After earning my Eagle Scout Award as a youth, I didn’t do much in Scouting until I was called to be a counselor in a bishopric. It was during this time that I helped to organize our ward’s Cub Scouts and I was introduced to Scouting as an adult. That was over 40 years ago. And none of my children were yet involved in Scouting.
It was during this time that I had attended my first adult Scout training. I could see that Scouting was meant for families—that is, it was made to give boys something exciting to do with the family. And Scouting gives something for parents to do with boys and girls that makes possible learning for those boys or girls.
When we moved to Pleasant Grove I was called to be a Teacher’s Quorum Advisor and first counselor in a young men’s presidency. At this time, Varsity Scouting was just being tested and worked on in our Council. It was during this time that I attended Wood Badge and learned what I had really done as a youth in earning my Eagle Scout award. I worked as a Teacher’s Quorum Advisor for 2 years. We then moved to Highland and our sons got involved with scouting at 8 years of age and worked on Scouting until they each turned 18. Our last son turned 18 in 1996.
As each of my sons went through Scouting I saw them each gain skills and abilities for their lives. I watched them make the Scouting ideals part of their character.
After our sons moved out of Scouting, it became my choice to continue in the program in my own area of influence. Both my wife and I continued to support and work in Scouting positions. We worked more in the District and Council as volunteers. Having seen the difference the program made for our boys, we continued to support Scouting’s ideals and use our experience and training to train other leaders in the families of Scouting.
During the last 5 years we have worked with other adults to execute the National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) that our Council has sponsored for young men and young women. We have loved to see the young men and young women grow in leadership and confidence as they have learned and grown by attending NYLT. We feel we may have done more to encourage the Scouting spirit in lives than ever before by our support of NYLT.
Our involvement in Scouting after our boys have moved on has brought Pat and I a chance to work together and feel more of the spirit of Scouting in our lives. We have had the opportunity to work together in Basic Training sessions, in University of Scouting training, and at Wood Badge (we staffed a course in October 2014 together; I am a double Eagle and Pat is a Foxy Wolf). Both of us have attend Wood Badge twice. We have loved our work at NYLT Timberline, where we have seen 45 young women and 53 young men participate in our Co-ed NYLT Timberline so far. We have also attended Philmont together and have enjoyed the fellowship there.
I still do Scouting because I have seen the good it can do for youth and families and I want to help others see it in their own lives.
Author: Stewart Schow | Utah National Parks Council Varsity Scout Committee Chairman