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Annual Report to the Nation

March 14, 2016

Recently, I had the opportunity to spend a brief time with our delegates during Scouting’s annual Report to the Nation journey to Washington, D.C. Due to office demands, I couldn’t spend the entire week with them (I certainly hope to in future years), but I did get a strong sense of how powerful this trip was for these young people. I also witnessed the tremendous impression on our elected officials as they met with a select group of the best and brightest of our nation’s future leaders.

The individual stories of what these young people have accomplished during their short time here on earth are truly remarkable. I would encourage you to look back at the previous blog that shared their resumes – their accomplishments are almost unbelievable. I say “almost” because as I’m sure you’ve seen, Scouting truly brings out the best in youth and allows them to grow and expand their talents to serve our country in some very unique and awesome ways.

While my wife, Lisa, spent the day with the Scouts, I was able to meet with more than a dozen members of Congress who universally were excited to hear about where Scouting is today and, more importantly, where Scouting is going in the future. One thing that was crystal clear: Scouting is having a resurgence in the public eye.

I came away from these meetings with this impression: It is generally recognized that we are progressing well as a movement and have created a pathway to respect all beliefs and position Scouting to serve even more youth in the future. As our membership is trending, we are on the pathway for growth, and public sentiment is in our favor. Our nation knows we need Scouting like never before, and we are positioned well to make a bold stand for the transformational experiences that America’s youth desperately need.

When I rejoined our Scouting delegation in the evening, the smiles and awe from these young people after being welcomed into the Oval Office, the Defense Department, the Supreme Court and countless other special-access venues was difficult to describe. These young people had a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but more importantly, they represented us well, and showed the nation that we are here, we are proud and we are growing. Check out this photo archive documenting our journey.

Thank you to our host couple, Lyle and Toril Knight, who gave of their time to make sure these kids had a super experience. While the Knights probably needed a week of rest after this whirlwind trip, it was obvious was that they gained a bunch of new adopted kids.

Thanks for reading.


The Chief

Michael Surbaugh is the Chief Scout Executive for the Boy Scouts of America and a member of the organization's "Key 3" providing leadership and vision to the Scouting movement all across the United States. Find weekly posts at the Chief's Corner on


March 22, 2016