Focusing on the Future

Submitted by Chuck Eaton, Scout Executive and CEO

Our Council, Spirit of Adventure is in transition. That’s pretty clear by nature of the merger, and our strategic objectives:

  • Build the Northern NeXus
  • Open Camp Sayre to the public as New England Base Camp
  • Reinvigorate Scouting by making it Thrive in Our Communities

This can be a tough and confusing process. Some Executive Board and District-level volunteers – as well as some Council Staff – have, for their own independent reasons, separated from the council. Regardless of their individual reasons, each one of them still expresses a long-term commitment to our new direction.

The transition itself causes ambiguity, causing “the council” to ask a lot of questions. Focus groups, anecdotal stories, analysis of trends, and a host of thoughtful exercises work together to help develop a detailed plan. This strategic plan will ultimately end the ambiguity and develop a council that can help Scouting thrive.

As we listen and craft this Council together, we can start to see some pieces of the new culture come clearly into focus.

We are dedicated to the following:

  1. ScoutBook – this new software and its ability to directly impact online registration, program enhancement, and the empowerment of units
  2. Program development – providing resources that help the Scout program come alive
    • (For example: helping Den leaders provide hands-on advancement-oriented, and exciting outdoor activities at convenient locations)
  3. Customer service – training and retraining staff and volunteers around customer service to provide the standard of care to which families are accustomed
  4. Exciting volunteer opportunities – creating easy volunteer on-boarding programs and increasing volunteer satisfaction

These positive additions will come at a price. We have to reorganize and reinvest. We understand that the transition is difficult. Each District’s Key Three members will meet on February 25 to refine these plans. The officers and board have been reviewing draft plans for the past six weeks. We have been holding listening sessions and focus groups since the very beginning 11 months ago.

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.” – Abraham Lincoln

This quote is quite appropriate for the stage of development for our Spirit of Adventure Council. If we use Lincoln’s analogy, we have been sharpening the ax for 3 hours and 45 minutes.

Thanks for your patience