Tuesday, May 26, 2009

To blog or not to blog....

This may go down in the record books as one of the worst periods of blogging I have ever had. I offer my sincerest apologies to all of those who regularly read what has recently been a less-than-daily blog. Part of it has been due to an overabundance of work, while the other part has been that I've been out of town. It is usually my practice to recap a vacation after the fact rather than comment on it as it unfolds. Nevertheless, the period leading up to the National Annual Meeting of the Boy Scouts of America was especially busy and my ability to write was severely compromised. Even after I had left for Orlando, several clients, friends and family had expected I would be available for them with computing help, but I was forced to advise them of my departure and that I did not expect to return until late yesterday. Many of them know of my commitment to Scouting. I have been quite involved since my son was in lower school. My work has led me to work with dens and later Cub Scout packs. After that I became involved with Boy Scouts and Venturing. My dedication has led me to work on a district and council level and in some cases on a regional and national basis. I volunteer for two national committees at present and have become a dedicated member of the youth-led Order of the Arrow, the BSA's honor society of Scouts and Scouters. My eleven-hour drive to Orlando enabled me to learn more about the 100th anniversary of the BSA, with the crowning achievement expected to be the final Jamboree that will be held at Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C. in late July and August. Several factors are figuring in what I will cautiously announce as the greatest gathering of Boy Scouts in this country since its founding. Aside from the fact that it is the centennial year of Scouting in America, there are huge numbers of attendees and support personnel who are even now formulating plans to make this event a safe and meaningful experience for Scouts and Scouters alike with bigger and better displays and venues. There will be an Internet and multimedia presence at the Jamboree that will blow all other previous events out of the water. The Jamboree will be gigantic. But the good news for all of Scouting is that change has come to the BSA, like it or not. That was the theme of this year's meeting "Building the Brand." The "new BSA" is leaner and more consolidated, allowing councils to be supported in a better fashion than in the past. Chief Scout Executive Robert Mazzuca has restructured the administration and, with newly installed National Commissioner Tico Perez and President John Gottshalk lending logistical support, they are on the brink of bringing about much-needed dynamic changes for the organization founded by William Boyce and others in 1910. They are all working to make social networking like Twitter and Facebook a part of the Scouting family. In the coming months a new national BSA website will be unveiled and other interactive uses of the world wide web will follow. So, in a word, I am jazzed. I can't wait to contribute to this tremendous effort to revitalize and reinvigorate a movement that has lost momentum in trying times. But these are the times that demand young leaders, the type of leaders that Scouting will mint in the future. It is time to trumpet the praises of what Scouting means to kids across the nation who depend on it. It's time for everyone to stop pointing accusing fingers and lend a hand to raise up the youth who need what Scouting offers. I am ready to get the ball rolling as we advance towards the centennial year. In the meantime I will take an oath to be more regular in my blogging and try to continue to post items of interest in a more timely fashion. So, I'll do my best and hope that you will be prepared for them.

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