BSA Publishes Cub Scout Wolf Handbook in Spanish


Breaking the Language Barrier: BSA Publishes Cub Scout Wolf Handbook in Spanish

Irving, Texas (October 29, 2004)—For the first time in the 75-year history of Cub Scouting, the Boy Scouts of America will offer the Cub Scout Wolf Handbook in Spanish.

The 244-page soft-cover book, familiar to so many boys and their families, is identical to its English-language counterpart right down to the illustrations. The only difference is that it's in Spanish.

Cub Scouting is a family program for boys in the first through fifth grades. The Cub Scout Wolf Handbook is the guide that second-grade boys follow as they work to earn the Wolf badge.

The only other complete handbook available in Spanish is the Tiger Cub Handbook, which was released in 2003. The Tiger Cub Handbook is for boys in first grade.

While the Boy Scouts of America sells more than 350,000 Wolf Handbooks annually, the Spanish handbooks are available to the Boy Scouts of America's 309 local offices at no cost as part of the organization's outreach to Hispanic youth and their families.

The Boy Scouts of America publishes Spanish-language program materials as a way to reach youth whose primary language may not be English, says Frank Ramirez, associate director of the BSA's Scoutreach Division, the arm of the organization that directs outreach to urban and rural youth.

"Scouting can benefit all boys, regardless of their cultural background. We don't believe language should be a barrier to the fun and opportunities Scouting provides," says Ramirez.

While the benefit to Spanish-speaking youth is important, the impact on their parents may be even greater. According to Alberto Munoz, chairman of the national Scoutreach Committee, the Boy Scouts of America has long had a strategy of producing Spanish-language materials aimed at adults who may not be familiar with the program. According to Munoz, those materials can have a noticeable impact.

"It gives them a sense of belonging and helps familiarize them with the program. Every time we put out another publication in Spanish, we enrich the program," says Munoz.

With the growth of the U.S. Hispanic population, the release of the handbook is timely. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Hispanic population in the United States numbers almost 40 million, making it the nation's largest race or ethnic minority. That number is projected to triple by 2050.

The Boy Scouts of America offers program materials in 11 different languages as part of its outreach to youth in ethnic communities across the nation.

There are more than 4.7 million members and participants in the Boy Scouts of America. Of that number, 1.9 million are Cub Scouts.