Without question, these are difficult times. Who would have thought at the start of the year we would be experiencing a worldwide pandemic with staggering health and economic consequences – potentially for years to come.
During the Blitz, as Hitler was continually bombing London night after night in 1940 and 1941, the British people were reminded to, “Keep Calm and Carry On.”
I too, encourage you to, “Keep Calm and Scout On,” during the COVID-19 crisis.
In Montana, we can take solace in the fact that we have been practicing social distancing since 1889 and that we are indeed sheltering in the Last Best Place. We can also be thankful that, due to our lower population base combined with a quick response by our health officials, Montana has had one of the lowest rates of spread of the COVID-19 virus in the country.
Remember, as a nation, we have been through tough times and faced many devastating events before. In the last century alone we experienced: World War I, the Spanish Influenza (wiping out more than 500,000 in the U.S. and over 50 million people worldwide), the Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War and the Communist threat, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the 911 terrorist attacks and dozens of ruinous natural disasters including earthquakes, floods and wildfires, to name just a few events.
No matter how bad it seems, because of our American spirit, we can collectively push on and get through it all. Therefore, know that together we will also get through this and defeat COVID-19.
I encourage all Montana Scouts and Scouters to maintain a positive mental attitude and to improve your Scouting skillset in some way. For example, attend summer camp at K-M or a District Camporee, participate in Wood Badge or NYLT training, or complete on-line merit badge work.
I also encourage you to use this time to volunteer in your community, to help out at your place of worship or simply do a good turn for a neighbor.
Remember, as each of you lives your life, your attitude towards any given situation you encounter will almost always affect you far more than the situation. Attitude is everything in life. Please take care of yourselves, enjoy summer in Montana and God Bless America!
Council Board President