The BSA’s top leadership is actively considering the question of how the organization can serve more young women, National Commissioner Charles Dahlquist II told a packed tent of Scouting leaders on Thursday.
On the topic of Family Scouting, which Dahlquist described as “young ladies joining Scouting,” the BSA is in listening mode, collecting candid evaluations from councils across the country.
“We want to do the right thing for Scouting,” Dahlquist said. “I don’t want to get 20 years down the road and have our great grandchildren say, ‘What was grandpap thinking about?’”
Duty to God and BSA’s character-based program continue as the cornerstones of the BSA and are extremely important to our national leaders. Dahlquist said the BSA’s leaders are working to offer the same program to girls without changing or diluting Scouting values.
On another issue, he said that “Ministering Contacts” is a key focus for commissioners. That involves moving beyond the mechanics and metrics of a unit to who the leaders are — listening,more listening and ministering to the units. Retention is extremely important.
“The longer we keep Scouts in Scouting, the more likely they are to accomplish the purposes or the mission of the Boy Scouts of America,” Dahlquist said. “It is one thing to memorize the Scout Oath and Law. It is another thing to have it ingrained so significantly that they live those values all their lives.”
Despite a recent delay with Roundtable materials, the Roundtables are an absolute priority for the BSA, Dahlquist said. “Roundtables are where we continually learn and share.”
The delay has been addressed, and Dahlquist said that it will not happen again. In the future, Roundtable materials should always arrive in May, he said.
Dahlquist concluded with a message that while we are scattered all over the world, we should each lift and bear our own load where we stand and keep the light of Scouting alive. He quoted Jim Tarr speaking at the 1977 Jamboree, “We are each only one light, but together we are 45,000 strong, and when you leave here going all over the world you will light this country by keeping the light of Scouting alive.”