Breaking Barriers and Pinatas at Philmont Scout Ranch - Hispanic Today
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Breaking Barriers and Pinatas at Philmont Scout Ranch

By on July 2, 2012
Mario Lopez BIG HIT at Philmont Scout Ranch

Hispanic Scouting Conference Big Hit with Piñata named Mario Lopez

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (June 29, 2012)– The Philmont Scout Ranch and Training Center located on 137,493 acres of the rugged, majestic Sangre de Cristo mountains is the site where a piñata named “Mario Lopez” made history within the Scouting movement. Scouting in the Hispanic/Latino American Community, a training session offered during June 24th through June 30th of the Southern Region Philmont Conference, hosted Mario’s appearance at the world’s largest youth camp.

Hispanic and non-Hispanic Scouting volunteers, professionals, and other Scout leaders are together from across the country to share best practices and resources to bring Scouting into the Latino community.

Andrea Watson, Associate Director of program at the Philmont Training Center says, “Mario was very well received and well behaved from day one. He sat quietly with the conference children as the Philmont seasonal staff read and acted out the Philmont story to our whole community.”

Mario was the conference ice breaker to start the week. He was suspended on a rope between two historic Cottonwood trees within the main courtyard, hit enthusiastically by a line of Philmont kids, then poured open for all to share his sweets as a symbol of fiesta and one united Scouting community.

“I am completely moved… really appreciate everyone passionately working together, making history, working towards shared values and the future success of our nation,” exclaims Julianne Savage, volunteer Assistant Scoutmaster and class participant from Santa Clara Council, BSA in California. “This is the best class and experience ever!”

“As far as we know, this is the first piñata in the history of the Philmont Scout Ranch,” says Gary Butler, Assistant Chief Scout Executive for the Boy Scouts of America. Another first was the Salsa dance lesson lead by the Hispanic community conference attendees at the end of the Philmont Western Dance Night.

Mr. Butler continued by saying, “For the third year in a row, we have had double digit growth increases in the number of youth in our targeted underserved markets- Hispanic, Asian, and African American. It’s time we change…You’ve heard the statistics…You know the statistics.”

In less than five years, it is predicted that one out of every two potential Tiger Cubs looking to join Scouting will be Latino. There are nearly 200 Hispanic youth serving professionals out of approximately 2600 BSA professional Scouters nationwide.

“Love Scouting for what it’s done, and for what it’s going to do,” says Michael de los Santos, Chairman for the Scouting in the Hispanic/Latino American Community session and Scout Executive for the Alamo Area Council, BSA, based in San Antonio, Texas. The Alamo Area Council, BSA successfully serves the highest Hispanic market share across the nation for the Boy Scouts of America.

“We have Hispanic kids within our Scouting movement. It is great to now see the presence of Hispanic kids represented within our Scout marketing materials and resources,” says Ponce Duran, Director, Southern Region Boy Scouts of America, “And, we want more kids and leadership to grow!”

For more information on future Scouting in the Hispanic/Latino American Community training sessions or other Hispanic Scouting resources, visit the conference session Facebook page, or the National BSA Spanish resources website or contact Rudy Gonzalez, National BSA Membership Specialist, via email at

About the Alamo Area Council, Boy Scouts of America

The Alamo Area Council, BSA, headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, serves a 13 county area imparting the Scouting program to over 28,000 youth and 7,000 volunteer adults in South Texas. The Boy Scouts of America continue to prepare young people for life by providing the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training utilizing outdoor activity, citizenship, and sports fitness. For more information on the Alamo Area BSA, please visit Http://

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