We are entering the “most wonderful time of the year,” starting with a feast focused on gratitude and ending with a countdown to the new calendar. In between is a time that hopefully is joyful, reflective, and full of fun, love and memories. But it’s also incredibly busy. The holiday season is one of many times each year when hundreds of thousands of people across the country sacrifice and juggle to find time in their hectic schedules to make Scouting programs happen.

I am grateful to each and every one of you leaders, volunteers and parents for giving your time, energy and heart to helping young people have once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Without you, Scouting wouldn’t exist.

You mentor and shape the leaders of the future through a thousand small, sometimes thankless tasks: coordinating meeting locations, setting up chairs, shopping for supplies, driving vans, camping in the cold, and finding the balance between stepping in to help and stepping back to let young people learn on their own.

It’s a tough gig, but it makes an incredible difference in the lives of young people. Through your efforts, the next generation builds character, learns to lead and develops skills they will use for a lifetime. Thank you.

In this issue, you’ll see a feature outlining how some of our volunteers balance their work, family and Scouting responsibilities. Perhaps some of their tips will be helpful to you, and likely many of their experiences will reflect your own.

Personally, these stories impress me and make me glad to see that often the reason that Scouting fits into people’s lives is because it becomes central to their family life and to their community. I hope that is your experience as well and that Scouting has added family adventures and lifelong friendships to your life.   

Know that the tremendous effort you give to shape our world into a better place to live is appreciated. This is a wonderful community to be a part of, and you’ve given me so much to be thankful for.

May you all have a wonderful holiday season.

Yours in Scouting,

Michael Surbaugh

Chief Scout Executive

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