For over a hundred years, kids have joined scouting troops to meet friends, have fun and learn new skills. But many families are now looking for alternatives to scouts to better fit their needs, values and beliefs.
Here are the most common reasons families may be looking for an alternative to scouting:
The Cost of Scouting
Traditional scouting programs require uniforms, registration, books, projects, and other costs that add up quickly. Especially when you have more than one child! Take, for instance, the famous Pinewood Derby cars, which requires parents to purchase a kit, plus decorating supplies. And many leaders often end up spending their own money on the troop.
But low-cost alternatives do exist: The Youth Strong program supplies graphics so members can make their own tee shirt uniforms. Membership is free for the first year, and many of the activities are low or no cost.
Aligning with Beliefs
Many families want their kids to spend time in activities that reflect the family’s belief systems. For them traditional scouts might be too limiting. This could include families who prefer groups centered on a religion (like a church youth group). It also includes families who don’t want spirituality included in afterschool activities.
Agnostics, atheists, non-Christians, and Unitarian Universalists have had public struggles with the Boy Scouts’ requirement for affirming a particular belief in God.
When it comes to religion, no one-size-fits-all approach can meet the needs of everyone. And whether families are looking for exclusively faith-based programming or groups without an explicitly spiritual component, Youth Strong’s program offers a flexible solution.
Plus, Youth Strong accepts members and volunteers without judgment based on categories like religion, race, disability status, gender or orientation.
Time Constraints for Families
Getting together as a group is fun and activities promote teamwork and social skills. But what about families with travel or time constraints that keep the child from attending?
Youth Strong has the ability for members to work individually, apart from the group, without falling behind on progression toward goals.
Parents can start a group and be involved without taking on piles of paperwork and days of onboarding.
Youth Strong’s Flexibility
No matter what type of youth programming you decide to enroll your children in, it needs to work for your family’s schedule, beliefs and budget.
Whether you’re looking to start a new group from scratch, add volunteerism to your church group, or enhance your scouting troop experience, Youth Strong has the flexibility to work for you.