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So Where are the boys going and what are they doing??

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  • So Where are the boys going and what are they doing??

    Seen several folks post about falling youth numbers in activities other than scouting.

    My Brother in Law said that his soccer league enrollment is down in each of the age groups????

    Any speculation as to why? I just can't see it being video games.

  • #2
    What are the youth population numbers? If the population goes down, so does the number of participants.

    What other leagues and/or organizations are out there? I know that there 2 different football leagues in my area, plus MS and HS. And i am told there are multiple leagues with soccer, with it being a year round activity for some folks.

    How willing are parents to dive the kids allover to be active? I remember when Oldest was into karate and how time consuming it was. Glad he got out of it, esp since the folks wanted him to commit 24/7 to it.


    • #3
      At home playing Minecraft while awaiting delivery of a XBox One or PS4.


      • Basementdweller
        Basementdweller commented
        Editing a comment
        Funny you should say that, I have 5 down stairs right now playing Ghost. Picked up my xbox one release night. It is an interesting piece of hardware, thru voice and gester control, The game play is excellent, of course there aren't a horde of 8 year olds being babysat with it yet.

    • #4
      Lacrosse is really picking up in my area.


      • #5
        Some of them are going hiking and camping with their buddies and no adult.


        • qwazse
          qwazse commented
          Editing a comment
          I'd say all over the Appalachian foothills. They might be driving back out to a remaining old parcel of the family farm. Or, there's a farmer happy for them to hunt a few coyote's off the property. (Or simply, set up on the far lot and spend the day sighting in rifles.) Sometimes with family sometimes on their own.

          I met one mom whose boys drove her nuts at the house from time to time, so she would offer to drive them to the edge of a wilderness area and let them walk off some steam for an afternoon while she waited back in the car. Back in the day, those boys could call an SM and make a plan in an hour or so and he'd be hauling us to a site of interest. Nowadays, the paperwork burden in this sad world makes that near impossible so parents are stepping in the gaps that the BSA has stepped out of.

        • dcsimmons
          dcsimmons commented
          Editing a comment
          True and True qwazse. In my neck of the woods boys who are outdoor oriented come from families that are outdoor oriented. By the time they are 11 year old, have already been camping, canoeing, fishing, and hunting with dad. There are no restrictions on them driving their ATVs into deer camp or riding snow machines. They even carry sheath knives .

        • jblake47
          jblake47 commented
          Editing a comment
          Strange that one should point this out. This is exactly what boys did 50 years ago when I was growing up.


      • #6
        Others are taking on the extra sports that our available these days. Many are having to take on part time jobs to help their family make ends meet. Others are going to college early. They are taking advanced courses because high schools aren't up to the task of tending to the most proficient youth. That's what happened to my daughter and she had little time for venturing or soccer.


        • #7
          A few thoughts.
          1) You have to look at #of available youth. Recent article here talked about fewer applying to college - these are the kids of Gen X - a smaller generation than Boomers.
          2) Youth sports around here is only for the top players once you hit junior high. You CAN stay in the rec league, but most of the mediocre kids have dropped out.
          3) Youth sports is STRICT about practices and games. I have an ASM setting us up for Philmont because he could never go if he wanted to keep his position as a starter in football.
          4) I have boys taking 5 AP courses, spending weekends taking study courses for PSAT, SAT and ACT. In addition, they have school clubs with mandatory weekend activities if you want the letters of rec for college.

          Kids are busier than hell around here - so that is where my high schoolers are.


          • chrisking0997
            chrisking0997 commented
            Editing a comment
            agreed. Had this conversation with my son the other night. All those other activities (sports, schoolwork, jobs) have mandatory requirements. Scouting is optional.

        • #8
          Club sports are getting more popular around here. Because it is so time-consuming, boys who normally would be participating in multiple sports or dabble in other non-curricular activities can no longer do that. Kids' football leagues also seem to be taking off again, which could account for the loss of soccer players, since it is the same season.


          • #9
            Originally posted by Basementdweller View Post
            Seen several folks post about falling youth numbers in activities other than scouting.

            My Brother in Law said that his soccer league enrollment is down in each of the age groups????

            Any speculation as to why? I just can't see it being video games.
            Not just video games, but also Facebook, etc. Part of it is the school-aged population is decreasing.


            • #10
              Have you checked YouTube lately? There seem to be large numbers of preteen males posting videos of God knows what on there. I really believe that electronic media in all its forms is consuming large amounts of their time.


              • #11
                In our little community the boys we see involved in scouts are of the ilk to be involved in everything. Their everything might involve scouts, 4H, FFA, church, drama club, speech club, scholastic bowl, sometimes even sports . While that may be fine at the grade school level, what I'm seeing is parents start limiting their kid's social-circle/activities about the time of the transition into Jr. High. They can choose a primary social-circle/activity to be involved in and maybe a secondary circle, but that's it. It seems especially so if they have multiple kids choosing separate circles/activities. So, maybe numbers are down generally but I wonder if it's not a parents up against the high-speed limiter that's the driving factor.
                The challenge I see is that once the continuity of any of the social circles is broken, there's basically no going back. A kid that leaves scouting to pursue Jr. High sports doesn't come back when he realizes he's too short to play basketball or can't hit his weight for an average. Rather, he moves onto whatever is new and different. At one level it's been really good for our Crew because we're what's new and different for those 14 year olds. We've even had a few former cub scouts come back. However, it's been not so good for our Troop.
                As for the video games, my feeling is we never really get a shot at the hard core gamers because scouting just isn't on their radars. That's obviously not a blanket truth but even the gaming social circle has "travel teams" and conventions and camps and such if you get far enough into it.