I've asked my husband Brad if he'd be willing to be a guest blogger for me. So with thankful heart, I'll turn the time over to him:
I dont know how she talks me into these things, but anyway here it goes.
Well, here it is my favorite time of the year. For the 2nd year in a row I get to head up our wards Friends of Scouting drive. For those who don't know what this is, it is a fund raising drive to help support the local Boy Scout Council. To be honest, it’s a lot of work and all the money goes to the council, not the local troop, so it really isn't a lot of fun. This year there has been a good deal of negative press in the local papers about this event. It has caused me to reflect on scouting and why we should support it.
With our oldest son we had set a goal for him in scouting. We thought that he should earn the eagle scout award before he turned 16. If not then he couldn't drive or date. Well 16 came and went with no Eagle Award. We, however needed Tyler to date to give us a break from his crazy teenage ways, and we needed him to drive, for so many reasons. Shortly before he turned 18, he completed all the work necessary and was given the rank of Eagle Scout. When we got home Tyler handed it to Jeri and said here is your eagle mom.
Now Tyler is married with a family of his own. He is a hard worker and has been very successful. Everytime there is an Eagle court of honor, he proudly sits in the eagles nest. Although he speaks of his hard work and effort in earning his Eagle -- he laughs and grins and we know he is very grateful for the encouragement his mom and I gave him in earning this award. It means a lot to him. I proudly wear my eagle dad pin on one of my suit jackets, it means a lot to us too.
Over the summer I went with our older scouts in our ward on a high adventure trip to the Tetons. While there, we did face some challenges and even some dangers, but we learned from that and became stronger because of it.
I recently attended a meeting that focused on venturing (16-17 yr old scouts) and the LDS church. These are young men at a critical age, and in the church we lose so many of them from activity in the Church. One of the leaders that spoke said, “In scouting we don’t wait for the young man to come to church, we take the young man on an adventure where they will come to know their Maker.” There is a reason LDS church leaders have deemed scouting the activity arm of the Aaronic Priesthood. Sir Robert Baden Powell, the founder of boy scouting said, “There is no Religious side to the movement, the whole of it is based on religion, that is on the realization and service of God.
On the Sunday morning session of General Conference, Sis. Dalton taught a great lesson on the influence a father can have on his daughter. That lesson can be directly applied to a mothers influence on her son. I am not sure I have seen a young man who has earned his eagle award, who didn’t get there in large part because of a mothers influence.
President Gordon B. Hinckley has stated:
"I love the Scouting movement. 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. This program builds boys, builds their futures, leads them on the right path so they can make something of their lives. Every man or woman who helps a boy along the road of life not only does a great thing for him but does a great thing for society as a whole."
So while it is sometimes easy to get lost in the politics and some negative aspects that sometimes surrounds this movement, let us not forget all the good that can and does come from this program. Powell said “We must change boys from a ‘what can I get‘, to a ‘what can I give’ attitude.” Isn’t that what the Savior wanted us to learn?