Farewell letter from Chief Scout Executive Robert Mazzuca

Read more about the new Chief Scout Executive Wayne Brock at Bryan on Scouting.

MY FRIENDS, this is my last column as Chief Scout Executive. I am retiring.

Lord Baden-Powell said, “No one can pass through life, any more than he can pass through a bit of country, without leaving tracks behind, and those tracks may often be helpful to those coming after him in finding their way.”

I am extremely confident about the future of the Boy Scouts of America, because of the remarkable journey we have been on together. And I think together we’ve left more than a few helpful tracks.

  • We’ve transformed ourselves as an organization and redefined what we mean by “success.”
  • We’ve reintroduced Scouting to the American people and the world through our 100th Anniversary Celebration.
  • We’ve stepped out boldly as an advocate for young people, thanks to a combination of our SCOUTStrong health initiative, increased outreach to underserved neighborhoods, and advances in Youth Protection policies.
  • We’ve raised the bar, through our Journey to Excellence initiative, to help each council deliver a quality Scouting experience and build a sustainable future for our movement.

And the future is even brighter.

With help from partners like Exxon-Mobil, we are preparing Scouts for the careers of tomorrow by further integrating science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) into our programs, including the launch of the STEM-NOVA Award program (see Page 33).

Meanwhile, our high-adventure bases—Philmont, Northern Tier, and the Florida Sea Base—are experiencing banner attendance and providing life-changing experiences. And in the mountains of West Virginia, the new Summit Bechtel Reserve continues to receive huge support.

Our vision behind the Summit helps us capture the innovation and creativity that is so important to Scouting’s future. It will redefine how we serve our Scouts and deliver a broad statement about all that we have accomplished in our first century, as well as what we can look forward to in the future.

We’ve also received terrific third-party validation of our mission to help our Scouts become “Prepared. For Life.” A Baylor University study, funded by the John Templeton Foundation and released this year, shows how young men involved in Scouting for more than two years become stronger supporters of their families and communities.

What a great 40 years I have experienced in Scouting! I am so proud of the wonderful volunteers, staff, and Scouting professionals with whom I have worked over the years. And I’m particularly proud of the millions of young people we have brought along the Scouting trail during that time. I wish them all Godspeed in whichever life path they choose to follow.

Yes, it is my time to leave. Now, Scouting’s future is in your hands. But let’s be clear: Our new leadership will keep us on course with an unwavering commitment to delivering a high-quality Scouting experience to every young person.

The goals and initiatives that have been launched and wrapped around the new BSA are not going away. We’ve blazed a wonderful trail together, and I have enjoyed every minute.

The BSA’s new Chief Scout Executive will be announced May 21. Check our blog, blog.scoutingmagazine.org, for the announcement.


  1. I recently watched an epesode of Scouting for Adventure and saw your name.What a surprise.Based on the little that I’ve read you have been dedicated to the scouts.Congratulations on your accomplishments and best wishes for your future with BSA.

  2. Chief: A most sincere “thank you” on behalf of the 2.7 million Scouts and my fellow Scouters that have the honor of guiding them. We have enjoyed your leadership and vision and Scouting is in a better position now than when you started. You have prepared us for future success and we appreciate all you have done.

  3. This man will truly leave behind a legacy of fine scouters who have managed to make a full, vocational commitment to the greatest brotherhood on earth, and I’ll miss him for it. God Speed Mr. Mazzuca, God Speed!.

  4. Robert Mazzuca congradulations on your contributions to the Boy Scouts of America. I have been active in Scouting for 29 years and have seen changes in the program all for the good of Scouting. I first joined the BSA at the age of 12 in 1949 and the experience was life changing for me. The BSA was instrumental in building the way I would lead my life in adulthood. Congradulations to the new Chief Scout Wayne Brock and we wish him well in his tenure as the leader of the most important responsibilty that a Scout Leader can have. The future of of the youth of America. Sincerely, Trenton Spears
    Scoutmaster Troop 144
    Southern Sierra Council # 30
    Kern County, CA

  5. Your service is noted. Verle Kins, a retired Boy Scout Executive in Region 7 and my father once said, “there are two ways that you can live forever, if you know the Lord, and in the memories of the hearts you left behind.” Thank you Robert for your service to God and the youth of America!

  6. I’m a former cub scout and being part of scouting back in the 1950s was great, but given the BSA’s policies that discriminates against LGBT youth disappoints me to say the least. So I’m pleased that Robert Mazzuca is leaving the organization. Perhaps that will create a space where change can happen.

  7. Best wishes to you Bob,
    I just received a copy of Boys Life to find that you are the Chief Exec and retiring. What a journey from 1977 and Sacramento CA. I was a member of the Golden Empire Council Explorer Presidents Association back when you were our Exec. You gave me a lot of personal inspiration to achieve in life. I doubt I would be as successful as I am today without having encountered you. Thank you. My Son is just starting his Scouting journey and I know he will be guided well by the leadership you have instilled throughout the program. You’re awesome Bob, thank you.
    If you’re in New Mexico and have the time, look me up maybe we can do lunch.
    Mark Mackay

  8. Congratulations on your retirement. Hopefully your narrow minded belief system and discrimination will exit when you do.

  9. I am an Eagle Scout, OA member and Assistant Scoutmaster. I am deeply disappointed by the decision of BSA to promolgate discrimination and narrow views on diversity. I do not believe it is consistent with the underlying values of Scouting.

  10. Dear Sir,

    I wish you the best on your retirement.

    However, as an Eagle I hope that your departure will bring about change to an organization who is losing its way. I am deeply opposed to Scouting’s refusal to accept, and open discrimination towards, homosexual persons.

    I believe in the values of Scouting. I believe that the actions of the Scouting movement are at present not aligned with those values. A scout should be a person that all can trust to supoort his or her rights, and not to discriminate. A scout should be loyal to his fellow man, even where he disagrees. A scout should be helpful to others, even with whom he disagrees. A scout should be a friend and ally to all. A scout’s courtesy should not be selective. A scout’s kindness should not be conditioned. A scout should obey the principle that all are deserving of respect. A scout should cheerfully accept the beliefs of those who are different from him. A scout should be thrifty, especially of judgment for others. A scout should be brave enough to stand up for those whose rights need protection. A scout should be clean and free from prejudice. A scout should be reverant to the self-evident truth that all men are created equal.

    It with sadness that I remark that Scouting is, at present, failing it’s duty to other people; and is neither mentally awake, nor morally straight.

    I am an Eagle. I am an American. I am an ally to those who wish to lead their lvies in the manner that they see fit.

    Scouting has been a beacon for this country and the world. I hope that Scouting continues to be a beacon for all by accepting the rights of our homosexual brothers and sisters whose only desire is to bear the standard of American values. I hope that some day we will collectively re-light that beacon.

  11. Enjoy your $1.2M salary you earned this year – fourth largest of any charity. Says something about thr current priorities at the BSA during these tough economic times.

  12. Bob: Congratulations on your long trek and successful retirement. We started about the same time(NEI’71). I’m happily retired in sunny Dominican Republic, my birthplace, after 22 years ending with my last responsibilities as Area Director, ECR Area 3 under Jere Radcliffe. I started under a good friend, Chief Ben Love. Scouting was my second family. I wish you the best in your golden years.

    CarlosM. Paulino
    Ret. Scout Executive & Area Director

  13. Congratulations on a great Scouting career and the outstanding achievements of your tenure on this, your official last day in office as CSE. As one who introduced the resolution voicing support for BSA’s steadfast leadership despite the pressure groups’ pushing of the “3G’s” (at the Salt Lake City national meeting some years ago), you have been an inspiration to us. Job well done!

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Scouting Magazine May-June 2012 | Troop Library
  2. Hail to the Chief: Warm wishes for Bob Mazzuca on his last day « Bryan on Scouting

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