As part of the ongoing process to identify how to optimize the Boy Scouts of America for success in the future, the National Executive Committee (NEC) recently asked the National Management Team to facilitate the evaluation of the 26 primary proposed recommendations that resulted from the Churchill Project. In addition to receiving survey input from Scouting stakeholders, the Management Team also evaluated inputs from individual Action Teams, whose work helped explain the efforts that would be needed to implement each recommendation should it be approved by the NEC to move forward.
Late last week, the National Executive Committee reviewed and agreed with the recommendations of the Management Team to move forward with 15 of the 26 proposed actions, which can be characterized by the following priorities.
- Keeping Youth Safety at the Forefront – Keeping youth in our programs safe is a priority, and recommendations that seek to bolster the processes surrounding youth safety, including onboarding, incident reporting and easy-to-navigate resources, are moving forward so that we can continue evolving and improving upon our youth safety programs that experts agree are some of the strongest among youth-serving organizations.
- Engaging and Empowering Volunteers – Volunteers continue to be vital in our ability to deliver an engaging and rewarding Scouting program in communities throughout our organization. Recommendations that help engage and empower more volunteers to deliver and support Scouting locally will move forward, which will be vital to our Movement’s sustainability since financial challenges prevent us from being able to meet demands with professional staff alone.
- Streamlining to Enable Local Council Success – In addition to moving forward with recommendations focused at streamlining our structure, events and processes, we will also move forward with the recommendation to focus the services that the national organization provides to what local councils need most and cannot effectively or efficiently handle alone so that councils can focus on bringing Scouting to youth, families and communities with the support of local volunteers.
Recommendations that were paused for possible consideration of implementation in the future, include:
- Establishing a fee-based structure for councils in place of the National BSA collecting membership fees from councils, and
- Creating a non-traditional membership category for families that is focused on experiences, rather than advancement.
The Management Team will be reviewing those two recommendations while they are on pause for how they may be beneficial to the Movement in the future.
The NEC also agreed that the following three recommendations will not be considered at this time:
- Combining Sea Scouting into Exploring,
- Ending all youth programs at the age of 18, and
- Sunsetting the Learning for Life curriculum
Although we are not moving forward with these recommendations, we will continue the dialog that prompted the recommendations to ensure that we continue to benefit as a Movement from the evaluation and analysis conducted by the Churchill teams that studied those areas.
We continue to extend our gratitude to the teams of volunteers and professionals that worked hard to evaluate the important areas of the Churchill Project, an important initiative that engaged local, regional and national volunteers and professionals to create the catalyst for positive changes that will propel the BSA forward. These steps chart a continuous improvement process for the organization that will benefit youth, families, communities, and the entire Movement.
As the namesake of the project, we turn to Winston Churchill in closing,
“There is no time for ease and comfort. It is time to dare and endure.”
Let us all embrace this thought as we forge ahead, knowing that change is never easy, but let us be bold and daring in our decisions both locally and nationally to ensure we emerge from this challenging time poised to serve even more young people in this great Movement we call Scouting.