Still looking for an after-school program that fits your child's interests and challenges them in new ways? Consider the local Boy Scouts of America chapter, which offers a host of fun outdoor activities, while pin-pointing the skills that will help your child develop into the best adult they could possibly be. 

Noozhawk recently sat down with Peter McClintock, Boys Scouts of America South Coast District Executive, to discuss more about the Los Padres Council's after-school program.

Boy Scouts of America - Los Padres Council

Question: What is the name of your after school activity? 

Answer: Boy Scouts and Exploring

Q: Which age groups are appropriate for your program/after school activity? 

A: Our Cub Scouts are boys, 7-10 years old, grades 1-5; Boy Scouts are boys 11-17 years old; our Venturing Young Men and Women group is for 14-20-year-olds, and Exploring Young Men and Women is for 14-20-year-olds.  

Q: When was your program first started? Is it local to the area?

A: Yes, it was first started in Santa Barbara in the early 1900s.

Q: What was the thought behind creating the program? 

A: Successful leadership is a product of strong character. For generations, Scouting has taught young people to lead by example in their community, on the sports field or in the classroom. Since 1910 in England, with the vision of Lord Robert Baden-Powell, Scouting has sought to teach young people, life skills and valuable experiences that promote civic engagement, character development, and physical fitness, which will ultimately prepare them to become mature and responsible adults.

Q: What are your goals for kids who participate?

A: We want our kids to feel the spirit of adventure and take part in experiences that are new to them. Whether that means camping for the first time, learning how to engineer a Pinewood Derby car through applying the laws of physics, or sailing on the open sea. We believe it is important for young people to grow into the adults they ultimately want to become. We hope that Scouting provides the opportunities and experiences to get them there.

Q: Which sorts of activities can parents expect their children to participate in? 

A: Build lasting friendships, earn badges, launch rockets, race cars, work as a team, gain confidence, apply engineering, create weird sciences, archery, camping, bb gun shooting, robotics, rock climbing, swimming, white water rafting, pinewood derby and Cub Scout Day Camp.

Q: Is there a particular activity that students enjoy more than others?

A: Pinewood Derby, launching rockets, white water rafting, camping, hiking, tomahawk throwing, rock climbing, kayaking, sailing, BB gun and rifle, robotics, and mountain biking.

Q: How is your program unique from other after school activities in the area? 

A: Our program prides itself on character development and creating a valuable leadership lab for our young people. Scouting provides real world experiences and mentorship that teaches young people how to work in team environment, manage at length projects, lead a team or patrol and interact on a higher level.

Q: Does the content change at all over the course of the school year? 

A: No, the content stays the same. Scouting is a year-long program.

Q: Does your program touch on any school subjects? And if so, which? 

A: Yes it does. Boy Scouts ties in well with the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) program, Next Generation Science Standards, and Character Counts and the 6 Pillars of Character milestones. It promotes positive youth development and teamwork. In addition, Scouting provides over 70 different merit badges that cover everything from cooking to nuclear science to programming. 

Q: What, if any, other organizations do you work or partner with?

A: Boy Scouts – Santa Barbara Zoo, ELKS Lodge, the Rotary, Kiwanis and numerous other organizations.

Santa Barbara Sea Scouts – Santa Barbara Youth Sailing Foundation & Santa Barbara Sea Shells.

Explorer Program – Santa Barbara Police Department and Santa Barbara Sheriff Department.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to tell parents who might be interested in putting their children in Boy Scouts?

A: Scouting is a great place to meet friends and take on adventure, but it also teaches valuable life skills that help a young person mature and develop. Also, it strives to give everyone an opportunity to lead and participate in a team environment.

For more information about Boy Scouts of America, Los Padres Council, please visit its website, or for information on joining Boy Scouts, please visit beascout.org.

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