Merry Christmas – feel free to send or return that greeting in accordance with your custom.
It is not uncommon for someone to ask us (volunteers or professionals) why we do what we do? Honestly, I have given the answer so many times, I really have not given it a second thought for some time.
I thought maybe, I’d think about it a bit and “refresh” my answer.
We live in a world that has significantly picked up the pace. It seems like each day, month and year are shorter. Can it really already be December 17?
Technology has us more connected than ever and yet there is almost a sad distance between us. Most of us don’t know or talk to our neighbors much, we hang in the same social circles and rarely venture out and often find ourselves more absorbed in a video screen than in a personal exchange with an old friend.
To be honest, this has been weighing on me for some time. Don’t we deserve more of each other’s attention?
In addition, this time of year is loaded with opportunities to volunteer or help others, and I think there is a general sense that we are doing good things. Perhaps we simply don’t think about it as much other times of the year. The “season of giving” means more than packages wrapped in fancy paper.
Lastly, I find myself shocked by the national news. School shootings, corruption, deceit, and mayhem. We are alive in a time when caring about others seems far less important than worrying about ourselves.
I literally launch out of my bed every day because I work for an organization that still teaches the kind of values that I hope never die. Leadership, teamwork, communication, service, helping and caring for others. I learned all of these things in Scouting – and I try to use the skills every day.
It is still happening today – really!
I was at a District camping event a couple of weekends back and I overheard a Patrol Leader talking to an Assistant Scoutmaster, complaining that his Patrol was not doing what he told them to do.
I couldn’t help but smile, thinking back on my own failed attempts to lead a Patrol decades earlier. Come to find out, I learned an awful lot back then – you tricked me!
Some of you have wondered why we are investing so heavily in camp infrastructure, endowment and expanded operations – especially when you listen to the news and falsely believe the sky is falling.
The reality is that Scouting will outlast all of us and the next generation and the next. There is no other place for youth to learn these skills in an environment where failure leads to learning.
It isn’t recognition, knots or awards – it is the reality that our youth, our communities, our nation, and our world need us to do what we do. More and more people will recognize this and respond favorably.
Youth need the skills that Scouting teaches. Youth need mentors like our Scout Volunteers. Scouting needs the Council that administers this program. The world needs the Boy Scouts of America.
I am ready to help – are you?
Interim Scout Executive