Serving as the 12th Chief Scout Executive has been the highlight of my professional career – and not for the reasons you may think. In this role, I am able to connect to our broader organization – our employees, volunteers and families – to ensure we’re delivering the best Scouting experience to America’s youth. Part of this role is to bring vision to the movement – to identify where we have opportunity to serve more kids by instilling the values of the Scout Oath and Law. It’s exciting and meaningful work and I’ve been honored have been entrusted by you with that responsibility.
As many of you know, I’ll be retiring at the beginning of October. And so, our organization has been working to identify the next Chief Scout Executive. I’m proud today to announce that Michael Surbaugh has been selected as the 13th.
This decision comes after an extensive process by our national executive board to select the right candidate from within the Scouting family with a long-standing commitment to the BSA and strong record of advancing our mission.
Mike is a proven leader with a deep understanding of our organization. His vision combines Scouting’s longstanding values and ideas with the forward-thinking goals of our organization. This vision will play an important role in empowering our volunteers to deliver the kind of life-changing experiences today’s kids can find in Scouting.
In his role as Group Director since 2014, Mike has demonstrated a record of success and achievement in fundraising, membership and program development. He’s developed many innovative programs designed to meet the needs of employees, volunteers and youth. In each assignment, he has also worked to extend Scouting’s reach in disadvantaged communities, Native American outreach, and those with Special Needs.
Mike will work closely with me, National President Dr. Robert M. Gates and others to ensure a smooth transition as we prepare for this new chapter in Scouting’s journey. In addition to our national leadership and staff, Mike will need your support to offer fresh, new Scouting experiences to our nearly 2.5 million youth members.
This transition comes at an important time in our history. Scouting is as important to today’s youth as ever. But, for our movement to thrive in the future, it is vital to recognize the real essence of Scouting lies not in the programs, but in the outcomes – developing character, citizenship, leadership and physical and mental fitness – which are the aims expressed in the Scout Oath and Law.
I am confident that Mike will carry that torch forward, driving high-energy, character-building Scouting adventures that appeal to more of today’s youth.
I will remain in the role of Chief Scout Executive until my retirement in October 2015. I am so grateful to you – our Scouting family – for the opportunity to have devoted my life’s work to helping America’s kids grow into confident and strong adults – and to help parents make the most of the little time they have to impact their kids. I couldn’t have chosen a more worthy or fulfilling career.
I know Mike will do an outstanding job of continuing our mission to accomplish these goals and more to develop the positive traits of good character, citizenship, leadership and physical and mental fitness that are so important for America’s next generation of leaders. Our future – and that of America’s youth – is a bright one.
Yours in Scouting,