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[at-l] Re: Minorities on the Trail

Hi All,

Slim, wish I was with you Friday.  A great section of the trail and we
in PA have been blessed with some good weather.

I want to thank all of you who have privately written to me about the
above subject and who have posted to the list.  I have found that
certain activities seem not to attract minorities in great numbers.  I
am an assistant scout master with in a troop approaching 75 scouts. 
We have only two Afro-Americans in the troop, even though wee have
tried to recruit many more.  Neither are hikers though one likes
canoeing.  The other likes camping but to get him to hike more than a
mile is impossible.

Three possible reasons why we do not see many minorities on the trail

1.  Cost
2.  Minorities are not 'comfortable' in unfamiliar surroundings.
3.  Minorities do not have the opportunity to participate in outdoor
4.  Minorities (and most of the Anglo-Saxons I know ;_) ) do not want
to 'endure' the hardships involved in out door activities.

From some of the comments I have received I get the impression that
there is some misunderstanding about minorities.  In the northeast is
would appear many people believe that minorities are the inner city
residents.  While true to some extent many minorities live in rural
areas.  In addition we are rapidly becoming a nation of minorities. 
The fastest growing group is Hispanic and the percentage of whites is
rapidly declining.  Then there are people like me who from first
appearances is good old Anglo-Saxon.  When my father traced our family
tree we learned that one of our ancestors married a woman that was
half Afro-American and half Indian.  There are a large number of
people with mixed racial background.

Thanks to all of those who took time to reply.  It is an interesting
question that I have grappled with several times and I do not think
there is an easy answer.  A coupled of years ago my son idolized
Michael Jordan.  Now he idolizes Bill Gates.  I think that the youth
look up to sports people because they are inundated with news about
them at all times.  Maybe we need to get the message out about outdoor
activities.  We need somebody besides Ted Nuggent (The Motor City
Madman) to publicize outdoor activities.

Bob Dudley

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