These are questions Rushford Lee, owner of Research Emotion Design (RED) started asking that promoted a large research project into the “why” of Scouting in the LDS Church. The results were the Six Pillars of Being Prepared, which communicate why Scouting is a part of every young man in the LDS Church.
For the month of November, we’re focusing on Pillar 5 – Life Skills.
Now, we don’t mean skills like changing a tire, or making a bookshelf, or even social skills — though those sorts of skills are taught in Scouting.
What we mean are the skills learned in Scouting that mean the most and are the furthest reaching; such as hard work, problem-solving, leadership, character-building, and most importantly, faith in God. These skills are not easy to develop, but once learned, become a foundation for the rest of that boy’s life. So, when he steps into the roles of husband and father, he is prepared to do so.
How does Scouting teach these intangible skills? Why, they are taught by the best and most effective way to teach any value — example.
One of the methods of Scouting, or how we deliver the promise of Scouting, is adult association. At different stages of development young people need healthy relationships with adults, and even better if these adults are not their parents. Associations with adults of high character are especially encouraged to show a young man a good example of life worth emulating.
Think back in your own past to an adult you looked up to during your pre-teen and teen years, how influential were they in your life?
For me, I can think of a young woman leader who took a special interest in me. I watched how she treated her family and others around her, and how she had so much fun living life. I decided that that was what I wanted my life to be, and have worked for it ever since. She also taught me about the example of my Savior and how if I follow His example, there’s no doubt I will be prepared to take on life’s hardships and trials.
Pillar 5 states, “Be prepared to be good husbands and fathers by following the examples of men such as our Scout leaders, the bishopric, our prophets and the Savior.”
This is why I do Scouting.
Author: Melany Gardner | Editor, The Boy Scout | Wasatch District Executive, Utah National Parks Council