National Commissioner Minute

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Tico Perez
National Commissioner

My fellow commissioners,

Regardless of the outcome of the current membership standards policy discussion, one thing is clear: It is time for everyone within the Scouting family to work together to stay focused on that which ties us together as a Scouting family. Make no mistake—that which unites us is reaching and serving young people to help them grow into good, strong citizens. It is critical that we move forward together.

Scouting has engaged its audiences in this important discussion and has worked hard to create an environment where people who may disagree on a variety of topics can still work together to achieve life-changing benefits to youth through the magic that is Scouting. As I write this, we are more than seven weeks away from a vote on a yet-undefined resolution at the National Annual Meeting in May. I cannot predict the sum or substance of where we may find ourselves in terms of the membership standards question as we reflect on this journey. What is becoming increasingly clear to me and to so many others is that we should reaffirm that America needs Scouting. We have also learned through this process that America cares deeply about the Scouting program. No doubt some people, both inside and outside of the Scouting family, will be happy with the ultimate decision, whatever it may be. Others will disagree. We are more convinced than ever that notwithstanding our differences about the issue at hand, the tie that binds us is stronger than any that could divide us.

Our next challenge is implementation. When we entered this discussion, our goal was to develop and execute a comprehensive plan leading to a vote at the National Annual Meeting while minimizing any disruption in the delivery of the Scouting program. Together, it is time to draw upon our best Scouting experiences, traditions, and values to refine our delivery system in order to reach more youth and to continue to retain the youth we presently serve. In that regard, our mission as Scouters has not changed. Similarly, we need to embrace our chartered organizations, families, professional staff, and hundreds of thousands of volunteers who make it possible to deliver a quality, life-changing program in communities across America.

In many ways, the spirit of the commissioner corps is the glue that ties us together as volunteers. Our commissioner corps can and should lead the way as we move forward together.

Thank you for all that you do and will continue to do to serve the youth of America.