To the Speaker of the House of Representatives
As January 1, 2000, approached, millions of people around the world looked forward with anticipation to finishing one century and starting another. The Boy Scouts of America looked forward not to finishing and starting anew, but rather to continuing to build on nine decades of instilling in youth the strong values and morals that will make a difference in the lives of millions in a new century.
We continue to realize today that we must look back to yesterday to see what James E. West and the other founding fathers of the Boy Scouts of America knew to be true: the future of our society is vested in each successive generation and the values they inherit. We look toward Scouting's future and can be confident the organization is stronger than ever and will continue to guide new generations on the high road of noble character and constructive citizenship.
The final year of the 20th century was a good one for Scouting. For the third consecutive year, Scouting's strong growth continued, with membership increases in Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, and Venturing. With the support of more than 90,000 chartered organizations, over 3 million youth members were prepared for a lifetime of citizenship, strong character, and service by committing to the values of the Scout Oath and Law. More than 1.2 million adult volunteers, working with professionals in 319 councils nationwide, passed along to these young men and women the same principles, aims, and ideals that have been part of Scouting since 1910.
Much of the BSA's success in 1999 was due to the 1998-2002 Strategic Plan, a plan that identifies and addresses the challenges of the Scouting movement for the new millennium. Councils across the nation continued to embrace the five critical issues of the plan: leadership; total financial development; traditional unit and membership growth; marketing; and endowment emphasis and stewardship. By addressing these issues, councils enable the Boy Scouts of America to be one of the nation's premier youth-serving organizations and the program of choice for the young people of today and tomorrow.
Young people today face more challenges than ever before, but thanks to thousands of dedicated Scouting volunteers, supporters, and professionals, they also have more opportunities. It is with great honor and pride that we take the time-proven values and traditions of yesterday and combine them with the accomplishments of today to ensure that the values of the Scout Oath and Law remain strong tomorrow.
|Edward E. Whitacre Jr.|
|Milton H. Ward|
Executive Vice President
|Jere B. Ratcliffe|
Chief Scout Executive