An integral part of their community, Lions clubs reach down into the lives of youths by sponsoring three of the most popular activities of U.S. youth: Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Little League. The Boy Scouts of America always have been closely aligned with Lions. As far back as 1923 Melvin Jones, the founder of Lions Clubs, declared that Scouting was the “single greatest undertaking of local clubs.” Scouting remains very popular. Lions sponsored 2,702 Cub Scout packs, Boy Scout troops and Venture crews as of December 2007, making Lions a close second to the American Legion among civic and fraternal groups that sponsor Scouting. The Lions and Scouting are a natural fit: both promote service as well as international cooperation, citizenship and leadership. Many Scout leaders join a Lions club, and membership rolls of Lions clubs are filled with grown-up Scouts. Packs and troops often support Lions’ projects such as eyeglass collection. Scouts and Lions are two venerable community groups that often march together in service. Girl Scouts has 2.7 million girls as members in more than 90 nations, and Lions clubs sponsor many troops. Girl Scouts develop leadership skills, strong values, a social conscience, and a confidence in their own potential and self-worth, traits Lions are pleased to promote. The connection between Girl Scouts and Lions is personified by Magdaleena Sorel of Ware, Massachusetts. A former Girl Scout and troop leader, she led the Lions’ eyeglass campaign in her town and volunteers in the schools and with a social services group. “I think if you want the next generation of volunteers among kids you have to lead by example,” she told a local newspaper. Kids hit home runs to win games and gain confidence. Or they strike out with the bases loaded and discover the world has not ended. For generations Little League has let kids enjoy the thrill of organized sports and the camaraderie of team sports, and thousands of teams have roared out of the dugout with the name of a sponsoring Lions club on their uniform. Youth sports is not about winning or losing but about leadership, effort and fun. Lions are glad to be angels in the outfield for youth sports.
Published by International Association of Lions Clubs . View All Articles.
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