Town’s new Cub Scout Pack serves Hispanic community
Ramona’s newest Cub Scout Pack recently presented its charter to its sponsor, Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church.
Pack 630 is part of Immaculate Heart’s Hispanic Ministry. Bob Chisholm, the chairman for Boy Scouts of America’s Pacific Crest District in Ramona and the backcountry, approached the church about starting a Scout group to serve the Hispanic community. After receiving the church’s support, he held interest meetings after Spanish Masses.
“Scouting is pretty much unknown in much of the Hispanic community,” said Pat Palma of the district staff. “We had a lot of educating to do.“
After a month of recruiting outside Spanish Mass, Palma had nine boys, enough to create the Pack, but significantly smaller than other new groups, which have included more than 40 boys.
“To successfully recruit members to Pack 630, we realized that we have to offer an opportunity for the whole family, not just the sons,” Palma said.
Chisholm recalled Cub Scouting more than 10 years ago, when his first son joined, and today.
“The demographics of America’s youth are different,” he said. “Hispanics are now more than 20 percent of this age group, but they account for only about 3 percent of BSA members. We wanted to do better than that here in Ramona.”
Nationally, the Boy Scouts of America formed its Hispanic Initiative in 2007 to better serve the growing Hispanic population. The goals are to engage the Hispanic community and encourage more youth membership and volunteers. One of the ways this is being accomplished is by providing more Spanish language materials so that Scouts and parents with limited English skills are more comfortable and can better participate.
The young Scouts in Ramona’s newest pack have already accomplished a few milestones, said Chisholm, by participating in their first annual Blue and Gold Dinner and preparing their first pinewood derby cars for competition at the annual Scout Fair.
The Scouts are also working on completing requirements to earn their religious emblem, Parvuli Dei.
While instilling the values of Scouting and building character, Scouting Roundtable Commissioner Debra Worthen said she enjoys training the new leadership and watching the Pack grow and have fun in a structured environment. Meetings are filled with learning activities, projects, and new experiences.
Although at times it’s challenging to make a flexible program for children of varying ages, Worthen keeps the Pack engaged.
“The key is to keep it simple and fun,” she said. “Do a plan with a purpose. Be prepared and flexible because, working with kids, you never know what you’re going to get, but no matter what it is, you’re going to have fun doing it.”
Cub Scouts is a program for boys ages 7 to 10 or in first grade through fifth grade. Cub Scout Pack 630 meets every Friday from 5 to 6 p.m. in the Scout Hut in Collier Park off Seventh and E streets. Parents of interested boys should contact either Cubmaster Maria Juarez at 760-788-7660 or Assistant Cubmaster Letecia Martinez at 760-500-1967.
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