Holiday message: Gratitude, in season

WHEN THE HOLIDAY season rolls around, there’s something comfortable—even festive—about repeating the same rituals or traditions that you and your family have shared year after year.Holiday Message

Maybe it’s hanging a favorite ornament on the Christmas tree, or unpacking an heirloom Hanukkah menorah, or enjoying a favorite holiday dessert prepared from the same recipe that was passed down through the generations. Repeating the same treasured traditions makes the holidays even more meaningful and bonds us with family and friends who share them.

At the same time, you may also take a moment during the holiday season to look beyond the familiar and traditional and ahead to the new.

Sometimes, the holidays give us the gift of a little breathing room—time to step out of our daily routines and think of the bigger picture. We begin to imagine new adventures for the year ahead, and gear up mentally for new challenges. We are inspired to set new goals and seek ways to stretch and strengthen our abilities. We may even begin to see glimpses of greatness, imagining ways we can ascend to heights never considered before.

For all of us involved in Scouting, we find ourselves at a similar place this holiday season: valuing our past and looking ahead.

We uphold our treasured traditions and reaffirm the values that have made Scouting the great youth organization that it is. At the same time, we’re all looking ahead to transforming and positioning this organization for a bright and strong second 100 years. The youth of our nation deserve nothing less than our best. Our commitment to them is unwavering.

This holiday season, many great things lie ahead for Scouting. We look forward to continuing the success we’ve witnessed through Journey to Excellence, our roadmap for providing a quality Scouting experience to an ever-increasing youth membership.

We are also embracing the vision of World Scouting’s Messengers of Peace initiative, which encourages Scouts to engage in acts of community service as global peace-building activities. In addition, our new SCOUTStrong program will help build healthier lifestyles for our next generation of leaders. Meanwhile, our jewel in the New River Gorge region of West Virginia—the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve—continues to take shape and build excitement for its completion in 2013.

But here’s a tradition we’re going to repeat: As we do every year, this is the time when we thank you, our volunteers, for all that you do. Your time, your dedication, and your caring spirit make Scouting great. Your partnership with staff is stronger than ever. Your passion is resonating with young people, changing lives for the better, and helping them become Prepared. For Life.

Best wishes to you and yours for happy holidays. May this season bring you the blessings of treasured traditions and the joy of anticipating a great future.

This holiday message is written by Rex Tillerson, National President, Tico Perez, National Commissioner, and Robert Mazzuca, Chief Scout Executive.

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