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Basementdweller

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

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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Some of them are going hiking and camping with their buddies and no adult.
they should be doing that, but it rarely seems to happen.

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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.

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Some of them are going hiking and camping with their buddies and no adult.
Emphasis on "some".

I guess it depends on location. But, there's still plenty of woods in these parts. Some of our boys and their families have hunting camps.

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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.

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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.

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Some of them are going hiking and camping with their buddies and no adult.
Where are they doing that? They aren't locally, unless it's with their folks.

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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.

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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.

 

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