Our Report to the Nation delegates have just returned after sharing great news of Scouting’s accomplishments over the past year with leaders in Washington, D.C. Report to the Nation is a presentation of who we are and what we do as a community – from the organization as a whole down to each individual unit. Each of us owns a little piece of it.
This year’s Report to the Nation tells a strong story of how we are continually updating our programs to meet the needs of today’s kids — from the healthy-living initiative to an increased emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math in our existing programs. This is a particularly important story to tell because it not only shares the accomplishments of the past year, but shares with our nation’s leaders how we are adapting to connect with a new generation of kids while continuing to focus on the fundamental values of Scouting — things like character, leadership and service.
The story we have to tell is impactful:
- During 2014, Scouts across America recorded 14,356,107 — yes, more than 14 million — hours of service to their communities across the nation, valued at more than $323 million in communities across the country.
- Since joining the Messengers of Peace global initiative designed to inspire young people in more than 220 countries to work toward peace – the BSA has joined Scouts worldwide to contribute more than 600 million hours of community service.
- Also last year, our Eagle Scout projects provided more than $183 million in service to communities across the nation, nearly 52,000 Scouts earning the Eagle rank in 2014.
- In addition to making a huge contribution to their communities in 2014, our Scouts also took some time to enjoy the outdoors, logging 6,027,435 camping nights during the year – finding those character-building moments that can only be experienced through Scouting.
- Nearly 1.1 million Scouts attended our high-adventure camps along with thousands of our day and summer camps.
Presenting the report to Speaker of the House John Boehner and other leaders was an impressive group of Scouts, including Stephen Buttolph, Eagle Scout (Rumney, NH); Alex Call, Eagle Scout and National Order of the Arrow Chief (Corpus Christi, TX); Mason Hakes, Cub Scout (Corning, NY); Lucas Hines, Star Scout (Columbia, MD); Jillian Infusino, Venturer and National Venturing Vice President (Whittier, CA); Jonathan Johnson, Life Scout (Atlanta, GA); Peter Schmidt, Eagle and Quartermaster, National Sea Scout Boatswain (Springfield, IL); Kenneth Shinozuka, Eagle Scout (New York, NY); Dallin Stevens, Eagle Scout (Sacramento, CA), Sebastian Zuleta, Eagle Scout (Central Falls, RI).
The Delegation had a full week of visits to Congress, Goddard Space Center, the U.S. Naval Academy, the Pentagon, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and the U.S. Supreme Court.
But this report does not live in Washington, D.C. alone. As I said before, each of us in the Scouting family owns a little piece of it – and thus, it is a story that should be shared. Even more than the impressive and noteworthy contributions Scouts are making to their communities; it is an introduction to those who may not be familiar with Scouting about the life-changing experiences kids can get that they can’t find elsewhere – and a reminder to parents that Scouting shapes the children of today as we have for more than a century.
Thus, I urge you to share our wonderful story – to introduce your community to Scouting, showcase the contributions we’re making today and the impact we will continue to make on America’s youth tomorrow.
Yours in Scouting,