Scouting Begins and Ends in the Unit

Peter P. Casey
Northeast Region Commissioner
Scouting has changed so much recently and commissioners are being asked to do a great deal more in our second 100 years. Some may feel uncertain about our priorities or where to focus their attention.

Reorganizations, changing information systems, and our new Internet presence and focus on social networking are designed to allow more effective communication with each other and with youth. Journey to Excellence, UVTS 2.0, and the Voice of the Scout are designed to direct our efforts toward improving retention by helping improve unit success. These changes require that we learn more, think differently, and become guiding agents for positive change.

Even with all this change, Scouting still begins and ends in units! Units—and their mission, methods and purpose—have not changed at all!

Units still do most of the recruiting—mostly on their own, day after day. Units still deliver Scouting’s programs, with some help, but mostly on their own, day to day, month to month. Scouting happens in units. Units are where youth members develop character, leadership, and fitness. Youth stay because they enjoy their units, and their friends join them only if convinced the unit is delivering on the promise. Growth and retention only occurs in strong units!

Become friends, advisors, consultants, and helpers to units. Deliver the knowledge and resources units need to be successful in person. Deliver it to unit leaders and unit committees and to chartered organization representatives. Visit often because it is the only way to truly help. Can we possibly have a more important priority?

Growth and retention will surely follow and “The Main Thing”—providing a quality Scouting experience to as many young people as possible for the next 100 years—will be realized. Thank you for all you are doing.