By Shaun Heaton
Feb 21, 2016

Eagle Scouts Discuss How Scouting Prepared Them for Their Missions

To help us understand March’s theme on Pillar 3 of the Six Pillars of Being Prepared, Shaun Heaton, a long time Scouter and current Scoutmaster in Troop 444, chartered by the Orem Sunset Heights Fourth Ward, collected thoughts from his Eagle Scout sons on the subject.

Pillar 3: Mission Prep “Prepare to go on a mission and teach others by participating in the Scouting program as the activity arm of the priesthood.”

Heaton 2Here are some of their responses:

I feel like this ties in a lot with service. For example, when it snows and your Scout leader or your patrol leader calls you early in the morning and says, “We need to go out and shovel walks,” or you don’t necessarily want to spend your Saturday raking leaves.

Serving others and getting outside of yourself and thinking about other people is not necessarily the first thing that comes to mind for a teenager, but when you do that you realize there’s so much joy in helping other people in that way and doing things for other people even when you don’t even see them. When we would rake leaves and shovel walks we often wouldn’t even see the people in the houses, we’d just go do it.

There’s a lot of satisfaction in service that you find through Scouting and that helped me prepare for my mission in that as a missionary you need to be serving selflessly, you need to be doing things that you may not necessarily see the end result of, but they’re the right things to do. You need to be okay with not thinking about yourself because most 19, 20, 21-year-old guys going on a mission and giving up things you give up to go on a mission is not really what most people would just naturally want to do. Through the experiences I had in Scouting, knowing that there is greater satisfaction to be had in serving other people, that’s a principle that was engrained in me that really helped me work hard.

Shaun: I think there are a lot of things that, you know, you’re not learning simply how to cook from Scout campouts and going on a mission. I bet there are so many things out there, practical things that, if you hadn’t had the Scouting experience then tried to do all those same things, you would have thought you yourself, “Wow, I wish I would’ve learned how to do this.”

I remember sewing for Scouts, and I was the only one in my district in the MTC who knew how to repair clothing and I was the one who fixed everybody’s stuff because nobody else knew how to do it.

Shaun: How did Scouting help you on your mission?

I think there are a lot of things that Scouting helps you experience like teaching you how to work and how to lead. Leadership was the biggest thing because on a mission you have opportunities to either be in a leadership position even in your companionship or over more than one companionship. Being able to communicate with each other and to figure out what the best way to work your areas are or how we can work together instead of just separate companionships really helped me figure out how to exactly that on my mission.

Scouting taught me how to work hard, how to fix problems, or come up with different, creative ways to work our areas. I think Scouting had a lot of influence in that.

Shaun: How about cutting the apron strings for Mom for a week or two? How was that?

It definitely got me used to being away from home a little bit more. I definitely left home a lot more often because of Scouts and in doing so I got to experience a lot more different kinds of experiences.

Shaun: Did you ever get homesick at Scout Camp?

I don’t think we were ever gone long enough. It was always too exciting and too much fun stuff going on.

You can read another part of this story at  “Three Brothers Chat on Why Scouting Matters.

Three Brothers Chat on Why Scouting Matters

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Author: Shaun Heaton | Scoutmaster, Troop 444.

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