On Sept. 30, I retire after a 43-year career with the BSA. As I reflect, I can’t help but think of my time in Scouting as a youth and my Scout leaders who made the experience meaningful and fun. I think about the positive impact I hope my service had on thousands of young people; the volunteers who give so unselfishly of their time, talent and treasure; the employees who work way beyond the paycheck out of love for Scouting; the vast number of donors and supporters; and my family who supported me by putting up with seven moves and sacrificing family time so I could give my all to Scouting. To all of you, I will be forever grateful.
In a time of what feels like exponential change — though the important things stay the same — the need for mentors, leaders and people of character who are willing to give their time to America’s youth hasn’t changed. You are making the difference that makes America better!
Words cannot express the honor I feel being selected to serve as the 12th Chief Scout Executive and the weight of responsibility that comes with it. I am often asked what I think my legacy as Chief will be and, to be honest, I wonder how history will view my tenure. I can only hope that I will be seen as a Chief who tried very hard to live up to the values of the Scout Oath and Law. As someone who tried to do his best for God, country and others. To me, that would be the best legacy any Scout could ask for.
Well, it is time for me to say goodbye. As I am writing this, my heart and mind are filled with emotion. I have tears in my eyes. But, as a close Scouting friend of mine says, I am about to get my biggest promotion of all — to volunteer. I will get to spend more time with the love of my life, Ernestine, and with my son, Richie; daughter-in-law, Julie; and the pride of all of us, my granddaughter, Katie.
Scouting’s future is in your hands, and it couldn’t be in better hands. God bless all of you, and THANK YOU for what you do for the youth of America through Scouting. And may God continue to bless the Boy Scouts of America.
Chief Scout Executive