Parents hard-pressed to work with scouts
While hundreds of volunteers work on Wild West Day and other school projects, there’s only so much time available to parents in the High Country.
The time crunch has hit the Western Slope chapters of the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts hard.
“The most difficult thing to get is adult volunteers,” said Jerome Powell of the Boy Scouts’ Grand Junction office. “We need a certain number of adults to keep or start a troop.”
In the case of the Boy Scouts, troops nationwide have the same problem. “About 95 percent of our program is volunteers,” Powell said. “There are only three paid positions for the Boy Scouts on the Western Slope.”
The dearth of volunteers is the worst in Cub Scouts, the feeder program for the Boy Scouts. Without Cubs, Boy Scout troops wither.
One of the problems is parents whose kids move out of scouting over the years.
“In Summit County, none of the existing parents are willing to step up to be leaders,” Powell said. “It’s disheartening.”
The problems don’t stop when parents volunteer. “I’ve got two brand-new leaders in Eagle, but I can’t get them trained,” said Jenny Peed, assistant director of the Girl Scouts’ Western Slope branch. “They just don’t have time.”
Like the Boy Scouts, most Girl Scout leaders are parents.
“Moms are working, or have kids in school, or are having kids,” Peed said. “The majority of leaders we’ve lost have been to that.”