Of the 100 years of Scouting, I have been involved in many of them, as a Cub Scout, a Boy Scout, a Cub Scout Leader, and a Boy Scout leader. And, what have I learned along the way?
What is Boy Scouting all about? Is it about badges? Is it about camping? Is it about leadership or service? Is it about values? Or, is it about just plain fun, with a purpose? The simple answer is, yes, Scouting is about all of those things.
Yet, what I have learned most is just how amazing you boys can be when we put you in the Scouting environment. We can teach you, and you will impress us by what you can do. We can sit back and watch you, and you will amuse us by what you will do. But, when we find just the right combination of guidance and freedom then you absolutely astonish us with what you can accomplish.
You see, the Scouting environment changes the way you perceive the boy you have been. It makes you who you are today. And, it will influence the man you will become. But, it doesn’t stop there. You learn skills, you experience leadership, and you develop values, all while having some good clean fun. And, using all of that, you will impact the world. Maybe you’ll just help out one person, or maybe you will lead a whole nation. Maybe you’ll nurse one small animal back to health, or maybe you will save the environment. Getting prepared to do such good turns is what Scouting is really all about.
So, while the last 100 years of Scouting have been great, the next 100 years of Scouting are going to be even better. How do I know that? Because the boys in this room are going to make it happen. With just the right balance of guidance and freedom, they will achieve their full potential to make this world a better place. And, while reading history is quaint, making history is far more exciting.