Boy Scouts helps shy youth
When an older boy who was very shy joined Boy Scouts, at first he struggled to participate. He was slightly older than the normal new Scout, and came from a troubled home. He was shy to the point of being uncommunicative, keeping his head down and saying little.
He joined a troop in the Bartlesville Regional United Way service area. In this Troop, Scouts are picked to report at periodic meetings with parents on activities in which they have participated. His first attempt to report was disastrous: a couple of inarticulate sentences, stammered out under acute embarrassment.
But the Scout kept coming to the meetings, going on the campouts and working through the requirements necessary for advancement. And the Troop worked with him to help him learn how to speak and to render a coherent and informative account of his activities. The next report was short, but much better, and he actually looked at his audience. The report after that actually included some detail and color, and he even smiled at the end, partly because the audience applauded enthusiastically - they saw his improvement over previous efforts.
“We'd like to be able to say he ended up being a leader in his Troop - and we CAN!” Troop leader Charlie Daniels said. “He ended up being a leader in his Troop. He went from being acutely shy to friendly, self-confident and outgoing. Like most teenage boys, he's still a work in progress, but the construction process is going forward in the right way. Scouts has made a noteworthy difference in his life already.”
United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in the surrounding communities. The Bartlesville Regional United Way provides funding to the Boy Scouts as part of its focus on education. Education is the cornerstone of individual and community success, and 33 percent of allocated dollars went to education last year. Over 3,000 children participated in United Way funded after-school programs, and an additional 1,742 youth participated in leadership education through Boy Scouts. 405 Cub Scouts advanced in rank, and 163 Boy Scouts advanced in rank, showing that not only are they participating, they are excelling in Boy Scouts.
In addition, 28 local youth became Eagle Scouts last year. The Eagle Scout program trains boys to become leaders A study by Baylor University found that Eagle Scouts were 62 percent more likely to volunteer to help their communities, and 68 percent more likely to work with their neighbors to solve a problem or fix something. They are also 55 percent more likely to have a leadership role in their future workplace.
“United Way is thrilled to be a part of training the next generation of leaders for our communities,” Marketing Manager Abigail Singrey said. “Scouting is proven to improve the caliber of our youth, which will help us build a stronger future.”