Our new Strategic Plan 1998-2002, "Strong Values, Strong Leaders, Character Counts," outlines the critical issues and strategies for bringing Scouting to more youth than ever into the next century.
The plan states that our mission is "to prepare young people to make ethical choices over their lifetime by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law." And our vision statement pledges that the BSA will continue to be America's top program for developing personal values, leadership skills, and character, through a rewarding program of fun and outdoor activities.
The selfless contribution of individual adult volunteers like you, the majority of whom serve our youth in the front lines as leaders at the unit level, is appreciated today more than ever. As much as anyone, you understand the vital importance of bringing Scouting's values-based program to a greater percentage of youth than ever before.
One area in which you can be especially effective is the Strategic Plan's key effort to increase both total membership and the number of traditional Cub Scout packs and Boy Scout troops. More than ever, you can serve as a personal ambassador for Scouting, telling your friends, co-workers, other parents and youth, community leaders, and institutional representatives about your commitment to the program.
Especially remember would-be Tiger Cubs and Cub Scouts. Next fall, boys aged 7 and older will be more eager than ever to hear about Cub Scouting, thanks to our 1999 national membership Roundup campaign featuring the cartoon feline Garfield as official "spokescat" and the slogan "Because too much fun is never enough." Take every opportunity to talk to them about the great things in Cub Scouting--like the excitement of a pinewood derby, the fun of a family camping trip, or the challenges of a bicycle rodeo.
Working together, we can make the worthy goals of our Strategic Plan a reality. The ultimate beneficiaries will be the youth of America--and our nation's future.
To every one of you, and to your families, we offer our best wishes for a joyous holiday season and a new year full of good Scouting.
Edward E. Whitacre Jr.
President, Boy Scouts of America
Jere B. Ratcliffe
Chief Scout Executive
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