Welcome to the LDS Scouter Blog. We hope to provide you with valuable information, share useful resources and maybe even improve some attitudes and Ward Scouting programs. The recommended way to use this blog is to start with the post, "Why I started this blog." Then browse through the post titles in the archive (found in the sidebar) for topics of interest.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

"Wear Your Uniform"

Do you follow the LDS-BSA blog? They have regular posts these days. There was a great one a while back called, "Wear Your Uniform!" with a story of successful recruiting.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Choose Wisely

"I believe Elder Dallin H. Oaks’s inspired message distinguishing between 'good, better, best' provides an effective way to evaluate choices and priorities. Many choices are not inherently evil, but if they absorb all of our time and keep us from the best choices, then they become insidious.

"Even worthwhile endeavors need evaluation in order to determine if they have become distractions from the best goals. I had a memorable discussion with my father when I was a teenager. He did not believe enough young people were focused on or preparing for long-term important goals—like employment and providing for families.

"Meaningful study and preparatory work experience were always at the top of my father’s recommended priorities. He appreciated that extracurricular activities like debate and student government might have a direct connection with some of my important goals. He was less certain about the extensive time I spent participating in football, basketball, baseball, and track. He acknowledged that athletics could build strength, endurance, and teamwork but asserted that perhaps concentrating on one sport for a shorter time would be better. In his view, sports were good but not the best for me. He was concerned that some sports were about building local celebrity or fame at the expense of more important long-term goals."

I love this part of Quentin L. Cook's talk from the most recent Conference, because it sounds so much like what my husband recently told his scouts, when talking to them about planning their activities.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Change of Heart

Over at the LDS-BSA blog, they have a new author who has promised weekly posts. His first installment is a real gem: Gaining a Vision of Scouting and the Aaronic Priesthood.

He talks about a time when he did not understand why the Church uses Scouting. I can relate, as I have not always had the best attitude toward Scouting either (at least, not my involvement in it). Then his bishop told him basically the same thing I have wanted to tell many people, "This comes from the prophet."

I am often caught between having patience for people, like others have had patience with me, and frustration with people who "follow the prophet" except when it comes to Scouting.

I would love it if everyone read this article, though. I suppose, just like any other truth, in the end, it's something we all need to gain a testimony of for ourselves.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

What is Little Philmont?

With a Little Philmont approaching in our area, I have been getting many questions about exactly what it is. Here is what I have been telling people. If anyone has anything to add (or correct) please add a comment.

Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico is the site of several premier scout leader training courses every year. Two weeks out of every summer (two sessions, one week each), the Church holds Priesthood Leadership Training at Philmont Scout Ranch, where the General Young Men Presidency and General Primary Presidency train Stake Presidencies in using Scouting in conjunction with the priesthood. Those Stake Presidencies are then encouraged to take what they learn back to their stakes and hold a "Little Philmont" - a one or two day conference about how Scouting fits with the Church and the priesthood. This is done under the direction of the Young Men General Presidency. In fact, I have heard there is often a member of the Young Men General Presidency, as well as members of the Board at the Little Philmont.

Who should attend a Little Philmont? Everyone! Little Philmont is for anyone with a Scout-related calling, from direct contact leaders to committee members, Cubs through Venturing. It is for Young Men and Primary presidencies on both the stake and ward level. It is for bishoprics and parents of scouts. And, of course, commissioners serving LDS units would find it helpful. It is for anyone who could benefit from a better understanding of how the priesthood and Scouting fit together and why the Lord has asked us to use this program to raise His young men and train them to be missionaries (and beyond).

There is a section on the Church Website about Philmont and Little Philmont, the link to which says, "The purpose of this conference is to help stake leaders better understand how Scouting can support the Aaronic Priesthood." It includes a suggested agenda for Little Philmont, in the middle of a lot of other great Scouting resources.

For those in the Northern Nevada area: Our Little Philmont will be on August 23 at the Winnemucca Stake Center. You can e-mail me for more details (or ask your local leaders). The Stake President who is heading the effort was at Philmont Scout Ranch last week receiving his training. 11 stakes from Northern Nevada are being invited (not sure whether that includes Sierra District as well). I was told that the last Little Philmont in our council was eight years ago, so this is a rare opportunity, worth taking advantage of. I have also heard that there will be a member of the Young Men General Presidency there (hint: he's a Nevada native).

Friday, June 27, 2014

"Scout Training Was The Answer"

We have another Ensign article about Scouting! In the July 2014 Ensign is a fantastic article called, "Scout Training Was The Answer," where Christopher M. Grimes shares his testimony of how getting trained helped him, his ward's program and his scouts.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Another Handbook Update

The Church's Handbook on Scouting (the "Green Book") was updated again in May. You can find the latest version here. The biggest change, or rather addition, that I know is a new section on Unit Commissioners, giving new, more specific guidelines on how stake callings fit in with commissioner work and what the responsibilities are of those who are unit commissioners because of their callings.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

May 2014 Newsletter

LDSBSA.org has a new newsletter posted for May. You can find it on their newsletter page here. Some highlights of the newsletter are a message about Roundtable from the General Primary Presidency and a message about safety.