Opinion: Boy Scouts will thrive under proposed administrative changes
First, let me begin by saying Scouting made me who I am -- father, husband, physician, Air Force officer, adult Scout leader. And it was all made possible because 40 years ago, someone invested time in the Scouting program and me.
Today, we have the opportunity to extend Scouting’s reach to more of the 900,000 un-served youth in Michigan, enriching their lives and the communities in which they live.
On Sept. 15, after a great discussion in open forum, the executive board of the Great Sauk Trail Council, Boy Scouts of America made a bold, forward-looking, and strategic move when it overwhelmingly -- 42-to-1 -- voted to send the Crossroads Recommendation to its membership for a council wide vote.
• Focus both professionals and volunteers on unit service, retention, and membership growth through the formation of new units.
• Increase the number of youth serving executives.
• Consolidate administrative functions and governance of the councils in Michigan.
• Enhance local funding efforts for Scouting .
The goal of this effort is to make Scouting streamlined, efficient, and -- importantly -- sustainable. It is the result of more than 100 volunteers from all over the state of Michigan investing nearly 10,000 hours in reviewing, strategizing, and debating how best to incorporate the changes that have occurred technologically, socially, and administratively over the last several decades into the economic reality that is Michigan today.
Editor's note: For a another viewpoint on this issue, see: Will local Boy Scout units really vote to disband their councils throughout Michigan?
It’s good for our Scouts and good for our council. If it were anything short of that, 42 of 43 members of our board would not have offered their support for moving forward. The overwhelming support speaks to the importance - and sound substance - of this new approach.
Dr. Karl J. Edelmann is president-elect of the Great Sauk Trail Council of the Boy Scouts of America, an Eagle Scout and an Ann Arbor family practice physician who specializes in geriatric medicine.