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IN S PIRE


Wayne’s World


SCOUTING:How would you describe your role as Chief Scout Executive? WAYNE BROCK:In the broadest sense, it’s about delivering a quality Scouting experience to the youth of America by ensuring that Scouting remains appeal- ing, relevant, and accessible regardless of someone’s cultural heritage or eco- nomic circumstance.


SCOUTING:What else do you plan to do in this role?


The BSA’s new Chief Scout Executive shares his vision for the future of Scouting.


by bryan wendell and john r. clark photographs by roger morgan


W.B.: Introduce technology to enhance the experience for youth as well as remove administrative burdens from leaders and councils so they can spend more of their time delivering the program. There is a high demand for this, and we have a very dedicated team working on it, although it’s a multi- year project.


SCOUTING:We’ll discuss technology more later, but first tell us what you learned from your predecessor, Bob Mazzuca. W.B.:Bob was willing to take bold action. One example is the Summit Bechtel Reserve. If that’s not a bold action, I don’t know what is. Bob had the managerial courage to do what is right for the BSA. If there’s anything I’ve learned from him it’s get your facts together, listen to all the input, then make your decisions and move forward.


SCOUTING:Except for recently, the BSA membership has been declining slightly each year, especially in Cub Scouting. Why the retention problem with Cub Scouts? W.B.:I think it has more to do with retaining the leaders. It appears from our research, if we retain the leaders, the kids seem to stay. The question is: What do we have to do to make it easier for leaders to understand and implement the program?


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SCOUTING:Any ideas? W.B.:There were significant member- ship declines from 1972 to 1978, so this big study was done. If you read it, the study was about the changes that were going on in society and figuring out how the Boy Scouts could adapt to those changes but still remain true to our mission. Back then, it was going from a rural to an urban society and from mom staying home to mom working or single-parent families. Today, it’s cultural changes with more diversity. They said in 1978 that Scouting must adapt to these changes. They were right!


SCOUTING:You’re saying we didn’t adapt? W.B.:We did, but now the circum- stances are different. The thing is, there is no simple answer. We are competing with programs where parents just drop off their child. They’re not asked to get involved like they are in Scouting. Let’s face it: For a boy to fully benefit from Scouting, his parents have to be engaged, too.


SCOUTING: So, we’re doing our best to adapt. W.B.: Right, but it’s not easy. One of the attempts to adapt happened in the ’70s, and it backfired on us.


SCOUTING:De-emphasizing the out- doors in Scouting?


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