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From the Chief: Get our Scouts Outside!

From the Chief: Get our Scouts Outside!
AS WE LOOK AHEAD to our second century, our outdoor programs are more vital than ever. Last Child in the Woods author Richard Louv writes about the huge gap between children and the outdoors and how that leads to higher rates of obesity, attention disorders, and depression. At the Boy Scouts of America, we can’t stand by and let that trend continue. Our heritage and passion for the outdoors won’t allow it.

The leadership skills our young people learn while hiking, camping, and being stewards to the outdoors are lessons that last for a lifetime. That’s why it’s so important for us to keep the outdoor adventures that have been the foundation of our movement vibrant and exciting.

We’ve witnessed great momentum in our outdoor programs during 2011. All three of our high-adventure bases—Philmont, Northern Tier, and the Florida Sea Base—saw record attendance last year. Our high-adventure numbers were well ahead of the 40,000 we recorded for 2010.

And we are doing all we can to build on that excitement. This summer, we’ll celebrate our one-millionth trail hiker at the Philmont Scout Ranch. In July, 2,000 Scouts will test-drive our new high-adventure camp and national Scout reserve, the Summit. And the Summit’s opening will follow a year later.

Whether it’s a summer journey to a high-adventure camp, a weekend overnight trip to a local camp, or a hike through the woods at a state park, the mission is all the same. These terrific outdoor experiences bring…
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