February is anniversary month for the Boy Scouts of America. It gives you a great chance to reflect with your Scouts on how the program started and has grown for over 100 years. Find a time this month to celebrate Scouting’s birthday with your youth.
Kevin Hunt, a new blogger for The Boy Scout, found this ceremony from his collection for Anniversary Week, February 7–13, 2016. You can, of course, use this anytime this month as a short program for troops to use to celebrate the anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America. It can also be used at a court of honor, campfire program, troop meeting, etc.
We published this ceremony almost in full at The Voice of Scouting, but left out this LDS-specific part, which can be especially meaningful for your LDS units. If you decide to use the whole ceremony, this section should be inserted between this part about President Taft becoming Honorary President and this section on the Scout law.
EUGENE ROBERTS: (________________) I am Eugene Roberts. As Director of Physical Training at Brigham Young University, I also served on the General Board of the Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was a part of a task force of the General Board who investigated the Scouting program. From the days of pioneer Utah, the “crossing of the plains” was the subject of many a story by hoary-headed grandparents. Boys heard of the pioneering spirit but had not participated in it. I suggested that the Board form a Utah Scouting organization to be called the “Boy Pioneers of Utah”.
NARRATOR: (________________) In November of 1911, the first Scouting organization was organized in the Church – with the first troop in Salt Lake City. Soon after, correspondence was taken up with Mr. James E. West, Chief Scout Executive and this correspondence finally resulted in affiliation with the National Council, Boy Scouts of America.
BRYANT S. HINCKLEY: (____________________) I am Bryant S. Hinckley, father of President Gordon B. Hinckley. I too, was a member of the General Board of the YMMIA. I made the motion that the Church officially form an association with the Boy Scouts of America. President Anthony W. Ivins, an Apostle, made this motion to the Apostles and the First Presidency. President Joseph F. Smith agreed that the Church should accept Scouting as your boys’ official program. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints became the first organization to adopt Scouting as its youth program.
NARRATOR: (__________________) That was in the year 1913. A glorious day for the Church and the Boy Scouts of America. Since that day, many churches and other organizations have likewise adopted Scouting as the program for their boys. It has been a grand partnership – the Church and Scouting. With official affiliation, the Scouting program was extended to each stake and ward in the Church. Church Scouting made rapid strides and has since had the support of every Prophet since that time. Scouting today is the activity arm of the Aaronic Priesthood and dovetails with it as it helps to achieve the Church’s mission to prepare young men to receive and honor the Melchizedek Priesthood, serve as missionaries and to prepare for their roles as husbands and fathers in eternal families. President Gordon B. Hinckley, a modern Prophet has said:
PRESIDENT GORDON B. HINCKLEY: (________________) “Who in 1913 could have imagined the mighty results flowing from that motion made in behalf of the young men of this Church? Who today can gauge the vast good that has come into the lives of hundreds of thousands of boys … I joined Scouting at age 12. I still can recall the Scout Motto, ‘Be Prepared,’ and the Scout Slogan, ‘Do a good turn daily.’ Those two directives—almost commands—include two of the shortest verbs in the English language, ‘Be’ and ‘Do’.
“The idea of living and doing is one of tying knots that will hold under pressure. Poorly tied knots are evident in career, business and marriage failures. To be able to tie the right knot for the right reason, for the right occasion, and to have it hold against every stress is a part of the process of being prepared. Doing a good turn daily is not only the true spirit of Scouting, it is the very essence of Christianity.”
At this point jump back into the other ceremony with the Narrator reading: “Voices of the past, …
Best wishes along your Scouting Trails … Kevin
Author: Kevin V. Hunt | Scouting Historian and Author, Veteran, Camp Director and author of “Scouting Trails” Books from www.scoutingtrails.com
© Kevin V. Hunt 2016