Palmetto Council's Multi-Cultural Markets Initiative Is Making A Difference

“This is a great thing y’all are doing for the community. Keep doing this.  This keeps our younger kids out of the streets. They are making something of themselves,” says Tempestt, mother of a Highland Community Cub Scout.

The Palmetto Council is on a mission to change lives – as many young lives as possible.  “Every kid deserves the opportunity to better himself.  They learn to serve their community.  There’s a level of integrity, honesty, and bravery that comes with being a Scout,” says Victor Durrah Jr., Director of Multi-Cultural Markets.     

In September, The Council created a Multi-Cultural Markets Initiative.  The main goal is to provide Scouting opportunities in underserved markets by building strong community partnerships and relationships for communities that need the Scouting program most.  

“With this Multi-Cultural Markets Initiative, we are bringing scouting to the kids.  It’s basically scouting in their backyard.  We have had some tremendous outcomes from our Multi-Council Markets Scouting Initiative,” says Durrah.

Candace has a son who’s part of this new Initiative.  “I’m glad he’s in the Cub Scouts because it prepares him for life. It teaches him social skills because he knows a lot of kids in the Cub Scouts.” 

These Scouts hit the ground running with much enthusiasm about their new adventure.  The Scouts in Stewart Park (Pack 500) participated in Scouting for Food where they collected over 100 lbs. of food from their neighborhood to be donated to The Spartanburg Soup Kitchen.  But that’s not all of their accomplishments, within a month of the Program’s start, Scouts have bonded, learned pledges, and earned Bobcat rank.

The Palmetto Council has collaborated with a number of partners to bring Scouting to: Arcadia Elementary, Silver Hill United Methodist Church, Stewart Park Community Center, York County Boys and Girls Club, Gaffney Boys and Girls Club, and Meeting Street Academy.

“When we as professionals visit schools throughout the Palmetto Council, we often tell the story of scouting, and every kid responds by raising his hands with excitement at the simple fact that he might have the opportunity to join the adventure,” Durrah says. “The reality is that every kid may not get the chance to become a Scout because money, transportation, and leadership are the most common barriers amongst our youth and Scouting.”    

Some parents are already seeing changes in their Scouts.  The Scouts are building character, showing leadership, and enjoying the service.  These parents are extremely grateful for the Multi-Cultural Markets Initiative.  “I really, really would appreciate it if y’all keep continuing in this community,” says Tempestt. – (Scout Mom)

The Palmetto Council has also established a Career Exploration Program for girls and boys ages 14-21.  The program provides opportunities for these participants to learn more about career choices.  The partnerships for Career Exploration include Spartanburg County Alternative School, The Citizen Scholars Program, and AMI Kids Program in Jonesville.

The Multi-Cultural Markets Initiative partnerships include The City of Spartanburg, The Spartanburg County Foundation, The Boys and Girls Club, Arch Ministries, Wofford College, and USC Upstate. Together we have provided resources and volunteers, and invested time to make sure we provide Scouting programs to those youth who need it most.

Story by: Charmayne Brown/Scout Mom