The pretend Cub Scouts each shook a bottle of water behind their shoulders, and it mysteriously turned blue.
The point? Yes, it was to give ideas for a great Cub Scout award ceremony. But really, it was to provide a greater quality experience to boys. Leaders (and youth) learned a lot from attending University of Scouting on February 18th at the UVU institute. There were over a hundred classes, each offering unique information to help leaders.
I was personally amazed with how well-trained these men and women seemed to be. I heard suggestions from presenters and attendees ranging from using drones to hand out awards to teaching kids important history. Those in attendance cared (or at least seemed to). They hungered for training, even though they already had experience.
This desire to learn is so important. Training prepares us to serve. Without training, we may not help a boy get the experience he needs in Scouting.
Unfortunately, I’ve talked to boys who do not get passionate, trained leaders. Too often, a leader prepares something in a few minutes and doesn’t care how the boys like it.
And, then the boys do not like Scouting. They come to activities in the LDS church, only to find them boring or dull. They sit down and fill out paperwork, and it stinks. Maybe a few years in (or less), they drop out and never come back.
For some boys, it’s not such a big deal. They don’t do Scouting, but they find faith elsewhere. But, for others, it’s detrimental. Scouting might have garnished their testimonies of Christ. It might have encouraged them to serve a mission. It might have blessed their lives forever. But instead, it did not help them, and nothing else worked either.
It’s easy to get caught up in work and school, to treat church callings as last minute runs. But, the time we put in, others get out.
Don’t hurt the boys you’re trying to serve.
Training matters. Education is empowering. There’s a reason why college is so expensive. I went to BYU, and I paid thousands for it, and I honestly feel like it’s worth it. I’ve used my knowledge in my career continuously.
Luckily, the University of Scouting is not expensive at all. It’s $10. Other opportunities to learn in Scouting cost similar prices.
Always remember, the cost of true education is minute compared to what it can bring. As President Hinkley stated, “Get all the training you can.” $10 is worth saving a boy’s soul.
Author: Michelle Carpenter | Marketing Associate, Utah National Parks Council.