As I consume the news and the stories of devastation, shootings, significant crime and general upheaval –especially those stories involving youth – I realize it is time for us to catch up with our Scouting brothers and sisters throughout the world and start growing Scouting as the best youth development opportunity in this country. We must fight back with all of our might against the increasing ill that surrounds us.
The board of directors, in concert with your council staff, is on that path.
Membership is up in Montana year over year by 5%. That is significant, but we can do better. We are doubling down on social media advertising and now dipping our toes into streaming radio and television markets. To be certain, this all comes with a great cost.
My sincerest admiration to our donors, who believe in this direction, and put their precious resources into the plan. This is all during a time when inflation and rising costs are impacting each of us. Thank you for allowing us to keep our foot on the accelerator. Now is the time to grow our programs throughout Montana.
Of note, the most growth at the moment is in Cub Scouting, exactly where we need to make the biggest impact.
For those of you who are giving your time and especially those of you who are actively recruiting, a salute from the entire Council. You are making a difference and are appreciated.
To our dedicated and all too small staff – words cannot truly express how grateful we are. You have kept the midnight oil burning, accepted additional responsibility and allowed us to progress through extremely lean and challenging times. While it is easy for folks to think you are different because you collect a paycheck – it simply isn’t true. None of you are paid what you are worth and all of you do what you do with a heart for Scouting. It is noticed and appreciated. We know you need help and will continue to make strides in that direction.
Scouting needs to change – we cannot and should not be the organization we were in 1950, 1970 or 2000. We must rise to meet the new generation of youth. Failure to do so means imminent demise. It will take all of us, but we have something that nobody thinks about often – we have the heart, commitment and passion to keep the ship afloat. That is impossible to destroy.
This week marks the International Scout Expo in Great Falls – a truly amazing and one-of-a-kind event assembled by an amazing volunteer committee. For those that are attending, I truly believe you will be treated to a very special experience.
Our hats are off to Wayne, Tom and Bill and their entire committee. Unless you have attempted something of this magnitude, you cannot possibly understand all the blood, sweat and tears spilled in preparation. Thanks, Team!
So many great things happening – and all at the hands of dedicated volunteers, donors, alumni and staff. There simply aren’t enough thanks in the world.
“Let not any one pacify his conscience by the delusion that he can do no harm if he takes no part, and forms no opinion. Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing. He is not a good man who, without a protest, allows wrong to be committed in his name, and with the means which he helps to supply, because he will not trouble himself to use his mind on the subject.” – John Stuart Mill
God bless you all and may God bless the Boy Scouts of America.
Deputy Scout Executive