Â Today youth ages 10 to 24 make up one-fifth of the world’s population, and by 2050 the proportion of youth to adults will be almost equal. This trend indicates that in the future attention must be paid to youth-specific issues such as education, hunger and poverty, health, the environment, leisure-time activities, participation, and intergenerational relations. This August, one of the nation’s leading youth service organizations, the Boy Scouts of America, joins the United Nations in encouraging organizations and individuals to dedicate time and resources toward young people by recognizing International Youth Day.International Youth Day is designed to promote public awareness of youth issues, and as part of its commitment to youth leadership and mentoring, the BSA joins this initiative and encourages other youth-based, leadership- and education-centered organizations to better understand their roles in key youth issues.
“The guiding principles of International Youth Day are synonymous with our mission, vision, and the Scout Oath and Law,” said Wayne Perry, International Commissioner, BSA. “Scouts live these principles every day, and we must ensure that all American youth receive the guidance they deserve in all aspects of life.”
The theme of International Youth Day is “Tackling Poverty Together.” Today, more than 1 billion people in the world live in conditions of poverty, and almost one in every five children in the United States lives in poverty. Poverty can lead to ill health, limited education, unsafe
environments, social discrimination and lack of participation in decision making and social-cultural lifei. In the United States, poverty significantly impacts hunger, with an estimated 13 million people going to bed hungry each night. Scouting continues its legacy of combating poverty and other social issues while creating leaders of tomorrow through its Good Turn for America initiativeâ€”a collaboration with other community organizations that focuses the power of volunteerism on the important community issues of hunger, shelter, and health.
Through Good Turn for America, organizations like the BSA, The Salvation Army, America’s Second Harvest, and thousands of other community organizations work together to alleviate hunger in America. Specifically, the BSA employs its Scouting for Food program that facilitates food drives across the country to provide meals to the hungry. In recognition of International Youth Day, the BSA encourages local communities to contact their local Boy Scout troop about participating in the Scouting for Food program to help “Tackle Poverty Together.”
In addition to Good Turn for America and Scouting for Food, other BSA programs help combat key issues such as poverty. These include traditional Scouting, Scoutreach, Venturing, and Scouting’s healthy-living-centered merit badges.
Scoutreach is designed to identify and further develop urban and rural Scout troops with camping and advancement programs. Those involved in Scoutreach strive to create more opportunities for urban and rural Scouts and to provide additional, positive support for traditionally underserved urban and rural Scouts and adult leaders.
Since its inception, the BSA has trained young people in citizenship, service, and leadership to better serve America’s communities and families through its quality, values-based program. In the past 96 years, nearly 110 million members of Scouting have provided countless hours of service. The more than 1.7 million Eagle Scouts alone have provided an estimated 36 million hours of service through their Eagle projects. Good Turn for America aims to make a substantial positive impact on the nation by providing millions of volunteer hours to benefit those in need. More information about service and philanthropic leadership is available from the BSA at http://www.goodturnforamerica.org.
Serving nearly 4.5 million young people between 7 and 20 years of age with more than 300 councils throughout the United States and its territories, the Boy Scouts of America is the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. For more information on the BSA, please visit http://www.scouting.org.