One of the neat things about Scouting is how the program transcends generations. Here at the National Annual Meeting in Nashville this week, I met Andrew Miller, who–at the tender age of 32–is receiving the Silver Antelope (the highest award a region can bestow). Andrew’s great-great-grandfather attended the 1937 National Jamboree and the 5th World Jamboree in Netherlands that same year. Andrew was too young to attend the 1993 National Jamboree, so his first jamboree was the 18th World Jamboree two years later in–wait for it–the Netherlands.
Generational connections like that in Scouting are cool (and surprisingly common). However, it’s safe to say that Andrew’s great-great-grandfather’s World Jamboree experience in 1937 was quite different than Andrew’s experience in 1995. And that’s a good thing. While the only person who likes change may be a wet baby, the fact is that programs like Scouting must continually change.
That idea of change is a theme of this National Annual Meeting because major changes are being announced in Venturing and Cub Scouting and previewed in Boy Scouting. The Venturing changes take place immediately, the Cub Scouting changes take place a year from now, and the Boy Scouting changes take place in January 2016. All the changes stem from the work of 75+ volunteers who were charged with implementing that Scouting’s core programs are “appealing, exciting, and culturally relevant to today’s youth and families.”
The details of the changes are too involved to cover in a single blog post, but that’s okay. The BSA has created a special section of its website with all the details.
I know that some long-time Scouters will grumble about the changes. (See the wet-baby analogy above.) But having been knee-deep in the Cub Scouting changes over the past year or so, I can assure you that they were devised by folks who live and breathe Scouting, who bleed blue and gold, and who are passionate about making sure that Andrew Miller’s great-great-children can carry on the Scouting legacy of previous generations.