Thank you for allowing me to serve this past year as your Interim Scout Executive. The opportunity was significant and I hope, for the most part, I did you proud.
I want to talk a minute with you about change.
Change is never easy. It is the very essence of change that makes us all uncomfortable and yet, it is exactly what we need to do.
Several years ago, we brought on a change agent to our board, Council President Chuck Eubank. He simply told our Scout Executive at the time that if we wanted him to serve, we would need to make some big changes.
The first of which was staffing. We needed to bring on the kind of talent necessary to grow our endowment, develop our staff makeup and structure and improve our camps.
These changes were tough and significant to the Council. Everyone learned first-hand that change can be challenging and sometimes painful.
Look at where we are now. Nearly 11 Million in our Endowment and new camp facilities that were (and are) desperately needed. I’d suggest that we did what we had to do to remain relevant in today’s climate.
Speaking of that – several of our Scout Leaders feel that things like cell phones should not be allowed on Scouting events. I have unfortunate news to that end – cell phones are allowed most everywhere. I believe that it is time that we catch up.
We will prepare them for life. Technology – whether we deem it a good or a bad – is a part of lives now. We should be at the forefront of providing the tools in all forms that help our youth build character.
Baden Powell said that Scouting is a game with a purpose. That purpose is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law. Where in that statement does it mention that there should not be flush toilets or hot showers at camp? Where does it state that they shouldn’t have cell phones?
My point is that we must change. What Baden Powell did in his day was meet youth at their level for what they wanted to learn. Today, I challenge us all to do the same.
We must embrace youth at their level and use the “game” of Scouting to impact them in their terms. Just because my Scoutmaster made me do things a certain way in 1989 to build my character, doesn’t mean we have to do the same things, in the same way, to build character today.
I’d suggest there are other ways, perhaps, to reach the same goals.
I Invite you all to see what we are finishing at K-M Scout Ranch. It is exciting and significant for our youth. Our other camps will soon follow. We want you to be a part of all that is going on.
Thanks again for the opportunity to serve you. I have changed a lot this past year.
Your next Scout Executive Corner will be delivered by Dirk Smith, our new Scout Executive and CEO. We are excited to welcome him. I look forward to our continued success.
One thing remains steadfast – there is no better place than Montana to be a Scout!
Deputy Scout Executive