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Scouts report new membership growth, Michigan units lead the pack – By Boy Scouts of America

Photo courtesy of Boy Scouts of America. Troop 366 completes a service project.

By Anthony Goatley

Photo courtesy of Boy Scouts of America. Post 1 learns how to produce a television program.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the Boy Scouts Of America has experienced a significant membership increase nationwide, and the local Michigan Crossroads Council has also grown thanks to expanding program opportunities. 

With 35,789 more youth in June of 2022 than the previous year, the Boy Scouts of America is outpacing their own projections. The organization has seen a 15.54% increase in Cub Scout membership and a 26.77% increase in its vocational Exploring program’s membership.

In the Michigan Crossroads Council, 1,892 new youth have joined in 2022, representing a 10.7% increase over their numbers last year. The Council likewise cited increased recruitment in its 40 Exploring programs.

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Photo courtesy of Boy Scouts of America. New parents attend a Join Scouting Night.

“We are tremendously excited to welcome new participants in the program,” Brandon Kathman, an executive with the council, said. “I grew up in Scouting, and it made me the person I am today. It’s wonderful to see so many kids have the same opportunities I did.” 

The Exploring program connects boys and girls ages 10-20 with mentors, businesses, and agencies within their communities to help them discover future career paths, according to the Boy Scouts of America program guide. It puts youth and young adults in real-world work environments to gain hands-on experience and learn more about potential career paths. 

This includes Explorers Post 1 with the ONTV television network in Lake Orion. Their broadcast, known as “Scouting on Air” is a youth-produced monthly newscast that covers service projects, gear reviews, cooking segments and interviews with Scouting leaders.

 “The Scouting movement in Michigan’s recent success is a dividend of investments in new programs and communities,” Kathman said. “In addition to Exploring, our ScoutReach initiative offers the same adventures to youth who might never have had the opportunity otherwise.”

According to Kathman, ScoutReach offers the Cub Scout program in low income communities. It functions as an after-school activity at no cost to the scouts or families and is funded by donors and grants. 

Cub Scouts teaches young people grades K-5 perseverance and develops their problem-solving abilities, according to the Boy Scouts of America. It allows youth to develop foundations in leadership, citizenship, and personal fitness through fun activities involving parents and guardians.

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