It’s a season of first pages, blank notebooks and new shoes. A time to share stories of adventures with old friends and meet new faces in unfamiliar halls. For the Boy Scouts of America, the new school year is a time of hospitality and invitation. This is our recruiting season.

For many youth, Cub Scout recruitment is their first experience with our organization. Maybe it comes as a flyer sent home in a backpack or an invitation text to Mom from a classmate’s parent for School Night for Scouting. However the opportunity arrives, families this fall will take a first step together to explore whether our program is right for their child’s needs. I know that once they take that step, they’ll find a program that welcomes their child and their whole family.

Many youth programs offer the opportunity for fun activities, a chance to spend time with friends and even develop leadership skills. But there is no program in America that delivers the kind of leadership training and character development the Boy Scouts of America provides to American youth. Cub Scouting fuels kids’ imaginations and creativity, and helps them build confidence and learn new skills in a fun environment outside the classroom. And unlike other programs, Cub Scouting also offers a way for families to spend time together.

In this issue of Scouting, you can read about how the various BSA programs are serving the needs of five different Scouting families. For each of their unique circumstances, they found that we fit their family life. That’s what our programs are designed to do, and I am grateful to see these children thriving.

From kindergarten to age 21, the Boy Scouts of America offers programs for young people to engage in unparalleled adventures, training and community service. The positive impact of Scouting grows even more when Cub Scouts continue with the program through Scouts BSA or Venturing. In fact, a study found that Eagle Scouts are more likely to be in a leadership position as adults in their careers or communities, be goal-oriented, and donate money to or volunteer for charitable groups.

You’ll see some Eagle Scouts living that kind of leadership in this issue of the magazine, as well — don’t miss their story of cycling across the country for Scouting! But any time spent in Scouting has lasting impacts. There is a small window to make a meaningful impact on children and shape the people they might become as adults. Scouting helps parents and families fill this critical need and make the most of right now.

I hope that, as we invite new families into our ranks this recruiting season, every member of our organization will remember a Scout is friendly. Scouting might not be a fit for every family, but every family should know they are welcome here. Let’s make the most of this season to help more families grow in leadership and character together.

Yours in Scouting,

Michael Surbaugh 

Chief Scout Executive

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