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Boy Scouts reaching out to multicultural youth


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Very interesting article.  Looks like a research firm (not sure if paid by BSA) looked into why BSA is not more popular among Black, Latinx, and Asian populations.  This is just one study, but I found it interesting.

https://www.kpcnews.com/opinions/article_2e2ebb7c-a04c-5286-b4e5-22a6dbbd9b09.html

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Parents are concerned with safety. To reassure them is to include them in the process of what adult leaders have to go through before becoming their son or daughter's leader. The perception among parents is the program is expensive because of the equipment and uniforms that are required. There was a sense that their child(ren) may not want to wear the uniform because it looks outdated.

 

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It is interesting. Have to be careful though, National has a reputation of using research to justify changes that they wanted to implement before the research was started.  

Barry

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These two quotes concern me:

Quote

...with firm family bonds.

Quote

... including the family ....

 

National is already using the term "Family Scouting," and I have seen it used by troops to include all members of the family. It nearly destroyed the troop.

 

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As stated, the opinions article was written by two Anthony Wayne Area Council staffers: Tammy Taylor, Director of Development, and Phil Ferguson, Summit District Executive with references to a 2006 study "Reaching the Next Multicultural Generation" by New American Dimensions.

I found the following:

Powerpoint Presentation of study

https://slideplayer.com/slide/14893104/
 

Successful Marketing: Tapping into Diverse Markets (pdf)

In 2006, two studies show how Scouting can meet the needs of diverse communities.

The first study, Reaching the Next Multicultural Generation, conducted by New American Dimensions, includes the findings from focus groups with African American, Asian, and Hispanic/Latino parents and youth. Twenty-five focus groups were held in Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, and New York

https://www.scoutingnewsroom.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/02-1066.pdf

Edited by RememberSchiff
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1 hour ago, RememberSchiff said:

...references to a 2006 study "Reaching the Next Multicultural Generation" by New American Dimensions.

Some questions after 15 years.

Which study recommendations were tried? Were they successful?

How have these Diverse Markets changed? 

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None of the recommendations mean anything when the registration fee keep going up. 

I stated a dominant minority pack once that traditional way (i.e. not a Scoutreach unit). Highlight of my career. From start to finish, it took almost a full calendar yaer.

They were unable to reacherter because they couldn't pay the fees. 

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What I took from the quote in @Eagle94-A1's post is parents are worried about safety, cost, and the uniform. The council people focused on safety. Maybe that's because they had an answer for that. Cost, however was ignored and the parents only saw the equipment and uniform costs. Nobody mentioned the fees. 

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I live in the 7th most diverse city on the U.S. (three of the six ranked above us are our neighboring cities). My son's Troop has a couple of Hispanic/Latino kids (same family), a few Asian kids, three bi-racial kids, and one Black kid (my son, from a transracial family). We are right in downtown, such as it is, and don't come close to matching the racial and ethnic breakdown of the schools, soccer teams, track teams I've coached, etc. Scouting is missing large and growing populations.

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16 hours ago, T2Eagle said:

I don't know the answer to how to change it, but I'm pretty sure the problem lies with us not them because  pretty much everyone else that eithers serves or markets to young Americans has figured how to keep their groups and products a reflection of America, while we serve an ever smaller and less representational slice.

My observations are:

1) These groups want to keep their kids within their group playing with their kids. They are very tight knit.

2) The bsa does a bad job of training so the only way to learn the program is to watch it up close for a long time. That, along with 1), makes it hard for minority groups to get involved.

3) Camping and the outdoors is not the same as what most people that immigrate here think of. We have bears, snakes and crocodiles and other ways to die and we're used to it. People in South America and Asia don't really camp nearly as much as we do.

4) The bsa is known to be "All American." Unfortunately, this means different things to different people, especially to minorities that regularly see abuse. One crazy with a gun kills a bunch of Asians, in the name of God no less, and it makes it that much harder to convince them to try scouting. 

The solution to all of these problems, I think, is to spend a lot of time creating relationships with minorities and helping them where they are, rather then asking them to join some unit. For example, I've noticed a lot of Korean churches in my town and that might be a place to start. Create units that support their community rather than conflict with it.

But who has time for that?

 

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49 minutes ago, MattR said:

These groups want to keep their kids within their group playing with their kids. They are very tight knit.

My in-laws are from a country with a very strong scouting program that has a branch operating in the USA.  Having dual citizenship, the kids and grandkids have been able to sign up in that scouting program instead of, or in addition to, BSA.  It's a heritage thing.  Just because kids aren't signed up in BSA doesn't necessarily mean they aren't involved in scouting.

It's nice having another option if BSA goes belly-up.

 

Edited by David CO
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Our state parks have been reporting increased use by minorities. Thi matched my experience hiking PA’s trails. It makes sense to me that any family with limited means would invest in what they need to enjoy the outdoors, and not in registration fees and uniforms.

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On 4/1/2021 at 1:02 PM, MattR said:

 The solution to all of these problems, I think, is to spend a lot of time creating relationships with minorities and helping them where they are, rather then asking them to join some unit. For example, I've noticed a lot of Korean churches in my town and that might be a place to start. Create units that support their community rather than conflict with it.

But who has time for that?

THIS!

One of my proudest moments as a DE was starting a minority unit. It took a lot of time to get it done, and I needed the right folks in the right positions. Sadly  when the key to that unit left Scouting after 5 years, the unit I started folded because they could not find anyone else.

On 4/1/2021 at 1:02 PM, MattR said:

2) The bsa does a bad job of training so the only way to learn the program is to watch it up close for a long time. That, along with 1), makes it hard for minority groups to get involved.

I would NOT want my kids with anyone with just BSA training, even WB, at the Scouts BSA level. At the Cub Level, you have other DLs and the CM to bounce ideas off of and get help. And sadly the commissioner corps is non-existent in most places.

You gotta develop relationships. Those relationships will get units started and continuing. Relationships also provide the exchange of ideas, and mentoring, needed by new Scouters.

One of the things I hated about being a DE was the pressure to start new units. I understand why it's important, you gotta grow. BUT when existing units are having issues that you need to help them out with, or are dead for all intents and purposes, it is a major challenge. And I know the UCs are suppose to be helping, but again when you do not have a commissioner corps, you gotta do it yourself.

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24 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

One of the things I hated about being a DE was the pressure to start new units. I understand why it's important, you gotta grow. BUT when existing units are having issues that you need to help them out with, or are dead for all intents and purposes, it is a major challenge. And I know the UCs are suppose to be helping, but again when you do not have a commissioner corps, you gotta do it yourself.

I question the need/pressure for new units ... unless they are in areas where there are no existing units.  In my area, it seems like MOST of the new unit discussions I have heard of were in areas where there were existing units.  I didn't understand it.  Why not simply identify a good unit in that area and help then recruit members from the other school.  It seems like we spread recruits too thin when we add too many units.

Then, there are areas (primarily inner city) where there are no nearby units.  I've had parents contact me from the inner city but decide they were not interested as it would be tough to get their kids to my unit.  I always pondered if BSA would work on getting funding (from grants, UnitedWay, etc.) and partner with inner city churches if they would see their minority ranks grow.  I know their current path is ScoutReach, but I think churches may be a better partner.  I don't know much about ScoutReach so perhaps that is a good model.

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35 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

One of my proudest moments as a DE was starting a minority unit. It took a lot of time to get it done, and I needed the right folks in the right positions. Sadly  when the key to that unit left Scouting after 5 years, the unit I started folded because they could not find anyone else.

Over the years I heard the struggles of friends building or remolding their house. They found that if they weren't watching the building contractor crews in person, the crews tended to build toward a different plan, or no plan at all. I later had the same experience. There is the visionary, then everyone else. The problem with great visions is the people making it a reality don't see the vision, so they work to complete their personal vision of the task. If there isn't a visionary mentor watching, guiding and teaching, the vision fades into easy tasks that have little to do with the vision.

47 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

You gotta develop relationships. Those relationships will get units started and continuing. Relationships also provide the exchange of ideas, and mentoring, needed by new Scouters.

As the District Membership Chair, I worked with a lot of new units at all age groups and I found that if there wasn't a general understanding for the purpose of the unit, it likely would not survive. Even units that split off from another unit rarely survive two generations of leadership if the leadership never really had the vision and passion of the original unit leadership. More often than not, they merge back into the original unit.

Success is almost fully dependent on "Relationships also provide the exchange of ideas, and mentoring, needed by new Scouters". My problem was trying to get our DEs to understand the importance of Relationships and mentoring the vision and ideas to the next generations. It was a numbers game for them.

Not that I'm blaming DEs' for the ills of the dying units, they were following orders. But, as I said, if the visionary mentor isn't teaching and guiding, how can the workers at ground level reach the goal?

On 4/1/2021 at 12:02 PM, MattR said:

The solution to all of these problems, I think, is to spend a lot of time creating relationships with minorities and helping them where they are, rather then asking them to join some unit. For example, I've noticed a lot of Korean churches in my town and that might be a place to start. Create units that support their community rather than conflict with it.

But who has time for that?

I think many people have the time,  but aren't recruited.

The key is first finding the Visionary mentor who gets it and understands how to structure the program so that it functions efficiently toward the goals. Then to find and recruit the folks who AGREE and SEE  the vision and WANT to give energy to the effort. An expert in building successful businesses said that the most successful business's have workers who understand and agree with the vision of the company. When they all do their small part, the big vision is achieved. 

The hardest part is finding a Visionary mentor with the skills of selling refrigerators to Eskimos. Most Councils don't know how to search and recruit that person.

Barry

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