One of the finest character-building organizations in existence surely is the Boy Scouts of America.
That's indicated by its high standards: "A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent."
Our country has more than 1.2 million adults volunteering to lead and inspire more than 4.5 million Boy Scouts - many of them active in troops in the Chattanooga area.
Chattanooga was honored Thursday by having the head of all of our Boy Scouts of America speak at the Downtown Rotary Club. He's Chief Scout Executive Robert "Bob" Mazzuca, and he is based at Boy Scout headquarters in Irving, Texas, near Dallas.
He praised Chattanooga Rotary President Tom Edd Wilson as one of very few in our country who have been presented the national Distinguished Eagle Scout Award. And he also recognized the head of our local Cherokee Area Council of Boy Scouts, Scott Fosse.
Mazzuca's message was certainly in tune with the Boy Scout motto: "Be Prepared." He noted the patriotism of Boy Scouts and their health-building outdoor activities. But he lamented that our current youngsters are on the brink of being "our first generation to be less healthy than the generation before it."
Scouting programs are designed to promote not only good character - and "doing a good turn daily" - but also excellent physical health through wholesome outdoor activities.
Mazzuca emphasized that Scouting is about "a lot more than making a fire by rubbing two sticks together."
Boy Scouting is about developing young men through enjoyable group activities, and promoting values and skills that will last them a lifetime. Those are the marvelous benefits for millions of boys who are fortunate enough to take part in the challenging activities of the Boy Scouts of America.