By Maria Milligan
Jun 12, 2016

Scouting Develops Integrity

For the past two years, the Utah National Parks Council has focused on a series of tools that help Scouters better communicate with LDS leaders. These tools grew out of two surveys conducted by RED research and Rushford Lee that asked LDS leaders what outcomes they wanted from Scouting and why they thought Scouting mattered to their youth. The results from these surveys were distilled into six pillars (or outcomes) for LDS Scouting, including building a testimony, learning to serve others, preparing to go on a mission, building confidence, learning life skills, and gaining integrity by understanding our true nature as children of God.

Since adopting the six pillars as a focus and mission statement, the Council has written and solicited articles from volunteers and professionals alike about each of these pillars. Here at The Boy Scout, we have focused on one pillar each month and have published and shared articles accordingly. As we enter our third year of this initiative, we want to look back at the articles we’ve published and highlight the best content for each pillar.

June’s theme is Integrity: Be prepared by learning who we are as Scouts and sons of God by keeping ourselves physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight. Here are the top five articles from The Boy Scout about how Scouting helps young men cultivate integrity and understand their true nature as sons of God:

Scofield CanoeingTrue Integrity is Proactive, Not Reactive

Jonathan Gunson learned an important lesson about integrity and living the Scout Oath and Law in the aftermath of a prank he and a fellow Scout pulled one summer at camp.

Favorite quote: “Moments before we’d lifted the first canoe, my friend and I stood on that moonlit lake shore in Lower Appalachia knowing that our epic act of mischief would be the greatest moment of our Scouting careers, that it would be talked about forever and that it would grant us immortality. In hindsight, the greatest moment in our Scouting careers is as obvious to us now as we knew it would be then, it’s just not the same moment we knew it was going to be at the time. Ask any member of my troop today and they’ll tell you that sitting with our fellow Scouts, testifying of the gospel and inviting them to come unto Christ was the sweetest moment any of us experienced in Scouting. We were sons of God, sharing a moment, talking about forever and working toward more than fleeting immortality – Eternal Life.”

Feature Scout Sign OathLife of Integrity—Living the Oath and Law

Does living the Scout Oath and law really make a difference in a Scout’s life? Darryl Alder shares insight from John Jones, a Scoutmaster who makes sure his Scouts really know what they are promising to live up to when they recite the Oath and Law.

Favorite quote: “Scoutmaster Jones, as with many other thoughtful Scouters, has discovered the recitation of the Oath and Law are not enough to “instill the values” found therein. He suggests adding more time in youth leader training. You can do this in troop, team and crew meetings too and of course, every Scoutmaster’s minute or advisor’s reflection is a way to bring the values to life.”

LeadershiphikingBe Prepared to Be Men of Integrity – Delivering a Quality Program for Our Young Men

Paul Tikalsky shares a list of ten things our young men should expect from our delivery of the Scouting program. Ensuring these things are in place will help young men grow in integrity and prepare to serve missions and be men of God.

Favorite quote: “If we want our Scouts to learn the principles that will mold them into men of integrity, who honorably live the Scout Oath and know who they are as sons of God, they need an opportunity to meet with a group of young men under the direction of trained and committed leaders.”

Pillar 6 FeatureThe Scout Oath and Law—a Pathway to Self-Reliance

Consistently striving to be physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight as a youth helped Darryl Alder face trials and challenges later in life. He has used these experiences to help youth in Sunday school classes learn self-reliance.

Favorite quote: “When Scouts become self-reliant, they can use the blessings and abilities God has given them to care for themselves and their families. They can find solutions to their own problems and with self-reliance, they can better serve and care for others as they remember to do the daily Good Turn. The Lord wants us all to become both spiritually and temporally self-reliant.”

 

BSA's Honor Medal with Crossed Palms and Meritorious Action Award for lifesavingScout Heroism—Integrity in the Face of Danger

Sometimes, Scouts are put in situations where they must choose whether to act on the principles they learn in the Scout Oath and Law. Wilson Martin demonstrated his personal integrity by saving the life of his friend at risk to his own.

Favorite quote: “Wilson knew who he was as a Scout, and knew he needed to save his friend. He had kept himself physically strong enough to pull his friend out of danger. He was mentally awake enough to think clearly and act in his friend’s best interest, even when it was difficult. He was morally straight enough to save his friend when it would have been easier to run.”

Integrity doesn’t just happen in Boy Scouts. Cub Scout programs build character in boys starting at the age of accountability and can prepare them to be worthy priesthood holders. For more information on the benefits of the Cub Scout program, read What Need Hath My Lord of Cub Scouting.

How has Scouting helped you or those around you better understand your role and responsibilities as a child of God?

Maria Milligan

 

Author: Maria Milligan | Grant Writer, Utah National Parks Council, BSA.

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