Are you looking for ways to give back to your community? You should consider volunteering for the Boy Scouts of America as a Scouting ambassador.
There are a lot of changes coming to the BSA in 2019. Across the country, communities are getting ready to start troops for girls in February. Especially in the Western Region, councils are preparing to transition to community units for youth who are currently registered in units sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Whatever the situation is in your area, the BSA needs more volunteers to act as Scouting ambassadors, helping communities and families participate in Scouting programs.
So why should you consider becoming a Scouting ambassador?
I talked to Pualani Graham, of the Utah National Parks Council, one of our best volunteers and Scouting ambassador extraordinaire about why she dedicates her time and talents to the BSA.
Pualani started volunteering for a pretty straightforward reason: her eight-year-old son joined a Cub Scout den that needed help, so she became a den leader. In the decades that followed, Pualani found more ways to help, serving in Scouting districts in several states, helping hundreds of Scouts in Ohio, California, and Utah work toward the Eagle Scout rank. She is now serving as the advancement chair for both the Utah National Parks Council and the Western Region’s Area 2.
What has kept you involved with the BSA for all these years?
“I have stayed involved because it has been a joy to see lives change in front of my eyes. In my position, I mostly work directly with youth who have a problem in their advancement process, so I have the opportunity to help special needs Scouts and others overcome obstacles and reach a goal.” Pualani also talked about the satisfaction of serving others and helping young people develop and grow.
What has been your most rewarding experience?
Pualani shared the story of a Scout who was working toward his Eagle Scout award but had also been caught by police vandalizing a local stadium several years earlier. Local leaders were afraid he’d be unable to meet the requirements for rank advancement. Pualani helped him make restitution for the vandalism and show that he had grown and was living the Scout Oath and Law. Later, she heard him speak about the change that he had made in his life and credited the “little Hawaiian lady” with helping him change his path.
What would you say to someone who is considering volunteering but is afraid it will take too much time?
Pualani’s response to this question was straightforward and simple: “Get trained, find out exactly what you need to do, and you can fit it in.” When people try to reinvent the wheel on Scouting, they get overwhelmed. When you use your resources, you find that volunteering in Scouting not only fits into your life, it enriches your life as well.
Thanks to Scouting ambassadors like Pualani, Scouting and the youth it serves have a bright future.
To become a Scouting ambassador, contact your local council. If you are in the Utah National Parks Council, visit utahscouts.org/ambassador or email firstname.lastname@example.org.