The Boy Scouts of America will be starting new a troop in Storm Lake soon, albeit with a little different look and focus.
According Kevin Robinson, district director of the BSA Mid-America Council, vic-president Gene Lehman of Tyson Fresh Meats has made a commitment that Tyson would be a charter for Hispanic Boy Scout troops throughout the nation.
Robinson said that the Scouts were looking, with help from Ron Hott, Tyson's director of community relations, for Hispanic men interested in being troop leaders for the new Scout troop.
"What the Boy Scouts and Tyson are looking at are ways to reach out to the Hispanic workers at the processing plants like the one in Storm Lake to be troop leaders or fathers and mothers who would like to see their sons involved in Boy Scouts," Robinson said. "In this way Tyson can help build strong families among its workforce. That's good for the community and good for Tyson."
Hott said that a big question that may come up is 'why not integrate the Hispanic boys into the troops already in town?'
"It just seems to work better for the boys to get into scouting this way," Hott said. "We'd like to begin this way and then slowly integrate the troops."
Robinson echoed Hott, saying that the Mid-America Council's experience has been that Hispanic boys who joined troops that were made up primarily of white kids, usually dropped out.
"We want to have Hispanic leaders for the boys, men who share similar experiences and who can support the boys," Robinson said. "We have Hispanic troops in South Sioux City, Neb., and Norfolk, Neb., and are currently working on getting troops in Storm Lake and Denison."
Hott said he and the new troop leaders would be tapping the Tornado Learning Club, among others, for young men interested in Scouting.
Five Hispanic men who came to a meeting Thursday to find out more about Scouting and how they could take part in it were Jaime Quintanilla, Jaime Martinez, Francisco Aldaba, Sergio Pascalin and, a fifth, Roberto Gonzalez couldn't make the meeting.
Quintanilla said he had been active in his native El Salvador as a Scout and Scout leader.