Ryan Wood is a Scoutmaster in our council, and in his experience, Scouting helps develop integrity in a young man. Through little steps and experiences like working with other young men at a campout, or working on merit badges without cutting corners, Scouting instills in its Scouts the value of this trait.
“I do think it starts right with the Scout Oath and Scout Law, when it talks about a Scout and what they represent. They represent being honest and trustworthy, obedient etc. All those things develop into a person’s integrity,” Wood said.
For Wood, he found that his experience as a Scout meant that his employers expected him to have integrity.
“Those who have integrity have a lot more opportunity and progress further in their career,” he said.
Brad Harris, author of Trials to Testimony, has seen values and integrity diminish in his lifetime, but is grateful for a program that teaches young people the importance of being trustworthy and loyal.
“Thank goodness we have a program called the Boy Scout of America that still teaches integrity,” Harris said.
In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Harris said, we take on sacred covenants and make promises. We want our young men to be ready to make these promises. When they put their arm to the square for the Scout Oath and Law, it could be the first promise a young man makes along with a chance to practice keeping that promise.
“The Scout Oath is ordered so that we put our promise to God first, then country, others, then ourselves,” he said. “So, it’s teaching selflessness, it’s teaching integrity to God, country, others, and self. Scouting is purposely and perfectly aligned to help teach our young men to have integrity.”
Cindy Gagon, a Scouting volunteer and mother of five Eagle Scouts, has assisted in the process of young men earning the Eagle Scout Award many times. It always intrigued her that the word “Eagle Scout” on a business application means so much to employers.
“I think it’s because they know that [Eagle Scouts] can be trusted in their business — that they won’t have to worry that things will come up missing, or that things will be misunderstood, or that a full day’s work won’t really mean a full day’s work, ” she said. “It means that those young men have signed on and have learned those skills and have committed to that integrity, and so they don’t have to worry about them as an employer.”
Utah Governor Gary Herbert said it doesn’t matter if you are in government or a politician, or a lawyer, doctor, teacher, or in business, or an entrepreneur, integrity is the foundation for sucess.
“We should expect out leaders to be honest and trustworthy,” he said. “If we would expect that of them, I think they will deliver more. We are not to excuse anybody in life and say, ‘Well, it’s okay to tell a little lie here, a little lie there, cheat a little bit there…’ It’s not. We need to have integrity in all walks of life.”
Former NFL football player, Chad Lewis, was given many opportunities to be in locker rooms or on the field in front of millions of people with his character on display. He realized that in those circumstances that he really cared about who he was and where he came from. The name on the back of his jersey was his family name, a name he would not disgrace andto him, keeping the honor of that name meant having integrity always.
“Integrity is important because it’s who you are when no one is looking,” Lewis said. “It’s who you are when the whole world is watching. It’s the same. Integrity means that your word is your bond. Integrity means if you say something you’ll do it. Integrity means that you believe what you say you believe. You don’t just talk the talk, but you walk the walk.”
This is the sixth installment in a series of six videos produced with special thanks to Eagle Scout Harrison Webber and Web-5 Productions for the Utah National Parks Council, BSA. Each video will focus on one of the Six Pillars of Being Prepared: Testimony, Service, Mission Preparation, Confidence, Life Skills and Integrity.
Author: Melany Gardner | “The Boy Scout” Editor and Marketing Specialist, Utah National Parks Council