Holiday greetings

Rod Smith as Scouter Santa

It is the season where many, no matter their beliefs, wish for peace and goodwill throughout the world. One family did their best in this regard, in part as founders of the Boy Scouts of America.

There is perhaps no human being more singularly responsible for the current economic world order than Sir Sigmund Warburg who passed away about 40 years ago. His family, along with their American cousins, Kuhns, Loebs, and Schiffs, together with their friends, the Rothschilds, over a period of 100 years that included two world wars, essentially ushered in a new world economy within which, in their view, egregious nationalism might no longer lead to war.

They were early proponents of the League of Nations, the World Bank, and among other things, founders of the Boy Scouts of America. In fact, Sir Sigmund, based in London, found the "country club life style and the enthusiasm with which his American relatives celebrated Christmas a bit peculiar". When trying to get them on the phone during the war about important business, they would, much to his dismay, be out camping!

It should not be lost on us that these people, who were perhaps the wealthiest and most influential people in the world at that time, saw, in Scouting, its potential to change the world by changing the minds of young people the world over.

I have learned, over my life time that the satisfaction one gets from the fulfillment of duties and obligations, both public and private, is perhaps more lasting than the pleasure of fine music or cuisine or a passion for art. It’s perhaps the task of all of us to find a balance between these two aspects of life, one that works for us as individuals. Given what we might accomplish as Scouters, say, in the future, I hope that all of you always make time for friends and family; especially at this time of year. Best wishes for 2020.

Rod Smith
National Commissioner