FORT PIERCE, Fla. -- A Boy Scout troop is being developed for the first time in northwest Fort Pierce. Parents and community leaders hope it will help make the community safer.
Organizers of the new troop say certain schools with at-risk students will be the first place troop organizers look for kids that could benefit from scouting. The goal is to keep them involved in the community and not involved in crime.
With two active sons, Kathy Godin struggles to find things to keep them busy.
"There's nothing in our area that's in a reasonable budget for us." Godin said. Nothing, she fears, to keep them out of trouble. "I'd really like them to get involved in something so they can grow up and not be in the streets or doing bad things," Godin said.
It's a common concern that community activist Scott Van Duzer recognized. That's why he's heading up the effort to bring a Boy Scout troop to northwest Fort Pierce.
"I want the ones that are really walking that line, that have one foos on one side one foot on the other and they don't really know which path in life they're going to go," Van Duzer said.
Van Duzer says the new troop will be targeting ages 11 to 13. That's when he says there is still a chance for kids to be put on the right path.
Van Duzer says this troop will be different than many. It will be hands on, recruiting from at-risk schools and neighborhoods. Lessons and activities will cater towards the needs of the community.
"We are going to be a lot more aggressive, a lot more trying to get them out of town in high energy things, from repelling to fishing to things that they probably never would experience," said Van Duzer .
Van Duzer also currently is fundraising to help low-income families afford scouting. "I think that's amazingly wonderful. I coukdn't ask for anything better, I am so excited," Godin said.
Van Duzer has nearly ten community leaders ready to step in as mentors, knowing many parents may not have the time to volunteer. None of the mentors have children. They include congressmen and commissioners.
The troop should be created by Dec. 1, which is also when active recruiting will begin.
The first project for the troop will be a Christmas party, where the boys will be giving out presents to families in need.