Chiefly Speaking - April 2017
Written by Justin St. Louis, Section Chief
It was on a foggy street one night in London when William D. Boyce, an American newspaper man and entrepreneur, had lost his way. In his moment of darkness, an unknown Scout came to his aid, guiding him back to his destination. The boy refused Boyce’s offer for a tip, explaining that he was merely doing his duty as a Boy Scout. Immediately afterwards, Boyce met with General Robert Baden-Powell, who was the head of the UK’s Boy Scout Association at that time. Boyce then returned to America, and, four months later, founded the Boy Scouts of America. However, this was later claimed to be a story developed for marketing purposes by the first Chief Scout Executive; it is one that truly captures the essence of Scouting.
The Boy Scouts of America is an organization that has not grown in membership since 1968. Scouting’s story has been a positive voice in the lives of so many for so long, but the unfortunate truth is that the Boy Scouts of America could very well not exist 15 years from today. We cannot let this happen. Now is the time to reverse the downward spiral by making scouting more accessible to every youth in the world. Failure is not an option.
The Order of the Arrow was founded upon the principle that not only should Arrowmen live up to the values of the Scout Oath and Law, but they should encourage others to do the same. As “Scouting’s National Honor Society” – Arrowmen are best equipped with the leadership, skills, and spirit to reverse this spiral. The Order of the Arrow has the opportunity to grow Scouting as it is more important to do in this day and age than it ever has been before. At the inaugural New England Fellowship; Arrowmen will collaborate, innovate, and think differently as we dream of ways to Embrace Tomorrow.
This common understanding that the Order of the Arrow is the group best equipped to change the direction of the BSA’s membership crisis drove the council of chiefs to have this discussion and decide on the theme - Embrace Tomorrow.
I look forward to challenging the ordinary and identifying ways to Embrace Tomorrow, together during the New England Fellowship the weekend of June 9-11 at Hidden Valley in Gilmanton Iron Works, NH. Click here to learn more about how to Embrace Tomorrow at our New England Fellowship website!
With the energy to innovate,
Justin St. Louis
NE-1 Section Chief