We've been through a very unusual time in the history of the world this year, filled with new terms such as "COVID-19," "social distancing," "mask up," "seven-day average positivity rate," limited public gatherings; Church at home; political and social unrest and public distrust unparalleled in our lifetimes; natural disasters; economic instability; Zoom meetings; virtual graduations; and the list goes on and on. We'll probably associate these anomalies with 2020 as the years go by.
Moreover, we've seen the consolidation of a number of councils; the BSA's bankruptcy filing to allow for reorganization and recovery; holding limited summer camp programs due to COVID limitations and mandated protocols; cancellation of high adventure treks for 2020; and Packs and Troops meeting "virtually" via Zoom for their den and troop meetings. This has been, indeed, a time of unparalleled and often gut-wrenching change.
And, yet, amidst the change, there are those things that remain the same within Scouting. The principles of the Scout Oath remain a constant reminder that honesty is the best policy; that a life worth living is one that is "physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight;" that there are always opportunities for a Scout to "do a Good Turn daily," to help other people at all times, to be prepared and to live the principles of the Scout Oath and Law always.
As we take stock of the end of the year and look forward to the promise of the coming new year, remember that Scouting prepares our youth to overcome challenges through solutions. These young men and women have great potential to be a change for good in the world - limited only by the capacity of their will and imagination. Let us all carry that message with us and lead by that example.
The Scouting program has always given, and will continue to provide our youth a system of values that last a lifetime through: