By Maria Milligan
Feb 13, 2016

Scouting Inspires Selfless Service

For the past two years, the Utah National Parks Council has focused on a series of tools that help Scouters better communicate with LDS leaders. These tools grew out of two surveys conducted by RED research and Rushford Lee that asked LDS leaders what outcomes they wanted from Scouting and why they thought Scouting mattered to their youth. The results from these surveys were distilled into six pillars (or outcomes) for LDS Scouting, including building a testimony, learning to serve others, preparing to go on a mission, building confidence, learning life skills, and gaining integrity by understanding our true nature as children of God.

Since adopting the six pillars as a focus and mission statement, the Council has written and solicited articles from volunteers and professionals alike about each of these pillars. Here at The Boy Scout, we have focused on one pillar each month and have published and shared articles accordingly. As we enter our third year of this initiative, we want to look back at the articles we’ve published and highlight the best content for each pillar.

February’s theme is Service: Be prepared through personal growth and learning to serve others through charity and doing a good turn daily. Here are the top five articles from The Boy Scout about how Scouting helps young men learn to serve others and develop a selfless attitude of service that will shape their lives:

change-lives featureChange Lives: Be Prepared through Personal Growth and Service

Lee Ferrin shares how her experience working at Philmont taught her to seek opportunities to serve others and change lives every day. It doesn’t take Philmont to make this change, however; it just takes dedicated, effective implementation of the Scouting principles.

Favorite quote: “How does Scouting offer this personal growth to young men? At its simplest, it offers a place for young people to learn a variety of new skills, with incentive to do so and peers who are doing the same. They are directed to grow and then serve in Scouting and in their Aaronic Priesthood duties. Personal growth and service are essential to the purpose of the gospel and of the LDS Church. No hymn is sung with more fervor than “Called to Serve.” Yet as we sing that hymn with our eyes on missionary service, let us adjust that view to look toward this day and the next, and help our young men to see that now is the time to both grow and serve. And how will we adjust that view? With the Scouting program!”

Troop 974 featureBoy Scout Troop Completes 250 Mile Temple Trek, Gives $3300 Donation to LDS Charities

Last summer, Boy Scouts of Troop 974 completed a 250 mile trek to 11 temples and other places of worship across the Wasatch front. As part of this trek, they raised over $3,300 for LDS Charities and learned about selfless service through this donation and the temple work they performed from Brigham City to Payson.

Favorite Quote: “In addressing the Scouts and their accomplishment, President Owen likened their story to John Rowe Moyle, a pioneer stonecutter who would walk 22 miles everyday to work on the building of the Salt Lake Temple. Moyle later lost his leg in an accident, but as soon as he could, he again began to walk the miles to temple square and was the mason who carved the inscription “Holiness to the Lord” on the east side of the temple.

“I couldn’t help but think of the miles you traveled by foot,” President Owen said. “[Moyle] did a wonderful thing by walking, by serving the Lord. What you have done is the same thing.”



Darryl Alder shares the history of BSA’s famous slogan: Do a Good Turn Daily. This hallmark of Scouting has encouraged youth for over a century to focus on serving others and turn outward. The article also includes a list of sample service projects and good turns.

Favorite quote: “Selfishness is almost a universal evil.  Certainly it is overcome by the Scout Program, which is based upon the development of service for others, and the Daily Good Turn is an important factor in the development of a habit of service and attitude of mind which offset a tendency to selfishness.”

Service OA featureThe Gift of Cheerful Service

Connor Creighton, Order of the Arrow lodge chief, talks about the benefits he’s seen from his years of cheerful service. The Order of the Arrow is famous for its ranks of selfless Scouts who cheerfully sacrifice their time to serve those around them.

Favorite quote: “The opportunity to participate in these types of projects is something that I wouldn’t give up for any other worldly possession. Service truly is the gateway to happiness and friendship. Now I have a full understanding of why the Order of the Arrow is also known as the brotherhood of cheerful service. Without the OA it would have been a long time before I found the true gifts of happiness.”

Feature serviceMarch—A Month of “Recorded” Service

Russell Dailey shares his experience with the Scout slogan (easy to remember, since his troop mates would say “Do a good turn . . . Dailey” and ask what he’d done). He expresses gratitude for the emphasis both Scouting and the Church place on service and walks volunteers through the process of recording their service hours.

Favorite quote: “I am grateful that Scouting’s focus on doing a good turn fits so well with the ideals of service taught by so many religions.  As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I appreciate the third Purpose of the Aaronic Priesthood which asks young men and Scouts to “provide meaningful service” and to follow the example of Jesus Christ who was a true servant-leader.”

Have you seen Scouting help youth learn to serve others? Tell us about it in the comments.

Maria Milligan


Author: Maria Milligan | Grant Writer, Utah National Parks Council, BSA.

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