In response to the national media coverage surrounding the Boy Scouts of America, several local community leaders submitted opinion pieces to the local publication. I would encourage everyone involved in philanthropic efforts both locally and nationally to read the article in full. I believe it is a great piece to combat the negative stories that have overwhelmed the narrative lately.
Also, there is an element to consider how you could use a similar strategy for crisis public relations management should the need ever arise. I am incredibly thankful to have the support of local leadership in the scout and the community so that we could share the impact this organization has had on so many individuals throughout their lives. Below is my contribution to the article:
The Boy Scouts organization has had too much of an impact on my life to sit back and watch these events unfold from the sidelines. There has been much confusion surrounding the bankruptcy announcement by the National Boy Scouts of America. There is a sense of uncertainty about what this will mean for scouting both now and in the future.
The decisions at the national level are proactive in ensuring that those affected by the sins a few are taken care of in a meaningful way while ensuring the longevity of the organization for future generations. For perspective, many of the allegations that have come out recently are from a past so distant I wasn’t even alive when they occurred.
What I can attest to is that today the Boy Scouts set the standard for youth protections. Our organization’s strict policies have been adopted by organizations across the country and around the world as the gold standard.
From a local perspective, the organization is financially healthy. We are breaking ground on new projects across our camps for youth in our communities to enjoy, grow, and learn from for years to come.
Opening our doors with indifference to sexual orientation or gender created a more welcoming organization that I am proud to stand behind. Our local council welcomed over 300 young women within the past year and I look forward to bearing witness to next year’s Eagle reception which will include the first class of young women to receive their Eagle rank.
In a myriad of ways, scouts make our communities better. Our local council’s combined efforts exceeded 40,000 volunteer hours, which included over 10,000 meals served to victims of the recent tornados and raised nearly $10,000 in contributions for those affected.
At age 17 I became an Eagle Scout and 17 years later I have joined the Miami Valley Council board because I understand the lasting impact of this organization during my formative years. It is because of this organization and the many mentors throughout my life that I have become the leader that I am today. Lessons learned during that time continue to serve as a leader within my company and throughout my involvement in the community. Wilderness Agency was named as such because I wanted to create an organization rooted in the ethos of scouting. Today we are an organization that invests our time and talents into growing our local economies, helping our country, and lessening the suffering of others.
Recently, I revisited the Scout Law and discovered that so many of those values have remained constant throughout my life.
TRUSTWORTHY. To speak from a place of truth in all situations. To keep promises and be a person others can depend upon.
LOYAL. To show care for friends, family, and community.
HELPFUL. Volunteer to help others whenever I am able.
FRIENDLY. To go about my day-to-day life with the intention to be a positive impact on other’s lives.
COURTEOUS. To be thoughtful in my actions and understand how they impact others.
KIND. To live every day with the intention of making the world a better place.
OBEDIENT. To be of service to those around me and in my community.
CHEERFUL. To walk through this world with an optimistic view. Cheerfully going about tasks that come my way.
THRIFTY. To live a life where I use my time, food, supplies, and natural resources wisely and not wastefully.
BRAVE. To face difficult situations head-on and do what is morally right.
CLEAN. To keep my body and mind fit. Help keep my home and community clean.
REVERENT. To be reverent towards my creator and respectful of the beliefs of others.
These are the values that I aspire to live by every day and share with those around me. In a world with so many people who are self-interested, deceitful and immoral in their actions, now more than ever we need this organization to help spread the message of how to conduct oneself in ways that are selfless and moral.
History has shown that this organization is the most successful in our nation for creating future leaders. That matters to the future of our communities. The decisions made at the national level are doing what scouts are known for: taking care of others with the best intentions. The decision that we need to make at the local level is if we will stand up with our time, voices and dollars to say this organization matters.