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SE Corner: Two Pilots Exemplify Scouting’s Impact

Brigadier General Kendall Switzer & Bryan Douglass Chaired ICL Events In Bozeman & Missoula

Brigadier General Kendall Switzer, left, speaks at an ICL event in Bozeman and Bryan Douglass speaks during an ICL event in Missoula.

It is nice to see the occasional glimpse of spring weather headed our way. Good camping weather is coming and I, for one, look forward to getting out into nature.

A few weeks ago, on an extremely cold morning, I attended the Mountain Valley District’s Investment in Character and Leadership (ICL) breakfast in Bozeman.

As a part of the program, retired Brigadier General Kendall Switzer spoke to the audience about what reflecting on earning his Eagle Scout award meant to his life and his career. Kendall is a DYNAMIC speaker.

What struck me as significant was his pure depth of experience. Not just as a pilot in the Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Air National Guard (which is, in itself, rare) but also as a Blue Angel and Top Gun instructor. Call sign “Thumper,” this man is a real-life Hollywood story (no offense Tom Cruise). Yet, here he was, relating personal experiences and skills directly to what he learned in the Boy Scouts of America.

Pretty cool if I do say so myself.

The week prior, I listened to Bryan Douglass (an Eagle Scout, Engineer and one of the originators of the Miss Montana Project, sending the DC-3 aircraft to Normandy for the 75th Anniversary of D-day) during the ICL breakfast in Missoula.

Douglass, too, has an extremely successful career and continues to give unselfishly to his community and those in need. He recounted the flood of Scouting memories that followed our initial contact to help us with this year’s ICL video. And the realization that, once again, nearly everything in his world can be related to things he learned in Scouting.

As staff members or volunteers or donors, we often concentrate on what we don’t like, what is changing or evolving and are quick to criticize. To be honest, it is human nature.

Though if you pause, take a step back, and look at what we accomplish every day, you realize that what we do is incredibly valuable. I cannot promise that one of the Scouts you are mentoring or supporting will be the next Top Gun instructor. But I can promise they will be on the right path more than not throughout their lives.

Ladies and Gentlemen – that is IMPACT, that is MAKING A DIFFERENCE. It is why we do what we do and I hope you take as much goodwill from that as I do.

The world is full of people that don’t raise their hand and help others – be the exception – the next generation is counting on us.

Thanks to each and every one of you for all that you do to support Scouting.

Scout on,

Jory A. Dellinger
Scout Executive & CEO

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