Scouting hasn’t gone away – but leaders are asking for community help to keep the programs moving
IDAHO FALLS — Even with significant changes in the last few years, the scouting program still has a presence in Idaho Falls.
But scoutmasters want your help teaching some of the core principles of scouting to boys and girls in events like one that will be held Saturday.
Scouts BSA will be hosting the North Star District Spring Camporee at Krupp Scout Hollow in Rigby. The goal is to show scouts entrepreneurship skills, earn the entrepreneurship merit badge and learn from business professionals in the area. Scouts will make their own business plan that they can prepare to present at the STEM-O-RAMA in the fall. More information can be found online at www.tetonscouts.org.
Even with scouting programs like the Camporee still happening, the number of children involved in the scouting programs has dropped significantly over the last couple of years. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who was the biggest sponsor of Scouts BSA, dropped the program at the end of 2019 to pursue its own worldwide youth activity program.
Scouting isn’t over though, and local leaders like district director Elias Lopez are actively trying to get that message out there.
“We have to get that misconception out of there,” he tells EastIdahoNews.com. “This is very important for the community and for families.”
Currently, Scouts BSA is available for boys and girls ages 6 through 20, including cub scouts, high adventure scouts, sea scouts, and multiple other options.
Scouting BSA offers single or dual-gender dens for Cub Scouts ages 5-10, single-gender troops for Scouts ages 11-17 and coed programming for Venturing Scouts ages 14-21.
“The biggest thing is the equality,” Lopez added. “For the longest time, we did not have girls in the program, and (they should) really feel that they can do just as much as boys and that they can be a part of an organization that does accept them.”
Lopez explained girls have been involved in scouting for years, but changes in 2018 made the rank of Eagle Scout available to boys and girls.
Since the separation with the Church as a sponsor, Lopez explains that participation, both in the form of scouts and volunteers, is crucial.
“We’re looking for new sponsors and new meeting places because we don’t have the churches to meet in anymore,” he explains. “We are in dire need to continue funding our programs and we want to keep those programs going.”
If you are interested in volunteering, or signing up your kids for a scouting program, contact the scout office at (208) 522-5155 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit the Teton Scouts website.