Overcoming My Fears
Brian Jolley, one of this year’s Outstanding Eagle recipients, shares how Scouting helped him overcome his fears.
“Missions are hard, you’re asked to do difficult things. In my case, I was a long way from home. One of the great fears I had as a kid was anxiety about being away from home. I overcame that anxietyas I went on camping trips. When I began Scouting, my Dad had to accompany me on a number of campouts because I was very anxious about being away from home in an unfamiliar environment. Scouting helped me break through that fear. there no way I could have ever survived six hours in Madrid let alone two years if I hadn’t overcome that fear.”
Doing Hard Things
Serving an LDS mission can be a daunting task. Did you know that missionaries work 77-112 hours per week? Missionaries rise to work at 6:30 am and hit the pillow at 10:30 pm every single day for 730 days! These valiant disciples of Jesus Christ spend two years teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, serving their fellow men, and building the kingdom of God all without payment.
Earning an Eagle Scout is a difficult task in and of itself. Before a Scout can earn their Eagle, they must achieve five different rankings, earn 21 merit badges, serve in a leadership role, plan an Eagle Scout project proposal, perform that project, participate in a unit leader conference, and complete an Eagle Scout board of review.
It was difficulties like these that prepared Outstanding Eagle, Jeff Madsen, as a missionary in the Phillippines.”There were a lot of hard things that came with serving a mission. Because of the experiences that I received in Scouting, I was more prepared to handle those hard difficult tasks. I was more prepared to be in a foreign country and to speak a new language. It was Scouting in general that helped prepare me for a mission.”
But it’s not just the difficulty of earning an Eagle Scout that helps prepares missionaries. According to Mark Seastrand, another one of this year’s outstanding Eagles, It’s the attributes and skills that also prepares them.
“The Eagle Scout Award was very influential in my life in helping instill values of character, values of honesty, and values of service to God and to country and other people. I think that has served me throughout my life as I have been involved not only in business but in community service. Those values of helping others and doing a good turn daily are fundamental.”
Eagle to Elder
Transitioning to a mission can be challenging, but earning an Eagle Scout can make that transition a bit easier. Eagle Scouts learn to overcome their fears, do hard things, build character, and much more. All of these things help them to be much more effective full-time missionaries, and they can transform boys into outstanding men.
Author: Kimball Vaughn | PR Marketing Associate, Utah National Parks Council