BP at Makek­ing dur­ing the Boer War

When the founder of Boy Scout­ing, Robert Baden-Pow­ell, returned home after serv­ing in the Boer Wars in the ear­ly 1900s he was trou­bled by what he saw. Many of the boys in his com­mu­ni­ty were idle and wan­der­ing the streets, get­ting into mis­chief and caus­ing prob­lems with all kinds of riotous liv­ing. They lacked super­vi­sion and direc­tion as their fathers were away at war. Baden-Pow­ell envi­sioned Scout­ing as not only an excit­ing orga­ni­za­tion that would keep these boys busy, but it would also be an engag­ing way to teach them morals and skills that would ben­e­fit their lives and their com­mu­ni­ties.

We can see many sim­i­lar­i­ties in our own soci­ety today. Gang vio­lence runs ram­pant, every­thing from school shoot­ings to graf­fi­ti, with many boys just plain get­ting in trou­ble. Our youth have too much time on their hands and too lit­tle direc­tion in their lives. At this time in our his­to­ry, boys need Scout­ing more than ever!

One day, when my father was about 14 years old, he was sit­ting in school when some­one entered his class­room to tell them all about the fun and adven­ture of Scout­ing. They learned that in The Boy Scouts of Amer­i­ca you could shoot guns, swim, and rock climb, as well as par­tic­i­pate in all kinds of oth­er adven­ture that a boy would love. He stud­ied the fli­er that con­tained infor­ma­tion about the Boy Scout join­ing night that would be held the fol­low­ing day at the local church down the road.

He was pre­sent­ed with a deci­sion that would have an impact on the rest of his life.

At this join­ing night, he met his future Scout­mas­ter. On the stage was a leader who was talk­ing about the Scout Oath and Law with the “new recruits.” Just out­side the door they had an archery activ­i­ty set up for the boys to do while the par­ents were fill­ing out paper­work and learn­ing about the vision of Scout­ing. There was a pinewood der­by track, a raingut­ter regat­ta, and an area for the Cub Scout age boys to learn their Promise, Law and Mot­to. After my dad returned home, he could not stop talk­ing about both the fun that he had that night and the excite­ment and adven­ture yet to come. In the future there would be many hikes, camp­ing trips, shoot­ing sport adven­tures, and all around good times with Scout­ing.

From that time for­ward, he was hooked both to Scout­ing and to the reli­gious orga­ni­za­tion that char­tered their Boy Scout troop. This hap­pened to be the Church of Jesus Christ of Lat­ter Day Saints in down­town Phoenix, Ari­zona, but just as eas­i­ly could have been anoth­er reli­gious or com­mu­ni­ty based char­tered orga­ni­za­tion. Through recruit­ing, this Boy Scout troop was able to grow from just a cou­ple of boys to over 40 boys that stayed togeth­er clear through earn­ing their Eagle Scout awards. Most of them end­ed up serv­ing mis­sions forThe Church of Jesus Christ of Lat­ter-Day Saints.

The fol­low­ing video tells how Scout­ing has pro­found­ly influ­enced a group of boys who need­ed pos­i­tive role mod­els and direc­tion in their lives:

Because of a brief encounter with The Boy Scouts of Amer­i­ca dur­ing school one day, my fam­i­ly has been great­ly blessed and gen­er­a­tions of people’s lives have been influ­enced for the bet­ter. My father con­tin­ues to instill in his chil­dren and grand­chil­dren the val­ues of the Scout Oath and Law, which are now being passed on to the third gen­er­a­tion of Boy Scouts who have been affect­ed by this one deci­sion.

The spir­it is there in every boy; it has to be dis­cov­ered and brought to light.”
~ Baden-Pow­ell

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Clint Lawton
I grew up as a Boy Scout, have served in many adult leader Scouting positions, work for the BSA, and even have a bachelors degree from BYU in Scouting Education! I truly believe that through the Boy Scouts of America we can change this world for the better. When it comes to Scouting, I'm your guy! These days I am Director of Field Service at the Utah National Parks Council, BSA

One comment

  1. Madison Austin
    Madison Austin ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Form­ing a Scout troop is always the best solu­tion. I have a lot of grat­i­tude for the pro­gram and the ded­i­cat­ed lead­ers who have served them!

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