Wednesday, June 8, 2016

A Scout Is Kind, and Friendly

With less reluctance and more patience developed over the years, I accompanied my wife to the Great Salt Lake Council business meeting and dinner. As we entered the familiar yet slightly upgraded Camp Tracy Lodge (I think it's now Layton Lodge for the donors), I suggested that we go sit by the one Scout that we saw because I get tired of adult Scouters when the program is supposed to be about the boys (and girls).

It was not a shocking surprise, just the typical thing one experiences with my wife, that the Eagle Scout who is the youth representative on the Council Board was one of her former Science students. Yeah. That's how our life goes. Either we get more than our share of favorable coincidences, or the universe is simply unfolding as it should.

My wife getting the updates on her former student's ongoing successful life.
The real surprise came when Robert Heyn of the LDS Young Mens General Board spoke about the Council's "All Markets" program. This was all new to me. And the Salt Lake Council, with strong support from the LDS Church and other charitable organizations - and even federal grants, is leading the way in reaching out to at-risk youth, inner city kids, and refugees. Apparently we are organizing Cub Packs and Scout Troops with young people from all over the world. Nearly every nation in Africa was mentioned. There are young people from a multitude of ethnic groups, languages, and religions, including Islam.
I went up after the meeting to meet Brother Heyn. He is originally from Colombia and has a business here so I don't think he is a full-time General Authority. And he has dedicated his time working with the Council to organize these "All Markets" units to serve youth in our area. How better to help a refugee integrate into American life or a troubled youth to reform than to give them a great adventure in Scouting through which they can experience first-hand the Scout Oath and Law!

My faith in and commitment to Scouting is greatly restored. Imagine that just a short time ago many were considering leaving, or that the church would leave -- all over some change in policy with minimal impact on anybody that simply helped us serve all youth without unnecessary judgments that had nothing to do with the essential meaning of the Scouting movement.

This new initiative is worthy of our support. Check out the Council link again here.

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