Family & Living

January, 24, 2005 - 10:00 AM / ET

Boy Scouts of America Launches Soccer and Scouting Program
Initiative Sends Positive Message to Hispanic American/Latino Communities

Irving, TX--(HISPANIC PR WIRE)--January 24, 2005--The Boy Scouts of America announces Soccer and Scouting, a program designed to combine the positive youth activities of Cub Scouts with organized soccer. The program is designed for youth traditionally underserved by Scouting, and in particular, Hispanic American/Latino youth, ages 7 to 10, involved in Cub Scouting.

The BSA partnered with Major League Soccer Camps to develop the program, which is divided into four 12-week seasons. The program incorporates both indoor and outdoor soccer components for year-round participation. The BSA developed training and materials on effective soccer coaching, as well as delivering the Cub Scouting program, which includes activities such as core value reflections, safety drills, crafts, and nutrition education. Soccer and Scouting works on the same achievement and requirement paths as other Cub Scout programs, with youth earning the Tiger Cub, Bobcat, Wolf, Bear, and Webelos badges, to name a few.

“Soccer is such an integral part of the Hispanic American/Latino culture,” said José Niño, former president, United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Soccer and Scouting program co-chair, “By combining soccer and Scouting, youth and families no longer have to choose between two valuable activities whose impact on their young lives is immeasurable.”

Parents are also involved in the Soccer and Scouting program as volunteers and soccer coaches. The program provides Family-Time posters for soccer Cub Scouts and their parents to use as they work together at home on Cub Scouting advancement and soccer skills. The Soccer and Scouting literature comes in both English and Spanish versions. In addition, most of the practices and games in the Soccer and Scouting program are family events. The program provides an opportunity for everyone in the family to learn a better way of life through Scouting.

“Soccer and Scouting allows the BSA to reach this underserved portion of the community,” said Roy Williams, Chief Scout Executive, BSA, “The program will help youth learn soccer skills and maintain a continual level of physical activity, as well as learn the lifelong values taught in the Scouting program.”

The Boy Scouts pilot tested the program in Denver in June 2004, and participation levels proved to be significant with 250 Cub Scouts from 14 elementary schools. Additionally, the local council realized a 75 percent increase in Hispanic American/Latino attendance at the recruiting meeting in August. Soccer and Scouting currently is being rolled out nationwide with programs in over 65 local Boy Scout councils. The program provides soccer and Cub Scout uniforms through Sporting Essentials, a company licensed by the BSA Supply Division.

Serving nearly 5 million young people between 7 and 20 years of age with 309 councils throughout the United States and its territories, the Boy Scouts of America is the nation's foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training.

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CONTACT:
Kimberley McArthur, 312-233-1574
or
Bill Steele, 972-580-2538








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