VAN NUYS (— Nearly 100 kids in an underserved community are attending a special day camp called Scoutreach, which is affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America.

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“The difference between Scoutreach Division and the traditional Boy Scouts of America…it is an after-school program that is mostly for Hispanic communities within our West Los Angeles Council and it’s geared toward more of the low-income families,” said Director Maricela Orendain.

During the week-long camp, the scouts have the opportunity to earn their merit badges, study outer space and even learn how to shoot a bow and arrow.

Axel Rocha Lozano, 10, has been attending the program for three years.

“I have to walk an hour to get to camp and take more buses, but it’s worth it walking all the way over here because I learn many different life skills and I can learn how to do my best,” he said.

This year, camp is extra special for Axel because he designed the T-shirts.

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“When I joined the competition, I drew a patch. I drew it on paper, and I was competing with a lot of people, and then one day they told me the news that I was the one who won,” he said.

Orendain said Scoutreach gives boys the opportunity to experience scouting.

“We bring scouting to them. They get badges and earn their way to one day become an Eagle Scout,” she said.

To donate to Scoutreach, mail to:

Attention: Maricela Orendain
Boy Scouts of America, WLACC
16525 Sherman Way, Unit C-8
Van Nuys, CA 91406

Make checks payable to: WLACC BSA

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People can also make donations to Scouting Friends online.