participated in programs like this have shared that Scouting was their first encounter with adults that really cared about them, giving birth to a new outlook on life and the resolve to make the most of a second chance. Scouting values are perhaps even more impactful to young people in these circumstances because it truly becomes lifesaving as volunteers come to the rescue at a most vulnerable time in their lives. Even though their interaction in a program like this is often very temporary, they often treasure their experiences in Scouting as turning point moments and first ever opportunities interfacing with adults who genuinely care.