Guest opinion: Scouting for Sequim kids

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) was founded in 1910 and grew rapidly. It became the largest youth organization in the United States. Additional programs and changes have occurred over the years to adapt the program to the youth of today.

For more than a century, Scouting has helped mold the future leaders of this country by combining educational activities and lifelong values with fun. Scouting BSA believes — and, through more than a century of experience, understands — that helping youth puts us on a path toward a more conscientious, responsible and productive society.

The mission of Scouting BSA is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices in their lifetimes. Scouting’s vision statement is, “The Scouting BSA will prepare every eligible youth in America to become a responsible, participating citizen and leader who is guided by the Scout Oath and Law.”

While various activities and youth groups teach basic skills and promote teamwork, Scouting goes beyond that and encourages youth to achieve a deeper appreciation for service to others in their community.

Scouting provides youth with a sense that they are important as individuals. It is communicated to them that those in the scouting family care about what happens to them, regardless of whether a game is won or lost.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, scouting promotes activities that lead to personal responsibility and high self-esteem. As a result, when hard decisions must be made, peer pressure can be resisted, and the right choices can be made.

Enrollment challenges

Membership in the Boy Scouts plunged during the COVID-19 pandemic; enrollment dropped by about 62 percent. The downturn came as young people across the nation were confined to virtual learning and after-school programs to prevent the spread of the coronavirus — the latest obstacle for the groups’ retention efforts.

The BSA said that it had 1,974,635 members in Cub Scouts and Scouts BSA in 2019.

In 2020, that number had dropped to 1,123,651.

Scouting units in Sequim experienced a drop in enrollment during the pandemic, but have survived. Many units in the Mount Olympus district in other communities such as Forks, Joyce, Quilcene, Brinnon, Chimacum did not survive.

There are currently seven units in Sequim that help young people learn to give back to their communities and become leaders: Pack 4490, Pack 4858, Troop 90, Troop 1498, Troop 7498 and two explorer posts associated with the local fire and police departments.

Troop 90 is 98 years old, and there are many Sequim community members that grew up in Sequim and learned leadership qualities through the troop.

If you are interested in learning more about Scouting and particularly the units serving Sequim, go to and enter your zip code. The local units will appear along with their contact information and a brief statement about them.

Rene Nadon is Scoutmaster of Troop 90 (Sequim).