They say to be successful in life is to laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to leave the world a bit better; and to know one life has breathed easier because you have lived here.– (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
Emerson had it right. As I step down as Montana Council President, I have done my best to leave the Montana Council a bit better and I have tried to deliver on the promise of Scouting to the young people we serve.
Without question, these have been challenging times. The past few years presented challenges to everyone — for ourselves, our families, our businesses and jobs, and for Scouting across the country and here in Montana. Remember that, as a nation, we have been through tough times and faced many devastating events before. Yet, despite no less than a one-two punch of a worldwide pandemic and national bankruptcy, our Scouting movement has survived.
The national organization and the Montana Council have fought the good fight and the Scouting movement continues because Scouts and Scouters possess that special ingredient called GRIT.
In her New York Times bestseller “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance”, psychologist Angela Duckworth shows anyone striving to succeed — be it parents, students, educators, athletes, or Scouts — that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but that special blend of passion and persistence she calls grit and what really drives success is not genius but a unique combination of passion and long-term perseverance.
Some also call grit just plain old stubbornness. My heritage refers to it as Scottish Determination.
I wanted to make a special mention of our Scout Executive Jory Dellinger who makes it all happen in the Montana Council. I am proud to have worked side-by-side with him over the years. Public service often goes unnoticed, especially the arduous hours involved. I am, however, keenly aware of his efforts. Quietly and behind the scenes, Scouting is a force in Montana largely due to his efforts. He is one of a kind and I am proud to call him my friend.
Scouters, it has been my absolute honor and pleasure to have driven the Scout bus for the past three years, but it is now time for long-time Scouter and 1st Vice President, Walt McIntosh to take the wheel from here. We are in good hands with Walt and he, along with Jory, will no doubt take our organization to the next level.
In closing, remember that Scouting’s founder, Lord Baden Powell of Gilwell, said in 1922 – There is what is known as a “gift” of some sort hidden away in almost everyone. A gift from God. That being so the possessor of it ought to make use of it – for God.
I am reminded by Baden Powell’s comments that, as Scouters, each of us is given unique gifts, given by our Creator to make this world better for our families, our schools, our state, our nation, and our world. God has given each one of us a special gift that only truly manifests itself in service to others.
Fellow Scouters, know that you make a difference and play an important role and I thank you for bringing your special gifts to the Scouting organization and to our world.
God bless our country; God bless our Scouting organization and thank you for your service to the Montana Council. As I’m fond of saying:
Keep calm and Scout on!
Montana Council President 2020-2023