I am excited to announce that we have a new “Values statement” but I’d call it our motto. The tag line we put under our name, if you will. The new one is: Scouting for Everybody. This new name reflects our core belief, that everyone, with every type of body, is welcome in our scouting program, around our campfires and in our organization. We also want to use the hashtag #everybodyscouts which reflects those values. We hope that our members will tag pictures of their groups with that tagline and with #outdoorserviceguides so we can share how excited we are to be who we are.
Our Media Team will be spreading the word on social media, in posts on Facebook, Instagram and maybe even Twitter. Watch for those posts and please lend an encouraging word.
Want the Inside Scoop? Read On
As part of our name change, the Outdoor Service Guides has been working on updating our values statement, mission statement, and setting strategic goals for the future. The HeadQuarters staff spent many hours working on these, though Amber Wiley, Chief Commissioner from 2- 2020 to 2-2022, spent the most time. Amber Wiley worked closely with a consultant hired to help the organization with this transition. The steps that were taken, were that a large number of our membership- HQ staff, Regional and District Commissioners, and those on current committees, like the renaming committee, were invited to attend zoom calls where they discussed a wide variety of topics including desires for the future and who we believe our organization is working to be. The consultant then took the answers and worked on creating a coherent plan she believed would serve OSG well and represent our values.
There were members present from each region, and Rovers with a wide variety of backgrounds. Was every possible Rover represented? Probably not. But the truth is, we did our best to invite a diverse slice of our member to attend. That’s all we could do. We chose to address problems such as the fact that a word our organization has used since the beginning “traditional” has come to have negative connotations and has been used by racist organizations to attract members. As we have no control over the negative way this word now impacts those who see it, we are choosing to leave it behind. In the interest of being truly inclusive, we have had to change and evolve. This isn’t easy, as a small, all volunteer organization, but we are doing our best.
Over the next few weeks, I will be using the space to high light other pieces of this new path forward. Updating all of these is both necessary and strategic. Using outdated language that doesn’t reflect who we are, doesn’t serve us well. In light of that, our new Chief Commissioner, Richard Sowdon, is asking members of HQ to work on updating our by-laws. The current ones were based on by-laws for scouting 100 years ago. As such, they do not reflect who we are as a non-profit scouting organization. If you want to be a part of that process, please reach out and speak up.