We changed our district structure to better align with LDS church coordinating councils. We went from 39 districts to 20 to match the coordinating council boundaries. Thanks to this change, we can work closely with the area seventy (Elder Dane Leavitt) and 20 stake presidents who are over Scouting. These LDS leaders make up the Council’s LDS Relations Committee and meet quarterly with Council leaders to assess how Scouting is working for the youth in their area and what the Council can do to improve its efforts.
About two years ago, Research Emotion Design (RED) did a survey of LDS leaders to measure their satisfaction with the Utah National Parks Council and answer vital questions: How does Scouting relate to Church objectives for youth? Is there a spiritual side to Scouting? Is there really any link between the trail to Eagle and a mission? This research pointed the Council in a new direction that centers around six pillars that connect with and communicate to LDS leaders the “why” of Scouting.
This new focus has helped us build programs and show LDS leaders how Scouting can help their youth gain testimonies, learn to serve, prepare for missions, gain confidence, grow to be good men, husbands, and fathers, and commit to integrity. We are also working to make our Council camps more available for stake use.
These changes have helped the Council have more success than ever before, with two years in a row of record camping, activities, fundraising, and membership. More important than the numbers, though, are the thousands of LDS Scouts and leaders who have had their lives changed by Scouting programs.
As we plan for the coming years, we are committed to better serve our chartered partners and do everything in our power to help them meet their goals for their youth.
Authors: Stan Lockhart, President; Richard DuBois, Commisioner; Dave Pack, Scout Executive | Utah National Parks Council.