Scouting family, we are once again at a historic milestone as we answer the call we heard from so many of you: to make our iconic programs available to boys and girls. Since we first announced this intention, the feeling of momentum in our movement has been widespread. In the last year, we invited families to Cub Scouts and welcomed tens of thousands of new young people to packs across the nation. Simultaneously, thousands of professionals and volunteers have put in countless hours of hard work to prepare our older youth program for the introduction of Scouts BSA.
I could not be more excited for what this means for our movement and for the next generation of leaders in our nation. I fervently believe in the strength of our programs and their ability to change lives. In just a few days, young men and women will be able to benefit from our unique approach to character and leadership development through any of our programs. At the same time, those who continue to provide Scouting to all-boy packs and troops are supported in their decision to offer youth in their community that opportunity. Regardless of unit-specific approaches, through Scouts BSA, more young people than ever before will get to experience the benefits of camaraderie, confidence, resilience, trustworthiness, courage and kindness. They will have the opportunity to progress through a program that has been proven to build character and leadership.
This step better aligns our offerings with the needs of today’s families, who are busier than ever and want their daughters and sons to be able to grow through activities that spark their interest and imagination. Right now, most families in this country – 70 million children – are not engaged with any character-building youth development program. Scouts BSA can now help address that unmet need. Our country needs and deserves more young people focused on the values that serve as the bedrock of our movement; duty to God and country, with a desire to help other people at all times.
Thank you to every person whose efforts have brought us here. And thank you all in advance for the energy and heart that I know you will put into giving new Scouts and their families a warm welcome into our programs.
To those who are new, I am proud to welcome you, and to those that return, thank you for being the heart of what makes our movement great. We are thrilled for the steps you take today and for the journey and life lessons that await in the adventures ahead.
Yours in Scouting,