KANSAS CITY, Missouri - All sorts of things happen in downtown Kansas City and there's one guy who sees it all: the good, the bad, and the future.
A typical day for Kansas City Police Chief Jim Corwin could quite literally consist of a briefing over coffee, a move to the scene of a homicide investigation, then off to a black tie gala in the evening. That's the way it is in the city. Unpredictable.
That can be tough for kids who need structure in the city. Kids who need to feel safe.
"We know certain things are happening in the urban core that are different from the burbs," says Corwin.
People have different concerns and challenges. Kids have different needs.
That's why Chief Corwin is a huge advocate for Urban Scouting, an inner city boy scouts program catering to kids in the city. The program is called Scoutreach.
"What I think is very important about scouting is it comes to the table with what corporations spend thousands of dollars for leadership training on. When you start talking about what's going on with kids in the urban core - services we provide for these kids - seemed like a very good fit."
"It's another way to teach discipline, and give confidence and security within the world we live," says Monique Roberts, mom to 6-year-old Jadan.
Teresa Winters has two sons in scouts, 8-year-old twins Jaheim and Jamal. She says, "I think it will teach them skills they'll need to stay out of trouble."
Chief Corwin concurs, "The urban scouting movement is heart and soul of what young men are lacking in their lives. Something they can put in their lives. Program of scouts. Scout motto. Scout law. Basically answers to what's happenign in the urban core."
And Chief Corwin has support from throughout his department. He says there are a lot of men and women on the urban scouting committee with him, working with their own elements and their own kids, who've stepped forward to help.
Scouting in the urban core has different challenges. For instance, most scouts meet on Monday evening at a certain location that might or might not be right near their homes. That may not work well in the inner city. If kids have working parents who can't take them to a meeting, and don't live near the meeting spot, they won't go.
The committee on which Corwin sits is tasked with catering the scouting experience to the kids who need it. The committee believes if kids grow up abiding by scout law, they'll be more likely to follow the law as adults.
Boy Scout Oath or Promise
On my honor, I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.
Boy Scout Law
A Scout is:
Boy Scout Motto
To learn more about urban scouting, visit http://www.hoac-bsa.org/