It’s pretty scary to fulfill this kind of wish, at least for me. However, I did it and I was happy for the visit. Together we reminisced about our Scouting times that go back more than 40 years. The funny thing is that she did not like Scouting at first. Her son, George, related it this way:
“My mom resented Scouting, she was a Scoutmaster’s widow. She remembers getting stuck in Butterfield Canyon researching possible campsites. She was left alone with three little girls. In fact, when she went into labor for my birth, she walked around the neighborhood between contractions trying to find someone to take her to the hospital. My dad was on a camp out with the Scouts.”
“She figured that she should be a good example and learn about Scouting. She had a great mentor in Ellen Frandson. Ellen helped my mom understand Scouting, how it works, and most importantly how it helps young men grow and progress to become great men. From that point on she was a great advocate for Scouting. She caught the vision.
“Scouting has had a great positive effect on our family. We all helped out. We learned about service, we helped set up for roundtable, we helped at roundtable, we helped with day camp and helped with whatever was need. Our family learned the importance of service and how to serve.
Scouting has been a big part of my life and my upbringing. A story I didn’t know about, but the first time that my sister’s in-laws remember meeting my mother was at an Arrow of Light ceremony. They were den leaders and they met my mom there and remember her as the Scout lady.
Also I performed an Arrow of Light ceremony once and there was a girl there that wondered what the sash was that I had I on. I presented the award to her brother and years later we started dating and she is now my wife.
Both of our parents served Scouting and I knew who she was based on who her parents were. Also my dad was Scoutmaster to a young man in our neighborhood. He even had this young man come and help sheet rock our basement. He was instrumental in helping this young man become an Eagle. This young man eventually ended up marrying my older sister. So you could say that scouting has had a great effect on our family in many ways.
Julia recalled that one for her favorite memories was completing her Wood Badge ticket and receiving her beads. George reports, “she is the proudest fox out there. She even had her license plate be her wood badge number WCS2127,”
Training was a big part of Julia’s Scouting life. She attended Akela’s Council and went on to join the staff there. She also served on the district staff and after being released as Stake Primary President, she joined her local district’s roundtable team. Her son said that she really enjoyed the relationships she developed with those teams. “She really enjoyed serving on district staff …She feels that they made roundtable fun and had a great core group of people. She went to Day Camp School to be able to put on day camps. She always was organized and put on a great day camp. I remember helping with many of them,” recalled George.
George explained that she feels Scouting is very important to a boy’s development and “because she had the vision and knew that it is a great program that gives boys experiences to help them learn and become great men,” Julia was an active Scouter “even after she no longer had sons in the program. It helped her tremendously in her personal life.”
With each year of involvement in Cub Scouting, she became more engaged so that she was eventually asked to be the Utah National Parks Council vice president for Cub Scouting. Her son said that she felt overwhelmed, but again “she had great committees and great people around her to help. She felt that she really made a difference in the council and with the Cub Scouts.”
George told how, “In her current ward, she helped many boys earn their Eagle rank. To help boys achieve Eagle, communication is important. Parents need to be in contact with the leaders to know where their son is and they need to encourage their son to do it.
“I have heard that the Scouting program in their ward is in such a great state because of her. She helped the Cub Scouts and the Boys Scouts. I feel that she has in a way become like Ellen Franson and been a great mentor to many people over years.”
George closed with a personal note about his dad:
“After my dad passed, I made a road trip to Atlanta to bring back some of his stuff. While going through it, we found some old scout shirts. One was very threadbare. We were taking off the patches and there was something in his pocket. It was his wood badge beads. I had just gone to wood badge myself and was finishing up my tickets. When I was awarded my beads. I had them use my dad’s beads. I have worn them proudly ever since. …Go Buffaloes!”