Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. I believe that from what I notice at summer camp every year. I encourage my sons to get exercise, but with the mind-bending, breath-taking, realistic virtual worlds contained in XBox and other gaming systems, it's no wonder so many guys would prefer that to the work of real life.
Fortunately, we don't give up - we keep trying new ways to convince scouts to get out there. Scouting, especially high adventure prep, offers great opportunity to helping youth get fit. Now there's a way to be recognized for overall daily activity. Have you heard of the ScoutStrong program?
ScoutStrong was started in 2011 and has a goal of getting 1/2 million youth to earn the award by 2013. It's about the easiest award anyone could earn - you just have to move around! ScoutStrong promotes regular, active lifestyle habits and making healthier choices. Many different activities can count towards the award, from aerobics to yoga, just track the time you spend each day. The ScoutStrong Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA) Challenge award can be earned by Scouts as well as families, volunteers, staff, and scouting alumni.
No doubt Russell is a great Wilderness Explorer, but I think he'd benefit from ScoutStrong also.
I'm challenging all you guys to give ScoutStrong a shot and try to beat my efforts. I'll be hiking the Arizona Trail from March to May, racking up a ton of points towards the ScoutStrong PALA Challenge.
I'd like to see if anyone, or any patrol, troop, district, or council can beat my tally. Individuals that accumulate enough points could win a ScoutShop gift card or other items. Go to my ScoutStrong Challenge page and get started!
A short video about ScoutStrong:
You can see some BSA leaders that completed the challenge in 2011.
It looks like 21 people have created accounts to earn the ScoutStrong Presidential Active Lifestyle Award in Northern Star Council. I wonder if other councils have had better success? Anyone? Anyone? Leave a comment if you or your scouts did/are doing/will do ScoutStrong. And, I double-dare you to take on my personal challenge!
I mentioned to my supervisor that I was going to do this with my Pack 478, and she said she would donate a movie ticket to each cubscout that earns the patch.
Jun 18, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Rachel - Super! It would be a great way for the guys to get out and stay active over the summer.
Mar 14, 2013 - SM Bob
This program is one of the best kept secrets in the BSA! It wasn't until we got a peek at our 2013 JTE goals that we even learned of the ScoutStrong Program. STILL nothing official from our council either three months into 2013!
Proud to say our 18 scouts and some adult leaders are entering the last week of SS/PALA and it has been a great wintertime activity.
This deserved a better roll out at all levels of the BSA. A scout is "Physically Strong". SS/PALA gives them a jump start!
Wished they were as aggressive with the program as they are arm twisting for Friends of Scouting donations.
Mar 14, 2013 - Scouter Paul
SM Bob - AMEN to what you said! It has gotten virtually no exposure, promotion, or support around here either. That's why I've tried to promote it on my hikes.
I'll be hiking the 1,100 mile Ice Age Trail across Wisconsin in Aug-Sep and hope more scouts will take my challenge to participate in the ScoutStrong program then.