Farewell: An Open Letter
What a ride!
Since the Western Region was formed 29 years ago, we have put on more than 50 National Leadership Seminars, supported thousands of section officers, hosted events as partnerships with more than 50 different lodges, and touched the lives of tens of thousands of Arrowmen. We have had the opportunity to watch and engage with so many talented leaders and advisers over the years. We are – and always will be – grateful for our time together.
Take a moment. Think back to the experiences you have had, the friendships you have found, and the incredible memories you have formed together through our organization. For some of you, it may be an unforgettable adventure to an event far away. For others, it may be someone who was there for you when you needed them most. For even more, it is likely people you still have contact with today, and perhaps even the person you are spending the rest of your life with. These moments are truly special, and we stand humbled by the small part we were able to play in making them happen.
Yet, some of you may ask: “how?” Many of us have wonderful memories of this organization, maybe even our favorite memories, that aren’t connected to our region. That’s ok! The overwhelming majority of Arrowmen spend their entire time in our organization completely unaware that the Western Region exists. That doesn’t bother us at all. In fact, that makes us swell with pride.
The region was always a tool – a means to support the essential work our sections and lodges do every day to put on our program. We know this. When we finish our regional duties and return to our lodges, we get to see the awe-inspiring program and events that are the product of the hard work and dedication, and care that our lodge volunteers pour into this organization. Your success is and always has been our success. We get to look down at the region patch on our shoulder and smile. It reminds us why we are all here – but at the end of the day, it’s just a patch.
It’s no secret: there’s a lot going on in our world. Being a young person coming of age today is in some ways harder than it has ever been before; there is so much uncertainty and change and turbulence all around us. Our young people need us more than ever. We know this, and because of this, some things will never change. We ask all of you to join us in taking a moment to remember and recognize why we are all here:
We are here to support the young people around us, and to encourage them as they develop into leaders capable of meeting the challenges of our world.
Our mission and purpose remain the same. We are more committed than ever before to support our organization and the noble work it does. Please, join us! We need you just as much as we did before. Be a part of this critical moment, and join us in enthusiastically supporting our two new regions and the young leaders who will rise to lead them! We have an unprecedented opportunity to bring the life-changing experiences we had to a new generation of Arrowmen, a generation of Arrowmen more diverse and accepting than ever before. We have widened our circle to accept young people of all genders, and regardless of background, orientation, faith, or family, or chosen family arrangement. We will still be here, in our new regional structure, to ensure everyone can form those same memories we fondly reflected upon before.
Thank you for everything you have done, and continue to do, to support Scouting. Our work would be meaningless without you. We look forward to working with our new friends from the Central Region and Southern Region as we band together to form the new Gateway Region. We only hope that you will be there with us!
And so with that, as Westy, our faithful Western Region Mustang, rides off into the sunset, we sign off one last time. As beautiful colors and memories fill the sky, we turn around to see our widening circle and prepare for the rise of an inspiring new day.
Love one another.
The Western Region