John is a new Scoutmaster feeling a little overwhelmed. He has lots of questions about his new calling, but his first question is about Friends of Scouting and how it is used to ultimately help his boys.
This knowledgeable bishop describes how 100% of Friends of Scouting dollars stay to help local Scouting – not to pay a national office somewhere. With that cleared up, John asks, “So, how is our Friends of Scouting money used here in our community?”
The bishop uses an iceberg analogy to explain that there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes that most people won’t see. While on the surface you might see merit badges, uniforms, service projects, campouts, and hikes; the largest part of an iceberg is below the surface. With over 80,000 Scouts and close to 50,000 leaders from the point of the mountain to St. George and Mesquite, we live in the largest operating council in America. It takes a lot to keep that all organized. The bishop explains that there are eight Scouting service centers throughout Utah, staffed by hardworking individuals organizing volunteers, program, and activities, all for a relatively modest wage.
‘What about camps?” John asks, “Is there someplace close I can take my troop?”
“There is indeed,” the bishop says. He describes that the Utah National Parks Council, BSA owns, operates, and maintains 12 camp properties that combined equals more than 2,500 acres for youth of all ages that boys and girls can use for challenging outdoor activity, learning life skills, and fostering spiritual experiences. Stakes are also invited to use camp properties for any activities such as youth conference or encampments. “Your Friends of Scouting dollars help maintain all these camps and facilities,” he says.
Priesthood leaders can combine spiritual and missionary preparation as part of their camp outings. Elder Danes, a missionary in the St. George South Mission says that everything he learned as a Scout — such as the responsibility, leadership and effort involved with becoming an Eagle Scout carried over into his mission.
At this point John is excited about attending a Scout camp, but worries about the fees involved. Our handy bishop has a solution to this too as he pulls out a starving student card to explain how troops and individuals can sell these cards/Scout Show tickets. 75% of the proceeds go to help pay for camp and other Scouting expenses. As a bonus to this ward, the selling of Scout show tickets is a LDS Handbook-approved fundraiser.
John is really feeling better about his boys attending an organized council Scout camp, knowing it’s safer. But the bishop, standing next to a picture of the Salt Lake Temple, wants to remind John about another aspect of Scouting; and that’s in preparing boys for the bigger things of life such as a mission, school, marriage, and fatherhood.
Bishop Staheli of the Santa Clara 2nd Ward, explains how Scouting helped his son prepare for a mission. “I’ve got a young man in my ward — my son — who’s on an airplane to Mexico right now,” He said. “And he is the man he is because of great leaders — men and women in the Scouting organization within the Church — that have taught him skills and attributes that are going to allow him to be a tremendous missionary.”
John now has a better understanding about the importance of Scouting for his boys, why it’s important to support his ward by continuing to donate to Friends of Scouting. It takes about $100 a year per boy for all that support under surface. That hundred dollars, the bishop explains, could make all the difference in the life of young man.
Please be generous with your Friends of Scouting donations.
Special thanks to following people for donating their time and talent to creating this video:
Bishop Nathan Lee Staheli, Santa Clara 2nd Ward
Carl Lamar, Canyon Media
David Clay, Starving Student Card
Elder Austin Daines, St. George South Mission
Jeff Gomske, Canyon Media
Paul Southwick, Strategic Media
Paul Tikalsky, Utah National Parks Council
Author: Melany Gardner | “The Boy Scout” Editor and Marketing Specialist, Utah National Parks Council