CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of the USA have been suffering a dramatic decrease in numbers following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here locally, one troop said they are still seeing that need for new members.
Corpus Christi Troop 2 Boy Scout Xander Nguyen reached out to 3NEWS through our tip form. He said he wants to make sure that when he ages out of the Boy Scout's -- that the troop he loves will live on.
"We were founded back in 1911, which is a year after scouting came to America," he said about Troop 2.
Every Monday, you will find Nguyen among his fellow troops at the First Presbyterian Church on South Carancahua St. where he eagerly upholds the pride of his scout troop.
"This past summer we went to Philmont, which is a famous scout ranch, it is on a mountain ridge and we hiked 33 miles," he said.
Nguyen and his troop are planning a trip to Lake Corpus Christi in Mathis where they will earn a new badge for boating. Nguyen's troop said that scouting has made an enormous impact on their lives -- through the skills and memories made.
"We have things like cooking and first aid, swimming, biking, hiking," said Boy Scout member Anuar Medina.
But Corpus Christi's oldest scout troop is experiencing dwindling numbers, with a troop of 30 -- now down to just five members.
"I joined in 2016-2017 when our troop was really big had around 30ish members," Nguyen said.
The troop took a dramatic hit in membership since the COVID-19 pandemic began -- and hasn't seen those numbers come back up due to scouts who are aging out of the program.
Nguyen and one other scout will also age out of the program next year. Nguyen hopes by speaking out -- empty spots can be filed with a new batch of members and parents who can lead the next generation.
"We always depend on three-to-four boys each year joining us, and in the the last two years we haven't had any that really hurt," said Nguyen's father Minh.
Nguyen's father Minh told 3NEWS that the scouts also need the support of parents.
"We really need boys and parents, the scouts really need the parents support, fathers and mothers," Minh said. "Fortunately we have very good parent support, get to do really fun things."
Nguyen said he feels every teenager should have the opportunity to learn the skills he has learned.
"We have a lot of fun and we would love to have new scouts," Nguyen said.
For more information on how to join, click here.
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