By Colin Wylie
May 13, 2017

Influential Women Create Life Changing Ripple Effect

Consider the ripple effect that occurs when one young man’s life is changed. It continues to spread outwards until it affects more and more people. This theme was one of many at the eighth annual Influential Women in Scouting awards banquet, hosted by the Utah National Parks Council. The event was held May 13, 2017 in the Conference Center at Brigham Young University. Its purpose was to honor 24 women, who “have exceptional character and who promote the values of Scouting.

The evening began with some remarks by Utah National Parks Council President, Michael Neider. He recalled the impact of his female leaders and wives of other leaders as a young man. Neider feels that some of the most valuable lessons learned in his youth were from the sisters that instructed him while young. His personal belief is what the youth learn at church or at Scouts is about being better at home.

Following dinner, Bonnie Hillam Cordon, the First Counselor in the General Primary Presidency of the LDS Church, was the keynote speaker. She began her thoughts surrounding the connections that can be made in Scouting. Cordon explained that without the impact of women in Scouting, the organization would be very different. She shared the account of her husband, Derek, who can still remember his first Den Leader and the feelings of confidence that were instilled in him in those formative years. Cordon shared the following quote from President Harold B. Lee and related it to Scouting,

“You cannot lift another soul until you are standing on higher ground than he is. You cannot light a fire in another soul unless it is burning in your own soul.”

Cordon thanked the women involved in Scouting for being patient, loving and for expecting the best of the youth.

2017 Award Recipients:

  • Susan Bramble (Provo)
  • Kristen Bybee (Heber)
  • Shawna Cole (Ephraim)
  • Karen Cox (Lindon)
  • Susan Epperson (Heber)
  • Crystal Ewell (Santaquin)
  • Sandy Fausett (Highland)
  • Mary Fehlberg (Orem)
  • Pamela Graf (St. George)
  • Evelyn Grammer (Vernal)
  • Leena Harral (Highland)
  • Cheryl Hendrickson (Glenwood)
  • Crystal Krogue (Mapleton)
  • Nicole Lemon (Lehi)
  • Leah Matheson (Toquerville)
  • Susan Saltzman (Ivins)
  • Janet Snow (Roosevelt)
  • Valerie Staheli (Saratoga Springs)
  • Carma Steck (Ephraim)
  • Melinda Stone (Provo)
  • Connie Stratton (Hurricane)
  • Michaun Torgesen (Spanish Fork)
  • Edi Ulloa (American Fork)
  • Joyce Westenskow (Moroni)

At the conclusion of the evening, Dave Pack, Utah National Parks Council Scout Executive, connected the impact of these influential women with the role of mothers everywhere. “Mothers are so important in the lives of boys,” he observed. Pack concluded that Scouting is more than the activities provided for the youth but how attitudes and values are changed in them forever.

Author: Colin Wylie | Marketing Associate, Utah National Parks Council

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