Doug Jones, New Council President - Vision for the Future
As members and volunteers of the Denver Area Council, we serve and are associated with one of the most extraordinary organizations in the United States today. Can you tell me of another organization that is 100 years old whose sole purpose is to develop character, values and leadership skills in young people? ... Are there other organizations including churches that develop values, integrity, honesty, healthy eating, physical activity, humility, and duty to God all under one umbrella??? The answer is NO.
Ladies and Gentlemen, this is our time! ... I remember in 1979 attending my first Boy Scouts Sports Breakfast at the Marriott on Hampden & I-25, which of course does not exist today. I was a young mortgage officer at First of Denver. I walked in and couldn’t believe the number of people squeezed into the ball room, – it was an impressive gathering. The business leadership of Denver was in full attendance – I knew then that Scouts was a priority organization in Denver. Thanks to the business leadership and our western values, – we have one of the premiere councils in the United States ... Thank you to all of our past Chairmen and Board Members, that have committed their time, talent, and treasure – It is now our responsibility to continue that legacy of business leadership and support for Boy Scouts.
Now more than any time over the last 100 years, many of the values and traditions that have made this country great are under attack or are being changed, The Boy Scouts is no exception, many groups have challenged our mission which is simple and proven. We build and develop leadership and character.
Nationally, changes are upon us. Some agree with the proposed changes and others disagree ... We need to respect each other’s viewpoint, and not divide Scouting. We must remain focused on our mission, because 53,000 young people need our commitment and leadership to deliver the things that all Scouts need and want – camping, Pinewood Derby, merit badges, fellowship – the list goes on and on ... It is our time to come together to fulfill this unique mission. In the Denver Council, we have a strategic plan and we have a vision. That mission today is serving 53,000 youth from ages 7-20. In a couple of days, we will recognize 636 Eagle Scout recipients for 2012, a record. In 2012, Scouts and adult volunteers provided more than 450,000 volunteer hours to the Denver community, valued at over $10 million dollars...One example of Scouting achievement is high school graduation – Average graduation rate in Denver Public Schools is 47%. After 5 years of Scouting, that graduation rate jumps to 91% - Scouting works!
Our goal is to provide a Scouting opportunity to all families with young people that want to be involved in the adventure of Scouting. We will accomplish this by the following:
- Increasing our financial position – it costs $154 per year, per Scout and up to $400 per Scout for our Urban Scouting program. We will continue to raise money through our generous donors and put a priority on growing our Endowment and planned giving which will ensure the legacy of Scouting in Denver.
- Our efforts to grow the number of Scouts we serve will be through an increase in our traditional units, and Learning for Life Groups – and particular emphasis on our multi-cultural program. Currently we serve 18% of the Denver area youth – we have plenty of upside. We will be more strategic with our overall marketing through social media, advertising, strategic partnerships with school districts, churches and Charter partners ... We must frame our message – not let others define it for us. Access and recruiting perspective Scouts and families as we have known in the past has changed, and we are changing with it!
- We will continue to maintain and improve our three cornerstone properties and their programs: Hamilton Scout Headquarters, Camp Tahosa and Peaceful Valley Camp. They are gems and unique assets that distinguish this council ... but, like any real estate, they are always in need of our constant attention and repair.
- We will continue to recruit and train the best possible volunteers – Currently we have over 10,000 volunteers in our council. As we grow the Scout population we will need more volunteer leaders. The best serving, the best.
- Last, but not least, we have an exceptional Board and staff. John Cabeza and my goal is to get everyone connected at some level. We need you and want your skills – you’re time, talent and ... of course some of your treasure. Give the best you have to the Scouts, and the best will come back to you.
It is an exciting time. If there were ever a time to dedicate and focus on excellence in a youth organization and the future of Denver ... that time would be now!
We are all familiar with the Greatest Generation. It was that Generation that came of age during the depression, World War II and Korea. They went on to build modern America.They had common values – duty, honor, love of family and country, and faith in God – they had a sense of responsibility for one-self – they were exceptionally modest ...…we all know, knew or have read about someone from that Greatest Generation – and many of those leaders were Boy Scouts – they made a difference.
Scouting has and will continue to make a difference in the lives of young men and women and the leadership of this country. If we encourage them to be, they will become.We need to continue developing leaders for future generations with leadership skills that include trust, loyalty, helpfulness, friendliness, courtesy, kindness, obedience, cheerfulness, thriftiness, bravery, cleanliness, and reverence. Not to mention self reliance, and accountability – these have been and should continue to be the core values of America.
On my honor ... It doesn’t get any more powerful.
Thank you for what you do for Scouts as volunteers of the Denver Area Council, together we will achieve great things for Scouts in Denver.
“God bless you and God bless the Boy Scouts”