Step into my shoes

Step into my shoes

I’m often asked: what is a typical day for the Chief Scout Executive?

One of things that make the job so interesting is that there is no typical day and there are no boring days.

I am usually in the office only half the time.  I make myself as available as I can to make trips to local councils.  I may be there to deliver speeches or make other public appearances, but I also take time to get a grasp of how things are going at the unit and council levels to deliver the best Scouting experience possible.

I like to lend a hand whenever I can because I want our local leaders to realize that the real essence of Scouting lies not in the programs – but the outcomes – which are achieved through the methods of Scouting.  If the kids aren’t having fun at weekly meetings, we need to understand why. If our leaders need more and better tools to achieve more positive results, I want to know where and why. This gives me a sense of how well we are accomplishing our mission and where help is needed.

I also learn a lot from visits to the heads of national chartered partners, board members, members of Congress and attending national events.  These trips give me a sense of what our decision makers think of how good a job we are doing in serving America’s youth, and how we might work with them to offer fresh, new experiences that appeal to today’s young people.

About twice a year I also attend international Scouting events such as the World Scout Conference and B.P. Fellowship events for the World Scout Foundation.  In all, I have visited 31 countries representing the BSA over past seven years. In every case it has been so refreshing to see how Scouting has come alive all over the world in so many different and meaningful ways.

Back at headquarters, after my first cup of coffee, doing a quick Google search on BSA stories and tackling my to-do list, my “typical” days can quickly fill with meetings on subjects ranging from legal issues to IT strategy and public relations to HR.  I also squeeze in video shoots to communicate with our employees and volunteers; I like to use technology whenever possible to stay in touch.

It’s also great to have visits from local council members who are in town for training courses and help with any concerns or projects that are important to their Scouts. And surprisingly, aside from my weekly call with our National President and National Commissioner, I spend relatively little time on the telephone.

The job is challenging, sometimes stressful, but always rewarding because I know that for all the stress and challenges, collectively we are making a difference in the lives of young people.  I bet any Scouter reading this blog, whether volunteer or employee, can say the same things about their Scouting experience.  And to all of you, thank you for what you do for the youth of America through Scouting.


Nathan Johnson

As a member of the Communications team at Boy Scouts of America, Nathan Johnson enjoys finding and sharing the stories that inform, inspire, and delight the Scouting family.


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Step into my shoes
Step into my shoes
Step into my shoes