Boy Scouts Of America Recognizes National Mentoring Month
Nation's Leading Youth Organization Underscores Critical Importance of
Attention, Guidance, and Support for Youth
As part of its ongoing efforts to do a Good Turn for America, the Boy Scouts
of America, the nation's leading youth organization, is recognizing January 2005
as National Mentoring Month.
Since its inception 95 years ago, the BSA has recognized the impact positive
role models can have in a young person's life and has incorporated mentoring as
a primary method in its values-based program. Today, the BSA continues that
legacy of positive influence through its Good Turn for America initiative,
including National Mentoring Month, designed to provide positive role models
in the lives of children who are considered at risk.
In recognition of National Mentoring Month, Boy Scout troops, Cub Scout
packs, and Venturing crews across America will participate in various activities
throughout their communities, utilizing the principles of mentoring in an effort
to Do a Good Turn.
"We believe all young people need mentors," said Roy L. Williams, Chief Scout
Executive of the BSA. "Our goal is to provide our youth with role models that
will continue to positively impact society for years to come."
There are approximately 12 million at-risk children in the United States
today, and only 300,000 to 400,000 are presently enrolled in formal mentoring
programs. Children who are at risk for self-destructive behaviors are most in
need and least likely to have mentors present in their lives.
Mentoring is a proven method for positively impacting the lives of these
youth. Studies show that children with mentors were 46 percent less likely to
begin using illegal drugs, 27 percent less likely to begin using alcohol, 53
percent less likely to skip school, and 33 percent less likely to engage in
violence while at school.
Scouting is a group mentoring program, utilizing the values and traditions of
more than 95 years of BSA experience in mentoring youth. In Scouting, the BSA
places special emphasis on critical elements of healthy youth development,
including caring and nurturing relationships with parents, other adults, and
peers. For example, Scouting addresses these elements by providing positive
role models and encouraging family togetherness. Scouts are encouraged and
complimented for giving their best efforts, which instills a sense of value
According to a recent BSA study, in Cub Scouting 95 percent of parents and
their sons do projects together, 91 percent go places together, 90 percent talk
together, and 75 percent read together. And at a typical Boy Scout troop
meeting, 58 percent are encouraged to do their best by a leader/adult and 48
percent receive verbal encouragement from other Scouts.
Additionally, while doing activities and going on outings, 65 percent of Boy
Scouts work together, receiving help from other Scouts, and 41 percent work
together with adults. This type of interdependence fosters a sense of belonging
and is a central tenet of the BSA style of values-based mentoring.
Nationally, more than 1 million registered adult BSA volunteers share a solid
understanding of the needs, interests, and abilities of youth. Adult volunteers
dedicate their time and resources to help mold the future leaders of this
country. In addition to volunteer positions, they serve as Cubmasters and den
leaders (for boys 6 to 10 years of age), Scoutmasters (for young men 11 to 18
years of age), or crew Advisors (for young men and women 14 to 20 years of age).
Adults also serve as merit badge counselors, offering their expertise in a job
or skill to help a Scout fulfill the requirements to earn a badge.
Also, 3.1 million Scouts benefit from interaction with others their own age.
Involvement in the BSA program--from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts and
Venturing--allows youth to form friendships and bonds while attending unit
meetings and participating in activities such as service projects, camping, and
working on merit badges. Scouts assume leadership roles within their troop by
becoming a patrol leader. Patrol leaders serve as an example to their peers,
who look up to these leaders.
About the Boy Scouts of America
Serving nearly 5 million young people between 7 and 20 years of age with
more than 300 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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