Today I am going to talk a little bit about the Scouting program. It is a program that Young Men in our church participate in. Boys are encouraged to become Eagle Scouts, as well as fulfilling their Aaronic Priesthood: Fulfilling Our Duty to God Awards. The scouting program is a great program that helps to teach values and leadership to the boys who attend. In most areas each ward has its own troop and the boys attend activities with their own ward.
President Hinckley said this about the scouting program: “”I love the Scouting movement. The promise of the Scout Oath and the twelve points of the Scout Law point young men along the path of being prepared for the 21st century. They provide a solid and powerful magnetic force toward development of a well-rounded and noteworthy character that counts. If every boy in America knew and observed the Scout Oath, we would do away with most of the jails and prisons in this country. If each of us would live up to those few words, ‘On my honor, I will do my best,’ whether it be in school, whether it be in our social life, whether it be in our business or professional life, if I will do my very best, success and happiness will be mine” (Boy Scout Jamboral, Fillmore, Utah, Sept. 27, 1996).
Scouting has affected my life in positive ways. My grandfather was one of the first scoutmasters for his ward, shortly after he joined the church. At the beginning of the program leaders were allowed to earn their badges and Eagles along with their boys. He earned his Eagle, and then his son earned his Eagle, and most of his grandsons have earned their Eagles. It is a proud heritage that he has passed on to his posterity. Although my grandfather died when I was just ten years old, I have memories of him in his Scout uniform as he went to meetings, or to a scout camp, or marched in parades with his troop. Scouting was important to him because he knew the difference that it could make in a boy’s life.
My husband earned his Eagle Scout while he was in high school. He has served as a Scoutmaster awhile ago. He is really thankful for the lessons he learned in Scouting, and loves to tell his stories of the 50-mile hikes that his troop would attempt. Scouting has blessed him in many different ways. He later found out that he had received an interview, for a job he later got, simply because he had listed Eagle Scout on his resume.
I encourage you to support your young men in completing the Scouting program and achieving Eagle Scout. It will teach them the value of work, the ability to make and achieve goals, and provide them with skills that can last a lifetime.