Walking the Walk with Bob Mazucca

Bob Mazucca
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Bob Mazucca

Chief Scout Executive
Boy Scouts of America

Years With Scouting

In earning my Eagle Scout Award, I experienced all the fun and adventure Scouting offers young people. As an adult, I'm proud to have served as an executive in the BSA since 1971 and as Chief Scout Executive since September 2007.

Favorite Physical Activities:

Golf and walking

About Me

As a young man, Scouting introduced me to leadership skills and shaped my understanding of duty to God, country, self, and others. And, Scouting offered that same profound life-shaping impact for my two sons. What a privilege and adventure to spend my working life, in partnership with great volunteers and staff, bringing those same opportunities to young people in communities across America. My wife, Nanette, joins me in gratitude for what Scouting brings to families everywhere.

Why the BSA Walk-the-Walk Activity Challenge Is Important to Me

Scouting has always been a leader in guiding youth and adults to build and live well-rounded lives. Walk-the-Walk will draw attention to the many ways Scouting teaches and encourages healthy living.

Something Interesting About Me

In October 2010, I was privileged to be among the first to camp overnight on Garden Ground Ridge at the Summit. The night was cold, but warmed by sharing that special time in fellowship with leaders of the visionary team building this new BSA high-adventure base opening in the summer of 2013 for the national Scout jamboree.

My Blog: Week 1

I'm excited about the Walk-the-Walk activity challenge and delighted to be among the first to take this on. Similar to many BSA adult leaders, my days are often filled with meetings and conversation. But, only a little creativity is needed to find opportunity for physical activity. This first week of Walk-the-Walk found me at the BSA Annual Meeting in the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel, San Diego CA. This hotel is indeed "grand" in size. I wore out a bit of shoe leather moving up, down, and all around that hotel over 4 days of morning to night meetings and activities. And, I invited our national officers, senior staff, and spouses to (literally) walk-the-walk with me one evening. Instead of taking cabs, we walked just under a mile round-trip to and from a downtown restaurant for dinner. Felt good…and the walk was enjoyable. To stretch a few more muscles, I finished up my first week of Walk-the-Walk cutting and stacking a small mountain of tree branches in my yard for hauling away. Let's see if I can do equally well in week two of this challenge!

My Blog: Week 2

Our BSA Healthy Living Initiative is intended to be wholistic…and personal. It's as much about attention to emotional, intellectual, and spiritual well-being as it is about being physically fit within your body type. So, after an especially busy and demanding schedule these first five months of 2011, Nanette and I took a few days this past week to relax, renew, and refresh while visiting friends in our much beloved Southwestern Pennsylvania. The trip was all we hoped, and more. Time with friends can be so uplifting, and the weather was perfect for walks and a bit of hiking through woods and across fields – Scouting fitness at its best. Sunday included travel home. I wasn't sure where my fitness activity might fit in. To my delight, an early arrival at the airport provided time for a brisk 30 minute walk in the terminal. Perfect!

My Blog: Week 3

My schedule for this third week of Walk-the-Walk included fitness activities at home and on the road. Nanette and I have been enjoying a visit from our grandson, which gave me a chance to join him for a swim in our pool. And, I was able to take advantage of the Izod Indycar Series bringing the #19 BSA race car to the Texas Motor Speedway. By my good fortune, I was home to attend race day. This gave me the chance to be very intentional about walking within that massive race track facility while enjoying the race and all its activities. I wore a bit of tread off my shoes that day! The week wrapped at an iconic Scouting facility, Philmont Scout Ranch. Along with our national president and national commissioner, I participated in the first two days of a Key 3 conference there. Perhaps like you, our roles often involve a fair amount of sedentary meetings and discussions. So, we purposely planned in our schedule a walk from the Training Center to the Camping base camp and a visit to a couple of back-country camps that included a bit of (high-altitude) hiking around those areas visiting with Scouts, leaders, and staff. What great and inspiring fun! What spectacular natural beauty! I am so pleased and proud of the outdoor adventure, character development, and healthy living life skills training we offer to our youth and adult members at Philmont, Northern Tier, the Florida Sea Base, and Scout camps across this country!

My Blog: Week 4

If you've been following my Walk the Walk adventures, you'll recall I ended week #3 of the challenge walking backcountry camps at Philmont Scout Ranch with our National President, Rex Tillerson and National Commissioner, Tico Perez. For more than 70 of the now just over 100 year history of the BSA, Philmont has been a leader in developing healthy living habits within our youth members and adult leaders. And, generations of Scouts have grown stronger in mind, body, and spirit because of a Philmont experience.

Pictured at right: Leading a Tour of the Summit for Scout executives with our project leaders Issac Manning and Jack Furst.

Well, as much as week #3 concluded with one example and reminder of Scouting's historical dedication to teaching healthy living, week #4 of Walk the Walk began with an inspiring look at the unfolding of our very bold commitment to the health and well-being of America's young people through the Summit, Bechtel Family Scout Reserve.

With a group of Scout executives from across the country, I toured the site of this new BSA high-adventure base in West Virginia that will open in July 2013 to host our National Scout Jamboree. The natural beauty of the property is magnificent. The facilities will be cutting edge and world-class. Most important, the program activities will develop and encourage lifetime habits of healthy living.

No surprise, perhaps like you I find it is often neither easy nor convenient to include physical activity in a busy and demanding schedule. And, occasionally it just isn't possible. But, it is always rewarding. Onward to week #5!

My Blog: Week 5

The beautiful state of Montana provided Walk-the-Walk fitness opportunities for me to begin week #5 of the challenge. Our BSA 100th Anniversary Celebration included a partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation and AT&T to plant a BSA Centennial Forest of 100,000 trees in an area of the Flathead National Forest (Kalispell, MT) destroyed by wildfire.

Along with the tens-of-thousands of trees planted by families in communities across the country in 2010, these trees in the Flathead stand as testimony to the positive generational impact of Scouting. I was pleased and proud to join Scouts of the Montana Council in completing our 100,000 tree commitment. Together we planted the final trees. The forest will be a legacy of the BSA 100th Anniversary. These young men were terrific representatives of their fellow Scouts throughout America!

On that same trip I spent time with Montana Council President, Chuck Eubank and Scout executive Gordy Rubard hiking along the Stillwater River in the Beartooth Mountains. What spectacular natural beauty…an easy motivation to get outdoors for physical activity!

Leaving the cool temperatures of Montana behind, I was traveled back home to the summer heat of Texas over the weekend and joined Nanette in a couple of hours of yard work. Whew! Hard work. Nice to get some fitness benefit from a necessary home maintenance chore!

I've heard it said that forming a new habit typically takes 30 days of repeating the desired new behavior. Well, being just over 30 days into Walk-the-Walk I do, indeed, find myself thinking about ways to include physical activity in each day. A nice additional benefit to taking on this challenge.

Well, week #6 begins with travel to a meeting with the Scout executives of our largest councils, and opportunity to continue imbedding regular physical activity into my week. Not sure what that will be just yet. Check in next week and I'll let you know how this unfolds!

My Blog: Week 6

In a previous blog entry I noted most everyone wrestles (at least a bit) with making time for the physical activity element of health living. The schedule and demands of being the Chief Scout Executive make me part of that group. Maybe, for your own reasons, you wrestle with this too?

But, here's the thing. A favorite (personally fulfilling) physical activity can make keeping that commitment easier. For me, that most favorite of physical activities is golf and this past week I found time for some great golf.

"Great" golf can be defined by golfers any number of ways. For some, time on the links was "great" because every part of their game came together for a satisfying low score. For others it might be the weather, the challenge of the course, the beauty of nature….or one of so many other factors that can make for a memorable day on the course.

One of my favorite definitions of "great golf" is playing with others whose company I enjoy. And, that is my definition of "great golf" from this past week. I gathered with Scout executives of the largest councils in the BSA for an important time and opportunity to listen for ways the national council can better meet the needs of all council's in providing a quality Scouting experience to even more young people.

Conversation and input received in the meetings more than met what I hoped this talented and tenured group of key Scouting leaders would share with me and Wayne Brock, our Chief Operating Officer. But the fun and fellowship that occurs during a shared physical activity, like golf, builds a bond and deepens relationships that, for me, adds the powerful element of personal fulfillment. I like being with these guys and grow personally and professionally from time together.

We all likely know exactly what we should be doing to lead a healthy life. Finding a physical activity that brings personal fulfillment exponentially increases the likelihood that we'll actually do what we know we should. And, that is often the difference between making time for physical activity and making excuses.

Here's to all of us finding that activity and making plenty of time for it in our lives!

My Blog: Week 7

I heard a comedian once commenting on personal fitness. He said…"I joined a health club last year, spent about $1,400.00. I haven't lost a pound. Apparently you have to show up."

Funny. And, often an accurate commentary on human nature. When it comes to healthy living and personal fitness, we all have good intentions. Acting on those intentions is usually the tough part.

If you've followed my blog these last seven weeks, you know I can attest finding and making time for physical activity is often not easy to do. But, it is always worth doing. There were any number of times over these weeks I pushed myself because I made this promise and was determined to keep it. Some days just getting up and beginning a physical activity was tough. But I can tell you every time as I ended a physical activity I felt great for doing it. You will too.

As we wrap up this eighth and final week of the Walk-the-Walk Challenge, that comedian I mentioned had one other piece of advice as you consider fitness activities that best fit your personality and circumstances…."If you are going to try cross country skiing, start with a small country.".

My personal best wishes as you join in our healthy living initiative and set out on your own Walk-the-Walk Challenge!

My Blog: Week 8

I heard a comedian once commenting on personal fitness. He said…”I joined a health club last year, spent about $1,400.00. I haven't lost a pound. Apparently you have to show up.”

Funny. And, often an accurate commentary on human nature. When it comes to healthy living and personal fitness, we all have good intentions. Acting on those intentions is usually the tough part.

If you’ve followed my blog these last seven weeks, you know I can attest finding and making time for physical activity is often not easy to do. But, it is always worth doing. There were any number of times over these weeks I pushed myself because I made this promise and was determined to keep it. Some days just getting up and beginning a physical activity was tough. But I can tell you every time as I ended a physical activity I felt great for doing it. You will too.

As we wrap up this eighth and final week of the Walk-the-Walk Challenge, that comedian I mentioned had one other piece of advice as you consider fitness activities that best fit your personality and circumstances: ”If you are going to try cross country skiing, start with a small country.”

My personal best wishes as you join in our healthy living initiative and set out on your own Walk-the-Walk Challenge!