By Utah National Parks Council
Dec 06, 2013

Who is a Scout?

The Boy Scouts of America is a youth program that seeks to instill in the lives of youth values to help guide them to make moral and ethical choices. When a youth turns 18 he is no longer eligible to participate as a Boy Scout. So are you no longer a Scout because you have graduated?

Good TurnThe answer is a resounding NO!

You are always a Scout. The oath that you take to do your best, to do your duty to God, to country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; To keep yourself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight is a lifetime oath. The mission statement of  the Boy Scouts of America states, “to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes.”

Boy Scouts are Scouts the rest of their lives.

Even though you may no longer be an active participant in the Scouting program the lessons that you learned as a Scout act as a guide; a foundation for you to build on.

The phrase, “Do a Good Turn Daily” is a lifetime action.

A Good Turn does not have to be a huge service project. There is suffering all around us and many opportunities to lift someone else.

Good Turn 2President Monson shared this story about what it means to do a Good Turn Daily:

A few years ago I read an article written by Jack McConnell, MD. He grew up in the hills of southwest Virginia in the United States as one of seven children of a Methodist minister and a stay-at-home mother. Their circumstances were very humble. He recounted that during his childhood, every day as the family sat around the dinner table, his father would ask each one in turn, “And what did you do for someone today?” 1 The children were determined to do a good turn every day so they could report to their father that they had helped someone. Dr. McConnell calls this exercise his father’s most valuable legacy, for that expectation and those words inspired him and his siblings to help others throughout their lives. As they grew and matured, their motivation for providing service changed to an inner desire to help others. [1]

The purpose of doing a Good Turn Daily is not to check it off a list or to do it because you are asked. It is to help you recognize the needs of others and empathize with them. You can do multiple Good Turns daily. As you do, you will find that your heart has changed.

Recall in the Bible in the book of Matthew (5:44) that the Lord counseled “pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” Why? It is about changing your heart.

This is a Scout; a youth who takes to heart the things he has learned and applies them throughout his life.

Author: Heidi Sanders | Marketing & PR Director, Utah National Parks Council

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Reference

1. See Thomas S. Monson, “What Have I Done for Someone Today?” (2009, October) LDS.org.

2. Photos, see Bryan on Scouting, “Photo Fridays: Scouts Doing Service Projects (46 photos).”

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