By Darryl Alder
Nov 23, 2014

Thanksgiving Reflection for All Scouts

thanksgiving101At Thanksgiving we often stop to think of things we are thankful for and as Americans, we have a lot to be grateful for. We live in freedom, we can worship as we choose, and most of us have enough food, clothing and adequate shelter.

We are as blessed as any people in the world, but sometimes we forget that and want even more.  Let’s remember that a lot of the world’s population goes to bed hungry every night in homes that few Americans would be willing live in.

It is good to remind ourselves that we are lucky and to thank God for our blessings. That’s what Thanksgiving really is, a time to give thanks. The Pilgrims started it more than 300 years ago when they gathered to thank God for a bountiful harvest. That three-day feast typically referred to as the “first Thanksgiving” took place in 1621 and included wildfowl, corn, venison and praise to God.

A bowery like this, hosted the pioneers' first Thanksgiving in 1848

A bowery like this, hosted the pioneers’ first Thanksgiving in 1848

Pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley celebrated their first thanksgiving August 10, 1848 after the seagulls had helped rescue them from the cricket infestation earlier that year.  A BYU historian, Ronald K. Esplin, reported that one pioneer wrote “A Splendid Dinner was Spread under the Bowery prepared for the occasion and Several hundred sat down to a rich repast to which all contributed ” Parley P Pratt summarized: “We partook freely of a rich variety of bread, beef, butter, cheese, cakes, pastry, green corn, melons, and almost every variety of vegetables.”  Esplin explained that “lettuce, radishes, beets, onions, peas, carrots, cucumbers, parsnips, squash, and beans were available by then” but probably neither pumpkins nor potatoes.

tree of thanksToday Thanksgiving is a time for family gatherings around a  table of turkey, potatoes, stuffing and pie, often followed by watching football games. But it’s important that we don’t forget the real meaning of Thanksgiving. So when you sit down with your family for Thanksgiving dinner, take time to count your blessings and thank God for them—not everyone gets all they want, but everyone can be grateful for what they have.

Author: Darryl Alder | Strategic Initiatives Director, Utah National Parks Council, BSA. B2Y by FOS FinalWe invite you to get social with this article:



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One thought on “Thanksgiving Reflection for All Scouts

  1. AvatarMaloree Anderson

    The other night we were gathered as a family. We spoke about Thanksgiving and what it means to be grateful. My niece (6 yrs) and nephew (5 yrs) both listened to the stories that were being told. It was my brother-in-law’s turn to speak and he decided to talk about the 10 lepers. He showed the children pictures and explained that they were sick and Jesus Christ went to each one and healed them. He then proceeded to ask the kids, “How many do you think came back and thanked Jesus?” Both little ones said, “All 10!”. My brother-in-law sadly said, “No, only 1 came back and thanked Jesus for healing them and the others didn’t.” As soon as those words came out of his mouth my little nephew gasped! He couldn’t believe only one person would thank Jesus for helping them……….. This made me step back and think. Am I not thankful for the wonderful things I have? And if I am, then do I give thanks? I know that we can take things for granted on a daily basis and get caught up in our life. Let’s each take a moment and be grateful for what we do have, even if it is small. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


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