We are entering one of the best times for Scouting. As summer comes to a close and school near their first day of classes, we like all other councils in the country are ready to invite new youth to join the best youth organization for instilling character, citizenship and fitness in the future generation of citizens, our children. Many councils have already began their Join Scouting nights and are reporting great results with more youth attending registration events and signing up for the adventure of Scouting. Our council will join others as we launch our effort to provide the Adventure of Scouting. As our Chief Scout Executive, Mike Surbaugh, puts it, "It's GO TIME!"
Our society and community needs the value that Scouting delivers now more than ever. Just look at the headlines on the internet or evening news and you will see evidence of the need. We make a positive difference in the lives of our youth and adult members, most specifically, you as unit leaders make the difference. Thank you for your commitment to grow Scouting in the Colonial Virginia Council this year. Your participation in Join Scouting Nights at local schools and other locations as well as all other efforts to extend the invitation to join Scouting will help us reach our goal of serving more local youth with the Scouting program and we have a goal of ending 2016 with more registered youth member than in 2015.
Related to finances, your council has made it through a challenging time of the year with slowed revenue through the summer months. The Colonial Virginia Council is current with all invoices due and have been able to even pay some that are not due until October of this year. I especially would like to thank again all the units that have completed a Unit Friends of Scouting Presentation with your Scout families. These contributions and the payments of the pledges made have helped tremendously in the past three to four months. Now is the season also for the annual popcorn sale fundraiser for both units and your council. To those units that have chosen to participate, thank you for supporting your council with sales.
I have committed to grow these two areas, Friends of Scouting and Product Sales, as these, in my plan, allow your council to pay its financial obligations with those funds and allows revenue generated in the Scout Shop to be reinvested in more purchases for Scout Shop inventory. The Scout Shop has been a significant area of improvement in the council over the past two years and continued improvements will be permitted with strong performance in Friends of Scouting and Product Sales. If your unit has not yet had a Family Friends of Scouting Presentation and would like to help allow more improvements be made in your Scout Shop, please call me directly at 757-504-7380 to discuss unit participation. As these areas of funding continue to strengthen, you will see direct improvements in Scout Shop inventory and other unit support services your council is able to provide and offer.
Another area of attention is district operations. Our Vice President of District Operations, Bill Newton, is working hard on specific tasks to build up the volunteer base at our district level that will allow for more district level support of Scouting at the unit level. While your District Executive is a good source of support, he cannot provide all the assistance needed by himself; strong districts across the country are "Volunteer Driven, Professionally Guided", just like strong councils are as well. We will continue make this area of improvement a priority and are committed to getting results that are desperately needed.
I appreciate all that you do as volunteer adult leaders to deliver a dynamic, engaging and fun Scouting program to the youth that are in Scouting. You make a difference in the lives of your Scouts, we are all in the business of changing lives for the better.