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
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.