Re: Minority Recruitment
Bruce E. Cobern (bec@PIPELINE.COM)
Mon, 4 Aug 1997 21:23:43 -0400
At 03:50 PM 8/4/97 -0500, settummanque, or blackeagle (Mike Walton) wrote:
>*lack of "equal access" to camping, hiking, outdoors. There are few
>greenery areas within urban areas, and "backyard camping" as existed for me
>when I was growing up overseas (big backyard, smell of the "honey wagon"
>(raw wastes used as fertilizer), farm fields) don't exist in downtown
>Newark, or Indianapolis or Salt Lake City.
Agree that this is a problem.
>*lack of "appropriate role models". There's lots of "role models" out
>there, but very few if any Scouting role models. Therefore, kids living in
>those areas don't know if "Scouting is cool" or not, since they don't see
>their role models involved. Urban kids, like kids anywhere, go and model
>after what others that they look up to are doing. So, you see a lot of
>sports games in the inner cities of our nation, because the role models are
>sports heroes and heroines.
Agree here as well.
>*lack of community "gathering". In suburban communities, the community
>rallies around most character-producing programs, offering help and
>assistance and even some money. In urban communities, for the most part,
>it's every community organization for themselves and where there is any
>coordination, its viewed with one hand on the pocketbook and the other hand
>at the door.
Don't necessarily agree here. It was my understanding, but I could be
wrong, that in most minority communities, as in many rural communities, the
churches become the central focal point of the community and thus would be
the logical place for Scouting to function in that community. In the
suburban communities there is not this centralization of the community
around the church or any other specific organization.
>*abundance of "excuses". "We're supposed to be this way", "Why you folk
>want to change us?", "They came and did this before and it didn't
>work....what makes you guys so special?", "Boy Scouts....nah...what good
>that's going to be here?? There's no mountains here". Yeah, there's
>mountains...lots of them called "ignorance and self-sufficiency", along
>with other names.
But that is an inertia that really pertains to everyone. It is easy to keep
doing the things you have been doing and being part of the organizations you
have always been part of. Thus there is a natural resistance to try
>Note that nowhere in any of those are "money", "places to meet", or "things
>to do". There's plenty of money to run a Cub Scout Pack or a Boy Scout
>Troop. People in and out of that community has it. Others don't know how
>to ask for it or how to use it effectively.
As I stated in another post, I believe that economics is a significant
factor in our difficulty in inner city recruiting.
>LITTLE?? Yeah. Like allowing those parents that wish to view the Ordeal
>ceremony to view it from a vantage point without compromising the ceremony or
>disrupting the flow of things.
You keep citing this as a problem, but it is one that I have never
encountered. Even if there is an apprehension about the OA, I believe there
are quite a few steps, short of having parents witness the ceremonies and
ordeal, which can alleviate those concerns. And, if it comes down to
viewing an ordeal and ordeal ceremony I DO NOT believe it should be the one
in which their son is participating. For the same reason that you suggest
visiting camp BEFORE their son goes it should be an ordeal prior to that
one. By the time their son is going through the ordeal it is too late to do
anything about it.
>Like inviting parents of urban youth to come
>out during the week BEFORE the summer camp experience and see firsthand what
>their sons will be doing, and to talk with "role models" to find out "the
>real deal" about this "Scouting thing".
I'm not aware of any camp that would refuse to allow this. Why would they?
Bruce E. Cobern
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City