03/05/13 — BSA chief discusses future of Scouting

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BSA chief discusses future of Scouting

By Dennis Hill
Published in News on March 5, 2013 2:28 PM

Scouting has for decades been an important part of the American fabric, but now it is essential for the country's continued development, the chief executive of the national organization said Monday.

Wayne Brock spoke at the kickoff dinner for the Tuscarora Council's Friends of Scouting campaign Monday night at the Walnut Creek Country Club. Brock, a native of Lenoir County, said that throughout history, young boys have depended on role models to guide them toward adulthood.

But given the lack of guidance for many boys, the Scouting program offers them the best opportunity to receive that direction, he said.

"I know the positive impact Scouting can have on the life of a boy," Brock said. "This country needs Scouting. I believe our world is a better place because of Scouting.

He cited a friend who grew up in a dysfunctional family as an example.

The man admitted that he never made Eagle Scout, nor was the troop he was involved with an "A" troop, Brock said. But the man told him that his participation in Scouting gave him "the only moral training I got as a kid."

The man added that in the absence of a true role model, his Scoutmaster served as someone for him to look up to.

"He made us believe in ourselves," Brock quoted the man as saying. "It's because of him that I went to college and made something of myself.

"Throughout history, boys have had male role models in the form of protector, bread winner and head of the household," he said. "But for many boys, this road is not available. They have no role models. The Boy Scouts of America is perfectly matched to fill this void.

"Today, the Boy Scouts are more significant than at any time in history," he said. "Scouting is no longer supplemental. is essential."

Brock said Scouting faces the challenge of remaining relevant in the 21st century but said it is meeting the challenge head-on by offering boys training in science and technology and other facets of modern life that could not have been imagined only a few years ago. He noted that the first Boy Scout handbook contained instructions on how to stop a runaway horse.

"We have a lot to be proud of and a lot to look forward to in our future," he said.

He praised the council for its status as a "gold level" council, based on its activities and high retention rate and said the council was helping "build young people with character and courage."

More than 200 people attended the event and at its end, council officials said that more than $129,000 in pledges had been received, giving the council's annual fundraising campaign a tremendous start.

There are about 6,500 youths engaged in the various levels of Scouting in the council, which includes Wayne, Dublin, Johnson and Samson counties.

Brock did not directly address the national controversy over admitted gays into Scouting but told those gathered that the national organization "wants to hear from each of you in what direction Scouting should go," and pointed out that a website where Scouters can go to express their opinions is being put into place.

Brock, who attended South Lenoir High School near Kinston, joked about having the chance to come home and said that all it took to get the chief Scouting executive to the are was to promise him some barbecue.

In fact, he said, he told a friend upon being named the chief Scouting executive that he would work to make eastern North Carolina barbecue the official meal of the BSA.

He also said it was good to attend a function where his Southern accent went unnoticed. He said that he would be attending a similar fundraising event in New England in the near future and expected to have to take an interpreter to get him through.