SIOUX FALLS, SD -
It's a time in a boy's life that can influence them forever. But like anything, if it doesn't adapt with the times, kids can lose interest.
That's exactly what the Boy Scouts of America has seen over the years and is now making some changes to get kids more involved.
The Boy Scouts have seen a decline in the number of kids participating and compared to ten years ago. This new generation is of a different demographic.
Now some changes are in store to keep the organization relevant.
In an effort to get more boys interested in being scouts again, the Boy Scouts of America are introducing a number of new things to entice all types of kids.
"We have a new national, high-adventure base opening up that will be open in 2013. It will host our every-four-year National Jamboree where we assemble 40,000 Scouts together," Scout Executive for the Boy Scouts of America Sioux Council Tom Smotherman said.
But it's not all about camping. It's about learning too, which is why the Boy Scouts of America Sioux Council has its own campaign.
"A program called STEM that is being developed; it's Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. It's a new opportunity for us to really stress the importance of education with our young people," Smotherman said.
New programs such as STEM are what Scout leaders feel keeps the Boy Scouts up to date with the times but still keeps a sense of tradition.
"It seems like every couple of years they come out with a new merit badge or something else that's like that. It's intentional that the Boy Scouts try to remain relevant," Scout Leader Roger Shepherd said.
Shepherd has been involved with the Scouts for more than 50 years. And it's all because of what the Boy Scouts stand for; something he learned from a local judge.
"He told me, 'you know Roger, in the 30 years or so that I have been judging in this town I have never had a Boy Scout in front of me.' And I thought, 'you know, that's significant,'" Shepherd said.
One of the most important things for the Boy Scouts is that they show young boys that education and learning can be done in a fun way that will influence their lives forever.
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