THE pictures somehow seem to be out of another era -- boys in short pants and neckerchiefs, often camping or tying knots. One might be tempted to ask: Are the Boy Scouts, now holding their 75th-year Jamboree, really as relevant as they used to be? They certainly are, arguably more significant now than ever. So are the many other service organizations that aid youth across the United States: Boys Clubs and Girls Clubs, YMCAs and YWCAs, Girl Scouts, Camp Fire and summer camps, to name a few.
Time was when the family was the balance wheel for nearly all impressionable young people; organizations like the Boy Scouts largely provided enrichment. That was a valid and valuable role.
But for large numbers of today's youth the family, often fragmented, no longer adequately reflects the stability or even guidance that young people require. It is for these youngsters that the Boy Scouts and similar groups, and their dedicated volunteers and professional staff, can assume a particularly important role. Many a youngster's sense of stability and values today revolves in large measure around one of these organizations: America needs them now more than ever before.