We are innovating.
I know that can be unsettling to some of you, who are concerned that we are getting away from the traditional Scouting program with initiatives like STEM Scouts and our new Cub Scout Adventure program.
On the contrary, I think if our founder, Lord Robert Baden-Powell , were still with us today, he would look upon these Scouting innovations as another way to deliver a quality Scouting experience to the boys of our time.
Because that’s pretty much what B-P did over a century ago.
Innovate … and deliver … to the boys of HIS time. He wanted to make a difference.
He saw a need to find activities to take young boys off the streets of London and teach them skills that would be fun, give them confidence, and inspire leadership to build stronger communities.
More than a century later, Scouting has mentored and witnessed the growth of millions of boys into young men who are serving society at-large, just as B-P envisioned.
B-P’s launch of the Scouting program was aligned with the interests of boys at the time.
Through STEM Scouts and other innovative programs, we are following the same path, and are already seeing promising results as we incorporate new programs that reflect the interests of boys of OUR time.
These innovations are at the core of our Scouting program in 2015, much like the innovations B-P shaped into the Scouting movement that was founded in America in 1910.
Camping, hiking, woodcraft, and other outdoor activities will always be the foundation of Scouting as we use these activities, coupled with our methods, to instill the values of the Scout Oath and Law. But just as B-P conceptualized when planning that first Scouting campout in 1907 on Brownsea Island off the coast of England, we are also serving the young boys of our time with programs to satisfy their interests, feed their imaginations, and encourage their willingness to learn while helping them grow into leaders of great character.
Our paths with B-P may have been separated by time, but our goals today for Scouting’s future are rooted in the same thinking as B-P. He shared his wisdom about Scouts with words like these that are still so meaningful today:
“The sport in Scouting is to find the good in every boy and develop it. The spirit is there in every boy; it has to be discovered and brought to light.”
Thanks, B-P, for your tremendous contributions and vision that still informs and impacts the organization and makes Scouting the nation’s foremost youth program. I urge all of you to reflect on his vision and apply that thinking to how we innovate in our service to today’s young people.