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