Today I would like to share some thoughts with you regarding the challenges that all of us are facing in these trying times and how the Scouting community is coping with the many challenges of social distancing, sheltering in place, and working and schooling from home.
These are challenging times, but it is important to recognize that these are the moments we prepare for. And this is when the Scouting family shines.
During some of our country’s most challenging hours, our Scouting movement has shouldered the burden when it was too heavy for many communities to bear.
As in previous crises, Scouts have stepped up to meet the challenge, and that continues today.
In just a few weeks, Scouts have mobilized countless initiatives to support communities hit hardest by COVID-19. This includes the following efforts:
- Used 3-D printers to make visors, face shields and ear savers
- Facilitated the donation of thousands of neckerchiefs to offset shortages of face coverings
- Collected food to replenish food pantries
- Lifted the spirits of those suffering loneliness
- Honored those that fell victim to this pandemic
Scouts are always united in their commitment to help other people.
That is precisely why it is important that Scouting continues during these uncertain times.
Since mid-March, Cub Scouts have worked on or completed more than 115,000 Adventures, and Scouts have worked on or completed nearly 73,000 merit badges – all from the safety of their home.
Thanks to the selfless dedication of our volunteers, councils and staff – Scouts continue to meet, learn, and grow. Online platforms have taken the place of community halls, with all the same Youth Protection policies still in place, and I’m thrilled to know that the camaraderie and learning continue – thanks to you. Our Scouts, our organization and our movement are grateful that you have stepped up and provided powerful Scouting lessons during this time of uncertainty. I know I speak for many of us when I say we prefer the outdoors to the digital world, but you have navigated the challenge with inspiring fortitude.
And that strength is something we all need at times like these. The financial impact of this crisis has dealt a devastating blow to our communities, and these challenges are felt within our national organization and local councils – the very people you count on to help continue Scouting. Tuesday, May 5th is special edition of Giving Tuesday, and I hope you will take the opportunity to support your councils in whatever way possible so that they can come through this challenging time with the resources we need to continue bringing Scouting to children in our communities. You can find some social media images you can use to promote Giving Tuesday here: Giving Tuesday assets.
Now more than ever, social distancing protects us, but Scouting connects us.
And that is why we are excited to invite ALL American families to join us in a National Camp-In on May 2nd – a nationwide day of virtual adventures, skill-building, service, and of course, camping, that we hope will provide a respite of fun for families. I encourage you to attend, and I ask that you also invite neighbors and friends to do the same because we all know that everybody can benefit. Find all of the latest details about the event on the National Camp-In homepage: www.scouting.org/campin.
Families can count on the Boy Scouts of America to help make the most of the time we have together, but we are also the organization that will stand shoulder to shoulder with others in times of need.
For years, Scouting for Food has been at the heart of how we give back. Since collecting food is not feasible right now because of the reality of the pandemic, we are instead dedicating time during our National Camp-In for a National Good Turn to raise money through a virtual 5K that will help Feeding America replenish food banks nationwide as they face unprecedented demands in the fight against hunger and food insecurity. This is our national call to action.
After all, a Scout is helpful.
Our Scouts, volunteers, employees, and families prove that time and time again.
Thank you again for all that you are doing for your communities and especially Scouting.