a publication for commissioners and professionals

Fall 2021


Scott Sorrels,
National Commissioner

Culture Matters

I recently read about Eagle Scout Nolan Ridgeway’s inspiring hike of 2653 miles along the Pacific Crest trail, extending from the Mexican border all the way to Canada. He hiked as much as 49 miles in 17 hours. Nolan is one of fewer than 8000 people who have completed the entire trek. Were there times when the going was challenging? You can count on it. Did he persevere to reach his goal? Absolutely.

It seems appropriate to draw some parallels to the journey currently faced by American families and the Scouting movement. Nolan’s journey is a story of remarkable dedication, resilience, preparation and execution – something that we as Scouters intrinsically understand, guided by the Scout Oath and Law, as we work together to positively impact the lives of those we serve, even if we have never met.

Every commissioner, Scouter, professional and parent can ably offer their own interpretation of our unit service cultural statement — “Be the Heart, Build Relationships, Change Lives” — and we welcome that discussion. I think it is a powerful and elegant statement of why we serve Scouting.

I am drawn back to certain fundamentals. As commissioners and Scouters, we are the custodians of the Scouting movement. We, along with all who are called to serve others, carry in our souls what it means to be the heart of Scouting. We may each have our own definition, but we all know what it means to be the heart.

I have met the most remarkable people in Scouting: lifelong friends, trusted confidantes, selfless servants. We know that relationships matter in our ability to fulfill the mission of Scouting. These relationships also personally enrich our lives well beyond the Scouting program.

We exist for one reason — to instill the values of the Scout Oath and Law in the hearts of today’s generation and those yet to be born. In my world, that means my grandson and new Lion Cub Scout, and his mom, our newly trained den leader, who are thrilled beyond words to start their Scouting journey together. It will be fun, safe, and it will change their lives.

today is to grow the Scouting movement. Get out of your committee setting and into a camp setting, where you can experience the magic of Scouting. Then go start a cub pack or a Lion cub den, and deliver the promise.

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