Alert
Close

Take AARP’s Smart Driver course and you could save money on your car insurance. Learn more

Giving Back

AARP Foundation

Help AARP Foundation win back opportunity for struggling Americans age 50 and over. Eighty-seven cents of every dollar spent goes directly to life-changing programs and services. Do

MOST POPULAR

Viewed

People With Purpose

Latinos Bolstering Boy Scout Membership

Top Latino leaders take on the task of promoting a U.S. tradition.

"Whether you are in business or the Boy Scouts, Hispanics are an important segment of the population. Without succeeding in this market, you may not succeed overall," de la Vega says. Underscoring the point are numbers: Hispanics now comprise 20 percent of U.S. children, a number that is projected to reach 35 percent by 2050, according to the Pew Hispanic Center.

Hopes are high that the Scouts will succeed in reaching its goal of 100,000 new Hispanic recruits—boys and girls—in 2010. The Soccer and Scouting program, designed to attract Hispanics, has already enrolled more than 15,000 scouts. The organization tested its new slogan, "Valores para toda la vida," and translated its manual into Spanish. Boy Scouts are forging into new territory, such as the recent Los Angeles Latino Book & Family Festival produced by actor Edward James Olmos, 63, who was himself a Scout.

 "When people ask me what helped me the most, I first say my mother, father, and grandparents who raised me; and then it was the Boy Scouts of America," Olmos says. "The values promoted by the Boy Scouts helped me get where I am today."

The tradition of value-shaping experiences continues. At the Halloween Cub-Boo-Ree at a Long Beach, California, campground, new Cub Scout Nocolas Sanchez, 6, received his first merit badge.

"I really didn't know anything about the Scouts," says his mother, Bonnie Sanchez, who accompanied him to the event. "I knew they taught good values and that there was a lot of camping and hiking. We don't know much about that, but we can always learn."

Suddenly, Nocolas and his new friends tone down, quiet enough to hear only the crackle of the campfire. The boys peer beyond the canopy of willow trees and look for the moon, for the U.S. flag placed there decades ago. In unison, they begin, "I pledge allegiance..."

It is a scene that Robert Elizondo has led many times in Texas, often with goose bumps on his arms that signal the pride he holds in leading boys into manhood. These days, he's comforted by the thought that he soon will be part of all this again: grandson Tommy, 5, becomes a Cub Scout next year.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Discount & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Anna's Linens

Member save 10% every day at Anna's Linens and AnnasLinens.com.

Faanui Bay, as seen from beach on Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Members save up to $525 on vacations at AARP® Travel Center powered by Expedia®

Pepperoni Pizza, Papa Johns Superbowl promotion for AARP members

Members save 25% off regular price menu items at Papa John's

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Being Social

Community Volunteers

Honor Our Soldiers

Stop by to recognize those who have served our country, past and present. Discuss