On Feb. 8, the Smithfield 5th Ward, Smithfield Utah South Stake, will hold a Scout Banquet in honor of Lucile Floyd Hampton. an 89-year old woman who has served in Scout callings for the last 50 years. At the banquet she will be honored with her 50-year Scout pin.
In 1963 Sister Hampton, a married, Methodist woman, was approached by her eight-year old son, George Jr., about joining the Cub Scouts. He told her, “Mom, if you will become a den leader, I can become a Cub Scout.” Wanting to support her son, she investigated becoming a Scout leader at the Berry Memorial Methodist Church on the north side of Chicago, Ill.
Needing a Scout shirt to begin serving, she asked around to find one. The pursuit to find a shirt eventually led her to Veronica (Ronnie) Miner, an LDS woman selling a woman’s Cub Scout shirt. She made contact with Sister Miner and then drove with her husband to the Miners’ home to take a look at the shirt. It was a good fit, so she purchased it.
Just down the street from Sister Miner’s home was a big Catholic church. Many of the Hamptons’ neighbors were Catholic, so Mrs. Hampton asked Sister Miner if she attended the Catholic church down the street. Sister Hampton said, “No, we’re Mormons!”
Mrs. Hampton backed up a step and her husband, George Sr., raised an eyebrow. “My dad was a Mormon.” He never knew much about his dad or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because his dad died when he was young and his mother remarried a Lutheran man. George was raised a Lutheran; however, he did possess a treasured heirloom from his father, a 1923 triple combination set of scriptures. Unfortunately, he had never read it.
Sister Miner’s husband, John, who happened to be the bishop of the Logan Square Ward in Chicago, was listening to the conversation. He asked George Sr. if he wanted to learn something about his father’s church. Sister Hampton said her husband said, “yes” at the same time as she said, “no.” Being persistent, the Miners invited them to a “cottage meeting” the next Tuesday night and the Hamptons attended.
When they attended the meeting, they were taught the gospel and asked if they had any questions. George Sr. said he had recently discussed several questions with his minister. He wanted to know “Who am I?” “Where did I come from?” “Why am I here?” and “Where am I going after this life?” The missionaries responded, “We think we can help you with those questions.”
George Jr. said, “When my dad and I heard the story of Joseph Smith’s first vision, it struck a chord with us. Mom took a little more convincing but once she met some of the young missionaries from Utah, she was sold.” After several months of lessons and attending a very strange and new church George Sr., Lucile and George Jr. were baptized into the Church in June 1963.
Soon after her baptism, Sister Hampton was called to work with the 11-year old Scouts in her ward. Sister Hampton said, “My favorite calling was to work with the 11-year old boys. They are still at the age where they will listen and do what you ask them to do.”
Soon a job offer at BYU required George Hampton to move his family; they relocated to Utah in 1967. Again, Sister Hampton was called to work with 11-year old Scouts in their new ward in Springville, Utah. At one time when the stake split and there were only ten 11-year-old boys in the stake, Sister Hampton was the Scout leader for all of the boys in the stake.
Over her 50 years in Scouting, Sister Hampton has trained about 250 boys to be Scouts. “It is the most wonderful program that was ever thought of to help boys be raised to become men,” she said.
Sister Hampton has been active with Scouts on the ward, stake, district (Hobble Creek), and council (Utah National Parks) level. She has received many awards including: District Award of Merit, Wood Badge (1979) and the Silver Beaver Award (1983). She has also served on the Wood Badge staff and attended advanced Scout training eight times at Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, N.M.
Since living in Smithfield, Utah, for the last 10 years, she has worked on merit badge pow wows, cooked at camps, worked with all the ward merit badge counselors in her ward, was secretary to the Ward Scout Committee, was on the Old Juniper District (Trapper Trails Council) Round Table Staff for several years, and has served as her ward’s Scout committee chairman for the last few years. She went on her last camp a couple of years ago at age 87.
“I’m so appreciative to my husband and his support in my Scout callings throughout the years,” said Sister Hampton. “My husband drove me to almost every activity because I have never owned a driver’s license.” Often Sister Hampton’s husband, now deceased, served right along side her in Scouting callings. Her son George Jr. also served in Scouting callings, including Scoutmaster.
Author: Ryan Morgenegg | Church News staff writer _______________________________________________
See Ryan Morgenegg, “50 Years of Scouting,” (February 1, 2014), Church News