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“Breaking Barriers” Scouting Program Utilizes God and Me

“Breaking Barriers” is part of the Scoutreach program at Jayhawk Area Council and their commitment to ensure that all young men have an opportunity to join Scouting, regardless of their circumstances. Breaking Barriers is a special program that works with a local women’s correctional facility to bring Scouting to boys and young men whose mothers are incarcerated.  

Mark Dechand, a BSA volunteer who helped start Breaking Barriers years ago, explains that “the goal of Breaking Barriers is to establish an environment where the inmates can have a positive relationship with their children, and where the Scouts can have fun and advance in Scouting.” Each month they coordinate two planning meetings with the women which culminate in a 7 hour retreat with their Scouts. The retreat is a combination of a Den Meeting, Cub Scout Meeting and Venture Crew meeting (there are no Boy Scout age youth right now) along with meal preparation and service projects to others. 

Dechand has also been involved with the religious emblems programs, and it is no surprise that Breaking Barriers incorporates Duty to God. This is the second year that Breaking Barriers has offered a God and MeExternal Link class. For many of the Scouts, it was their first exposure to religious training. According to Dechand, “One of the best things to come out of this session was we had three women take the mentorExternal Link portion of God and Me - it was a great experience for them and they treasured their (surprise) recognition patches.” 

Breaking Barriers exists to help boys and young men develop skills and self-confidence. Thank you for including the religious emblems program and helping them also grow in their Duty to God.

“Breaking Barriers” Scouting Program Utilizes God and Me was an article published in the P.R.A.Y. August 2017 Newsletter at Link.

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