In recent years, Boy Scouts of America has seen some of its Varsity and Venturing programs go down in popularity. The president of the biggest Boy Scout organization in the world has seen this happening at home as well.
Lockhart’s son was a big fan of the Scouts, until he reached the age of 14. Like most boys his age, priorities get shifted towards other interests. He wanted to play golf, baseball, and even attended Utah Jazz sponsored basketball clinics. Being a Boy Scout just wasn’t interesting to him anymore. However, his father made him a deal, to reach the rank of Eagle Scout and get his own driver’s license when he turns 16.
A rising trend
The president mentioned that this sort of growing disinterest in the Boy Scouts is an increasingly worrying trend. It even made The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints remove itself from the programs beginning with 2018. It has decided to focus its teenagers in a Mormon-orientated and designed program which functions in a similar way to the Boy Scouts, putting emphasis on both physical and spiritual training and activities. They will, however, maintain a cordial relationship with the Club Scouts and the Boy Scouts, with children of ages 8 to 13 being encouraged to participate in them.
This will represent a challenge for the Boy Scout organization who will have to face the fact that it has had its membership drop by 1 million in the past 10 years. Speculations as to the drop in popularity is believed to be caused by the organization’s shaky attitude towards gays, initially resisting their integration, but then changing to accepting them. However, most boys have left due to simply having their interests shifted towards something else.