Submitted by Chuck Eaton, Scout Executive and CEO

It’s far more than a hash tag: it’s the mission of our Council. I’d even say it’s the mission of every Council. We spent a lot of time during the merger process discussing possibilities, opportunities, and how we might create an entirely new entity devoted to the idea of helping Scouting Thrive in every community.

Since we merged, our committees have been busy planning, building, challenging past ideas, raising money, and – most importantly – listening to and vetting concepts.

People often find change unsettling, and bring personal paradigms and history to the change process. Just like we took six months to listen and and affirm the direction, so too the unveiling of our new Council takes time. Each little nuance effects every other decision, and often other committees, so the decision making process can be a complex. We can’t create a new Council oriented to deliver a comprehensive mission without comprehensive change.

Because of this, and the sheer volume of alterations, we’ve decided to release each decision as it is approved. We continue to welcome your feedback as we go. Over the next 45 days or so, through social media we will make announcements. Each announcement will share the hash tag #ScoutingTHRIVES

This will allow public dialogue about each specific item, and an easy way for anyone to go back through the hashtag to catch up on the conversation. Ultimately we will have a physical launch for the new programs and support during the first few days in January. These events will provide the materials and details for all the programs.

The basis for all changes are the listening sessions, feedback, and the ongoing discussions we’ve been providing since January. Many of the tactical steps are already well-known to the Scouting community (like Camp Sayre open to the public, or creating the Northern Nexus). Others include the live support on Saturdays, the simplification of the merit badge counselor process, increased media and external communication, SOAR 2016, and more. But the strategies behind those moves are less well-known, and they also come from the listening sessions and unit leader feedback. Most of the listening sessions provided insight into the struggles of running a scout unit and people sought ways to simply the process – remove obstacles. The top two things unit leaders asked for proactively are
1. Help recruiting adults (and scouts)
2. Help expanding the outdoor program

As you read the announcements please provide thoughts and feedback and keep those two elements in mind: they should be embedded in everything The Spirit of Adventure Council does.

Please share this blog with your unit parents or others in your scouting community. Also, take a moment to search #ScoutingTHRIVES: it’ll provide a few early announcements you may have missed, and provide an overall view of the tone.

Thanks again!
See you around the campfire