By Melany Gardner
Jul 24, 2016

How does Scouting help young men serve others?

Why does Scouting matter? How does Scouting help a young man learn to serve others? We asked these questions and more to our Scouting leaders and members of the community. Watch the video below to hear them tell us their experiences on how the principle of service is taught through Scouting experiences.

Quoting the Scout slogan to “Do a good turn daily,” Utah Governor Gary Herbert admires the people of Utah and their willingness to serve others. Due to the nature of the state of Utah and the relationship between The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Boy Scouts of America, it’s no surprise that there are few people in Utah who haven’t been touched by Scouting in some way.

“We are the number one state in America when is comes to volunteerism,” he said. “Nearly fifty percent of our people volunteer to help people without any thought of compensation; that’s really a Scouting value…”

Brad Harris, author of Trials to Testimony, currently serves in the Missionary Training Center and has seen a difference between young men who come with an “others” focus, and those who come with a “them” focus. As he interviewed these outward-facing missionaries, he found their lives were full of service.

“Scouting, of course, is just full of opportunities to serve. Not just the Eagle Scout project, but at every rank level,” he said. “Scouting, if properly applied, can help teach our young men to be ‘others’ focused, and that’s one of the principle things they will need to be a successful missionary.”

Cindy Gagon, a Cub Scout leader and mother of five Eagle Scouts, believes service training for a young man begins early in Cub Scouts doing little service projects around the neighborhood snf culminating in their Eagle Scout project where you really see service and leadership in action.

“What I have seen in my own sons is that need to serve; with that desire to do good for other people shines through as adults,” she said. “They’re having an opportunity to give back what they learned in Scouting. So, they’re paying it forward, just as I have tried to do.”

The video ends with with this important statement from Stephen Webber, a former bishop and author of Shepherd of the Flock, “The most important thing about service is that it builds love for other people.”

Webber explains that Scouting encourages service in all of its activities and forces a young man to look outside of himself and look at the needs of others. “When a young man does service for another person, his heart turns and softens for that other person; a love develops for the other person that you are serving.”

“There is no guarantee that someone as we serve is going to love us back, but the guarantee is that as we serve someone else our love for them will grow…the more we learn how to love, the more we become like the Savior.”

This is the second 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.

Melany Gardner2


Author: Melany Gardner | “The Boy Scout” Editor and Marketing Specialist, Utah National Parks Council

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3 thoughts on “How does Scouting help young men serve others?

  1. AvatarLeah Overson

    I’ve read several newsletters this afternoon – but this one is my favorite so far : -)
    Good work you guys!

  2. AvatarBlu Loony

    I am confident in my belief that LDS scouts will be a pillar of any community they reside in.

    I somehow always find myself simply enjoying the hospitality, kindness, debates, and friendships freely given by LDS members. I have many stories about why we all should aspire to live our lives like the LDS. I’m not sure if the desire to see others happy is innate or nurtured but I have witness true kindness from many LDS in my community. I have lived in the Great Northwest for over a decade and I have new incite about how a community should treat one another. I’m not advocating for the LDS faith but I am encouraging everyone to experience the LDS community. I’m a Baptist by birth, Methodist by intellect, and LDS by association. I guess my religious faith is not something I want to push onto the LDS nor have they force theirs on me. True Interfaith friendships are uneventful in my community, we just love the person.

    Thank you LDS community for embracing my family,

    Blu Loony

    1. Melany GardnerMelany Gardner Post author

      That’s a great mindset, Blu. I too love the association and intermingling of religious people under a united cause. That’s what I love about Scouting. It brings like-minded people who care about the youth, and raising up a generation of boys with character. I’m a professional Scouter, and even at this level of the BSA, the association with other religions is inspiring. It’s just so much fun being surrounded by people who care about what you care about. Sure, you don’t agree on everything, but goodness is found everywhere!


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