The Utah National Parks Council University of Scouting 2014 concluded with over 800 adult volunteers participating in great classes with great ideas, and with a tremendous Scout spirit. On the Boy Scouts of America’s 104th birthday last Saturday, this huge crowd of Scouters descended upon the Orem LDS Institute at Utah Valley University for a fun, adventurous day of learning topics from Cubs to Venturing.
President Larry M. Gibson, First Counselor in the LDS Young Men General Presidency delivered a heartfelt keynote including moving accounts and personal stories. Special guest, Peter Self from National BSA addressed the Venturing leaders with the new changes coming this year for the Venturing program.
Council Scout Executive, David Pack, was also on-hand to deliver an inspiring session integrating LDS Come Follow Me and Duty to God elements into Scouting. All three men were awarded honorary doctorate degrees in Scouting.
The faculty and staff were well prepared and eager to share ideas, their expertise, and lots of smiles. “I loved the amazing instructors and the powerful spirit present in the classes. Very well done! Great variety and diversity of classes,” said one attendee.
The event was delivered by more than 95 instructors teaching more than 110 classes across seven colleges – Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting, Venturing, Advancement, Training, and General Studies. This year there were more classes than ever, and there was really something for everyone to enjoy.
Overall, it was a successful day of learning for any level of Scouter.
“This is an opportunity to learn from people with so much experience. It is an opportunity to reinforce your desire to be a better leader. It was a wonderful time,” said another satisfied Scouter.
For many, the event inspired them to reengage in the cause of Scouting and their part in it. “There were wonderful ideas to give me direction as a Scoutmaster. I’m excited to have a fresh start. I wish the other advisers in my ward had attended.“ one Scouter wrote in the comments.
“I loved getting fresh ideas and even hearing the questions of other leaders – I came away ready to ‘begin again!’,” said another.
University of Scouting began two years ago when Kent Hansen and Scott Anderson, Co-Chairs of the event, moved here from Heart of America Council and the Grand Canyon Council respectively. They both had great experiences with University of Scouting in those councils and wanted to have a successful training event for leaders here.
“We got busy and put together the first University of Scouting here last year with just a keynote, 3 sessions, 30 classes, and about 400 people came. It was awesome. This year it more than doubled in size and scope with some outstanding faculty and staff assisting us,” Hansen said.
Scott Anderson explains some new features this year were Spanish translation, a complete Cub Scout college, degree programs and a fundraising breakfast for youth scholarship. “Next year there will be dedicated Spanish classes for a Cub Scout track as well as a Spanish Scouting/General Studies track, and much more,” Anderson said.
The Utah National Parks Council provides the University of Scouting as an annual council event for adult volunteers each February – Scouting’s anniversary. Every adult volunteer needs ongoing training, and University of Scouting provides ample opportunity to learn and to share so a unit’s program can be enhanced and improved.
Save the date: the 2015 University of Scouting will be Saturday, February 21, 2015. Registration will open Fall 2014. For more information, go to www.UtahScouts.org/uos.
Check out more University of Scouting pictures on Facebook.
Author: Melany Gardner | Marketing and Program Assistant, Utah National Parks Council