The Boy Scouts of America, one of our nation's most iconic youth programs, has had their ranks dwindling for many years. This loss in membership is due in part to the pandemic, changes in membership and the direction of the program. All of these have been cited as reasons for declining numbers. This is in addition to youth members participating in sports, having Scouting perceived as being "old-fashioned" and because of restrictions placed on family schedules. The latest issues have resulted in many of the Scouts not advancing in both rank and program. So, for those who still participate in Scouting, is there a fix-all solution? The members of Missouri Post 302 know that there is not a one-size-fits-all option, but they are doing their part to keep the movement going by slicing that metaphorical pie one piece at a time.
Most recently, the first new authorized merit badge since 2017 has become a requirement to earn the prestigious Eagle Scout rank. With fewer counselors available and the needs of the Scouts not being able to be met, members of Post 302 have decided to do what they can to help advancement in their own area and hope to expand this initiative.
Since the creation of the Citizenship in Society Merit Badge, the leadership of Post 302 has developed and implemented a program, which provides a BSA-certified counselor to help the Scouts earn this merit badge. This is to help mitigate the time, availability and other restrictions placed on both leaders and Scouts. While this program is still in its infancy, it has shown much promise! If you're interested, we would like to help you start your own program as well!
When the BSA decided to make their changes, they didn't ask us for our opinions. They made their decisions and we have chosen to continue our support for the Scouting program. We are not here to make a political statement, take a social stance or change the underlying culture of the organization. We are here to help our Scouts on their journey through the Scouting program, especially those who desire to earn the Eagle Scout rank. Most of all, we want to continue our service to this great nation of ours through the Scouting program and The American Legion.