By Joel Zabriskie
Sep 17, 2014

Scouting Changes and Saves Lives.

In 1991, I was involved as Course Director in a Wood Badge course at Camp Thunder Ridge. Part of the preparation is to assign those attending to patrols. We took this task very seriously, praying this would make a difference in the lives of these individuals as they spent six days and five nights together.

After we determined who would be in each patrol, we reviewed the characteristics of each person and how they might work and learn together. The Eagle Patrol gave us some concern. All but one were seasoned Scout leaders in their 50’s and 60’s. The exception was a young man about 22 years of age. We wondered how this would work, but kept them in place for the training.

WoodBadgeRopesCourse

A patrol on the low ropes course

This young man, whom I will call John, showed up with long hair, unshaven face, and unkempt uniforms. His Bishop had called him as an Assistant Scoutmaster over the 11 yea- old Scouts. He was wandering in his life with very little direction.

His mature patrol members took him under their wings. They befriended him. They encouraged him. They worked with him. They worked together. They had fun together. They fellowshipped him. They made sure he felt an integral part of their patrol.

More than twenty five years later I found out what happened to John. He went home committed to put his life in order and to serve a mission. He did serve a mission and married in the temple. His career has been working as a language translator for the LDS Church.

Joel Zabriske
Author: Joel Zabriskie | Chief Financial Officer, Utah National Parks Council, BSA

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