I love this time of year. I love the changing leaves and the chill in the air and I cherish the opportunity to explore the woods, seek a successful harvest, and, in the process, gain much more.
It was Scouting that led me to enjoy the autumn. It was my “outdoor parents” (otherwise known as Scout Leaders) who instilled in me a sense of wonder and thirst for knowledge about the world around us during the transitioning fall.
The days of “legacy families” are coming to an end. Youth aren’t joining because their dad, or grandfather, or uncle, was a Scout. Parents aren’t running towards us like they used to. And frankly, I don’t blame them. It is harder to trust the village today than it was over the past four decades. These are cycles in our history. Our rebuilding will change us for the better, I do believe.
So what can we do? We can all stand up as ambassadors for the program. When we do, we all know what it accomplishes.
Reach out to your neighbors and communities and let them know all that is possible in Scouting. I proudly wear the logo of our organization most days and I am proud to answer questions about Scouting and what it can do for youth. We need to represent the change we seek.
While many trees lose their leaves in fall, new ones grow in spring. We may not be able to hang on to every Scout, but plant enough seeds, and we will reap the rewards and embrace each change. We may not be here to enjoy the strength in their branches, but future generations will find shelter in their shade.
Thanks for all you do for Scouting. Our youth need us now more than ever.