Top Hands Conference

Washington Hilton Hotel
Washington, DC
August 29-31, 2018

A Message From
Chief Scout Executive
Mike Surbaugh

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

As youth-serving professionals, all too often we are left in awe when the answers to some of the most challenging questions come so easily for the youth who grow through our programs. I felt that once again when the theme of the 2018 NOAC came into focus – Decide Your Destiny.

Together with our volunteers, we have made bold decisions for our future and have taken the steps to do just that – decide our destiny. And that destiny is one that will see us serve countless new families and bring to them the finest character, leadership, and outdoor adventure program the world has ever known.

It is perhaps fitting that we join together in Washington, D.C., where our forefathers gathered after times of adversity as they forged a new nation, created renewal after conflict, and with principled values, looked boldly to the future. Let’s be inspired by that spirit to come together to celebrate a Scouting program that is vibrant and alive and ready to serve. During our time together we will focus not on decisions to be made but rather on our priorities – since our task is direct – to successfully execute that vision.

To do so, with your significant input, and that of our volunteer leadership, the MOVEMENT will align on a “Game Plan” that has only four points – and I think we would agree that we need all of them to be successful in the next few years if we are to achieve our mission. We will talk about these topics and refine our plan together.

1. Build Momentum – We have opportunity. Now is the time to create energy and excitement as we welcome a new generation of young men and young women to the Scouting adventure.

2. Consistent Program Delivery – We must deliver the promise and to do so, our program works best when delivered consistently.

3. Streamline Our Infrastructure – Our leaders must have a program that is easy to deliver and our staff must have a job that allows them to use their skills effectively. Friction must be reduced.

4. Data Driven Research-Based Value Proposition – Create an understanding of the true value proposition delivered by our program to parents through effective digital and other platforms.

While only four points, most would agree there is much to do. Our time is now. Let’s gather in Washington to lay the plans that will see us making strides toward success together.

Stay safe this summer, and see you soon, my friends.

Washington DC skyline at night