Scouting for opportunities


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BSA scouting emblem

Jordan Graham, Staff Writer

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) have always been the biggest Scouting organization worldwide, with millions of Scouts internationally. When COVID struck, Scout numbers began to plummet. So why did this happen? 

BSA mostly relies on in-person socialization, and when COVID hit, socialization was hard for the adults and children in the organization. Many parents lost their jobs and couldn’t afford their children’s costs of being a Scout. After the lockdown, not many events happened within Scouting because of the six foot distancing and rising numbers of cases. Numbers had dropped by 43% of Scouts during the year, which had a big impact on the organization and its funds. 

Leaders like Lisa Monks, a Scoutmaster for Troop 6030, have seen a decline in Scouts from her own group of girls. From originally standing at 30 girls, that number has dropped to only five in a matter of a month. 

“It really was a tremendous challenge for Scouts because gathering together is the cornerstone of everything we do. We want Scouts to gather together to plan activities,” Monks said.

BSA’s initial plan was to bring opportunities to kids to learn basic life skills and teach the important lesson of communicating with others. Scouting teaches leadership and leads many to discover a career path and is an overall beneficial and fun experience. Monks’s husband has been affected by Scouting first-hand by discovering what he loves the most, flying airplanes. 

“My husband was in Scouting his whole childhood and teenage life, and he discovered flying airplanes from getting his aviation merit badge. He discovered all of his hobbies (through scouting),” Monks said. 

COVID hasn’t just affected the communication and opportunities though. Many activities and events, like camping and Scout reservations, were closed down. Fundraisers were especially hard since most fundraising facilities were closed down. This impacts the future of Scouting and Scouts involved by the minimal amount of money to pay for activities and trips. 

“I think that it makes a lot of sense because a lot of families couldn’t gather together with the other Scouts. They couldn’t do activities together, and they were missing the gathering and the outdoor part that we love.” Monks said. 

Monks hopes that things will eventually go back to normal and COVID will become miniscule in the future. As 2021 has progressed, things have become a lot safer and more people are vaccinated. The number of COVID cases have dropped significantly and events are now being planned for the Scouts. Calendars are being adjusted to fit a new year for the Scout troops. Activities like campouts, fundraisers and much more have started up again and hopefully things will soon feel normal again for BSA. 


Contact Jordan Graham at [email protected]