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Youth organizations gaining new life

Your kids may find opportunities to make friends and explore this summer as the pandemic loosens its grip on area youth organizations. Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts, and 4-H could not stem the membership declines that have occurred over the last several years. Bay-Lakes Council Fall Recruitment Chairperson Jay Van Zeeland points to the lack of in-person activities in 2020 for some of the attrition as meetings were often held virtually after a full day of remote learning. As restrictions have loosened up, he says the engagement of its youth member has gone up with it. Van Zeeland says its summer program at Bear Paw Scout Camp has more people at it this week than all of last year. He adds that kids want to learn by playing and interacting with each other, something scouting emphasizes.

Though the emphasis for recruitment for youth organizations usually centers around the beginning of the school year, Van Zeeland says the conversations about the great work of organizations like Boy Scouts happen year-round.


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