To the Speaker of the House of Representatives

To the Speaker of the House of Representatives

Tiger Cubs gives many boys their first taste of Scouting. The family-oriented program is for boys who are in the first grade or 7 years old.

Despite economic challenges faced by our nation in 2002, the Boy Scouts of America steadfastly continued investing in the lives of America's youth—instilling self-discipline, self-confidence, self-reliance, and self-worth. The organization's return on investment is evident through the second consecutive year of membership in excess of 5 million youth and 1.3 million dedicated volunteers.

More than 2 million boys in the first through fifth grades participated in Cub Scouting in 2002. By offering more opportunities for outdoor activities, Scouting enabled 44 percent of these boys to enjoy the physical, mental, and moral benefits of a day camp, resident camp, or family camp last year. In addition to the outstanding values inherent in the program, Cub Scouting went a step further to achieve the BSA's mission by introducing Character Connections, a campaign that reinforces honesty, faith, respect, courage, and other core values.

Last year, Boy Scouting reached more than 1 million 11- to 17-year-old boys and young men. Approximately 5 percent of these youth earned Scouting's highest award, the rank of Eagle Scout. To be exact, 49,328 Scouts earned this award—a 14 percent increase over the previous year and the most ever in a single year. Much of this increase can be attributed to a greater number of youth staying in the program, which emphasizes that boys learn by doing.

Venturing, a high-adventure program for young men and women ages 14 to 20, has continued to grow since its introduction in 1998. There were 315,296 members at December 31, 2002—a 14.1 percent increase from the previous year. Sea Scouting, part of Venturing, celebrated its 90th anniversary with Scout Fleet 2002 in New York Harbor and a membership of more than 6,900 youth.

Three men shared the responsibility of leading the Boy Scouts of America in 2002. Left to right are former President Milton H. Ward, President Roy S. Roberts, and Chief Scout Executive Roy L. Williams.

Participation in Learning for Life continued to increase in 2002, growing to almost 1.7 million youth. Learning for Life is a classroom- and work site-based character-education program. It is used nationwide by schools and organizations to help young people develop life skills, positive attitudes, values, and career awareness.

The Boy Scouts of America has a tradition of strong leadership at all levels. At the National Annual Meeting held in May in New Orleans, the National Executive Board continued this tradition by electing Roy S. Roberts president of the BSA. As president, Roberts joins Chief Scout Executive Roy L. Williams in addressing the five critical issues defined in our National Strategic Plan: traditional unit and membership growth; Scoutreach—a program for hard-to-reach youth; leadership; marketing and strategic positioning; and financial development.

In today's challenging world, the Boy Scouts of America remains dedicated to investing in the future of America's youth and families by offering a fun, wholesome, and educational environment.

Milton H. Ward

Roy S. Roberts

Roy L. Williams
Chief Scout Executive