From the Commissioner: Scouting’s Balancing Act

“It’s only an hour a week” is a common remark heard when Scouters talk about the amount of time their service takes. The often-heard reply is “One hour is all you have left of the week.”

Too often, those hackneyed phrases hold more truth than we would like to admit. I don’t think I ever meet a Scouter who wears only one Scouting hat. The truth is, we adults are drawn toward the adventure that every Scouting opportunity offers us. It is hard to say no.

This issue of Scouting magazine deals with balancing our Scouting life with everything else in our lives. Over the years, our family has developed a rule that has served us well: “Faith and family first.” Of course, there is work as well. Friends and hobbies are important. And everyone needs downtime. There are a lot of balls in the air.

In thinking about this topic, it occurred to me that our youth probably need help with this balancing act, too. At the BSA National Annual Meeting in May in Denver, I had the opportunity to visit with the then-national vice president of Venturing, Jake Brillhart. I knew those officers traveled a lot, going to various meetings and to events where they teach things like Leave No Trace (as Jake is doing in the photo above).

So I asked Jake how he managed to handle all the travel and activities and still keep up with schoolwork at Rogers State University in Oklahoma. His reply: “[I have] understanding professors who believe in what we do in Scouting. And, of course, time-management skills and setting priorities I learned in the troop.”

Wise words we all can benefit from.

Yours for Better Scouting,

Ellie Morrison

National Commissioner

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