April is National Volunteer Appreciation Month and I want to express my deep gratitude to all the men and women who volunteer with our organization. It is your generosity with your time, resources and knowledge that helps Scouting succeed. Moving through the ranks of our programs, each Scout interacts with potentially dozens, if not hundreds, of adult volunteers, all of whom are demonstrating service to others. Your mentorship and leadership make a lasting impact.
Scouting instills in one the call to serve throughout his life. I recently learned the story of an adult Eagle Scout who spent more than 500 hours volunteering in 2016. Brian Wolf found his reason to serve when his son, Jack, who also is an Eagle Scout, was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). Since then, Brian has devoted his free time to working with nonprofits that make a difference in the life of his son and other children who suffer from terminal diseases. Brian credits Scouting with teaching him valuable lessons that prepared him to serve.
“The whole idea behind Scouting is to be a better citizen, be a better person and learn skills that you can use in everyday life. When I completed my Eagle project, it was a huge project. Now, with all these nonprofits, I’m working on an even bigger project because it’s about my son.”
Of course, the BSA also is one of the organizations with which Brian volunteers; he’s an Assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 652 in Brecksville, Ohio, an advisor to Venturing Crew 652, and an involved father of two Eagle Scouts. Brian believes Scouting is a valuable outlet for young people with physical disabilities who may not be able to play outside easily or be involved in sports. He and Jack never have let Jack’s wheelchair hold him back; Jack has earned 99 merit badges, attended summer camp, participated in National Youth Leadership Training and today is an active member of his high school marching band.
I’m always proud to see stories of Scouts who have gone on to have such an incredible impact in their communities. Scouting is designed to build a solid foundation of character, leadership, values and education that stays with a child for a lifetime. It’s working.
Let me know how and why you serve in the comments or on Twitter, @BSAChief.
And once again, thank you for all you do for Scouting and for the many other organizations who benefit from our movement’s commitment to service.