A group of male community leaders led by the Rev. Eric LeBrocq of St. John’s Episcopal Church met in Sealy last week to tackle an ongoing challenge: how to empower young men, particularly those who may be at risk.
The men met at Tony’s Family Restaurant and invited Darryl Johnson, A Houston-based official with Boy Scouts of America’s New Unit Development.
“As our youth population grows, we find they have less to do,” Johnson said. “They’re making moral and ethical decisions. Every young person you give these tools to has a better chance to succeed. If we teach reverence and partner with faith-based organizations, we build a better next generation in Sealy.”
While two local Boy Scout troop already exist in Sealy – headquartered out of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and the Knights of Columbus Hall – it’s important to keep the troops small so that one-on-one leadership is offered and multiple opportunities are allowed for youth of all races and socioeconomic backgrounds, Johnson explained. Just because meetings are held at a particular venue does not mean the students who join the troop have to be members of that church or denomination, Johnson said. Many scout meetings are hosted at schools or neutral venues such as American Legion halls.
LeBrocq said there is a local need that should be addressed.
“We came up during a time when there was male leadership,” LeBrocq said. “We need a program like the scouting program.”
The men acknowledged that their discussion is in its infancy and said they hope to gauge interest from the community on whether there are enough local young men who would join a new scouting troop.
“You can actually save a child’s life,” Johnson said, referencing the importance of scouting and male role models in the lives of young men. “You give them hope for the future.”
Those already involved in local scouting say it was a wise decision.
Sealy High School senior Mark Bonaccorso has been accepted to attend Texas A&M University in the fall, and says he attributes that largely to his Eagle Scout rank. Only about four out of 100 scouts make it to Eagle.
“In the long run, whenever you see an Eagle Scout, you’re distinguished,” Bonaccorso said in an interview last year with The Sealy News. “No one’s going to stop you. It shows that you have a lot of dedication and have put in a lot of hard work. I wouldn’t be here today without scouting.”