Boy Scouts Reach Out to Latinos

Soccer, Spanish lighting the spark for a new class of scouts
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Aug 13, 2007 12:03 PM CDT
Ruben Hipolito, 12 of Midway City, California, recently qualified for the Eagle Scout award, a rare feat as most Eagle Scout recipients are 16 or 17.   (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – With enrollment down almost 10% in the last 10 years, the Boy Scouts are reaching out to Latinos to fill their ranks. Handbooks, advertisements and bumper stickers are now available in Spanish, and the “be prepared” group has even had permission from ministers to recruit in Hispanic churches, the Boston Globe reports.

The Scouts hope to reverse the perception, confirmed by a recent study, that many Latinos consider the organization “Anglo.” A national program called Soccer and Scouting, which draws in Hispanic boys with a sport nearer to their hearts than hiking, has signed up over 15,000 youths. One family member associated the program with patriotism: “We figured, since we’re American, it was a good idea to join.”